Do you know who the two most important people to ever live are? The first one should be pretty obvious – his name is Jesus Christ, and he is undeniably the most significant person who will ever walk the face of the earth. However, the second person may not be so obvious to you.
Before you quickly throw out a name, really think for a moment about who this other person might be. Your answer will tell a lot about your personal worldview and how you see yourself in history. The Bible gives us some insight in 1 Corinthians 15:45, “The first man, Adam, became a living person. But the last Adam—that is, Christ—is a life-giving Spirit.” Therefore, as the Bible teaches, the second most important person in the history of the world is Adam.
But why is this? Couldn’t we make a case for Julius Caesar or Alexander the Great or Albert Einstein to hold that number two spot? Sure, Adam was there in the beginning, but he’s not usually the first name that comes to mind when considering the greatest men throughout history. However, when we look at things from a biblical perspective, it becomes clear why everything hinges on Jesus and Adam.
But first I want to ask you another hard question, “Who do you think you are?” How would you answer that? Because of our desire to be individuals, we tend to have an identity based upon things like: “I’m white,” “I’m black,” “I’m a Republican,” “I’m a Democrat.” Often times, we allow our status in life to define us: “I’m rich.” “I’m poor.” “I’m young.” “I’m old.” “I’m single.” “I’m married.” “I’m divorced.” If you really think about it, while all of these descriptions or labels may help to explain us better, they do not truly define us. What defines us is which category we fall into: those who are in Adam – in sin and death, and those who are in Jesus – in salvation and life.
The Bible teaches in 1 Corinthians 15:22, “Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life.” You see, when you and I were born, we were born into Adam as sinners eternally separated from God. We entered this world as enemies of God with unknowing hatred in our hearts. We didn’t plan to set out in life this way, but we inherited this from Adam during the fall of man. Because of the fall, we are all born physically alive but spiritually dead and in desperate need to be born again.
Here is where the good news comes in. At the cross, Jesus Christ traded places with us. He took on all of our sin, death, evil, hatred, anger, jealousy, rage and every other sin that condemns us and replaced it with his holiness, righteousness and forgiveness. He did this so that you and I would have a new identity and be able to answer the question of “Who am I?” with a sure answer of “I am the righteousness of Christ!”
No matter how bad you or I sin or mess up, if we have trusted Christ as our savior, God no longer sees our weakness and sin but now sees the perfect holiness of Jesus in us. This is the most important truth in understanding your true identity. If you are in Christ, you are in Christ’s position and he is now in your position. Therefore, you are loved as Christ is loved, you are blessed as Christ is blessed, you are embraced and adored as Christ is embraced and adored. This truth is vital to understand in order for us to live from our identity in Christ, free from religion and trying to perform for God. When we understand and grasp this concept, we will no longer want to be religious and self-righteous, but humble and living in an attitude of awe of the one who sacrificed it all for us.
So, the final question for you is this: Are you in Adam or in Christ? Are you still spiritually dead as a son of the first Adam, or have you been raised to newness of life in the person and work of the “second Adam,” Jesus Christ? Your position in life, in death and in eternity is all based upon how you answer.
If you have questions about where you stand with God, we would love to help. Email me and we can talk about it!
A native of sunny South Florida, Nicole Oliva joined forces with the Good News over five years ago and has served as Editor-in-Chief for the past three years. She has a heart for reaching out to the next generation and is passionate about topics such as human trafficking and teen issues. In her free time, she enjoys running, playing tennis and hanging with friends and family. To contact Nicole, please email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.