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The Two Adams: Contrasted

Sin is the legacy that our first parents have left the human race. Thomas Boston says: “God made Adam captain of the ship, in which were all our goods, and he ran us on to the rocks and made shipwreck of us.” Romans 5 reminds us that there are two great representative heads—the first and last Adam. We can gather what we lost in the first, by pondering the following contrasts:

In Adam In Christ
Sin (Rom. v. 12) … … Righteousness (II. Cor. v. 21).
Death (Rom. v. 17) … … Life (I. John v. 11).
Banishment (Eph. ii. 13) … Nearness (Eph. ii. 13).
Condemnation (Rom. v. 18) … Justification (Rom. v. 1).
Curse (Gal. iii. 10) … … Blessing (Eph. i. 3).
Judgment (John iii. 36) … Deliverance (II. Cor. i. 10).
Shame (Ezekiel xvi. 5) … Glory (John xvii. 24).
Poverty (Isaiah lv. 1) … Riches (II. Cor. viii. 9).
Sickness (Isaiah i. 5, 6) … Health (Psalm xxiii. 3).
Defeat (II. Tim. ii. 26) … Victory (I. John v. 4).
Sorrow (Gen. iii. 17) … … Joy (Rom. v. 11).
Weakness (Rom. v. 6) … Power (Phil. iv. 13).
Enmity (Rom. viii. 7) … Oneness (Gal. iii. 28).
Bondage (Heb. ii. 15) … Liberty (Gal. v. 1).


The above may be illustrated by taking two books and a card—one book representing Adam, and the other representing Christ. Put the card in the book Adam, and then put it in the book Christ.

“Scripture bears witness, with the vast experience of mankind, to the depravity of men, and to their distortion universally (1 Kings 8:46; Psalm 51:5; 143:2; Jeremiah 17:9; Matthew 7:11; Romans 3:19, 20; Ephesians 2:1-3).” The Chinese moralists teach that “man is born good.” Yet an ancient Chinese proverb speaks of “two good men-one dead, the other unborn;” which is another way of saying, “there are none good.”

The Fall was the key that unlocked the flood-gates of evil, and allowed the waters of iniquity to cut us off from God; the fall was the fatal touch that imparted to our nature the disease of sin; the fall was the hand that dropped into our cup the poison of iniquity; the fall was the robber that robbed us of the blessings of Paradise; the fall was the rust that corrupted the nature of man; the fall was the blight that marred God’s fair creation; and the fall was the depositor of all the germs of evil in our nature. Watson says, “Let us lay to heart original sin, and be deeply humbled by it. It cleaves to us as a disease, it is an active principle in us, stirring us up to evil. Some think, as long as they are civil, they are well enough; ay, but the nature is poisoned. A river may have fair streams, but vermin in the bottom.”

This has been adapted from the commentaries of F.E. Marsh, coming soon to the Blue Letter Bible. If you would like to help pray or contribute to this portion of the ministry, please contact us here.