106 The Nature of Free Choice
In looking carefully at the first and Second Adam today we discover the importance of the free choice that we enjoy. No choice that has a punishment attached is a free choice. Too often the way Christianity has describe salvation is actually a forced choice and leaves God in a very negative light, who to destroys those who exercise their freedom and decide not to follow Him.
The First Adam and the Second Adam. The Nature of Free Choice.
The concept of a second Adam or the last Adam is derived from the following scriptures.
1 Corinthians 15:45-49 NIV 45 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. 48 As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man.
Romans 5:12-21 NIV
12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man (Adam), and death through sin, and in this way, death came to all people, because all sinned (in Adam)— 13 To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses (Law at Mt Sinai), even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come.
15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man (Adam), how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!
Contextually “many” means “all” but Paul contrasts “one” with ”many” which is more effective than comparing “one” with “all.”
16 Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s (Adam’s) sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification (innocence).
17 For if, by the trespass of the one man (Adam), death reigned through that one man (Adam), how much more will those who receive (this earth) God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!
18 Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people.
19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man (Adam) the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man (Jesus Christ) the many will be made righteous.
20 The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The First Adam.
Living being (1 Cor 15:45) From Earth (1 Cor 15:47) Was in God’s image (1 Cor 15:49) Rested with God on seventh day (Gen 2:1-3)
Made from dust/soil (Genesis 2:7) God breathed life into Adam (Gen 2:7) Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:8) Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (Gen 2:16) Gloom and Doom for the Race (2:17; Rom 5:12-19)
Fear, Anxiety, Death: Emotional, Spiritual, Physical Arrogance and Independence Lies about God Seduced by first woman (Genesis 3:6) Naked & afraid (Genesis 3:10-11) One Law transgressed (Genesis 3:11; Rm 5:18) The Kingdom of this World appears (3:12-13)
Identity by performance. Competition, Dominance, Selfishness Imposed Law, Punishment and Reward Blame & Shame others. Caused violence and deceit to flower (4:8)
Enslaved the race in sin (Romans 5:12)
Given life but chose death (Rm 5:12)
Poisoned all life with the virus of death
Shamed God’s name/character/image
Handed dominion to Satan
The Last Adam.
Life-giving Spirit (1 Cor 15:45) From Heaven (1 Cor 15:47) We shall bear Jesus’ image (1 Cor 15:49)
Rested in God on seventh day (Mt 27:57-28:7)
Healed with dust/mud/soil (John 9:6-7) Jesus returned his breath to God (Luke 23:46)
Jesus breathed life into his disciples (Jn 20:22) Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 25:36) Hung on the tree of Evil (Mt 27:35-36) Joy and Hope for the Race (John 15:11; 17:13)
Courage, Peace, Abundant Life Humility and Vulnerability Truth about God Appears 1st to a redeemed woman (Jn 20:1-18)
Naked & vulnerable on Cross (Historical info)
The One true lover executed (John 19:28-30) The Kingdom of Heaven dawns (Matthew 5-7)
Identity by relationship. Community, Service, Love Inherent Law, Forgiveness and Grace (Jn 1:17)
Affirm & Encourage others. Caused grace and truth to flower (John 1:17)
Delivered the race from sin (Rm 5:6-11) Given death but rose to life (Jn 11:25-26) Inspired life with joy & immortality (1Cor 15:20-23)
Glorified God’s name/character/image (John 17:1)
Regained dominion at Cross (John 12:31)
How does this corporate identity work?
If Adam sins, why does the whole creation suffer the consequences? The punishment does not fit the crime.
One can counter and say that in the same way when the Second Adam lives and dies and resurrects in righteousness we all become saints. This is a wonderful exchange of the curse of sin for the blessing of righteousness, but it does not explain the mechanism.
The Mechanism or Process
When Adam and Eve sinned, they gave the voted in the serpent as their leader. It was a free choice in their understanding. They were not threatened with any punishment if they refused to choose the serpents suggestion. There were terrible consequences for the whole creation. These results were inherent in the nature of the reality of Creation in the same way that gravity will kill you if you jump out a window on the tenth floor. It is not a punishment but a consequence of an inherent reality. These inherent realities make life possible on our planet. If there was no gravity we would not remain on the planet or be able to move on the planet.
This leads us to think about the nature of “free choice.” If there is punishment involved in the choice we have it is not a free choice but a forced choice. A politician who messages; ‘Vote for me and I will reduce taxes. Vote for the opposition and I will jail you” is not offering a free choice at the ballot box. This is a forced choice.
This is the way salvation is portrayed. Vote for God, euphemism for worship God and you will live happily ever afterwards in heaven. Vote against God and you end up in hell. This makes God a cosmic tyrant if hell is a punishment which originates with God.
Now there is a terrible destiny for those who refuse the life which God gives to us but it is a consequence not a punishment. It is the inevitable consequence of living a life independent of the source of life. A refrigerator disconnected from the power grid “dies.” This is not a punishment but a consequence of the disconnect because of the nature of a refrigerator.
When Jesus Christ is incarnated and withstands all the serpent’s temptations to distrust God, he becomes the Second Adam. He is morally without fault, and he lives firmly connected to the life of God. He becomes the second Adam.
Al Hsu. [ posted 4/4/2012 9:28AM ] Today's young adults have come of age in a world of terrorism, a clash of civilizations, religiously motivated violence, and new extremisms. Now the question is whether religion of any kind is of any good. Does it just incite crusades and inquisitions, holy war and jihad? It's not just if Christianity is true, works, or is real. Is it good? Is Christianity good for the world? Is the God of Christianity a good God? (My emphasis)
The choice we now have is we can vote for Jesus in opposition to the god of this world. This choice is free because there is no punishment involved. If you refuse allegiance to Jesus Christ, he does not punish you in any way. The consequence is what you already have, a life without hope, and without joy. The consequence of voting for Jesus Christ is an immense benefit now and in the future. The benefit is not immediately realized physically as this would gather votes for the wrong reason. The consequence of physical death was not seen immediately when Adam and Eve voted for the serpent. These consequences take time to play out, but they are the reality of our world.
When Jesus says, The truth will set you free, he means that if you understand God’s character and the nature of reality you have freedom to live and chose for the first time.
IT IS TIME!
Ian Hartley, June 2022