Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Last Adam

1 Corinthians 15:45
Biblegems #11
In 1 Corinthians 15:45, Paul refers to Jesus as the "Last Adam" where he says, "So it is written, 'The first man Adam became a living being': The Last Adam a life-giving Spirit." The question is, why would Paul call Jesus the "Last Adam?"

Our reference verse tells us that the “First Adam” became a living “soul”: that is, God formed from earthly components the shape and biological functions of the person we know as Adam and gave him the breath of life (Gen. 2:7). In this respect, the “First Adam” became a proto-type of all other humanity to follow. All humanity would be living souls created in the image of God (see Biblegems #10) in the same fashion that Adam was a living soul.

The “Last Adam,” Jesus, is a new proto-type, the first in a series of a new kind of human being. Jesus is referred to here as “Adam” because the new proto-type still deals with beings formed of earthly components. In fact, the same human beings who descended from the “First Adam” are now about to undergo a dramatic change and become like the “Last Adam.” As human beings, we are born in Adam, so to speak, and have received from him our biological nature and our imageo-dei. However, those who surrender their lives to Jesus inherit from Jesus a new nature—a human life indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God.

Likewise, in Adam we inherit the sin nature, and death as its consequence. Both are passed on genetically and by example:
Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother
conceived me (Ps. 51:5).

But, in the “Last Adam,” we inherit eternal life through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep (1 Cor. 15:20).

The “First Adam” passed on to the human race a mortal body, while the “Last Adam” passes on to those who are in Him a glorious, indestructible, resurrection body fit for eternal life.

Finally (although there is much more that could be said about the subject), just as the “First Adam” was not followed by a series of other proto-types, but became the model for all subsequent humanity, Jesus is called the “Last Adam” because there will be no other transformations that humanity will undergo. All humanity will forever after fall into on of two categories: in Adam or in Jesus Christ; in the “First Adam” or in the “Last Adam.” As Paul says in our reference verse, Jesus, the “Last Adam” has become a life-giving spirit; and we who are in Jesus are recipients of that new life that only He can give!

Thanks for the question! Please post your comments and other questions below for future Biblegems posts.


  1. Thank you very much for explaining the verse. It helped me understand my studies much better. I enjoy reading this blog, and look forward to more posts!

    -Joseph Cook
    1 Cor. 9:24

  2. all glory to God!
    as romans 5 says, we are all under adam. praise be to God we can also be under Jesus.