Monday, July 14, 2008

A Tale of Two Men

"It was the best of times, It was the worst of times," and with those two phrases Charles Dickens begins his classic and well-read work "A Tale of Two Cities."  In this lengthy read one discovers love, hate, sacrifice, tragedy, and much more.  In an oversimplified analysis the warning goes to London, England to be wary of the American Revolution because it could treat them like the French Revolution did Paris, France.  

There is much to be learned anytime someone takes the time to compare 2 types of anything (I.E. cities, countries, cultures, empires, and even people).  The investigator will learn what "to do" and, more importantly, what "not to do."

The Apostle Paul identifies the two most influential people to ever walk the face of the earth.  In 1 Corinthians 15 he calls them the "First Adam" and the "Last Adam".  The question is this; what did these men leave on earth as their legacy.  Still tracking Paul's writings, in Romans 5 we discover the legacy of each man.

The first Adam was literally born with a silver spoon in his mouth.  Created by the very hand of God, given life by the very breath of God, given a perfect wife from God, a cushy job to TEND (not work) the garden, and then he got to "hob-knob" with God (He walked with God in the cool of the day).  Think about it, perfect man, perfect world, perfect woman, perfect job, and perfect relationship with his creator.  Now for the punch line; there was only one rule!!  (My teenagers would have LOVED that!!)  In spite of all he had going for him, Adam suffered a "manhood problem."  

Into this perfect life there slipped in an unexpected, unwanted, and unsavory guest.  Old Satan was disguised as a friend and/or an inhabitant of this perfect world.  While Adam's wife (later called Eve) was deceived, Adam knew better.  When Eve needed Adam to be the man God intended, He bailed out.  He became passive, irresponsible, and lacking courage.  Instead of exhibiting leadership and taking a stand against that which he clearly knew was wrong, he simply stood, watched, and went along (to get along).   The result? 
Sin Invaded the World.  And the assault continues today.  
Sin is very Important as it brought it's child to live here.  What is the name of sin's offspring? Death.  Adam died socially, spiritually, and began to die physically the moment he disobeyed.
Sin is an Infectious disease and has now spread to all of mankind.  

This is the legacy of the First Adam.

1 Corinthians 15 tells us there is a vast difference between the First and Last Adams.  The First was a Sinner, the Last was a Savior.  The First was of earth, the Last was of Heaven.  The First BECAME a LIVING BEING, the Last BECAME A LIFE-GIVING SPIRIT.  

Jesus, the Last Adam, was our gift from the Father given to us to save us from our sins.  He brought and extended grace.  Romans 5 speaks of grace in at least 5 different dimensions.  He speaks about the grace of God, the Grace of Jesus Christ, the Overflow of Grace, Grace Multiplied, and ends with the ETERNAL REIGN OF GRACE!!

For the person outside of Christ, sin reigns; for the person who knows Christ, grace reigns.  

The first Adam is the "Man of Sin"; The last Adam is the "Man of Salvation", so the question becomes "which man are you following?

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