Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Let’s begin by reading 1 Corinthians 15:39-47, “All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.”  The scriptures tell us here of the differences in the bodies of man, beasts, fishes, and birds.  We learn also of different glories that belong to the sun, moon, and stars.  Showing there is a difference between what is earthly and what is heavenly, we see that in resurrection, there is a difference in our earthly bodies and our spiritual bodies.  The flesh is described as corrupt, dishonorable, weak and natural, or earthly.  In resurrection our bodies are described as incorruptible, glorious, powerful, and spiritual.

1 Corinthians 15:45 begins with, “And so it is written…”  This means that the verse was written earlier and is now being quoted.  Let’s read Genesis 2:7, “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”  We can see that this is the verse that is quoted here in 1 Corinthians.  It is in reference to Adam, who was formed from the dust of the earth. The Lord breathed into his nostrils and he became a living soul.  Let’s compare that with the latter part of 1 Corinthians 15:45, which says, “…the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.”  This part was not quoted from Genesis.  With the inspiration of God, it was written by the Apostle Paul to compare Adam with Christ.  Both were heads of their races.  Adam is the head of the natural fallen race while the Lord Jesus is the head of the spiritual race, or those who have accepted the Lord Jesus as their savior.  While Adam was made a life-receiving soul, Christ was made a life-giving spirit.  The Lord Jesus said of Himself in John 5:21, “For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.”  We also read in 1 Corinthians 15:22, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”  So, why is Christ called the last Adam?  There are two races; that which is physical, fallen, and temporary and that which is spiritual and eternal.  There are only two races; there is no other, so there are only two heads to those races.

There are several nice comparisons between Adam and Christ being the heads of their perspective races.  Adam was made a living soul as we read in Genesis 2:7, “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”  As a life-giving spirit we read of the Lord Jesus in John 20:22 where it says, “…he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost.”  This happened after the Lord’s resurrection which shows us it was the act of being raised from the dead that Christ became that life-giving spirit.

We also see in Genesis 2:7 that Adam was from the earth.  The Lord Jesus Christ says in John 3:13, “And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.”

As humans, we are naturally in the family of the first man, Adam.  Genesis 5:3 tells us, “And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth.”  So, each one born since then is born in the likeness of the fallen Adam.  As believers on the Lord Jesus Christ, Romans 8:29 tells us “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.”  While in one sense, we are being presently conformed to the image of Christ, the full and final conformity to the image of Christ will happen when the Lord returns for us in the clouds.  We read in 1 John 3:2, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”  It’s at that grand and glorious day that 1 Corinthians 15:42-44 will be fulfilled.  As it says, “So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.”

I’ll finish with a quote from one of my favorite authors, William Kelly.  He wrote, “Adam became a sinner, and was sentenced to death before he became head of the family.  Christ bore sin, and died to it, before he became Head of those who believed. Till He died, He abode alone; after it He had much fruit.  And as there never was a hope for man in another, so none other can rival Him.  He is the last Adam, no less than the second man.”