Part 1 – Where Did We Come From?
CHAPTER 2 – THE PRINCIPLE OF HEADSHIP: IN CHRIST OR IN ADAM
The contrast between Adam and Jesus Christ can be most clearly seen in the fact that in Adam all die, but in Christ shall all be made alive (I Cor. 15:22). Because of this, every individual born into Adam’s race will decide in his or her lifetime to either receive life from Christ by receiving Him, or to continue to be chained by sin and death in Adam’s line.
In the diagram to the right, the first triangle represents all of Adam’s descendents as being under the principle of sin and death. The second triangle shows that the total weight of man’s sin was born by Christ in His death. The third triangle shows the righteousness of Christ to all that have received Him through justification by faith.
Because Christ was raised from the dead, Christ’s righteousness is imputed to the ones who are in Christ. Imputed righteousness (the meaning of justification) is given through God’s grace to all who will receive it (Rom. 5:17). Upon receiving the gift of grace, God intends that His children are to reign in life (v. 17); they are to be overcomers (I Jn. 2:13,14; 4:2; 5:4,5).
LIFE IN CHRIST
HOW LIFE IN CHRIST IS RECEIVED
The question comes to mind at this point, “How does a person receive this gift of grace that is eternal life?”
The answer is given very pointedly in these following Scriptures:
…Believe on (literally, into) the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved… (Acts 16:31)
But as many as received Him (into their lives) to them gave He power to become the children of God, even to them that believe on (literally, into) His name. (John 1:12)
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God – Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Eph. 2:8,9)
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus (literally, Jesus as Lord), and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Rom. 10:9,10)
THE WAY TO SALVATION – When an individual agrees with God’s Word that …All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Rom.3:23), admitting himself or herself to be a sinner, is willing to agree that Jesus Christ is the only Saviour from sin, and invites Jesus Christ into his or her life to be Lord and Saviour (accepting Him), the Scriptures promise that God gives ETERNAL LIFE, SPIRITUAL LIFE, and HEAVENLY LIFE to such a person!
WHAT LIFE IN CHRIST MEANS
Having eternal life means that an individual shares in Christ’s life, i.e., in the unending life that was Christ’s forever into the past (eternity past) and forever into the future (eternity future). Having received the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Saviour, the individual is actually moved out of the life principle in Adam or created life (with the judgment of the principle of sin and death involved in that life principle) into the life principle in Christ, or unending life, Christ’s life.
Having spiritual life means that one’s human spirit is made alive anew (regeneration) through the new birth (John 3:3,5; I Peter 1:3,23), or by being born again, with the Holy Spirit’s entering into the individual to unite with that person’s spirit, enabling the person, thus indwelt, to have fellowship or communion with God as much and as long as the individual willingly submits to the Holy Spirit’s control (filling) of the life of that person. At the same time, the believer is an habitation of God through the Spirit (Ephesians 2:22).
Having heavenly life means that the individual is now enabled to see the earthly sojourn as temporary, transient, and see himself or herself as being an alien and stranger in the world system that prevails during the earthly life span, with his or her citizenship in heaven. He learns that through identification with Christ, he is seated with Christ in the heavenlies (in the realm of his present spiritual position, Eph. 2:6), and is afforded the opportunity to view his present experience from the heavenly viewpoint (Mt. 6:33; Col. 3:1‑3).
Next week: Chapter 3
Used with permission.
A. Ward Brandenstein
Pastor Ward earned an M.A. in Guidance and Counselling from Eastern Michigan University after taking special courses in psychology at Wayne State University, and earned a Bachelor of Theology (Th.B.) from Baptist Bible College and Seminary with Greek and Hebrew studies, and earned a diploma from Philadelphia Bible Institute (now Cairn U.), including New Testament Greek studies. His knowledge of the Bible and close walk with God are appreciated by all who know him and have sat under his teaching. Pastor Brandenstein and his wife Rose Ann reside in California, teaching college level singles and married couples, young professionals, and retired pastors and missionaries.