Adam was the original human being. On the sixth day of creation, God decided to make man in His own image and likeness. So He created Adam and placed him in the Garden of Eden to care for it. After Adam named the animals and realized his need for companionship, God created Eve and brought her to him. God blessed them and authorized them to rule over all creation.
Adam and Eve enjoyed perfect fellowship with God until they disobeyed Him and ate the forbidden fruit. He banished them from the Garden and subjected them to strife, suffering, and death. Adam had sons and daughters with Eve and lived 930 years. You can read his full story in Genesis 1:26 – 5:5.
The First Adam
Genesis 1 – 5 makes three simple points about Adam that are relevant for all people:
- God created Adam. Genesis 2:7 says, “God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” Mankind is the result of a deliberate act of creation, not an accidental process of evolution.
- God blessed Adam. Genesis 1:28 says, “God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.'” God told Adam and Eve to multiply and prosper. He wants mankind to have dominion over the earth and enjoy its goodness.
- Adam disobeyed God. Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:16-17, 3:1-7), and God punished them for their disobedience (3:16-19). Mankind has been disobeying God and suffering His wrath against sin ever since.
The Second Adam
Adam is an important figure in the New Testament. Paul compares him to Jesus to teach important theological concepts:
- Original sin. Paul explains the far-reaching consequences of Adam’s disobedience in Romans 5:12-21. When Adam sinned and became subject to death, all men sinned and became subject to death. But Jesus’ obedience has far-reaching consequences as well. All who receive Him are justified and given eternal life. “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” (5:19).
- Resurrection of the dead. Paul defends the resurrection of the dead in 1 Corinthians 15. He argues that resurrection comes through a man just as death came through a man. “For as in Adam all die, in Christ all will be made alive” (15:22). He goes on to argue that just as Adam (the natural man) came first and then Jesus (the spiritual man), so our natural bodies will be raised as spiritual bodies. “And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven” (15:49).
- Image of God. Adam was created in the image of God. When he was 130 years old, “he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image” (Genesis 5:3). While it is popular to say all men are created in God’s image, the Bible says we are created in the image of our father Adam. It is only by finding our identity in Jesus that the image of God is formed in us. Paul says that the new self “is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator” (Colossians 3:10). When Jesus saves you, He creates you anew in His own image and likeness.
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