“In Adam All Die”
1 Corinthians 15:22
Here are four words which reveal what happened when our father Adam sinned in the garden. These four words must be understood. They are so necessary, so vital that I think I can safely and accurately say, until these four simple words are understood there is no understanding of anything else taught in the Bible. This is what God the Holy Spirit tells us about the sin and death of our father Adam and of all the human race in him. May he grant us grace and wisdom to understand it - “In Adam all die!”
When God gave his law to Adam, the sanction of the law was death: physical death; spiritual (moral) death, and eternal death. “The wages of sin is death!” As soon as Adam sinned, he and all his posterity were stripped of that immortality of body which God had given him in creation and became mortals, subject to and infested with all the corruptions of sickness, disease, and death. A spiritual, moral death seized his being, a spiritual, moral corruption and death which is passed upon all men, generation after generation. “In Adam all die!”
Because of Adam’s sin, and our sinning in him, the understanding of man is darkened. - His mind and conscience are defiled. - We are filled with inordinate affections. - Our wills, by nature, are biased toward everything that is evil. We have a natural taste and relish for sin! - Yet, until regenerated and saved by the grace of God, all the sons and daughters of Adam are to every good work lifeless and reprobate. Everyone by nature is born in a state of spiritual death, being dead in trespasses and in sins. This is the language used by the Holy Spirit to describe man’s lost condition (Rom. 5:12; Eph. 2:1-3).
As we were all born sinners, in a state and condition of spiritual death, we were all also born “children of wrath,” under the curse of God’s holy law and subject to eternal death. Eternal death is the just wage and retribution paid to sin by God. Eternal death is the wrath of God revealed against all unrighteousness. It is that which shall forever torment the children of disobedience, unless we are saved from it by the obedience and death of the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, the last Adam. This eternal death is the curse which Zechariah saw in his vision, as a flying roll flying over the whole earth, by which all the wicked are cut off forever (Zech. 5:1-3).
God’s elect are saved from this universal curse, because (and only because) Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law and delivered us from the wrath to come. He is made of God unto us both righteousness and redemption; and we are now made righteous in him.