RELIGION COLUMN: The second Adam

Published 11:15 am Monday, June 16, 2014

By Jake McCall

Did you know that Adam was a type of Christ? With that question, I am not suggesting that Adam was a form of God, but I am stating that he was a representative. Romans 5:14, tells us that Adam “was a type of the One to come.”

The reason for that is because Adam was mankind’s universal federal head, otherwise known as our representative. Just as a senator is a representative of a particular state and all that live within that state, Adam was the world’s representative that would further represent all that would be born into the world. With that federal headship or representation came great responsibility and consequence.

Genesis 3 tells us that in the Garden of Eden, Adam ate of what was forbidden by God, and it also tells us that his sin in the garden caused a flow of consequences that would affect all that would follow him. The natural disasters that we see around us are a result of that sin. The pain and stress that we feel is a result of that sin. The tragedies that take place are a result of that sin. The fact that we no longer have access to the Garden of Eden and no longer walk with God in the cool of the day is a result of that sin. This is to say that we are all partakers of the consequences of the rebellion in the garden.

Now that may seem unfair, but when Eve and then Adam ate the fruit of the tree, they were just doing exactly what we would have done, only it took them longer to do it. As one commentator noted about our role in the fall: “It was as if we were in the stands, cheering our first parents on.” And therefore at the eating of the fruit, we all sinned (Romans 5:12).

But our redemptive Lord had a plan. He had a plan to send his Son to be the perfect representative for all who would believe in him, and unlike Adam, Christ represents us perfectly! Listen to how this plays out in Romans chapter 5. Sin and death came into the world through Adam (Romans 5:12). Righteousness and life came into the world through Jesus (Romans 5:17, 19). Condemnation, or being named guilty, came into the world through Adam (Romans 5: 16,18). Justification, or being named innocent and righteous, came into the world through Jesus (Romans 5: 16,18). Through Adam came dying bodies and eternal death (Romans 5:21); through Christ comes resurrected bodies and eternal life (Romans 5:21)! This is unmerited favor, undeserving grace.

We generally look at history after the fact and often respond more honorably than we would if we were actually there. Remember how it was as if we cheered Adam and Eve on as they approached the fruit. Well, as Christ approached the cross, it was as if we cheered the Roman guards and executioners on. And yet he saved us.

You have “The Fall” and you have “The Gospel.” Without Christ, we are fallen people. But the Gospel says that we can be born again—this time into Christ.

—Jake McCall is a religion columnist for The Clanton Advertiser. He is the pastor at Grace Fellowship Presbyterian Church. His column appears each Thursday.