Friday, March 24, 2017
1 Corinthians 15:42-45 "So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit."
Over the last couple of posts we have been exploring the Biblical revelation of Jesus as "The New Adam" or "The Second Adam". Paul compares Adam and Jesus in both Romans 5 and 1 Corinthians 15. Today's post is going to consider how this title of Jesus as "the New Adam" provides a valuable resource for better understanding everyday Christian living. We had broached this notion a little bit in previous posts, however, we want to explore the practical ramifications for Christian living as we understand better Jesus as the "Second Adam". We will derive today's post from 1 Corinthians 15:42-58.
So how does understanding Jesus as the New Adam or Second Adam impact the Christian on a practical level?
1. The Christian's continuing hope in resurrection. 1 Cor. 15:42-49
The whole point of 1 Corinthians 15 is to give an exposition and defense of the most important doctrine of the Christian faith - namely, Jesus' resurrection from the dead. In the latter part of the chapter, Paul brings out the life-practical ramifications. In 1 Corinthians 15:20ff, it is abundantly clear that because Jesus is risen from the dead, the Christ-follower has an abundant source of hope. Furthermore, the Christian learns that their ultimate hope and destiny is to experience their own resurrection and to have this current body transformed in a glorified resurrected one whether by death (1 Corinthians 15:55-57) or rapture (1 Corinthians 15:50-54).
2. The Christian's comfort in facing death. 1 Corinthians 15:50-57
As Paul carries on his exposition, we find that the promise of resurrection is coupled with promises pertaining to comfort for the Christian when their time comes to leave this world. As the great commentator Warren Wiersbe notes:
"Christians have victory in death and over death! Why? Because of the victory of Jesus Christ in His own resurrection. Jesus said, “Because I live, ye shall also” (John 14:19)."
3. The Christian's confidence in serving God. 1 Corinthians 15:58
As Paul finishes up 1 Corinthians 15, we find this final verse of the chapter to be most encouraging. 1 Corinthians 15:58 reads - "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord." All of these verses from 1 Corinthians 15:42 and following center around Jesus' resurrection and His revelation as the Second Adam. By being united to Jesus by the Holy Spirit in saving faith, I find that union to be an ongoing, ever-present reality. Serving the Lord is not always easy. In fact, the further along one goes in their Christian life and service in whatever capacity to Him, the so-called "easy times" seem increasingly rare. However, the desire to serve God and to hear those words: "well-done thou good and faithful servant" eclipse the ache for momentary comforts and ease. Its worth serving the Lord because of the fact of whom we are united to - the New Adam, Jesus Christ.