Title: Life-giving Spirit
We began this study with a profound truth. The work that was done for us at the cross is also meant by God to be a work done in us. (read part one)
Next, we looked at how atonement, biblically speaking, is not something to change God. The focus of atonement is something God has done to bring about change in you. (read part two)
We then explored how Jesus was the substitute for man with respect to the holy God. And how the fullness of the biblical revelation is that Jesus was also the substitute, of God, for man. (read part three)
Here are three summarizing statements to close this in-depth study on the subject of Jesus as the last Adam. My hope is that each of these stimulates your thinking and stirs your faith while helping you move forward in greater faithfulness.
The New Testament identifies the exalted Jesus with the Holy Spirit. (Click here to read last week's installment)
Jesus became the last Adam at the resurrection.
The historical Jesus is now present to us and experienced in us as the Holy Spirit.
Jesus became the last Adam at the resurrection. The first Adam came into existence at creation; the last Adam came into existence at the resurrection. In the incarnation, Jesus becomes the very flesh of humankind, Adam. And by his death he destroyed sinful flesh and fallen humanity so that the old man Adam died on the cross and would be buried.
The risen Lord is now the creator of a new humanity. In the resurrection, Jesus becomes the life-giving Spirit. To participate and have communion in the last Adam is to share in the Holy Spirit. To share in the Holy Spirit is to experience Christ. The historical Jesus is now present to us and experienced in us as the Holy Spirit.
When the New Testament speaks of Messiah's death, it speaks of it simultaneously as a once and for all event and as an ongoing event.
That which was done once and for all decisively—is to be an ongoing reality in us. Look with me at this wonderful revelation in Romans chapter six.
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? (vs 3) This is the aorist tense in Greek, meaning it is a completed action. It was once and done. We were baptized into Messiah, into his death. We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. (vs 4)
But now notice in verse five, For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. Here, the second clause is in the present perfect tense, meaning it is an ongoing process. If we have become, or are becoming united with him in the likeness of his death, then certainly we shall also be in the likeness of his resurrection.
What am I saying to you? The death of your old nature, the old Adam, was accomplished and dealt with decisively. But it is not taken care of in a momentary experience of commitment to God. It is the beginning of a process. The death of the old Adam and the raising to the newness of life in the last Adam are to be ongoing throughout the course of your life. It only comes to its completion in the resurrection of your body.
Ideally, what we need in terms of our visual images is one that simultaneously shows Jesus on the cross (the old Adam) and shows Jesus off the cross (the last Adam). We must have both.
When we take responsibility for our sin and guilt seriously, we continually walk with a view of Jesus as our old Adam, the one who died as our representative and our substitute. At the same time, we continue in that death to be raised to the newness of life in the last Adam, who is the life-giving Spirit at work in us. Todah Abba, for your grace!
We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. - Romans 6:6-11
Read more: Previous Post
Want to go deeper? Click here to explore audio seminars by Dwight A. Pryor.
Interested in taking one of our dynamic online courses? Click here.
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.