“FOR as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”
This text embraces all gospel truth, and volumes could be written upon it and the half not be told. Death in Adam is the result of disobedience, and death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. Death as spoken of in this text includes both death by sin and corporeal death, as it seems to us. It is evident from the Word “all” in this Scripture that there is no exception – all die. First, the saints of God fully understand that not one of Adam’s posterity ever escaped that death which separated all men from God; all by nature are dead in trespasses and sin until quickened into divine life by the Spirit of God. Second, all men from the beginning of the world have died corporeally and continue to die. Not one has escaped this death from Adam down, except those who now live, and soon, likely less than one hundred years, every one living to-day will be gone forever from the earth. Thus “in Adam all die.”
Many brethren think that our text refers to headships, and that all in Adam, all his children, die, so in Christ, our living Head, all shall be made alive. That is, all the elect children, beginning with Abel to the end of time, each one, shall be quickened into divine life. Perhaps this view is the right one, at any rate it is true in a gospel sense. Of one thing we feel sure: that Paul was not presenting universal salvation, but it seems to us two special points of doctrine are set forth in the text, viz., death by sin and life’ because of righteousness. Look to Adam from whatever standpoint one may, death is in evidence. No hope of peace with God through man. Look to Christ from whatever standpoint a child of God may and life from the dead is manifest. He lived in and with the Father before the world was; he lived in the flesh – “God manifest in the flesh.” He arose from the dead because he could not be holden of death. He ever liveth at the right hand of God. In him there is life, and the life is the light (understanding) of men. Hence “in Christ shall all be made alive;” not only quickened into divine life while here, but shall be made alive from the dead. Then shall all know and experience “the redemption of our body.”
We have thought also that the apostle was presenting salvation in Christ from a national standpoint. By nature the Jews, while the favored people of God, were no better than the Gentiles. Both Jews and Gentiles were dead in sin and under the curse of the law, but inasmuch as Christ paid the debt for all nations, in him there is neither Jew nor Gentile, all nations and classes shall be made alive in him. .
Written at the request of G. E. Lee, Roanoke, Ala. K.
Elder H. C. Ker
Signs of the Times
Volume 84, No. 9.
May 1, 1916