Title: You Must Die
The cross of Christ deals with the old man in order that the new man can come forth. But the old man must be put to death. It is more than an issue of the will. It is more than an issue of the mind. It is more than an issue of desire. Sin has to be dealt with by death. You must die.
If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. - Luke 9:23
The holy God, creator of heaven and earth, cannot set aside sin. You have to die because you are in Adam, and like him, you have sinned. The only question is, Are you going to die in your sins, or are going to die in your substitute?
God takes your sins seriously. So seriously, he gives up his only Son so you could die in him rather than on your own. And in the process of that, the new creation can come forth in you, in the power of the Spirit. Thank you, Lord!
Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven. - 1 Corinthians 15: 45-49
Whose image shall we bear? The man of heaven. Who is that heavenly man? It is the resurrected Lord, Messiah Jesus.
Jesus only becomes the last Adam in the resurrection. That is an important point. Until the resurrection, he fully identified as and represented the first Adam. He bore the full consequences of the judgment of sin against humanity (Adam) and died on their behalf.
But when he rose from the dead, he rose as the last Adam—the very image and likeness of God in the newness of life. That is why the resurrection is so important. Jesus identified fully with us, dealing with our sin and death decisively. We must now decide daily to identify fully with him.
Let me tie all this together for you with three summarizing statements. Each of these important truths about the resurrection of Jesus deserves more time and more study. I wish to stimulate your thinking, stir your faith, and see you move forward in greater faithfulness.
Point One: The exalted Jesus is identified with the Holy Spirit. That is the
perspective of the New Testament. Therefore the apostle Paul can say that as the last Adam, he became the life-giving Spirit. Jesus becomes, as it were, the Spirit of God in his resurrected form. He says, if I do not ascend to the Father, the Holy Spirit cannot be poured out upon all of you.
In times past God spoke through various means and through many people, but he spoke decisively and finally through his Son. In times past the Holy Spirit was kind of a diffused reality that would occasionally come upon and empower people for certain acts on behalf of God. Now, the Holy Spirit becomes identified fully with Jesus of Nazareth. The fullness of the Godhead is in him, in his risen form.
His Spirit, as a continuing presence, is poured out upon you, me, and upon all those who believe. The Holy Spirit is more than a gift from God, it is the gift of God in you.
The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, John says in the opening of his Gospel. The last Adam became a life-giving spirit, Paul says in his letter to the Corinthian believers. The word became, in the Greek of both texts, is the same. The Word of God became flesh in Jesus of Nazareth, the representation of the first Adam. In the resurrection, that Word of God incarnate became the life-giving Spirit.
We are seeing the fulness of the revelation that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, being worked out by the earliest Jewish followers of Jesus—in light of the cross, instructed by the Spirit (John 14:25-26). It is worth noting how shocking this would have been to Jewish ears.
These texts further illustrate my point that from the perspective of the New Testament, the exalted Jesus is identified with the Holy Spirit.
I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance - Phil 1:19
And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” - Gal 4:6
To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. - Col 1:27
What this means is that the risen and exalted Jesus is present to us in the power of his indwelling Spirit.
In the Old Testament (the Tanakh), God dwelled among his people, in the tabernacle, in their midst. In the new covenant, God dwells in his people. The community of faith becomes his temple, living stones being built up together as a spiritual house. He is present in them and shows his power through them.
And all of this is possible because Jesus has risen.
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This study is from a professionally produced transcription of the audio recording. It was edited for readability by the team at JC Studies.
Dwight A. Pryor (1945-2011) was a gifted Bible teacher of exceptional clarity and depth who earned the friendship and admiration of both Christian and Jewish scholars—in the United States and Israel—as well as the respect and appreciation of followers of Jesus around the world. His expertise in the language, literature, and culture of Israel during the life and time of Jesus and the early church yield insights that nourish every area of faith and practice.
Dwight founded JC Studies in 1984 to edify the people of God. Click here to explore over fifty of his audio and video seminars.