Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1 Pet. 1:3 NIV)
When we are born again, we are baptized into Christ’s death and are raised to newness of life, which is God’s intended life for us, a second humanity referred to in the original Greek as “the Christ” (see Introduction). In God’s mind, there actually is no more Adam, for the last Adam was crucified: Christ lived a perfect life for us then bore the wrath of God and died on our behalf – He did this to become for us a life-giving spirit, …the second man, …the heavenly man (1 Cor. 15:45-49). He is the Head of the new humanity, a Christ humanity. Judged and buried in our stead as the last Adam, then raised to newness of life as the second man, He is the Lord from heaven, firstfruits of the resurrection,* making us holy (see Heb. 2:9-11).
Hallelujah! Oh, praise Him with me now…
For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority (Col. 2:9-10, emphasis added). There is much revelation to receive from the Holy Spirit in this supreme truth! This fullness of the Deity has already been given us 2,000 years ago (the objective spiritual truth), and since then is being progressively wrought into the Church (becoming the subjective reality) as we deny self, pick up our cross, and follow Jesus: we are being filled to the fullness of Christ in this dispensation, the Church Age (see Eph. 4:12-13 and end of Part 1).
In order to apprehend these spiritual truths, the Holy Spirit must reveal to us what Jesus accomplished on our behalf as man. The remainder of this article will focus on that – what Jesus Christ accomplished for the Adamic race as the Son of Man. May God grant us the Spirit of wisdom and revelation as we press into Him, digging ever deeper into the glorious revelation of “the mystery” given to His first century apostles, primarily Paul…
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When he was born into this world via Mary, Jesus grew in the favor of God and men (Luke 2:52, also v. 40). He advanced and reached the point of perfection as Son of Man for man (not as Deity – God is immutable).
That is, by consistently denying the Adamic nature inherited from his human mother, Jesus attained the fullness of God via the Holy Spirit’s anointing (Christ means “anointed one”). Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him (Heb. 5:8-9). The Greek says he learned “the obedience” from what he suffered: that’s exhibited especially in the words My Father, if it is possible, let this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as You will (Matt. 26:39). His soul having been perfectly restored to the point of submission to his spirit (as per God’s original design for mankind), Jesus of Nazareth could indeed proclaim, Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father… I am in the Father and… the Father is in me. (John 14:9-10).
Jesus as the last Adam had to be perfected and become the measure of the stature of the fullness of God in order that He could bear our sins and die as the Son of Man FOR man. One died for all (2 Cor 5:14); the Greek means in the place of all – it’s judicial. He then rose as the second man, the heavenly man, the new race to which Peter refers: But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. (1 Pet. 2:9 RSV).
Our being made perfect in Christ entails that we also deny that old Adam, the soul-dominant nature, every time he rears his selfish head; our suffering death to our old Adam makes way for God to fill us with resurrection life, the life of the Spirit. Praise God, we Christ-followers are empowered with the same anointing Jesus had, for He has poured out His Spirit into us! The glorious objective truth of our unity with the heavenly man becomes our subjective experience as we KNOW it, BELIEVE it, and SPEAK it forth / WALK it out in accordance with the Holy Spirit (see Ro. 8:13).
Praise God for graciously providing the Way for us: through our faith in Christ having already accomplished it subjectively on our behalf, the indwelling Holy Spirit empowers us to make it our objective experience! [T]hrough the obedience of the one man, the many will be made righteous (Ro. 5:19).
This is so exceedingly profound, this mystery of “the Christ”! I pray that we be encouraged in our sufferings, knowing that they are divinely tailored to bring us to maturity and completion, not lacking anything, but having the proven perfect character of Christ. The man who perseveres receives the crown of life (see Ro. 5:3-5; James 1:2-4, 12)!
See the long piece Jesus’ Life Principle of Self-Denial and Utter Dependence on God is Our Romans Pathway to Glory for more on this important matter of Jesus’ humanity