October 3 I Thursday
“For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.” —Romans 5:19
God created Adam in His image––His moral image––so as we look at Adam, we see what God is like. Adam was a pre-Fall revelation of God but sin has marred that image. But not only so, we inherited the first man’s sin as Paul tells us, “…just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned...” (Romans 5:12).
Now, if we want to know what a pre-fallen human being is supposed to be like, we look at Jesus since He was never marred by sin. When Jesus said, “I am the Truth” (John 14:6), the truth He refers to is the truth about God as well as human beings. This is important to us because, if the goal of the gospel is Christ-likeness, that is not something passive or sentimental. Being Christ-like is living as Jesus lived, in dependence on and obedience to His Father. But we will never be Christ-like in this life because we will always have that tainting of the old nature. Yet, as we live in dependence on and obedience to God, something of Christ becomes seen in us because that is what it meant for Jesus Christ to live as a man in perfection.
Paul notes a mystery to all this as he explains, “Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great: He appeared in the flesh, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory” (1 Timothy 3:16). The mystery of godliness is the incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ and the way He lived as a man on earth. In fact, the mystery of godliness is also the mystery of the Christian life. Jesus modelled true humanity so we can live in dependence on and obedience to the Father as He did, while at the same time battling the old nature. In as much as we may understand it, Jesus was never, ever less than God but He lived for those 33 years as though He was never more than a man. Not a man like us, but a man like pre-fall Adam––in perfection.
Only two men in history ever died for sin: Adam for his own sin and Jesus Christ as our sin substitute. Paul writes, “‘The first man Adam became a living being’; the last Adam, a life-giving Spirit” (1 Corinthians 15:45). We are free from the bondage of sin to live in Christ-likeness because of Jesus’s finished work on the cross. May our life reflect this truth about Jesus.
Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, thank You for modelling true humanity through Your life here on earth. By Your Spirit, help me live in dependence on and obedience to the Father.