What We Lost In Adam And Gained In Christ

Title: What We Lost In Adam And Gained In Christ

Bible Book: 1 Corinthians 15 : 45-49

Author: Jesse M. Hendley

Subject: Provisions in Christ; Adam and Christ



Friends, we are taking up today the wonderful fifth chapter of Romans! We are studying "In Adam, and in Christ,” and we are going to take it up also in First Corinthians 15:45 through 49. You see, in both of these great records we have the same thought, but with a little different angle, and that is, what we LOST in Adam, and what we GAIN in the Lord Jesus Christ.

One of the best ways I have found to study this passage (by the way, let's turn to Romans 5:12) is to take a sheet of paper and divide it with a pencil line right down the middle. On one side write down WHAT WE LOST IN ADAM, and on the other side WHAT WE GAIN IN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.

Let me read now from Romans 5, beginning with verse 12: "Wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world (that means Adam, of course) and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: for until the law, sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude (that means "likeness") of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come."

Now that verse 14 is the key to this entire passage. ADAM is a figure of HIM THAT WAS TO COME, the Lord Jesus Christ. Adam, then Christ. Verse 15 makes that plain: "But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one (that is, Adam) many be dead (death came upon everybody), much more the GRACE of God, and the gift by grace, which is by One Man Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many."

So Adam, we read, is a figure of Jesus Christ who is to come. This is a wonderful truth. There are actually ONLY TWO MEN. We are not men; we are caricatures of men. There were only TWO MEN: Adam and Christ. And there is a Federal Headship in these two men. They are the heads of a family. "In Adam." "In Christ." In Adam, all DIE; in Christ all shall be MADE ALIVE.

Now the wonderful thing we find in this passage is WHAT WE LOST IN ADAM, through his sin, and on the other hand WHAT WE GET, IN CHRIST: forgiveness, grace justification and eternal life.

Now let's take it up and see. Think of this as on a sheet of paper, with a line right down the center. Verse 12 deals with Adam. So we'll have verse 12 on the left hand side of the page. We have ONE MAN, ADAM, and under this, Sin and Death. "Through the one man Adam, sin entered into the world, and through sin, DEATH PASSED UPON ALL."

I. The Nature of the First Adam in All Mankind

Now, you and I don't ASK for that. We were born into this world with the NATURE OF ADAM. We were born under condemnation that he brought upon the whole human family. That operates all through life. A man is a drunkard, and his sin affects his wife and children. A man and a woman are divorced, and their entire family relationship is completely disturbed. That is why God is against breaking up homes. That is why God is against divorce. SIN does not affect just one person; it affects others. You cannot sin ALONE. The drunkard says, "I hurt nobody but myself." That's what the libertine says. That is what the adulterer says. But that isn't so. When we SIN, we have an INFLUENCE, and we hurt not only ourselves, body, mind, and spirit, but we are actually hurting those whom we love, friends around us, and everyone upon whom we have any influence or contact.

A. Sin Entered and Death by Sin

So, in the left-hand column, we write under "ADAM,” SIN ENTERED, and DEATH by sin. Death passed upon every one of us. That is the thought.

B. Sin and Death Were in the World Before the Law

Now we come to verse 13, and in this verse we read that SIN was in the world before the Law was ever given. So death was in the world before the Law. "For until the Law, sin was in the world, but sin; is not imputed where there is no law." The Law was given through Moses. But we have the history of the human race before the time of Moses, and we find that there was SIN there, and there was DEATH. So, the Law isn't the big thing. Sin was in the world before the Law was ever given.

So now we have two points on the left-hand side, under "Adam." (1) Through the one man Adam SIN ENTERED, and death through Adam. And (2) Sin was in the world BEFORE THE LAW, and death was in the world BEFORE THE LAW.

Now verse 15 gives what we lost in Adam and what we gain in Christ. Now on the left side we can put down, "The offence of Adam – RESULT - MANY DEAD." Adam offended God. He sinned against God. And the result? DEATH passed upon all his descendants.

II. The Blessing in The Second Adam to All Who Believe

But, opposite that, we have in the other column, "Free gift through Jesus Christ: LIFE." Isn't that wonderful? Through Adam's offense, DEATH came upon us. But through God's free gift, Jesus Christ, we get LIFE! "Much more, the grace of God, and THE GIFT BY GRACE, which is by One Man Jesus, hath abounded unto many." Notice the gift: the free gift of LIFE is given to the descendants of Adam who put their trust in the Lord Jesus. So the OFFENSE is CANCELLED! We are not responsible, and even DEATH is going to be destroyed through the Lord Jesus. SPIRITUAL death has already been destroyed for us, and there will be RESURRECTION from physical death, and new bodies that will NEVER DIE. And all that is God's grace, God's free gift of life, for every one of us! Will you please notice, friends, that the free gift is LIFE. LIFE is God's GIFT to us. When we repent of our sins and trust Christ, God GIVES to us Eternal Life.

Now in verse 16 we read, "One sinned.” That is, Adam. And through that sin came JUDGMENT AND CONDEMNATION.

But on the other side, under "Christ" there came to us SALVATION AND JUSTIFICATION (which means, declaring us right). "Judgment was through Adam, unto condemnation; but, through Jesus, the free gift is unto justification." The free gift is JUSTIFICATION. And you remember we learned that justification means GOD DECLARING us right in His sight.

Now, verse 17. "For if by one man's offense (that is Adam's) death reigned by one, much more, they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by One, Jesus Christ." So in verse 17 we have the fact that the offense of Adam brought the reigning of Death. Death is symbolized as a king, reigning over everybody. What a grim king! Death! The specter of death, over the whole human race, reigning as king! Everyone on earth today, all two and a half billions, is CONDEMNED TO DIE.

But for those of us who believe on Christ, SPIRITUAL DEATH is already gone, for we are made ALIVE in Christ Jesus. We are JUSTIFIED. CONDEMNATION is gone! JUDGMENT is gone!

And, thank God, WE REIGN NOW, in LIFE. And thank God, Death cannot KEEP us from reigning! That means we shall reign NOW. And that is the key to this passage: God's people in Christ reigning in life.

Now there are three thoughts found here, under "Christ."

A. The Abundance of Grace

First, we receive ABUNDANCE OF GRACE. Grace is something that you RECEIVE, as a GIFT, from GOD. Now, how do you receive it? By simple faith in Jesus. God's grace comes to us through Jesus. The minute you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, God's GRACE comes to you! Wonderful truth!

God's marvelous, marvelous wonderful GRACE. Notice, We receive ABUNDANCE of grace. Abundance means all we need; all we need to live a godly, holy spiritual life. God HELPS us to live through this world. All we need, to get to heaven we RECEIVE FROM HIM, by faith, not by works.

B. The Gift of Righteousness

Second, we receive next THE GIFT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS. That is a very strange thing that only the Bible introduces! RIGHTEOUSNESS, as a GIFT! The RIGHTEOUSNESS OF JESUS is TRANSFERRED TO US when we believe on Him. His righteousness is GIVEN to us. God sees us "dressed in HIS righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the Throne." Most people think they can "earn" their righteousness. They say, "I'm not so bad." That hasn't anything to do with this.

RIGHTEOUSNESS is a GIFT. It isn't something you "work at." It isn't something you "try to do." It is something YOU RECEIVE AS A GIFT FROM GOD. You simply enjoy it! The gift of RIGHTEOUSNESS. What a WONDERFUL statement. I love that statement! I AM RIGHTEOUS TODAY in the eyes of God, just as righteous as HE is, because I have RECEIVED HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS as a GIFT through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ! What an amazing thing God tells us here!

C. The Reigning Life

Now third. The people who do receive the abundance of grace, and do receive God's righteousness, SHALL REIGN IN LIFE. That means, reign right now; they shall live like kings right now. What a wonderful thing to be taken out under the authority of Death, and be put on the throne to reign in Death's place! In Adam, Death reigned over us; but in Christ, WE REIGN OVER DEATH - and over judgment, and hell, and condemnation! By God's GRACE. Death has been moved off the throne, for the child of God. We have no fear, because we are reigning in life, through the Lord Jesus Christ. Oh, what a wonderful thing it is, friends, I repeat it to you again - to be IN CHRIST!

Let me ask you, are you reigning in life? Are you reigning over Sin like a child of GOD? We are supposed to act like heavenly beings, not earthly beings. You remember that statement of Paul, "Don't act like MEN, unregenerate human beings." We ought to be living like heavenly kings, forgiven by God! Surely we ARE kings, if our sins are forgiven and we are on our way to heaven. God is our Father, and Christ is our Redeemer, and the Holy Spirit our Teacher, and the Bible our Guide, and Heaven our Eternal Home, God our Father looking after us day and night, RICH IN HIS GRACE TOWARD US. Oh, it is wonderful! We can sing, "I'm a child of the King." Isn't that great?

Now verse 18. "By the offense of Adam, condemnation came upon all men." God's CONDEMNATION had to come, because of Adam's SIN. Adam brought sin into the race and we have ALL sinned. And condemnation has come.

But, in Christ (when you accept Jesus as your SAVIOUR, you are no longer "In Adam but "In Christ") through the RIGHTEOUSNESS of One (that is Jesus dying on the Cross for us) upon all believers came justification of life. That is, the justification which means life. God DECLARING US RIGHTEOUS means that we HAVE ETERNAL LIFE. We are going to live with God forever. We have His Life NOW, and we are going to live with God throughout the ages of eternity. What an amazing statement that is, in this terrific passage. The RIGHTEOUSNESS of JESUS came upon ALL BELIEVERS, unto the justification of LIFE! That's not anything we DO; it is GOD DECLARING US righteous, and GIVING to us eternal life. Each one of these statements is marvelous!

Now verse 19. "Through the disobedience of one (that is, Adam) many were made sinners." All human beings were made sinners. We are all descendants of Adam. We, too, have been disobedient to God. We have disobeyed God. Not one of us can say, "I have always obeyed God." So we were made sinners through that NATURE of Adam, and through his fall.

But, "Through the OBEDIENCE of One (that is, the Lord Jesus) we are MADE RIGHTEOUS." We are taken out of the "sinner" category and put into the "righteous" category. Taken out of the wrong and put into the right, just by the OBEDIENCE OF JESUS, just by His going to the Cross and dying FOR US, and by our faith in the fact that HE SETTLED IT FOR US. We are RIGHTEOUS, DECLARED righteous, BY GOD ALMIGHTY! We are in the "Righteous" column!

Now in verse 20 we read: "The law entered," not to SAVE anybody, but "that the OFFENSE MIGHT ABOUND." But, where sin abounded, GRACE did MUCH MORE ABOUND! That is wonderful, isn't it? The law entered so that the offense might abound---not to SAVE anybody. So that religious group that is always harping about "The Law" is entirely and totally wrong. The law was NOT GIVEN TO SAVE; it simply was given to make the OFFENSE abound, and DRIVE US TO JESUS TO BE SAVED! What they OUGHT to be preaching is God's GRACE, not Law! CHRIST, not Moses!

GRACE came in; we read in verse 20, and DID MORE ABOUND. Sin abounded but grace did much more abound. How many people have found that passage and said, "I am a great sinner." But God says, "I am a Great SAVIOUR!"

Verse 21 - "As sin reigned (in Adam, and in our lives, too, as his descendants) and death (the eternal result if we had continued in that state), so now GRACE REIGNS, NOW (God's grace) through righteousness (God DECLARING us righteous, GIVING us righteousness) unto eternal life," GUARANTEED TO US, and all of this comes THROUGH JESUS CHRIST. So, GRACE sits on the throne now, instead of Death! Instead of judgment and condemnation, God’s GRACE guarantees us ETERNAL LIFE, through Jesus Christ!

III. The Requirement to be in the Second Adam

All of that is not through a thing THAT WE DO. All God requires of us is - FAITH! That's all. "Being justified BY FAITH (we read in verse 1) we have PEACE WITH GOD." Now GRACE REIGNS, Not Law. God has DECLARED US RIGHTEOUS, and we are no longer in the sinner category but we are righteous in His eyes; that's why He can take us straight to heaven when we die. And ETERNAL LIFE is ours now and GUARANTEED FOREVER, and all of this came to us through that BLESSED ONE Whom we love, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Well, it's wonderful to be saved, isn't it, and to know Him as our Savior and Lord. I see our time is up. May the Lord BLESS you. I hope you got a blessing out of this, REIGNING IN LIFE. I hope you will ask yourself, "Am I walking around condemned? Am I walking around like a slave, when I ought to be on a throne as a Son of God, not afraid of death or sin or judgment or the devil or sickness or anything? GOD'S GRACE has come TO ME, and I am to REIGN NOW, IN LIFE, as a king, instead of groveling as a slave in Sin and Fear and Condemnation."

God wants you to have this victory. He wants you to REIGN in life, THROUGH JESUS! Let's believe that He died on that Cross, and SETTLED our sin question perfectly, and that all God asks of us is to PUT OUR TRUST in Him! And then, trusting Him, to LOVE AND SERVE HIM as best we know how.

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