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: (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come…
God told Adam from the beginning that there would be a cost to disobedience and rebellion. When Adam disobeyed, that curse would extend to all creation, and of that curse, we all are recipients.
“In Adam all die” (1 Corinthians 15:22) is a truth that has been proven throughout human history. As we look at many photographs, we see pictures of people who at the time of the photo were very much alive. As time goes on, we look at those pictures and our eyes are drawn to those in the picture that are “no longer with us”. As those pictures age, more and more of the people in the picture have “passed away”. After enough time, they are all gone. In Adam all die.
We try to soften this with our words. The word that I put in quotes above are euphemisms, because we hate the thought, and even the language. The “circle of life” sounds a whole lot more palatable than death. Death is the enemy, and we have to understand where death comes from if we are to understand our world. If we are to come to terms with the truths of life, we must understand them from the Word of Truth. So many say they cannot accept Christianity because of all of the death, disease, and suffering in this world. But it is in the words of God’s holy scripture that we learn the answer to this.
Genesis 2:17 — “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
Genesis 3:17–19 — “And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”
The death that all of us will experience, seeing it in the world around us, in our loved ones, and ultimately in ourselves, is the outworking of this curse. For by one man sin entered into the world and death by sin.
Often, we mortals would like to believe that this really is not true. We like to think that we can live on forever. We often think of some famous people as living on forever because they live on in our hearts and minds and thoughts. In our days of advanced technology, and in technology that has been around for over a century, we can hear our immortal heroes speak as though they still live, we can see them move on recorded video, and though we know that they are “no longer with us”, they appear to be still alive. There is even a class of people who we would call…
I recall at the very beginning of my junior year in high school, I heard some news which I would not fully grasp the weight of until some years later.
The year was 1990, and the date was August 27th. About a year earlier, I had just become interested in learning to play the guitar, and over that last year I became familiar with some of the “guitar world”. I was at the time more familiar with the most well known musicians that got pop and rock radio play and not with some others. I had some friends that were more familiar with some lesser known to the mainstream musicians and on my way home from school, a friend shared some news with me.
After a concert at Alpine Valley in southeastern Wisconsin, a concert that I would have done almost anything a few years later to be able to attend, there was news of a helicopter crash after the event taking the lives of people involved in the concert, including the life of a performer who was beginning to be a very big deal in the guitar community. His name: Stevie Ray Vaughan.
At the time, I had heard of him, had maybe heard some of his songs, but that was about it. In some years following, I began to learn more about this man and his music, and I began to really enjoy his music. He became, for at least the next ten years following his untimely death, the greatest influence on up and coming guitarists. Yet for him, even as the hero that he was to many, this was the end. In Adam all die.
What brings this to mind now is the recent and tragic news from January 26, 2020 of another horrible helicopter crash taking another of the greats from the land of the living. The legendary basketball player, Kobe Bryant, and one of his daughters along with seven others, lost their lives that day. It was truly a sad day, first for their families, of course, and next for the nation and the basketball/athletic world.
Living on in hearts and minds is a nice thought, but we cannot escape this truth, in Adam all die.
“You may be a king, or a poor street sweeper, but sooner or later you’ll dance with the reaper.”
Words so true, mankind cannot escape death, for in Adam all die. In a world that is crying out for “equality”, we can find it right here. And at times, we do find that the circumstances of this life bring us face to face with that reality as well.
The Present Distress
Even now, as we see the evidence of it all around us, we hate to think about the inevitability. A question from people regarding the death rates from the 2019–2020 coronavirus is “how many of the people who died would have died anyway?”
The answer: All of them.
Maybe not right then, but we all know, whether we want to accept it or not, that this is the truth.
We absolutely want to preserve human life and are thankful to our God for His mercy in allowing the advancement of modern medicine; but with all of mankind’s wisdom and scientific discovery, one thing remains absolutely certain: In Adam all die. We can’t get around it. The death rate in Adam is 100%.
Is there any good news in all of this? Yes there is! There absolutely is.
Romans 5:15–17 — “But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.“
1 Corinthians 15:22 — “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”
Jesus Christ our Lord is the Answer to all of mankind’s problems, the chief of these is that without His intervention, we all have only one future, and that is death, as they used to call it, the way of all the earth (1 Kings 2:2). In Genesis chapter 5, three words describe the lives of all but one man from Adam to Noah: And he died.
This “way of all the earth” is the last enemy that our Lord will put under His feet, and until then, those that are in Christ have hope beyond the grave.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ we have peace with God:
Romans 5:1 — “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ…”
We joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, and have received the atonement, i.e., peace with God, by Him:
Romans 5:11 — “And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.”
The gift of grace, in contrast to the grave condition that we find ourselves in as in Adam, is by the second Man, our Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:15 — “But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.”
The saint, the one who has placed his faith in Christ’s finished work on the cross of Calvary, has a bright and eternal future because of this one Man, Jesus Christ:
Romans 5:17— “For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.”
The awful reign of sin and death is brought under and will one day be fully destroyed by Jesus Christ:
Romans 5:21 — “That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.”
The reign of sin in a believers life is brought to its end, because of Jesus Christ our Lord:
Romans 6:11 — “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Sin only gives a final earned payment of death, but through our Lord Jesus Christ, God gives to each saved person life, and that life is eternal:
Romans 6:23 — “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Though the flesh still is a body of death, a promised deliverance is sure, and it is only through our Lord Jesus Christ:
Romans 7:24–25 — “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord…”
In every struggle of life, while we often feel beat down and defeated, the Word of God tells us otherwise. Julius Caesar boasted “Veni, Vidi, Vici”, at his overwhelming conquests, yet he could not conquer death. But the humblest Christian can boast this:
Romans 8:37–39 — “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Not one of us is immortal in our flesh, in Adam. The truth we will never get past is this: in Adam all die. Jesus Christ our Lord has forged the way out of Adam by His death on the cruel cross for us, and in Him, all in Him will be made alive. This death that brings us great fear is nothing standing before the One that can truly say:
I came, I saw, I conquered.
Put your faith in Jesus Christ and you are more than a conqueror with Him. There is no hope in Adam, there is all hope in Christ.
Husband, father, engineer...Enjoys fishing, archery, guitar, running, and lifting, but most of all reading and studying God's Word.