For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 1 Corinthians 15:22
Mere behavioral change is not sufficient to remedy the human condition. Instead, we need a new heart and nature, what the Bible calls regeneration or new birth, followed by ongoing sanctification into Christlikeness if there is to be any true victory over sin in our lives. Subsequently, there are only two categories of humanity—those who are under Adam by birth in sin and damnation and those who are under Jesus by new birth in grace and salvation.
In the 1 Corinthians 15, Paul called Jesus the “last Adam” because he is the remedy for idolatry and the redeemer of humanity, whereas the first Adam was the source of idolatry and the downfall of humanity. The first Adam turned from the Father in a garden; the last Adam turned to the Father in a garden. The first Adam was naked and unashamed; the last Adam was naked and bore our shame. The first Adam’s sin brought us thorns; the last Adam wore a crown of thorns. The first Adam substituted himself for God; the last Adam was God substituting himself for sinners. The first Adam sinned at a tree; the last Adam bore our sin on a tree. The first Adam died as a sinner; the last Adam died for sinners.
According to the Bible, we die in Adam but are born again in Christ: “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive”. In Adam there is condemnation, but in Christ there is salvation. In Adam we receive a sin nature, but in Christ we receive a new nature. In Adam we’re cursed, but in Christ we’re blessed. In Adam there is wrath and death, but in Christ there is love and life.
There are two teams in life; each of us takes the field with one of them, and the decisions made by the team captains affect the whole team, for better or worse. Not only does the captain win or lose; his whole team wins or loses along with him. One team has Adam as its captain. The other has Jesus as its captain. While there are many ways to categorize people in our society, the Bible has these two categories—those whose identity is in Adam and share in his defeat, and those whose identity is in Christ and share in his victory.
Are you in Adam, or are you in Christ?