“The first man Adam became a living being. The last Adam became a life-giving spirit”1 Corinthians 15:45
The first Adam is the ancestor of us all and Paul had stated clearly that “in Adam all die” (1 Corinthians 15:22). This is indeed bad news and is why Paul could write that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). He also wrote that sin entered the world through one man and through him all his descendants inherited the sin nature (Romans 5:12).
The Bible is clear that sin entered by Adam, yet it was Eve who first took and ate of the forbidden fruit. I used to wonder why Adam was held responsible – until I read Numbers chapter thirty. Society has a habit of swinging like a pendulum on several fronts, perhaps many, and this is one of them. Not that long ago, in western society, women were not regarded well in comparison to men but now the pendulum is swinging the other way.
Adam was given the privilege and responsibility of authority and his wife was given to serve the Lord alongside him in the exercise of that authority. When Eve ate the forbidden fruit and offered it to Adam, what should he have done? At first I thought that Adam was forced to choose between his relationship with God and his relationship with Eve. In Numbers 30:8, however, we read that Adam had the authority to overrule Eve’s action. Had he done so, sin would not have entered the world at that time. Eve had been deceived by Satan (1 Timothy 2:14), but because he had authority to overrule her action, Adam bore responsibility.
Our society is the poorer when we do not follow our Creator’s instructions for relationships within family and society. It seems that just when the pendulum is swinging back nearer to the correct place it just keeps on going. God’s Word will keep us just right if followed. In Christ that is possible.
The good news is that by the grace and miracle-working power of God in Jesus Christ our ancestry can be changed. The “last Adam” is Jesus Christ, who gives eternal life to all who will receive it. “The free gift is not like the offense. For if by one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many” (Romans 5:15).