The Last Adam

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“It was by the death of the last Adam that the serpent of old encountered death and the first Adam found life.

“The nails that pierced the feet of Christ would bruise the heel, but they would crush the head of the serpent (1 Cor 2:8).

“The last Adam wore the thorns of the first Adam, but by these wounds he was healing his people (Isa 53:5).

“Christ knew the nakedness of Adam, but by this shame he was clothing his people in righteousness (Gal 3:27).

“For the first Adam the tree of knowledge brought death. But the last Adam knew death upon the tree bringing life (1 Pet 2:24).

“Adam had made a grave of a garden, but Christ would make a garden of a grave (Luke 24:5).”

—Warren A. Gage, The Gospel of Genesis: Studies in Protology and Eschatology (Eisenbrauns, 1984), 46-47.

HT: Dane Ortlund

Romans 5:12-21 is worthy of careful study. The main point is that Adam “was a type of the one who was to come” (v. 14), and that “the free gift” (of Jesus) is not like the first “trespass” (of Adam) and that the “the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin.” (vv. 15-16).

Here is how Paul breaks down the negative side of the one man’s trespass/disobedience and its result:

v. 15 through one man’s trespass many died
v. 16 following one trespass the judgment . . . brought condemnation
v. 17 because of one man’s trespass death reigned through that one man
v. 18 leading from one trespass condemnation for all men
v. 19 by one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners

And here is how Paul celebrates the positive side of the one man’s gift/righteous-act/obedience and its glorious result:

v. 15 by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ the grace of God and the free gift abounded for many
v. 16 following many transgressions the free gift brought justification
v. 17 because of one man Jesus Christ death reigned through that one man
v. 18 leading from one act of righteousness justification and life for all men
v. 19 by one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous
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