Miles J. Stanford

In this opening chapter we will trace our history in relation to the first Adam: the ruin we received from Adam by inheritance, and the remedy we received from God by the Cross. We cannot become what we already are in Christ, until we know what we were in Adam. Therefore it is important that we personalize the facts: this is my history!

Everything in Adam is the ground of sin and death; everything in the Lord Jesus is the ground of growth and life. Our responsibility is to keep off the old ground, and to live on the new ground--our position in Christ.

THE FIRST ADAM -- In order to know what we were in Adam we must discover what Adam was, since he is the head of the human race into which we were born. Thus we can understand the nature and condition of the life we inherited from him, the life that continues to indwell us as believers.

Adam sinned and entered death -- separated from God, the source of life. Through him we were born into sin, death, judgment, and condemnation. "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men" (Romans 5:12).  And death not only came into the world and the race, but it reigned as king. "By one man's offense death reigned by one.... Therefore, as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation" (Romans 5:17,18).

Let us note three basic aspects of our relationship to the representative man. (1) Our position of sin (Adam-source); (2) our nature of sin (Adam-nature); (3) our personal sins (Adam-practice). To know the facts concerning the position and condition of our old life in Adam is to possess a vital key to spiritual growth. Ignorance or neglect here means certain defeat throughout one's Christian life.

Our Position of Sin -- Because of our fallen progenitor each of us was born into a doomed humanity. As David wrote, "In sin did my mother conceive me" (Psalms 51:5). In Adam, we were declared to be "dead in trespasses and sins," because "in Adam all die" (Ephesians 2:1; I Corinthians 15:22). The result of our position in Adam, our source, is that we are dead unto God, and alive unto sin.

Our Nature of Sin -- Our position of sin resulted in a sinful being, or life, and therefore the propensity of that life is sinful. In Adam, we are "by nature the children of wrath" (Ephesians 2:3). In this condition we are natural, fleshly, carnal, separated from God. "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them" (I Corinthians 2:14).

This fallen nature never changes, much less improves. "That which is born of flesh is flesh" (John 3:6). The Adamic nature is self-centered (the sin of sins), therefore totally against God and that irreparably. "For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh.... Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither, indeed, can be. So, then, they that are in the flesh cannot please God." "I am carnal [in Adam], sold under sin" (Romans 8:5, 7; 7:14, ASV).

Our Personal Sins -- The natural product of a sinful nature is sins. The practical result of our congenital condition is stated in Scripture: "All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23). We grew up to be sinners in practice, and that by choice, hence we were desperately in need of a Savior.

If by careful study of the above, we allow the Holy Spirit to impress us with the awful truth concerning our history in Adam, we will be better able to appreciate the wonderful remedy our Father has provided.

THE CONDEMNED ADAM -- We must continue to think in terms of our personal history. Now we want to see exactly what our Father did to rectify this terrible relationship and condition.

Our Position of Sin -- God did not forgive the principle of Satan-injected sin that dealt the death-blow to the human race through Adam. He does not forgive sin any more than He forgives Satan. On the Cross, in the person of His Son, our Father once and forever dealt with the principle of sin, thereby canceling our position of sin.

"For He hath made Him, who knew no sin, to be sin for us." "God sending His own Son, in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, condemned sin in the [His] flesh" (II Corinthians 5:21; Romans 8:3). Far from being forgiven, sin was judged and condemned in death.

Our Nature of Sin -- Our sinful life and nature were not forgiven, but likewise were taken into the judgment-death of the Cross. All that we inherited from Adam suffered this same fate. "Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him" (Romans 6:6, ASV). Had it been possible for God to forgive our old nature, it could then have been restored, or reinstated.

Our Personal Sins -- Our sins were forgiven -- past, present, and future -- by His shed Blood on Calvary. "Who His own self bore our sins in His own body upon the tree." "Having made peace through the Blood of His Cross." "Unto Him that loveth us, and washed us from our sins in His own Blood" (I Peter 2:24; Colossians 1:20; Revelation 1:5).

ADAM RELATIONSHIP TERMINATED -- At last we can see ourselves at the very end of our history in Adam. On the one hand we look at the Cross, and on the other hand we look into the Tomb. We might ask a few questions as to God's wonderful work in severing us from Adam.

Why? -- "The wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). Representative Adam sinned, therefore everything Adamic was condemned to death.

When and Where? -- All of God's dealings with sin were accomplished in and by His Son, on the Cross of Calvary.

How? -- On the Cross the Lord Jesus was identified with our sin, and our sinful nature, our "old man" being thus condemned and crucified with Him. At the same time, in His substitutionary work of redemption, He paid the penalty of our sins.

Thus His death on our behalf completely freed us, as individual believers, from Adam and all Adamic penalties and consequences. This enabled God to justly include us in Christ's death unto sin. "We have been planted together in the likeness of His death.... For in that He died, He died unto sin once" (Romans 6:5, 10).

Having by His death borne the condemnation of sin and paid all its penalties, our Lord Jesus died unto, out from, the realm and responsibilities of sin. Stripped of our relationship to Adam by and in that death -- we having died in Christ unto the old -- we can now see ourselves in His Tomb, ready to be identified with Him in His resurrection life and divine nature.

Let us prayerfully think through these truths concerning our history in Adam, going over them until the Holy Spirit makes the picture clear.

The first step to my becoming free of the old man in daily experience is to know that I was separated once for all from that life by crucifixion and burial. The ultimate in deliverance -- death.

Living Springs Press, l971


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