The success of Adam’s stewardship was tied to God’s revelation.
From a peach tree no wider than a broom handle, my dad harvested over one hundred pounds of delicious fruit in one season. He took great pride in the fact that his careful pruning, cultivating, and fertilizing resulted in a bumper crop. Every man feels something of his original cultural calling in Adam. From the smallest cultivated fig tree to the hanging gardens of Babylon, there is a divinely intended satisfaction in fulfilling the mandate, “Subdue the earth” (Genesis 1:28).
In addition to working the ground, Adam was also commanded to rule over the creatures of the earth. Folks who live in the city may keep an aquarium of tropical fish or travel to Sea World to watch Shamu do flips for his squid dinner – both are related to man’s cultural calling to rule as stewards of God’s creation, including creatures (Psalm 8).
Adam’s rule was intended to bring about order unto fruitfulness for God’s glory. Adam’s kingship rule was on behalf of Another. Adam was to function as vice-regent and steward; God alone is eternal King and owner of all. Adam’s “covenant consciousness” meant that all he did in his working and ruling was to be dedicated to God. Adam as divine image-bearer, had the awareness that God had crowned him with incomparable dignity. Thus, Adam’s identity as divine image-bearer was inseparable from greatness of his task to reflect God’s attributes in all of life.
The increase in the state of order that Adam brought to the creation was to include the raising up of families and communities in which God was loved, honored, worshipped and obeyed. (Adam was to bring moral order through the knowledge of God and through the faithful proclamation of His revelation.) This would only take place if the truth of God’s revelation governed all of Adam’sinterpreting of his world. Adam’s covenant consciousness focused upon his design as vice-regent. He was made in God’s image, endowed with capacities, and appointed over the works of God’s hands; all for the purpose of showing forth the glory of his Maker (Isaiah 43:7). (For a discussion of Adam’s role as prophet, priest and king, see the book by G.I. Williamson, The Westminster Confession of Faith for Study Classes, P & R Publishing, 1978, pp. 44, 45.)
The adequacy of Adam’s unfallen manhood.
The first exercise of masculine strength on the planet was by Adam, our first father. Adam in paradise was strong, brilliant, tireless, creative and holy. He tended the garden in an un-cursed world without exhaustion, perspiration or resistance. His work was not opposed by fire, flood, hail, thistle or canker worm. Before the fall, he did not know failure. Frustration and suffering only came later with the entrance of sin.
In unfallen Adam we see man’s unblemished capacity to exercise lordship over the earth as God’s image-bearer. Adam’s dominion and cultural calling was both physical and spiritual. As a “king,” Adam stood as a representative of all of his descendants. As God’s appointed governor of creation, Adam’s obedience or disobedience would affect the moral direction of his descendants. Adam’s conduct under the probationary arrangement in the garden would also affect the direction of the physical creation.
With the entrance of sin came the forfeiture of Adam’s effortless kingship. The Fall shattered, but did not destroy man’s capacity as divine image-bearer. As men, our masculinity is related to Adam’s manhood, but our masculinity differs radically from Adam’s pre-fall experience of dominion. Adam’s descendants have a diminished masculinity---their strength has been weakened by the curse.
Since the Fall, man’s subduing of the earth is not carried out with the glory of God in view.
Fallen man faces toil, sweat and resistance in his labors (Gen 3:17-19). Man’s work motives have also been altered. The fall changed man’s heart -- he lost the motivation and sentiment to live for God’s glory. His power to carry out the physical aspect of the original Genesis mandate has been reduced, but not cancelled (Ps 8).
Man’s handiwork covers vast areas of the planet. With hands no larger than a saucer, men with the aid of their machines have built the sprawling metropolis, the supersonic rocket, the harbor filled with ships, and the burgeoning plantation.
Fallen man gladly embraces the physical aspects of the creation mandate – “be fruitful, rule, subdue.” Men have that desire to leave their mark, to make a difference, to carve out an empire however small. It is a masculine trait to seek to build something that will be a monument to one’s created kingship.
The desire to subdue the earth remains strong since the fall, but that desire has been sinfully distorted. Men subdue as a function of their independence from God. They do not dedicate their subduing to the Almighty. They use their subduing to feed their pride of life.
Man’s successes are contaminated by the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life (1 John 2:16). This triad of lusts constitutes the love of the world. In the post-flood era, the residents of ancient Shinar resisted God’s command---they refused to move out of the Fertile Crescent in order to fill the earth. Their population center was experiencing the benefits of city life. The division of labor meant that food, clothing and shelter were readily available.
Due to the conveniences of city life, the pursuit of the basic needs took up less and less of their time. With goods and services readily available, discretionary time increased. The need to survive was eclipsed by the craving to build the tower of Babel.
As Scripture indicates, the intent of the builders was, “Let us make for ourselves a name; lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth” (Genesis 11:4b). Their plan was to make a towering work of their hands the source of their unity and identity. God “cancelled” the building project through the confusion of languages. The unfinished tower stood as a monument to their sinful pride of life.
Today, that same spirit of pride manifests itself in a plethora of versions of, “let us make for ourselves a name.” Subduing, building and ruling are not dedicated to God. The Adamic mandate (evidenced in man’s subduing, ruling and building) has been appropriated for self. Man’s conquest of the earth is evident in places other than the jetliner, the skyscraper and the farm. The sports and entertainment industries also provide an insight into man’s nature as a subduer.
Man as “subduer” has a penchant for contests.
The pastimes of fallen men have evolved into contests that showcase strength, skill and agility. The sports industry features, the Athlete of the Year, the Cy Young Award, hockey’s Stanley Cup,but it doesn’t stop there---the penchant for being the best runs the gamete from pie eating to bass tournaments.
When civilizations no longer had to face the threats of starvation and the Mongol hoards, pastimes took up ever larger chunks of time. In America, when the last cavalry outpost came down, the first baseball stadium went up. Men no longer brought home a four point buck for the next month’s venison – meat was shrink-wrapped in the store. Instead of stalking his prey in the woods, the husband put on a tie and took the subway to the office.
Physical pastimes and contests provided an exciting diversion from the mundane activities of industrialism. (Agrarian cultures are tied closely to the land, while industrialism tends to push man toward ever greater urbanization. Athletic activities utilize many of the same skills demonstrated by hunters and warriors: speed, cunning, strength etc.)
Sports turned out to be an invention to showcase the abilities of the athlete. Spectators so closely identified with their favorite teams that at times umpires were pummeled senseless because they made a questionable call.
Why do the turnstiles of the stadiums and arenas generate so many billion of dollars per year? Why are these rituals, games and contests such a driving force among men? Why are we so driven to measure ourselves, compete with ourselves, prove ourselves, and rate ourselves? Why can’t men relate without some form of score-keeping? Why are we so ready to heap adulation on the latest athlete to make the front of the Wheaties cereal box?
For the answer we must look again at the first man. In a single day, Adam went from planetary king to dying, struggling steward. Adam’s weakened kingship is felt by every man. We carry Adam’s failure in our own persons. We have inherited his sin and weakness.
From our first father a legacy of fallen strength has been passed down to us; a scourge of weakness hangs over us. When we consider our desire to subdue, rule and be fruitful, we are secretly haunted concerning our fitness and adequacy for the task. Our universal neurosis as men is, “Shall we be weighed in the scales and found wanting?”
There is a connection between our wondering if we measure up and our penchant for measuring ourselves (2 Corinthians 10:12). When we see athletes of our gender who by discipline, training, courage, guts, teamwork, and skill, excelling in their sport, it shores up our deepest fears about male adequacy. We take great vicarious satisfaction in the victories of our city’s team. When they have a winning record, we claim them vocally as our own. When they are in the cellar, we disown them and cast aspersion on them.
We take great hope in the prospect that by discipline and exertion we also may conquer weakness and succeed. Everybody loves a winner – we are filled with admiration for them. They have overcome the obstacles that stood in the way of victory. We want to touch them, shake their hand, boast in them, burn incense before them. We revel in the glory of an Adamic representative who excels in his sport. The Olympiad who wears the Stars and Stripes and takes home a gold medal gives us an inner glow of pride.
“Politically correct” football will never sell tickets. There will never be a stadium built where teams take turns watching the other side score. In this fallen world, obstacles and opposition are necessary in order to reveal excellence. Without a contest, excellence can’t be seen. When watching a great performance on the athletic field, there is something inside us that wants to scream, “That’s my guy making that play!”
Not only was man created to subdue and rule over, he was also created to be an enthusiastic spectator of excellence.
Man was created to be an enthusiastic spectator of excellence. Sin has not removed the desire of man to applaud excellence. But sin has changed the object of man’s focus in searching for excellence. When man broke faith with God, his enthusiastic spectatorship went elsewhere. He no longer “cheered” the God who made the heavens, he worshipped and served the creation and the creature. Man was created to worship, and worship he must. He worships every day – if he is not worshipping the One true God, of necessity, by default of sin, he will be worshipping and serving the creation (Rom 1:25).
Man ceased to believe that the knowledge of God was the highest possible glory that he could experience (Jer. 9:23, 24). Humans chose to live for the glory of man instead of the glory of God (John 5:44; 12:43). (It is abundantly clear in Scripture that the works, wonders, and ways of God are more than sufficient to eternally captivate the heart of man. But, it is only salvation in Christ that can restore man’s capacity to glory in God’s excellence.
The believer tastes only a fraction of what he will in glory. In this life, when the Christian experiences times where he is lost in wonder, love and praise, it is but a foretaste of what is to come.)
The philosophies of this world promote the denial of Adam’s brokenness (Col 2:8).
The whole concept that man may recover his kingship by athleticism, wealth and influence is not new. It followed closely on the heels of Adam’s fall. From the beginning, sinful man has looked for a “mirror” to reflect back some rays of that unbroken Adamic virility. Deep within us is a veritable lust for the perfect adequacy and masculinity of our ancient first father. (After immense portions of the earth were subdued, man had to look elsewhere for venues to showcase his powers.)
Adam’s remarkable potential and capacity for planetary kingship is the “golden fleece” that eludes us. We’ve inherited a mandate for kingship, but by reason of the fall, a broken scepter as well.
The natural man searches for reassurances that his case is not terminal. False religion is the great “theater” for his self-deception. He entertains the optimism that his Adamic wound is not fatal. He comforts himself with the thought that he is not beyond the reach of self-improvement. (In effect, he is embracing a theology that says, “Adam’s wound is not my wound, Adam’s dereliction is not my dereliction, my deficits can be repaired. I will prove my adequacy.”)
Like the males of the Noah’s time, we are still drawn to the “men of renown” (Genesis 4:23,24; 6:4; 10:9 ).
The defiant speech given by Lamech in Genesis 4:23,24 could be taken from a comic book hero or a Hollywood movie. The principle behind it is timeless – “by an arm of flesh, I shall vindicate myself, vanquish my foes, and be the master of my fate.” Like Lamech of ancient times, modern men choose earthy, demonic ambition and bravado to deal with their dereliction. This is the “wisdom from below” spoken of by James (James 3:13-18).
We have our own Nimrods today who receive our esteem. Instead of a bow and a spear with a room full of hunting trophies, they drive red Ferraris. Their deeds of strength are witnessed by hosts of viewers by way of televised instant replays. The hunger of the spectator to applaud excellence generates their 30 million dollar sports contracts.
The principle is the same. We thrive upon the glory of our heroes, we feed upon the notion of men of renown. They give us the optimism that we may patch up Adam’s broken kingship. We can bask in the glory of heroes and believe (falsely) that the race is not in a state of ruin. History gives many versions of this theme. The Greeks had their ideal man; orators, philosopher kings, and Olympic athletes with near perfect bodies. The Romans had their military heroes, their gladiatorial victors, and their statues of gods who looked human.
The world’s method of “proving and recovering” Adamic strength is diametrically opposed to God’s plan in the cross of Christ.
The subduing that has been done since the fall of man is distorted and perverted by sin. Men build with a view to constructing monuments to their own strength, wealth, and cleverness. It’s the hard work done by the arm of flesh that receives the glory.
Men want to see Adam’s kingship restored by way of a hero---a philosopher king, an Olympiad, or a mighty warrior. We want a hero who reaches down inside, draws upon his power, and overcomes his owns weakness.
Here is one of the key reasons why the cross of Jesus is such a scandal to men. The cross is an offense because of its abject weakness. For in the spectacle of the cross, we see a victim perishing in weakness, shame, ignominy, and dereliction.
In the cross is the apparent triumph of evil over good – pacifism in the face of injustice and wickedness. Such ignominy scandalizes the human intellect (1 Cor. 1:18-25). The cross is not merely unappealing to human wisdom, it is repulsive to carnal reason.
The Apostle Paul reminded his Corinthian readers that the power of the message of the cross is stipulated upon a proclamation unadorned by human wisdom. Faithfulness in our preaching means that the offense of the cross must be retained in our message (1 Cor. 1:18, 23; 2:4, 5). The natural man cannot bear the message that Adam’s race is slated for demolition.
The cross of Christ is both the judgment upon Adamic ruin and the means of rescue from ruin.
The news is far too humbling that Adam’s progeny is beyond repair and renovation. So comprehensive is man’s ruin by sin, that an entire “re-creation,” or new creation is the only remedy that can avail (2 Cor 5:17).
The theology of the cross is repulsive to natural wisdom for the very reason that it cancels out the possibility of improvement of the Adamic nature. The cross condemns the Adamic nature, judges it, calls for its legal prosecution, and slays it at Calvary (Rom 6:1-11).
The descendants of Adam are yet looking for dynamic leaders who will “lift” the race to new heights. But in their looking, they passed by the Son of God; they crucified the Lord of Glory (1 Cor 2:8). He was the “stone” examined by the builders and found unfit to build upon. The builders “stumbled over” the very One appointed by God to recover Adam’s race from ruin (1 Pet 2:6-8).
In the incarnation, Christ assumed a weakened human nature.
When the Son of God began His public ministry, there was little about Him that made Him desirable by appearance (Is 53:2, 3). He did not exhibit the stately and mighty physical attributes of a Saul or a Nimrod.
In essence, He possessed no more of the Adamic exponents of strength than the average man.
Though He was God very God, He was born under the curse with a weakened human nature capable of exhaustion, suffering, and death. This is part of the paradox of the cross; that the Creator of the universe should come to earth as a human being physically weaker than unfallen Adam (2 Cor 13:4).
But here is God’s wisdom towering over the natural man’s intellect. Christ’s act of submission to Father, His voluntary obedience unto death, His willingness to undergo radical weakness and helplessness on Calvary, was the appointed means to deliver Adam’s race.
The thinking of the world is antagonistic to God’s way of recovering the descendants of Adam. Sovereign grace is too mortifying to Adamic pride. For in God’s gracious covenant, Christ assumes the sinner’s liabilities and meets the conditions necessary for reconciliation and divine favor.
The unbeliever is not ready to be brought so low. For the natural man, the world is a “playing field” to demonstrate the remnants of Adamic strength. At that very juncture, the theology of the cross collides head on with the world’s carnal wisdom. The work of Christ makes it clear that trust in human strength and striving cannot raise man out of his present state of ruin. The N.T. proclamation that “power is perfected in weakness” is anathema to the Adamic nature (2 Cor 12:9).
The cross of Christ stands as a monument to God’s justice. It declares that Adam’s race deserves to die. The cross admonishes all who dare to deny that Adam’s case is terminal.
All that God is now doing is through the Last Adam (Col 1:15-20).
No natural descendant of Adam shall reclaim his kingship by the use of the world. God in Christ has closed up and condemned that avenue. God has installed His Son as eternal King (Ps 2). Christ is the King of all creation (Col 1:16-18; Phil 2:9-11). His pathway to the throne was by way of obedience and submission to the Father. This is the only path to kingship that God recognizes. All that Adam lost, and more, is being restored through Christ’s obedience.
But the world is blinded to the truth of the gospel of Christ and to the cosmic implications of Christ’s reign as King (2 Cor 4:1-6). In their blinded state, the subduing done by sinners is contaminated by demonic ambition (James 3:14-16). Therefore, it cannot glorify God or advance His kingdom. All of the mighty accomplishments of men will be set ablaze in an instant (2 Pet 3:10). The subduing that is done under Adam’s headship is temporal and combustible. Its motive is too closely tied to the worship of the creature.
Only those who own Christ as their King have a restored kingship. Natural men are yet accountable stewards of the earth, but they are not kings in heaven’s sight. Only the redeemed comprise a nation of royal priests (Rev 1:6; 1 Pet 2:9).
Christ, as the Last Adam, is making a new order of men and women after His own likeness.
Though we labor under the curse and feel our weakness intensely, we who know the Savior are priests and kings before God (Rev 1:6). The elect constitute a new race with a new Head. Christ, our “Head,” is the Champion who has vanquished Satan and overcome the world. We as His people participate in the benefits of His mighty conquests.
Our chief work now is kingdom work. As those called of God, we have a higher priority than clearing brush and taming beasts. We are seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness (Matt 6:33). We are tearing down bastions and fortresses of error and lies. By means of His weapons, we, as His co-laborers, are advancing His kingdom (2 Cor 10:3-6).
We are building upon the foundation of the Last Adam. He has appointed us to bear fruit and have that fruit remain. Only these works which are done under the command of the Last Adam remain unto eternity (1 Cor 3:6-15).
Overcoming has replaced subduing as the first priority of the people of God (1 Jn 5:4, 5). The first Adam kept the garden and ruled over the works of God’s hands. Through the input of order and nurture, Adam encouraged the earth’s fruitfulness.
Now the people who are the seed of the Last Adam are bringing about spiritual order unto fruitfulness. By taking the light of the gospel into a darkened and sinful world, obedience to God is displacing the spiritual disorder of ignorance and rebellion. In such a way, the kingdom of God is advanced (Col 1:12-14).
Everything done by man that is temporary is done in the strength of the first Adam. Everything that is permanent is done in the strength of the Last Adam.
For the redeemed man, both present identity and future destiny are completely wrapped up in the Last Adam. The Christian looks at Christ to see what his own identity is. He looks at Christ in order to see what he is becoming. And he looks at Christ to see what he will be (see Heb 2:9, 10; Rom 8:29).
Jesus Christ is the “Architect” of the new man. He is the Author of the new man. God cannot possibly bless us any more than by making us like His Son in holiness and in incorruptibility. It is the height of grace to be made like Christ. It is to be eternally blissful. It is to gain the capacity to enjoy God perfectly. It is to be mighty in love and power.
On the side of our experience, tearing loose from the remnants of Adamic strength and passions is traumatic. C. S. Lewis likened the process to little soldiers of tin being slowly turned into living breathing entities of flesh and bone. “With every change that comes, that works true life in them, the little soldiers whine and whimper at the pain and discomfort.” The elect of God are predestined unto conformity to the Son of God (Eph 1:4). Though God has initiated the work of making us like the Son of God in holiness (Phil 1:6), we are not passive in the process. God commands us to put on the behaviors of the new man (Col 3:8ff.; Eph 4:22ff.).
The Last Adam is the source of the new man. Christ is the template, the contractor, the goal, and the fashioner of the new man (Col 3:10). He is the Author and finisher of our faith, but He is also the Forerunner. He paved the way for us so that someday we might be where He is now---dwelling in the very presence of God. In His glorified humanity, He is the model of what we will be in resurrection holiness and power (Heb 6:20; 1 Jn 3:2; Phil 3:21).
When we were spiritually dead in the first Adam, we blindly boasted of an adequacy and a completeness that flowed from ourselves. All of this has changed for those who are in the Last Adam. God’s work, the work that remains, God’s kingdom work cannot be done with the strength inherent in an arm of flesh. It cannot be accomplished by means of the wisdom with which we were born.
The new race created anew after the Last Adam is to understand that apart from Christ, they can “do nothing” (Jn 15:5). From the context in John 15 it may be asserted that the believer is utterly dependent upon Christ for the power necessary to bear spiritual fruit. We can do “nothing” by way of a spiritual work apart from organic union with Christ.
In Christ there is an entirely new source of personal adequacy.
Those who are of the first Adam live to prove their personal adequacy. For the new man in Christ, there is a looking away from self as the source of adequacy. Paul affirms God as the only source of adequacy for kingdom work, “Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant…” (2 Cor 3:5, 6a).
Utter dependency upon Christ, the Last Adam, is a principle that is in direct conflict with Adamic pride. The principle of the death to the Adamic man is the principle of the cross applied. It is a dynamic that is present in all true Christian ministry. Paul declares, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing greatness of the power may be of God and not from ourselves…” (2 Cor 4:7).
The Apostle recognized that the pride of man is quick to glory in a person. God, in His wisdom, is able to emphasize the “earthen” nature of human flesh in order that all the glory might go to God and not to the messenger.
The “treasure” (the spiritual life and truth contained in the earthen vessel, God’s messenger) is solely from God. The problem is that men worship and serve the creature and the creation. In so doing they discount the unseen God of all power and instead esteem a sinful man who stands in front of them.
The cross judges all that we were in Adam in order that Christ may be all in all.
In order that God may receive all of the credit, says Paul, “[we are] always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be constantly manifested in our body” (2 Cor 4:10). Paul equated the value of his own suffering with the necessity of having “the life of Jesus manifested in his mortal flesh” (4:11). What a radical contrast this is from the Adamic tendency to glory in a super-hero.
The cross is continually applied to the saved descendant of Adam until death. The cross puts to death what we were in Adam. Paul looked to his “co-crucifixion” with Christ for the power to subdue sin (Gal 2:20; 5:24; Rom 6:6).
The cross is the source of the believer’s victory. It severs him from any legal attachment to Adam and it attaches him to Christ in an eternal, living, and fruitful union (Rom 6:5-9; 7;4). (Paul also attributed his severance from, or “crucifixion to the world,” to the power of the cross – Gal 6:14).
In Adam, we were always searching for completeness. Like a man running to and fro with a puzzle piece, we ransacked the world in an effort to find some combination of things that would complete us.
Before we were “crucified to the world,” we saw the world as our workshop. We exercised a misinformed optimism that the world could provide the source of our completeness. We typified the “earthy man” described by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:47, 48. The “earthy man” materialized all of his soul’s needs and took them to the offerings of “Vanity Fair” (“Vanity Fair” was Bunyan’s allegorical title in Pilgrim’s Progress for the lusts of this world.)
The new man has completeness by reason of his union with Christ.
The Christian has been crucified to the world as a source of completeness. The believer’s completeness is in Christ (Col 2:10). In Christ the saint is given a restored stewardship that is spiritual now, and someday, in the Messianic age, physical as well (Rev 2:26; 3:21). Because of completeness in Christ, the believer will someday participate in the liberation of all of creation from the bondage of corruption (Rom 8:18-25).
The new man is “constructed” around Christ. He does not have, nor will he ever have, a completeness that is autonomous from Christ. Adamic man makes a futile attempt to find that completeness by looking to himself and to the world. The new man will never lack completeness. Paul’s logic in 1 Corinthians 15 is flawless: The empty tomb proves that our “Man in heaven” will share His heavenly image with those who are in union with Him. “And just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly [man]” (1 Cor 15:49). (See Paul’s argument in 15:35-46. In establishing proof that there is a resurrection body for believers, Paul appeals to Christ’s glorified existence. Christ’s resurrection glory followed His mortal existence on earth. The same glorious change awaits believers.)
In this very context, Christ is referred to as the “last Adam.” Christ is the “second man.” As the last Adam, He is the “second” founder of a race of men -- spiritual men (1 Cor 15:47, 48). These “spiritual” men, by virtue of their completeness in Christ, will most assuredly bear the image of the Man who came from heaven (15:49, 50).
If the cross contains God’s verdict concerning the Adamic man, then the empty tomb speaks of God’s promise of glory for the new man. The cross puts the destinies of Adamic man and the new man into sharp contrast and bold relief. The man who exercises faith in God’s Word apprehends this contrast with ever-increasing clarity.
The godly man understands the times. He sees that we live in a culture that is dead set on making us forget the contrast. Our culture is enamored with what remains of Adam’s glory. Youthfulness, strength and beauty are worshipped in our land. The media woos the next generation of youth by selling the promise of Adamic prowess. From Barbies to Masters of the Universe, it is the gilding of Adamic exponents.
Muscle-bound action figures fill the shelves of toy stores. These plastic Nimrods give our youngsters what they crave; the fantasy of possessing perfect adequacy. King Saul of ancient Israel was head and shoulders above his countrymen. He was a courageous warrior and a handsome leader. But God brought the people’s choice (Saul) into bold contrast with His choice in a king.
David was God’s choice. He did not possess the Adamic exponents of Saul, but David was a man after God’s own heart. Like David, the new man has a passion for God’s glory. As Christian men, can we follow Christ as His disciples and be captivated by Adamic exploits at the same time? If we attempt to do both, we will cast a cloud over the hope of glory that is to animate our affections.
We will fall short of Paul’s single focus to answer the upward call (Phil 3:14). Let us pursue a united heart and follow the Apostle’s example. Paul saw the destiny of the new man so clearly that he did not resent the “tarnishing” of what remained of the Adamic man in him, “Therefore we do not lose heart, though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day” (2 Cor 4:16; Rom 8:10).
This present age assaults us with the Adamic value system – a system that espouses personal adequacy by the use of world. With that corrupt value system comes the concealment of the fact that the first Adam’s act of disobedience inaugurated the reign of sin and death (Rom 5:17-21). Let us remember that because of Christ’s act of obedience, we have been made righteous, we have been brought into the sphere of abounding grace (Rom 5:18-20).
Our pride centers around the Adamic man and his capacity. Let us hold fast enough to Christ that we might release that pride and make Paul’s formula our own. “When I am weak [in myself], then I am strong [in Christ].”
Because of the last Adam’s act of obedience, we are presently priests and kings “in training.” The consummation will come about after our brief journey. Christ’s resurrection is the warranty of the new man’s future existence.
As we strive to remain upon the narrow path for one more week, let us look up by faith at our Man in glory and contemplate the destiny of the new man (Heb 2:5-9ff.).