The Last Adam

“And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit” (I Corinthians 15:45).

In the great “resurrection chapter,” Paul is quoting from Genesis 2:7: “. . . and man became a living soul.” He also makes it clear that, contrary to the opinion of many liberal theologians, “Adam” was not merely a generic term for humanity in general, specifically indicating that Adam was “the first man.” This also refutes the notion that there were any “pre-Adamite men,” despite the claims of some who would compromise with evolutionary anthropology.

Just as there was a first Adam, so Jesus Christ was the last Adam. He was not the last man to be born, of course, but He was the second and last man whose body would be directly formed by God, as asserted in the same verse (Genesis 2:7) here cited by Paul. “That holy thing” (Luke 1:35) which Mary received in her womb, was conceived altogether miraculously. “Wherefore when He cometh into the world, He saith . . . a body hast thou prepared me” (Hebrews 10:5). “The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven” (I Corinthians 15:47).

Thus, with neither genetic mutations nor inherent sin in His perfect human body, this last Adam could become “the Lamb of God,” whose body was “without blemish and without spot,” able therefore to redeem lost men with His “precious blood,” and thus to take “away the sin of the world” (I Peter 1:19; John 1:29).

But that is not all. He was also “made a quickening [that is, resurrecting] Spirit.” He was “put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit” (I Peter 3:18) and can now give eternal life to all who receive His life. “For as the Father raiseth up the dead . . . even so the Son quickeneth whom He will” (John 5:21). HMM

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