Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Tale of Two Adams

I'm sitting on my lunch break for day four of my week long class on "The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit". Dr. Luke Keefer took us through the first 8 chapters of Romans and did a phenomenal job. He is one of my favorite professors because he always utilizes his soapbox in very effective ways. He will lecture, lecture, lecture and then whammo, it turns into a sermon about the state of the church. Today was no exception.

He was discussing Romans 5:12-19 about the two Adams, the first being Adam from Eden and the second being that of Christ. He talked about how the readers (presumably Roman Jews) were strapped to the Law of the OT which forced them to remain in the old Adam. There was a custom for capital punishment in Asia Minor (an area Paul would have frequented in ministry) that punished a murderer by strapping the corpse of the victim to the murderer's back, arm to arm, leg to leg, back to back, until the murderer himself died. It is this notion that Paul picks up on in chapters 5-8. The Jews were strapped to their spouse, the Law (notice the marriage metaphor in chapter 7). The Law was a bad spouse and they needed to turn to the New Adam and embrace Christ.

Something happens when we place our identity in the 2nd Adam. The score is not settled, Jesus did not even the score...he total obliviated the score. Jesus' payment on the cross far outweighs the totality of sin. If Satan's score was 100, the New Adam's was 100000000. The solution was far greater than the problem.

Here's the problem in our North American churches. Many Christians live as though first Adam still has dominion or mastery of their lives. They remain entrenched in sin, defeated, discouraged, and quite frankly ineffective in their call to Christ.

What needs to take place is that we realign our identity with the second adam in powerful ways. We need to know that we are MORE THAN CONQUERORS in Christ Jesus! Death no longer has victory. It no longer has sting. We are ransomed by Christ, we are resurrected with Christ, We are co-heirs of our Father the Most High Emperor. When we let the Holy Spirit lead us into this new identity we have the power and authority to stand against evil/temptation and simply say "That is not who I am."

What do you think? Which Adam do you live under?

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