In Adam vs. In Christ Pastor A.W. Weckeman Aug. 2013
“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Cor. 15:22)
There are two spiritual families in the world…the family of Adam family of Christ. Every person on earth belongs to one or the other of these families. God sees every human being as either “in Adam” or “in Christ”; there is no middle ground or gray area in this matter.
The illustration to the right pictures the human race “in Adam”
As was learned in the preceding lesson, when Adam, who was the “Federal Head” of the race, transgressed and fell, in reality, he took the entire human race with him [Illustration below]. Due to Adam’s sin, all humanity was separated from God, inheriting death, “Wherefore, as by one man [Adam] sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned…” (Rom. 5:12) [Emphasis mine]
To be in Adam is to share in all that he did and was. That is, to possess by inheritance “spiritual death” and a sinful nature…to have by birth the inherent tendencies and character of the person Adam. By examining John 8:44 we can gain a fuller understanding of Adam’s fallen nature. The Pharisees were prideful, self-righteous sinners…rebels who were opposing Jesus, manifesting Adam’s nature, verse 44 reveals the source of this nature, “Ye are of your father the devil…”
Isaiah 14:13-14 characterizes the devil as a prideful, self-exalting rebel who opposes God, revealing the origin of the Adamic nature.
The devil’s creed: I will exalt myself and determine my own purposes, establish my own identity and live as I choose, independent of God. (Self-deification, the core principle of “secular humanism”)
To sum up what it means to be in Adam; spiritually dead, separated from God, self-centered, rebellious, condemned and destined for hell, “In Adam all die…”
Contrast: What does it mean to be “In Christ”?
Now let’s examine the second half of (1 Cor.15:22), “…even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”
All who “believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God” (Acts 8:37) and repent of their sin, trusting in the substitutionary death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ on their behalf, the Bible declares to be “born again.” John 3:3-8. At the split second of salvation, they are baptized by the Holy Spirit, placing them into the Body of Christ, “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body [body of Christ] is not one member, but many.”(1 Cor. 12:13-14). (As we shall see, this is a spiritual baptism that does not involve water.)
In the process of this glorious transformation, the new believer is permanently removed from Adam’s family and placed into Christ’s family and is now “a new creature”… “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Cor. 5:17).
The illustration on the left shows the believer now “in Christ”
“But God , who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace are ye saved) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus…” (Eph. 2:4-6).
As Adam was the source of death, Jesus Christ is the source of life. Upon salvation, man is reunited with God by supernatural birth. As our fleshly life was born of our physical parents, so our spiritual life is born of God, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13)
To be, “in Christ” has a twofold meaning. First: To be partakers of His death, burial, and resurrection, (Rom.6:3-5); possessing by spiritual regeneration, Christ’s divine nature, “…joint-heirs with Christ…” (Rom.8:17). Second: To have been placed into His Body (“the body of Christ”). You “in Christ” and “Christ in you”…which was a “mystery” prior to Paul’s conversion (Eph.3:1-6).
The little phrase “in Christ” contains some of the most IMPORTANT DOCTRINAL TRUTHS concerning the believer’s position found in the word of God, declaring the believers, new identity, freedom, power, authority, and eternal security.
Consider: “In Christ” we are “FORGIVEN” all our sins, “In whom [in Christ] we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins” (Col.1:14) [Emphasis mine]
“In Christ” we are “REUNITED” to God. Prior to salvation, the Bible says we were, “without Christ, being aliens…strangers…having no hope, and without God in the world” (Eph.2:12) Our sin had separated us from God, “But now in Christ ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.” (Eph.2:13).
“In Christ” we have “ETERNAL LIFE” “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may KNOW that ye have eternal life…” (1 John 5:11 & 13) [Emphasis added]
“In Christ” we are “FREE” “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” (Rom.8:2). “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” (John 8:36)
“In Christ” we are “JUSTIFIED” “For he [God] hath made him [Jesus] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Cor. 5:21) [Emphasis added].
Jesus lived a sinless life, (fulfilling the law) and then took our sin upon Himself, “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body…” (1 Peter 2:24). Christ then took our sin to the cross, dying in our stead, “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust” (1 Peter 3:18) thereby satisfying God’s judgment upon sin, making it possible for Christ’s perfect righteousness to be imputed [accredited] to all who believe, declaring them free from the guilt and penalty of sin; just-as-if-I’d never sinned!
“In Christ”, we are “SANCTIFIED” Made holy, set apart for God’s use, separate from sin, “Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints…” (1 Cor.1:2).
“In Christ”, we are “SEALED” “in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise” (Eph.1:13).
“Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts” (2 Cor. 1:21-22).
“In Christ”, we are “COMPLETE” “For in him [in Christ] dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power…”(Col. 2:9-10) [Emphasis mine].
Not only complete in him but “ONE WITH HIM” “…he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit.”(1Cor.6:17). We are so thoroughly united to Jesus Christ…that the word of God declares, “…we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Cor.2:16).
Jesus has been given ALL power in Heaven and in the earth (Matt.28:18). If all power is, “in Christ” all His power is available to us (Not individual power for personal use but God’s indwelling potential for His glory). Consider: “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.” (Eph.3:20).
The Importance of recognizing who we are in Christ
To comprehend and fully appreciate what it means to be “in Christ” requires “spiritual understanding” (Col.1:9). Listen to Paul’s prayer for the Church at Ephesus: “Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers. That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come…” (Eph.1:16-21)
That we would “be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man…” (Eph. 3:16) has profound implications for victorious living. Herein revealed is the transforming truth which destroys the myth of self-sufficiency…opening the eyes of our understanding so that we “have no confidence in the flesh.” (Phil.3:3). This is the liberating reality that unleashes “the power that worketh in us” to resist sin, self, and Satan; enabling the believer to “walk in newness of life” (Rom.6:4). [For additional information regarding this subject see the article “Walking In The Spirit”...bottom right sidebar on home page]
In truth, those who are “in Christ” possess all things necessary to live a life pleasing to God. In reality, every believer’s life begins from the point of victory; a truth which so few of God’s people seem to grasp.
In order to be free from the bondage of our past life, we must keenly aware of who we are “in Christ”. Perception defines reality…what we believe about ourselves determines how we live our lives. If we see ourselves as “just sinners saved by grace” then that’s how we will live. In essence, we have then provided a self-made excuse to fail.
“For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light…” (Eph.5:8).
“For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” (Rom. 6:14).
“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” (Phip.2:13)
Thus far we have examined the reality and importance of the believer being placed into the “body of Christ” upon salvation. In an effort to expand our understanding of this vital truth we will now turn our attention to the particulars of how we entered Christ by studying the subject of, “co-crucifixion”.
See the next Lesson: “The Doctrine of Co-crucifixion”