But the Bible speaks of another Adam—the last Adam—Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He succeeds where the first Adam failed. He comes and does what the first Adam failed to do. He comes and rescues and renews our race from the ruin that resulted from the rebellion of the first Adam. The last Adam reclaims the earth and restores it.
God created the first Adam in His own image, and appointed him to rule over the works of His hands. He also gave him a commandment. Gen. 2:16, 17: “Of all the trees of the garden you may freely eat. But from the one tree—the tree of the knowledge of good and evil—you may not eat. For in the day you eat from it you will surely die.” Had Adam and Eve obeyed God’s commandment, they would have continued to enjoy the favor and blessing of their Creator-God. But that was not to be. Satan tempted them to disobey God’s command. They took the bait and ate from the one tree that God said they shouldn’t eat from. They ate, and they died, just as God said they would.
The consequences of their disobedience were profound and tragic beyond description. As a result of their disobedience, our first parents plunged themselves and their posterity into inconceivable ruin and misery. Rom. 5:12: “Through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men.” Here was man—the crown of God’s creation, made in His image, and commissioned to rule over all that God had created, for God’s glory—in rebellion to God, enslaved to sin, and under the sentence of death, with his dominion ruined. Humanity is broken. Our domain is in shambles—all because of the sin and rebellion our first parents against the God who made them.
But the Bible speaks of another Adam—the last Adam—Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He succeeds where the first Adam failed. He comes and does what the first Adam failed to do. He comes and rescues and renews our race from the ruin that resulted from the rebellion of the first Adam. The last Adam reclaims the earth and restores it. And He reinstates us to rule over it. This is the work of New Creation, and it begins with the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Wherever you find resurrection, you can be sure that the work of New Creation is going on. The work of New Creation always begins with resurrection. It begins with the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. From there, it continues in various stages. It progresses in at least four ways. In the work of New Creation, God does at least four things.
He redeems our souls.
We read in Ephesians 2:4-6: “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”
What does Paul mean when he says that God made us alive? He’s talking about the new birth. He’s talking about being born again. He’s talking about regeneration. He considers the new birth to be nothing less than a spiritual resurrection—a spiritual resurrection from spiritual death to spiritual life. This is something that God does. Dead people can’t raise themselves. No mere human being, alive or dead, can bring anyone else to life. Only God can do this. Only God can raise the dead. This is exactly what He does when He saves those who are dead in trespasses and sins. He raises their souls from the dead in the new birth. Their spiritual resurrection in the new birth is directly connected to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Paul says God made us alive together with Christ and raised us up with Christ. Peter says God has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Christ (1 Pet. 1:3). This is the first phase of God’s work of New Creation. This is something that God is doing right now, in this age. He redeems our souls. There is a second thing that God does in the work of New Creation.
He redeems our bodies.
We read in Rom. 8:23: “And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.” Why does Paul say that believers are eagerly awaiting their adoption as sons? Aren’t they already adopted? Of course they are, but not as they will be. Believers in Christ possess the privilege of adoption, but not in its fullness. There is an aspect of it that we do not yet possess. Paul tells us what that aspect is in v. 23. It is the redemption of our bodies. We wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. What’s that? It’s the resurrection of the righteous at the end of the age when Christ comes again. Paul describes the resurrection of believers as the redemption of their bodies. God will redeem our bodies. There’s a third thing God does in the work of New Creation.