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September 12, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“So also it is written, ‘The first man, Adam, became a living soul.’ The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven.”—1 Corinthians 15:45–47 (NASB)
Have you ever bought something when it initially launched? Maybe you waited in line for a brand-new iPhone. Maybe you decided to buy the first in a new line of a car or computer. I remember buying a game on launch day that was so full of bugs it was almost unplayable, and I had to wait until the developer sent a patch/software update to correct the issues. It wasn’t until months later—and several patches later—that the game worked properly.
In today’s verse, we read about two Adams. You’re probably thinking, I thought there was only one Adam. Who is this second Adam? Well, Paul tells us, “The first man is from the earth” and “the second man is from heaven.” He is talking about Adam and Jesus, the two federal heads of the human race, the two prototypes of humanity.
The first Adam, created in the image and likeness of God, was the first type of mankind. He was created from the dust, made of the earth. But Christ Jesus, God in the flesh, is the second type of mankind. Unlike Adam, Jesus was not created; He is Creator (John 1:1–3; Colossians 1:15–17).
In this passage, Paul invokes Genesis 2:7, which tells us that the Lord first formed Adam from the dust like a potter shapes clay and then breathed life and soul into Him. The natural came first and then the spiritual. But in the Garden, when Adam and Eve sinned, the spiritual died. The first Adam acted on behalf of all mankind and through him we inherited sin as well as its penalty: death.
Jesus, the life-giving Spirit who first breathed life into mankind, also acted on behalf of all mankind to set us free from Adam’s curse. Our Christ, “being in very nature God . . . made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness . . . humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:6¬–8 NIV)! By His death and resurrection, He established a new man, a new creation.
And when we receive Him, we die to the old self and are born again into the family of God! And every day, by His Spirit, we get to feel Him breathe new mercies and new life into our souls.
DIG: Read Genesis 2:1–7, John 1:1–18, Romans 5, 1 Corinthians 15, and Colossians 1.
DISCOVER: Consider the magnitude of what we learned above. The One who formed us and breathed life into us made Himself nothing to once again breathe new life into us. What does this tell you about Jesus? How does it impact the way you view your own life and the lives of every single person?
DO: Share the life-giving story of Jesus with someone today.
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.