In Adam or In Christ

"For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." (1 Corinthians 15:22)

The Bible speaks clearly of two different ways; two manners of people on this earth. From the beginning there have been many who were content to be the children of this world, and a few who strove to become the children of God. We can either be a citizen and friend of the world or we can be strangers and pilgrims who declare plainly that they seek a country.

Our natural fate was sealed by the sin of Adam, whereas our opportunity for hope was obtained through the obedience of Christ. "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous." (Romans 5:19)

The process started long ago in the Garden of Eden. For their disobedience to Edenic law, Adam and Eve were condemned to death and the effect of their sentencing was passed on to all of their posterity. The alienation was sealed when they were cast out from the garden, removed from fellowship with the Elohim and their Creator. A circular barrier that turned every way was placed at the east of Eden to prevent them from eating of the Tree of Life.

A very simple picture emerged in these events; one that does more to explain what "Adamic condemnation" is than many of the words that have since been used to demonstrate that it is a scriptural reality. Adam and Eve and all of their descendents, including the future seed of the woman, (Christ), were figuratively placed outside of the circular barrier that prevented access to the Tree of Life. The flaming sword represented a certain violent death for any who would attempt to reach the tree in any way other than through the defined plan and purpose of God, that the seed of the woman be bruised as an acceptable offering for sin. The atonement would not be accomplished until the seed of the woman passed through the sword to provide new opportunity for man to return to fellowship, and obtain opportunity to be among those faithful who are allowed to partake of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God. (Revelation 2:7)

Being born outside of the circle, we are by nature the children of wrath. (Ephesians 2:3) We are all born without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world." (Ephesians 2:12)

There are no exceptions to this inherited condemnation for any who are born in Adam. Some object to this fact, thinking that somehow it dishonors Christ who was also born in this same state; they protest as if this condemnation represents a personal reflection on the status of those who bear it. There is no guilt attached to the unfortunate circumstances of being born in Adam! Yes, there is an enmity in our flesh, described by Paul as the sin that dwelleth in me; (Romans 7:17, 20) Christ referred to this enmity saying, all these evil things come from within, and defile the man. (Mark 7:23) Jeremiah also taught that the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: (Jeremiah 17:9). We are not personally responsible for the uncleanness of that sin that we inherit at birth. We are accountable if we fail to control the natural impulses of our sinful flesh and become the servant of sin. (John 8:34, Romans 6:12)) The important thing for us to remember is that no matter what we do, whether good or evil, as long as we are "in Adam", we are still mortal, still constituted sinners, and therefore remain under condemnation to eternal death. "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" (Romans 5:12)

In this dispensation a new birth into Christ Jesus is the only hope for "life" in the true sense of the term. In earlier generations of men born in Adam an opportunity was provided for them to call upon the name of the Lord. We know that understanding, faith and an acceptable offering, pointing forward to the blood of Christ, were essential to the process of changing ones citizenship from Adam to Christ, from being the children of men to becoming the sons of God. (1 John 3:2)

From the types displayed in the coats of skins, circumcision, the Passover lamb and the burnt offerings, opportunity for men to be sanctified and accepted into the family of God have long been provided, all dependent of course, on the future sacrifice of Christ, as he passed through the sword, opening the way back to fellowship with God and the Tree of Life. "For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified." (Hebrews 10:14)

Today, it is through the waters of baptism, representing symbolically, the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, (Romans 6:3-5), that we are accepted into the everlasting covenant through faith and obedience. "He that believeth(the gospel) and is baptized shall be saved" (Mark 16:16) "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ...for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." (Galatians 3:26-29) We were all born "in Adam", aliens and strangers, "But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ." (Ephesians 2:13) "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."(Acts 4:12)

A change in our relationship, putting to death our relationship to Adam, is absolutely essential. We are either in Adam or in Christ, there are no other alternatives, even though men have invented their own ways, the end thereof are the ways of death; (Proverbs 16:25), any path other than being adopted "in Christ" is equivalent to remaining "in Adam", in a perishing condition.

What does baptism in the appointed way actually do for us? What does it mean to come out of Adam and into Christ? Being "in Christ" provides us with a number of blessings as well as responsibilities:

1. Removal of condemnation

We are born in the family of Adam and we are therefore under the condemnation to eternal death brought about by disobedience to the Edenic law. (For as in Adam all die.) Baptism changes our citizenship. We are no longer "aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world". (Ephesians 2:12) By baptism, now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ and the condemnation has been removed (Ephesians 2:11-13; Romans 5:18-21). We still have the same nature, we are still mortal and subject to all of its effects, but we are no longer condemned to eternal death. "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." (Romans 8:1-2)

2. Reconciled to God

The alienation that we experienced in our birth as Gentiles in the flesh has been removed in Christ; "For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement."(Romans 5:10-11) Jesus, through his offering for sin, opened the door again for us to have fellowship, "and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ". (1 John 1:3)

3. Forgiveness of our sins

It is a principle of Scripture that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness for either inherited condemnation or personal sin (Hebrews 9:22). When we are baptized, we are figuratively covered by the blood of Christ, the condemnation is removed and our personal sins are washed away. Our robes are made "white in the blood of the lamb" (Revelation 7:14). We are blessed in the same way that the children of Israel who believed were. "Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities." (Acts 3:25-26)

4. Responsibility

The act of baptism is the acceptance of a covenant with God. There is a responsibility and commitment associated with this covenant. We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ (at his return) to answer for the things done while we were members of his body (Psalm 50:4-5, Romans 14:10, 2 Corinthians 5:10). If necessary, by reason of our death before he comes again, we will be resurrected for this judgment. Like Jesus, we are brought again from the dead... through the blood of the everlasting covenant. (Hebrews 13:20)

5. Heirs of the promises

When we are baptized into Christ, we become Abraham's descendants and heirs to the precious covenant promises, through the righteousness of faith. (Romans 4:13, 15:8, Galatians 3:27-29, Hebrews 6:12)

6. We have Christ as our mediator

There are many blessings associated with our baptism "in Christ". We are privileged to be the sons and daughters of God, to be under His care and guidance, to have access to His throne through our great high priest. (1Timothy 2:5) Christ is a mediator for his own household of believers (Hebrews 3:6, 4:15; 10:21). We are reconciled to God through the death of Christ, and then saved by his life as our mediator (Hebrews 5:10).

7. Other blessings:

As heirs to the promises we are among those who are encompassed in the wonderful promise made to Abraham that "in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice." (Genesis 22:18) What a wonderful blessing that our sins can be forgiven through Christ (1 John 1: 7-9; Acts 3:25-26). If we use our access to our mediator and remain faithful, we have the abiding hope that through the grace of God, we will receive the final blessings - eternal life in the Kingdom of God on the earth. (Psalm 133:3)

As we contemplate the blessings that we have received "in Christ", we do well to praise God for His goodness in allowing us to participate in His purpose for this earth, that it might be filled with His glory. (Numbers 14:21) He has called us to glory and virtue, (giving us) exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature."(2 Pet 1:3-4)

We have willingly committed to put away the deeds of the old man, to walk in newness of life. We have decided to replace the works of the flesh with the fruit of the spirit, to add to our faith by developing godliness, to present our bodies a living sacrifice as our spiritual act of worship. (Romans 12:1-2) We have "this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us". (2 Corinthians 4:7) Any righteousness that we obtain through the perfection of our faith is imputed, and we remain dependent on His grace that we may have boldness in the day of judgment." (1 John 4:17)