Recent Posts
Lowell Brueckner

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

You Must Be Born Again! Part V


VI. The last Adam – (In this portion, I want to let the commentators speak to show that the New Creation takes place in and through Christ. As Adam was the first creation, Christ is the last, the progenitor of a higher position and quality of life for the human race. He lifted man above the place given to Adam in the beginning. God never goes backward, but continues His perfect purpose until He brings it to its fullness or maturity.)

Barnes…  The second Adam, or the “second man,” (1Co_15:47). That Christ is here intended is apparent, and has been usually admitted by commentators. Christ here seems to be called Adam because he stands in contradistinction from the first Adam; or because, as we derive our animal and dying nature from the one, so we derive our immortal and undying bodies from the other. From the one we derive an animal or vital existence; from the other we derive our immortal existence, and resurrection from the grave. The one stands at the head of all those who have an existence represented by the words, “a living soul;” the other of all those who shall have a spiritual body in heaven. He is called “the last Adam;” meaning that there shall be no other after him who shall affect the destiny of man in the same way, or who shall stand at the head of the race in a manner similar to what had been done by him and the first father of the human family. They sustain special relations to the race; and in this respect they were “the first” and “the last” in the special economy. The name “Adam” is not elsewhere given to the Messiah, though a comparison is several times instituted between him and Adam. (See the Supplementary Note on 1Co_15:22; also Rom_5:12, note.) 

Wiersbe: “One purpose of the cross was to bring in a new creation (Gal_6:15, niv). This “new creation” is the church, the body of Christ. The “old creation” was headed by Adam, and it ended in failure. The new creation is headed by Christ, and it is going to succeed. To the Romans, Paul explained the doctrine of the two Adams — Adam and Christ (Rom_5:12-21). The first Adam disobeyed God and brought into the world sin, death, and judgment. The Last Adam (1Co_15:45) obeyed God and brought life, righteousness, and salvation. Adam committed one sin and plunged all of creation into judgment. Christ performed one act of obedience in His death on the cross, and paid for all the sins of the world. Because of Adam’s sin, death reigns in this world. Because of Christ’s victory, we canreign in life” through Jesus Christ (Rom_5:17). In other words, the believer belongs to a “new creation,” a spiritual creation, that knows nothing of the defects and limitations of the “old creation” (see 2Co_5:17).”

Barnes: A quickening spirit – “(εἰς πνεῦμα ζωοποιοῦν  eis pneuma zōopoioun. A vivifying spirit; a spirit giving or imparting life. Not a being having mere vital functions, or an animated nature, but a being who has the power of imparting life. This is not a quotation from any part of the Scriptures, but seems to be used by Paul either as affirming what was true on his own apostolic authority, or as conveying the substance of what was revealed respecting the Messiah in the Old Testament. There may be also reference to what the Saviour himself taught, that he was the source of life; that he had the power of imparting life, and that he gave life to all whom he pleased: see the note at Joh_1:4; note at Joh_5:26, “For as the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself.” 1Co_15:21, “for as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them, even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.” 

The word “spirit,” here applied to Christ, is in contradistinction from “a living being,” as applied to Adam, and seems to be used in the sense of spirit of life, as raising the bodies of his people from the dead, and imparting life to them. He was constituted not as having life merely, but as endowed with the power of imparting life; as endowed with that spiritual or vital energy which was needful to impart life. All life is the creation or production of “spirit” (Πνεῦμα  Pneuma); as applied to God the Father, or the Son, or the Holy Spirit. Spirit is the source of all vitality. God is a spirit, and God is the source of all life. And the idea here is, that Christ had such a spiritual existence such power as a spirit; that he was the source of all life to his people. The word “spirit” is applied to his exalted spiritual nature, in distinction from his human nature, in Rom_1:4; 1Ti_3:16; 1Pe_3:18. The apostle does not here affirm that he had not a human nature, or a vital existence as a man; but that his main characteristic in contradistinction from Adam was, that he was endowed with an elevated spiritual nature, which was capable of imparting vital existence to the dead.

When the sinner believes on Jesus Christ, the Spirit of God uses the Word of God to impart the life and nature of God within. A baby shares the nature of its parents, and a person born of God shares the divine nature of God. The lost sinner is dead, but the Christian is alive because he shares the divine nature. The lost sinner is decaying because of his corrupt nature, but the Christian can experience a dynamic life of godliness because he has God’s divine nature within. Mankind is under the bondage of corruption (Rom_8:21), but the believer shares the freedom and growth that is a part of possessing the divine nature.

Wiersbe (also on 2 Co.5:14,17):  “The tense of the verb gives the meaning “then all died.” This truth is explained in detail in Rom_6:1-23, the believer’s identification with Christ. When Christ died, we died in Him and with Him. Therefore, the old life should have no hold on us today. “I am crucified with Christ” (Gal_2:20). This is the positive aspect of our identification with Christ: we not only died with Him, but we also were raised with Him. He also died that we might share in the new creation (2Co_5:16-17). Our new relationship to Christ has brought about a new relationship to the world and the people around us. We no longer look at life the way we used to. To know Christ “after the flesh” means to evaluate Him from a human point of view. But “the days of His flesh” are ended (Heb_5:7) because He has ascended to heaven and is now glorified at the Father’s right hand. Adam was the head of the old creation, and Christ (the Last Adam, 1Co_15:45) is the Head of the new creation.”

Jamieson, Fausset and Brown: 2 Co.5:14 “That one died for all (Greek, ‘in behalf of all’).” Thus the following clause will be, “Therefore all (literally, ‘the all,’ namely, for whom He ‘died’) died.” His dying is just the same as if they all died; and in their so dying, they died to sin and self, that they might live to God their Redeemer, whose henceforth they are (Rom_6:2-11; Gal_2:20; Col_3:3; 1Pe_4:1-3). 2 Co.5:17  As Christ has entered on His new heavenly life by His resurrection and ascension, so all who are “in Christ” (that is, united to Him by faith as the branch is in the vine) are new creatures (Rom_6:9-11). “New” in the Greek implies a new nature quite different from anything previously existing, not merely recent, which is expressed by a different Greek word (Gal_6:15).”

VII. To know God. Only through the new birth can there be the true knowledge of God that the Bible teaches and demands. It is the knowledge that comes through the bonding of like natures, which is the most intimate and strongest of relationships. Behind this knowledge is the very purpose of Creation. God created a being, different from the angels, after His likeness and image. This relationship was restored through the sacrifice of Christ “to bring us to God”, but it wasn’t only restoration that God had in mind. His purpose in man was taken far beyond all the potential of Adam into the superior life that comes through Christ. The last Adam enhanced the relationship between man and God through His life, death and resurrection. In addition to all this, the Holy Spirit is given to guide and divinely empower the new man to perfection. Jesus expressed this purpose in His high priestly prayer to the Father: “This is life eternal, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” (John 17:3).  

This knowledge never comes into being without the foreknowledge of God, who must initiate it, if there is going to be any possibility of it coming to pass. Paul taught the Galatians: “Now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known of God” (Gal.4:9). Jesus said of a shepherd and his sheep, “He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out” and then spoke personally of His own sheep: “I know them.” Paul taught the same principle concerning love and the knowledge of God as John did in his epistles. He related the two to prove the genuineness of Christian experience: “If anyone loves God, he is known by Him” (1 Cor.8:3). It is of extreme importance that we have a relationship with God, but the strongest cord in that relationship is the knowledge of God towards us. Notice now in the negative sense that the false prophet is not condemned, because he does not know God, but because God does not know him: “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness” (Mt. 7:23). See the same principle concerning the five foolish virgins in Matthew 25:12: “I do not know you.” Finally, “Once the head of the house gets up and shuts the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying, ‘Lord open up to us!’ then He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from… Depart from Me, all you evildoers” (Luke 13:25, 27).  

In each case, you see, the deciding factor in judgment against the accused was that God did not have knowledge of him. A true relationship between God and man begins with God. My nature must correspond with God’s. There must be regeneration, in order for there to be reconciliation. It must be more than pardon, (the forgiveness of sins) and the cleansing from sin. That is not enough, because the old man will return to his old lifestyle. There must be a change of nature, death to the old man and resurrection life brings forth a new man, and this work is done only by God.   

There is no spark of life in man. He doesn’t want God and doesn’t pursue the things of God. He is totally degenerate, without hope of reconstruction. He doesn’t need a fixer, a mechanic, a landscaper, a make-over or a face-lift. The old must die and new life must be brought forth. Anything less than that will not constitute an eternal work.

We will see that Moses spoke of this great problem concerning the nation of Israel before they entered the promised land: “Yet to this day the Lord has not given you a heart to know, nor eyes to see, nor ears to hear”. (Dt. 29:4). As their Old Testament history draws to a close and Babylonian captivity lay before them, the prophet Jeremiah reiterates this basic and lethal deficiency in their national fiber: “Now hear this, O foolish and senseless people, who have eyes but do not see; who have ears but do not hear” (Jer.5:21). Therefore, as we have mentioned previously Jeremiah, Ezekiel and the Apostle Paul, as well, prophesied of another day when all Israel would be saved. There will be national resurrection to spiritual life.  

We made reference a little earlier to the purpose of creation, when God made man in His image and likeness (Gn.1:26,27). Abraham was chosen by God to be the father of those who believe: “He received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while uncircumcised, so that he might be the father of all who believe without being circumcised… to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all” (Ro.4:11,16). Abraham was justified by faith and “without faith it is impossible to please Him…”(Heb.11:6). God delights in faith and through faith intimacy with Him is assured. King Jehoshaphat recognized that Abraham had gained friendship with God “Did you not, O our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land… and give it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever?” (2 Chr.20:7). But it is the awesome and omnipotent God Himself, the incomparable and heavenly Magistrate, the infinite and eternal King over all, who calls this mortal and finite Abraham, “Abraham, My friend” (Is.41:8). That is an incredible confession!

However, when God became Man and lived among us, He raised mankind to a sphere never before reached. When God spoke to us directly through His Son, He showed that not only do we have Abraham for our father, but through the new birth, He would share with us the same intimacy that Abraham enjoyed. “Greater love has no one that this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15).  

The recorder of those words was the beloved disciple, who leaned on His breast. It would seem that he wrote his Gospel to open the door of intimacy to the reader, who would believe and enter into life in Christ. He showed, from the first verse of his book, that there was divine fellowship before the beginning of all things, when he stated that “the Word was with God… He was in the beginning with God” John is the only one to preserve for us the intimate prayer between the Father and the Son, when He stated, among a treasure house of other previously unrevealed truth, “That they all may be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.  

This is a favorite verse of the ecumenically-minded people, but in truth, there is nothing in the prayer about an effort among believers to attain unity, but it has to do with the possibility that the believer has of oneness with God. The one, who possesses it, is united by nature with all others who have the same life of Christ within them. This closeness to God, along with the divine attributes manifested in the life of the disciple, will cause the world to believe in Christ. “I in them and You in Me” Jesus went on to pray, and thereby showed the essence of unity, that is, that unity comes through the presence of Christ in all true believers and finally He expressed this desire, “So that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world… so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them” (John 17:23,24,26) Here He expressed the ultimate and eternal intimacy, which begins when the human soul believes in Jesus. Then, by the supernatural act of God, he is born again, becomes a Son of God and enters into this intimate relationship that has no end.   



Post a Comment