The Two Adams

Adam was the son of God (Lk 3:38), just as Jesus was the son of God (Mk 1:1), the difference being that Jesus was the only begotten of the Father (Jn 1:14). There are interesting parallels between Adam and Jesus, even to the point that Paul calls Adam “the first man” and Jesus “the second man” (I Cor 15:45-47). In essence, Jesus was the second Adam.

Both Jesus and Adam have the distinction of having sinless and unfettered adult lives. Adam was a perfect, curse-free man, but God gave Him a law. If Adam broke that law, God promised that the wages for breaking God’s law would be death. Adam broke God’s law, and he died. He paid the wages of sin, and was thereafter debt free, for his death atoned for his sin. However, his death atoned for his sin and his alone, and God cursed Adam’s seed such that Adam’s seed (everyone descended from him) could not redeem their souls by death. Adam’s children could not save themselves by death, for God required the death of Adam’s children as a consequence of Adam’s sin (Gen 3:19). Because they were part of Adam, and Adam was doomed totally die, Adam’s children had to die. Thus death passed upon all men, even those that have not sinned after the manner of Adam’s sin (Rom 5:12, 14). Thus Adam could save himself by his death, but he could not save others. Adam’s lack dramatically pointed out the need for another Son of God, a Savior, one who could not only save himself, but also save others (Mk 15:31). God sent His only begotten Son, born free from Adam’s curse, to give His unobligated life as a ransom for the sins of the world (Mt 20:28).

Because the seed of Adam are under the curse of death, their lives are in foreclosure from the moment of conception. Consequently, should they sin, as men ultimately do (I Ki 8:46, Ro 3:23), there is nothing they can do to redeem their souls. It was the Second Adam, the Lamb of God (Gen 22:8, Jn 1:29), sacrificed for the sins of the whole world (II Cor 5:14) that provided helpless men with the salvation they so desperately required (Jn 3:16). His vicarious suffering and death satisfied the legal requirements of God’s justice, and permits God to forgive men and remain wholly righteous. Jesus, in effect, died the death we could not die. Adam saved himself, but could not save others. Jesus saved others, but could not save Himself. The first Adam plunged men into sin and death in order that God might work an eternal remedy for Sin. The second Adam undid the Fall, will restore the earth, and provided salvation from sin and eternal life. Thank God for the two Adams.

About James Johnson

Bible student for 60 years. Preacher of the gospel for over 40 years. Author of commentary on Revelation, All Power to the Lamb. Married with children. Worked in aerospace and computer engineering for over 40 years.
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