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Sermons & Study Guides

National Church Establishments Pt. 7 - (Christ and the Nations 1 — Second Adam)

James Dodson

National Church Establishments

(Christ and the Nations 1 — Second Adam)

And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second manis the Lord from heaven. (1 Cor. 15:45-47)

Question.—How does the New Testament teaching that Christ is the second Adam reflect the national character of His work? Answer.—The national, not merely individual, character of Christ’s work is set forth in the consideration of His work as the second Adam: First, It must be observed that His work was unquestionably that of One acting in the capacity of a second Adam, Rom. 5:14; 1 Cor. 15:21, 22. Second, In the creation, as well as redemption, it appears that God’s design was to make a marriage for His Son so that we might rest in his house, Heb. 3:6; 4:3, 4; Ruth 1:9; 3:1.  From the fourth commandment, we can infer that in Adam’s marriage union with the woman was to be found the intended bride, cf. Gen. 1:28; 3:20; 4:1 with Ex. 20:11.  Thus, as becoming a potential bride for the Son, Adam must exhibit possession of a perfect love and absolute devotion during the time of his betrothal, Gen. 2:16, 17.  Should he prove to be constant in the keeping of that positive law grounded upon the tenth commandment, Rom. 7:7, 8; Adam, as father of fathers and kings would have been required to seek to enforce the fourth commandment upon his subordinates, Deut. 5:14.  Adam was created to be  qualified  as  a  king,  in  which  respect  his  outward  kingdom  would  be subservient  to  his  functions  in  the  spiritual  kingdom,  Ps.  8:4-8.    This development is displayed in the intention of the kingdom of Christ, Rev. 21:24, 25. Third,  In  Christ  manifesting  Himself  to  accomplish  the  work  and responsibilities  of  the  second  Adam,  we  see  Jesus  presents  Himself  in  His maturity as the second Adam, Luke 3:21-23.  When He prays, the heavens are opened, rent asunder, at His call, Mark 1:10, 11; Ps. 24:7-10.  Accordingly, He is given that subjection that was held in promise to the first Adam, Ps. 8:6-8; and demonstrates  His  mastery  over  the  creation,  whether  over  winds,  Matt.  8:26; waves, Matt. 14:25; or making the fish of the sea and beasts of the fields to serve Him, Matt. 17:27; Mark 11:2-7.  In His acceptance as the second Adam, He was specially invested with that covenant Sonship in respect of which Adam was the son of God, and into the promise, standing, and privileges of which Sonship Christ was now taken, Ps. 89:26, 27. Fourth, Christ, as the second Adam, was next required to fulfill the probation of Adam, which He does in the wilderness, Mark 1:12, 13.  Whereas the first Adam  fell  from  the  promise,  the  second  Adam  successfully  maintained  His
standing in that promise, and that against the disadvantages wrought by the first Adam, Rom. 5:18. Fifth, Laboring now under the disadvantage of the Fall, the second Adam must travail in birth on behalf of His children to accomplish their birth into the kingdom  of  God,  Isa.  53:11;  Gal.  4:19.    So,  immediately  consequent  to  His temptation, He is found engaged in this work, Luke 4:14, 15. Sixth, Having fulfilled that keeping of the law required by the first Adam, Christ,  the  second  Adam,  satisfied,  by  His  active  obedience  that  precept  as covenant Head, Heb. 4:15; it also behooved Him to satisfy the penalty of the law as broken in the first Adam, Phil. 2:8; Gal. 3:13.  All of this He accomplishes as the second Adam, setting the house in order again, Heb. 2:6-10. Seventh, From this it is pretty evident that the constituency of the first Adam, or  those  for  whom  he  was  called  on  to  stand,  was  not  a  constituency  of individuals merely, but a constituency of families, and ultimately of nations, Acts 17:26.    This  may  also  be  inferred  from  the  analogy  of  the  promise  made  to Abraham, or Jacob, Gen. 35:11.  God shows that He regards them as of Adam’s constituency as families and nations, as well as individuals, by exacting of them the righteousness of which they are destitute as a result of Adam’s sin, Jer. 10:25; Rom. 5:15.  God has dealt with Adam’s constituency as nations and families, Amos 3:2; thus, in Noah himself the safety of his family was committed, Heb. 11:7.  So, too, when Achan sinned, he perished together with his family, Jos. 22:20.  Likewise, the history of the Jewish nation shows that they stood or fell, were prosperous or otherwise, according to the conduct of their kings, cf. Deut. 28:36. Eighth, The second Adam, then, was sent to correct, or rectify, that which was set at naught by the first Adam, Rom. 5:19.  Who were the “many” in view?  Is this speaking of individuals merely?  Or, perhaps, it bespeaks families and nations, the very “ones” ultimately made sinners by and through Adam’s fall, Isa. 52:14, 15.