Notes from Norman

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by Norman P. Grubb

Q. “As in Adam all died even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Cor. 15:22). This Scripture puzzles me. We did not choose to die in Adam—so why do we have to choose to be made alive in Christ? It seems to me that the sinless Son of God should have more power than the created Adam.

Ruth, Victorville, CA

A. LIFE IS ALWAYS a choice between alternatives. The Scriptures says that God Himself “cannot lie” (Titus 1:2), meaning that God Himself has eternally chosen not to be a lying—self-loving—person. So being made in His image, we must be choosers. Jesus had to confirm His humanity (deity in the flesh) by forty days of fierce confrontation between choices in the mount of Temptation.

So with the first Adam in the Garden choosing between the two trees. Yes, we were caught up in Adam’s choice because we could only be conscious beings by having become involved in a choice. And Paul plainly states that we went along with that choice—“for that all have sinned” (Rom. 5:12).

But yes, yes, yes, our last Adam totally conquered and replaced our heritage from the first Adam just as the Scripture describes the great Adamic replacement in glowing word in Romans 5. Therefore the way of changing our choice is totally available within us, and only we are the determined refusers if we don’t (see Jesus’ word in John 3:19-21)!

We only become mature sons of God because we have first tasted the horrible negative in our first Adam and through God’s mercy respond to the voice of His Spirit pressing us into our faith choices. But because He must have responsible sons to whom He can entrust the inheritance of managing His universe, He will only manifest His total victorious power in those who choose to respond. It is His pressure on us and revelation to us of His love in Christ which “causes” us to make that choice, so it can barely be called a choice! But all fits perfectly into the total harmony of truth as in the verse you quote