1 Corinthians 15:45. Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
Let’s talk theology (please don’t stop reading).
This verse is a theological summary explaining the “how” of everything we have said over the past 201 days about our union with Christ. Christ, the last Adam, is the giver of eternal life. He is the life giving spirit. By the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ is able to give us new life through our mystical union with his spirit- he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him (1 Cor. 6:17).
Just as Adam passed on his human sinful nature to all mankind, Christ passes on his divine holy nature through the Spirit. In him, we have eternal life both spiritually and physically because Christ is the life giving spirit. And just as Adam is the representative head of the human race, the last Adam, Jesus Christ, is the representative spiritual head of the new human race, the Church. This is what being in Christ means – because Christ is our representative head we have everything he has, and will receive everything he will receive. And that’s good news!
But how did Jesus Christ become the life giving spirit?
By his resurrection and ascension. Forty days after his resurrection from the dead Jesus ascended back to the Father. And in ascending he became the life giving spirit. Now the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ who comes to carry on the ministry of Christ. How? By indwelling all who trust in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus for forgiveness of sins and the imputation of his own life into theirs:
John 3:36. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
Stay with me, because here’s how this changes everything about your life right now, today.
When we receive eternal life we have received the life of Christ. His character. His goodness. His love. Now we can say that our life has meaning, because only something that is both eternal and good can have true meaning. If life is eternal but not good, well then that’s hell. If life is good, but not eternal, then there’s no lasting hope. Only letdown. This life offers us many things that are good but not eternal – a good marriage, a good job, a good meal, a good song. But only Christ offers us a life that is both perfectly good and everlasting. Only Christ offers us true meaning.
Only Christ? Yes. Only Christ. He is the beginning and end of all goodness and he is the beginning and end of all eternal life. Jesus is the last Adam. Not the “new Adam.” Or the “next Adam.” There is a finality and exclusivity to what Jesus has accomplished. You can stop all your searching for goodness, and meaning, and purpose, at Jesus Christ. There is no other savior. There is no other source of life.
Where does this new found meaning take us? To worship. If Christ is the source of all spiritual life, as this verse claims, then that means that there will never be another source of life greater than him. All lesser goods must take us into his presence. Every good movie, good conversation, good cup of coffee, good relationship must return us to our place of worship his feet.
“To live is Christ” offers us true meaning. Meaning that comes from sharing the divine nature of the last Adam. We share his life. His good life. Forever.
Have you received the life of Christ?
You in Christ
How does union with Christ end your search for meaning?
Christ in you
In what ways can you identify the life of Christ at work inside of you?
Playlist: Resurrection Power.
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