Life On the Highest Plane
Vol. 2: The Relation Between Christ and the Christian
Grace Triumphant over Sin
The most triumphant words ever spoken were those which fell from the lips of the Lord Jesus Christ when on the cross He said, "It is finished." It was the divine proclamation that grace had triumphed over sin. It was God's pronouncement to the world that all that had been lost both to Him and to man through the first Adam had been regained through the last Adam.
Romans 5:20, "But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound."
Romans 5:12, 15, "By one man sin entered into the world. Much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many."
THE CHALLENGE OF GRACE — IN ADAM OR IN CHRIST
So far in our studies we have considered God's dealings with the human race representatively through two men, the first and the last Adam. Through the federal headship of the first Adam, God established a union with the whole human race in creation. All that Adam was in creation God intended all mankind latent in him to be.
But Adam sinned and thereby received a sinful nature, becoming a sinner both in desire and in deed. He came into bondage to sin, self and Satan. He became a subject in the kingdom of Satan and entered into the sphere of death, darkness and disorder. He became "flesh" and descended to life on the plane of the natural. There was upon him a sinner's guilt, Over him a sinner's condemnation, and before him a sinner's doom.
Through his federal headship Adam bequeathed to the human race latent in him all that became his in the Fall. He became the progenitor of a race "begat . . . in his own likeness after his image" (Genesis 5:3). His posterity inherited his sinful nature and shared in the consequences of his sin. Every man by physical birth is "In Adam."
In Adam's creation God had established a union with the human race on the basis of personal communion and governmental cooperation. In Adam's Fall that union was broken and mankind was alienated from God. Sin an impassable chasm between a righteous, holy God and guilty, sinful men.
But as God dealt representatively with the human race in the first A so did He also in the last Adam. What was ruined in the Fall of the man God redeemed in the victory of the second Man. The loss that God and the race sustained by the sinful act of the first Adam was covered by the righteous act of the last Adam. The union that was broken through His first man God reestablished through His second Man. The impassable chasm made by the first Adam's sin was bridged by the Adam's sacrifice.
On the cross of Calvary Christ Jesus, the divine-human Mediator, the sinner's place and became the sinner's Substitute. The sinner's was borne, the sinner's condemnation was removed, and the sinner's was met, by the Sin-bearer. Adam's sin was put away and all of its sequences were borne by God's Son.
Through His federal headship Christ made potential for all sinners that became His through the victory of His death and resurrection. men have been united to the first Adam in creation and in the Fall, men may be united to the last Adam in grace through faith. As all are "In Adam" so all men may be "In Christ."
Through the death, resurrection, ascension and exaltation of the Jesus Christ mankind was potentially redeemed and God re-established a relationship with the race "by grace through faith" so that all men may come out of bondage to sin, self and Satan into the glorious liberty of the children of God and into the bounteous inheritance of the heirs of God. "In Christ" all men may now find a way of escape from the sphere of death, darkness and disorder and an abundant entrance into the sphere of life, light and liberty and they may be delivered from the kingdom of Satan and translated into the Kingdom of God's dear Son. "In Christ all men may now leave the plane of the natural and rise to the plane of the spiritual. Every man by spiritual birth may be "In Christ."
God deals representatively with the whole human race in these federal headships. It may be said, that judicially God has relation to two men in all the universe, Adam, the first and Adam, the last.
Romans 5:18-19, R.V., "So then as through one trespass the judgment came unto all men to condemnation; even so through one act of righteousness the free gift came unto all men to justification of life. For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the one shall the many be made righteous."
But through these two men God has a personal relationship with every individual on earth because every person is now either "In Adam" or "In Christ," either still is alienated from God through sin or is accepted by God through His Son.
Sin entered, abounded, and reigned (Romans 5:12, 20-21); on Calvary's cross grace entered and did much more abound and now reigns wherever God's gift is accepted by faith.
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."
And now every living person is challenged by grace to come out of the life of sin, to leave the life "In Adam" for the life "In Christ."