TWO GREAT CREATIONS
Written by Ron Hutchison
February 11, 2010
The history of the beginning of this universe has always been of great fascination to mankind. We not only want to learn about how the universe works, we want to know where it came from.  Perhaps more important is the fact that we want to know where we came from.  In searching for the origin of the universe many believe that the answer lies in the stars.  Billions of dollars have been spent over the years to explore our solar system and beyond with the view to discover how the universe originated.  Many have allowed themselves to accept human speculations concerning these explorations and as a result,  their faith in God has been destroyed. 

In this lesson we would like to call your attention to two great creations: One physical and the other spiritual.  One has to do with man and his relationship to physical life and the other has to do with man and his relationship to spiritual life. Our study of the first creation concerns God's first great institution - the physical family. Our study of the second creation has to do with His greater institution, the body of Christ. Since God is the originator of both institutions we would expect them to be similar in origin and destiny. That such is the case will be seen as we make some comparisons between the two.

                                        FIRST COMPARISON
                    First Adam                                                  Second Adam
          Head of physical family                              Head of spiritual family

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1). Do you have doubts about this statement? I do not. I take it at face value.  I believe it.  Our universe had to begin somewhere, and there is not any human speculation that I have heard given for the origin of the universe that is as simple, believable and direct as the one that God gave in Genesis 1:1.  The Bible is just as specific with reference to the second creation. Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:10, "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."  Again, he wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new."  Just as God created the physical man He creates the spiritual man. 

In 1 Corinthians 15:45 Paul wrote of two men called Adam:
"And so it is written, 'The first man Adam became a living being.' The last Adam became a life-giving spirit."   There can be no doubt who Paul is referring to here: The first Adam was the first man, the man who God created in the beginning (Genesis 1:27).  The second Adam refers to Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. 1 Corinthians 15:46 says, "The first man was of this earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven."  There can be no doubt that when Paul spoke of the first man being "of this earth, made of dust," he was speaking of the physical.  He was speaking of that which is material and belongs to this earth. When Adam died his physical body returned to the earth.  The second man is the Lord from heaven and through His resurrection ascended to the Father, where He now lives sitting at the right hand of the Father. 

The first Adam is the head of the physical family.  To him the history of humankind must be traced, and when he is left out of consideration we are lost in a maze of human speculation and confusion. Adam was the first man and must be recognized as the head of the physical family. Adam did not evolve, he was created from the dust of the ground (Genesis 2:7), and this settles forever the discussion about the origin of humankind. Paul teaches that Adam was the first man. He fathered Cain, Abel and Seth and others who are not mentioned by name (Genesis 5:3-5). From him came the teeming billions who have lived and now live on this earth.

The second Adam is the head of the spiritual family. Paul wrote in Colossians 1:18,
"And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence." Not only is the second Adam head of the church, but He is head over all things to the church (Ephesians 1:22).  He is the Savior of the body (Ephesians 5:23). The human family can not be traced further back than Adam, and without him we have no knowledge of the origin of humankind. The church of the New Testament can not be identified unless directly connected with Jesus Christ and must be traced to Him as Head and Builder. It would be just as reasonable to talk of two men being the head of the physical family as to talk of any other than Jesus Christ being the head of the church.  The pope nor any other person has any right to be called the head of the church of our Lord, because Jesus is the only Head of the church.

                                       SECOND COMPARISON
                 First Adam                                                        Second Adam
          Slept a deep sleep                                        Slept the sleep of death

After God created Adam He gave him the awesome task of naming the various animals which had been created (
Genesis 2:18-20).  The Bible says that there was not found a helper comparable to Adam.  As far as human companionship Adam was alone, completely and absolutely alone.   God caused a deep sleep to come upon him, and while he slept God took one of his ribs, and from this rib made woman (Genesis 2:21-22).  When God brought the woman to Adam, Adam said this: "...This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man" (Genesis 2:23).  This is the very foundation of God's universal marriage law. We are told that "...a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh" (Genesis 2:24).  Unfortunately, this and much more that the Bible teaches about marriage is ignored and rejected by humankind today.

Until Adam was put to sleep by God he was alone as far as human companionship. This pictures the greater truth that Jesus, before His great sleep of death, was also alone.  He said,
"Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain" (John 12:24). It was not our Lord's purpose to give a lesson on agriculture, or how a seed germinates and grows, but He was simply saying in this way that unless He died He would not and could not establish His church. Just as Adam was alone before his sleep, Jesus was alone before His death.  Regardless of any other passage on the establishment of the church, the fact that Jesus was alone before His death proves beyond any doubt that the church was not established before Jesus died on the cross.

                                   THIRD COMPARISON
              First Adam                                             Second Adam
      In sleep side opened                              In death side opened
       Obtained his bride              Purchased His bride with His blood

In Adams sleep his side was opened and God took his rib and from it created his bride. His bride did not exist until his side was opened, and he was not head of his physical family until that time, because up to that time no physical family existed.  Jesus slept the sleep of death, His side was opened, and there flowed from His side that which was the price paid for His church.
"Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood" (Acts 20:28). Jesus was not the head of the church until He shed HIs blood, just as Adam was not the head of the physical family before he was put to sleep by God.

Jesus purchased the church with His own precious blood, and from this fact it is evident that if we are to be saved by the blood we must be in the blood-bought church. Some have argued that humankind is saved by one process, and added to the church by another subsequent process. This has led them to contend that being a member of the church is not essential to salvation. This view is the result of a misunderstanding of what the church is. It would be just as reasonable to argue that one can exist physically as a result of the operation on Adam and not belong to the human family, as to argue that one can be saved by the blood of Christ and not belong to the church purchased with that blood.  The church is not a material building made up of wood, cement and other building products.  The church is a body of people who have been called out of darkness into God's marvelous light by the gospel of Christ (1 Peter 2:9), and who have made their robes white in the blood of the Lamb (
Revelation 7:14).  To be saved by the blood of Christ is to enter His church, because He bought the church with His blood.

In order to show that the Bible teaches the above point, let's look at Ephesians chapter two.  In verse 13 Paul wrote:
"But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ."  In verse 16 he wrote: "...and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity."  Looking at these two verses together we have the following:

in Christ Jesus brought near by the blood of Christ
in one body reconciled through the cross

Would anyone deny that "by the blood" and "through the cross" have reference to the same thing - the death of Christ on the cross? Is the cross not where He shed His blood?  And isn't it just as evident that the phrases "brought near" and "reconcile" have reference to the same action?  The bringing of man back to the Father - the reconciliation of man to God.  This means that the phrases "in Christ Jesus" and "in one body" are talking about the same thing too. No one will contend that one can be saved and not be in Christ, but since to be in Christ is to be in His body, the church (Read Colossians 1:18), it follows that we are "brought near" to God and "reconciled" by the blood of Christ when we become members of His church. It is very important to recognize and accept that the Bible teaches that what makes us Christians is the same thing that makes us members of Jesus' church.

                                    FOURTH COMPARISON
                  First Adam                                          Second Adam
          Bride derived name                    The church derives its name
                  from Adam                                        from Christ           

There is another comparison that comes to mind as we study the first and second creations, the physical and spiritual families, and that is the fact that the first woman received her name from man and that we Christians receive our name from Christ.  Adam said:
"...She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man" (Genesis 2:23).  The name "woman" has been worn by the female sex from that hour until the present and will be for as long as time continues. In addition to the general name the woman was given an individual name.  Genesis 3:20 says, "And Adam called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living." This name, unlike the other name she received was given to be worn by herself alone. She was called Eve because she was the mother of all living, and this would hardly apply to anyone else. Thus we see that the bride of the first man was given two names, one a general name and the other an individual name.

It may be that the names given to the first woman was purely incidental, yet there is a striking likeness between the giving of those names and the names by which the Bible designates the bride of Christ - the church. We find the Bible speaking of "the churches of Christ" (Romans 16:16) and "the church of God" (Acts 20:28; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 10:32; 11:22; 15:9; 2 Corinthians 1:1; Galatians 1:13; 1 Timothy 3:5)  or simply "the church" (Matthew 16:18 NKJV).  Individual members were called "Christians" and "disciples" etc... (Acts 11:26; 1 Peter 4:16; Acts 6:1; 9:1; 11:29
; etc...). One group of names given refers to the church in a general way, and the others are used in an individual way.  I can not say I am the church of Christ, but I can say that I am a Christian. The name "Christian" is a personal, individual name, while the name "church of Christ" refers to the organization. This gives us a good reason why the church should not be called the "Christian Church." This is taking the name given as an individual title and applying it to the whole organization, and it is no more reasonable and scriptural than to apply the name Eve to the entire female sex.  Let us call ourselves "Christians" and the church to which we belong, which was purchased by the precious blood of Jesus Christ, and built by Him, by the names inspiration has given to it.

                                                    FIFTH COMPARISON
                  
First Adam                                              Second Adam
 Law of natural procreation given                Law of new birth given

After God created Eve, and after He presented her to Adam, He gave the law of procreation: "Then God blessed them, and God said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply: fill the earth and subdue it...'"  (Genesis 1:28).  Man began by miracle (he was miraculously created), but since that time he has come into being according to God's universal law of procreation. Every person who has lived since that time has come into the world by this law - the law of physical birth.

After Jesus had died on the cross and His body was placed in a tomb, and had come forth victorious over death and the grave, God gave the spiritual law by which people are born into the family of God.  We enter into the first or physical creation by physical birth, and into the second or spiritual creation by spiritual birth. And just as every person who enters the physical family does so in identically the same way by the physical birth, so every person entering the spiritual family, the church of our Lord Jesus Christ, does so in the same way and by the same process, the new birth.  God does not have two ways of saving people and adding them to His church.  In New Testament times, all who were saved were saved in the same way.  God did not have one process for one person and another process for another person.  The same is true today.  All people who are Christians, became Christians in the same way, for it is impossible and unscriptural to think of two or more processes of birth into the family of God.

After Jesus' resurrection He met with the apostles and gave them a great commission: "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, immersing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 28:19).  A little while before, Jesus had told Nicodemus that one must be born again to enter the kingdom (John 3:3-5).  However, He did not explain to Nicodemus exactly what He meant.  But on the day of Pentecost the apostles began preaching by inspiration of the Holy Spirit and explained what being "born of water and spirit" meant.  To those who were convinced on that day that Jesus is the Son of God and both Lord and Christ, Peter said, "Repent, and let every one of you be immersed in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins..." (Acts 2:38). Those who gladly received this word were immersed. They obeyed the gospel, they were born again, and they were added to the church by the Lord Himself (See Acts 2:41, 47). 

In the first Adam we only get a glimpse of the greatness of the second Adam.  In the first Adam we only see a glimmer of what awaits us when we enter into the second Adam.  God has great things in store for His children.  While we serve the Lord on this earth we often feel weak and unable to do those things that we know should be done, but after a while out of this weakness will come our final strength, and our present trials with the flesh and with the world will lead to ultimate victory.


  

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