The Last Adam

The first Adam was born both physically and spiritually alive. Because Adam sinned, he died spiritually and was separated from God. Physical death would also be a consequence for sin, but would come many years later for Adam. From that time on, every person who enters planet earth is born physically alive but spiritually dead (Eph. 2:1). God promised that redemption for His people would come through the seed of a woman (Gen. 17:19; Gal. 3:16), but they had become impatient and wondered how they would know the Messiah when He finally did come. “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel” (Is. 7: 14).

There would be four hundred silent years from the end of the Old Testament revelation before, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (Jn. 1:14). The prophecy was fulfilled concerning Immanuel, which means, “God is with us.” The prophecy of Jesus being born of a virgin was also fulfilled, which greatly amazed Mary (Lu. 1:34). Nobody can fully explain the mystery of incarnation, but Scripture clearly teaches that the eternal Son became flesh. So critical is the doctrine of incarnation that Scripture makes it a primary test of orthodoxy. “This is how you recognize the Spirit of God: Every Spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world (1 Jn. 4:2,3).

The incarnation is what sets Christianity apart from the cults and all the other religions of the world. They believe in the historical Jesus, but they do not believe that God could be with us in the form of a man. They believe that God could appear as a man, like an apparition, and suffer in appearance only, but unless they have the Holy Spirit they cannot say that Jesus was fully God while also becoming fully man.

This union between the eternal Son and the seed of a woman was necessary in order to bring us life. “In him was life, and that life was the light of men” (Jn. 1:4). Notice that light does not produce life. The light of men is the radiation of the eternal life of God. The last Adam [Jesus], like the first Adam, was also born physically and spiritually alive. But unlike the last Adam, Jesus never sinned even though He was tempted in every way such as we are (Heb. 4:15).

The virgin birth was necessary because Jesus came to give us life. Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (Jn. 10:10b). What Adam and Eve lost in the fall was eternal life and what Jesus came to do was give us eternal life. He did not come to give us a more fulfilling physical life with material blessings. He came to give us a fulfilling spiritual life filled with spiritual blessings, which are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control which are the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22,23). Jesus didn’t just come to give us life, He is our life (Col. 3:4).

Dr. Neil

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