The Word of God in the New Testament makes continual mention of two people, Adam and Christ. This is especially true from the writings of the Apostle Paul in the epistles, or letters, he wrote to the churches. These two key figures represent how God views every person on earth from His perspective, spiritually, or how He sees their spiritual position before Him. Every human being is located either “In Adam” or “In Christ”. They are also two representative heads of two Creations: natural creation; spiritual creation.
Romans 5:12-21 gives a lengthy and detailed comparison showing us how the one person’s actions (Adam or Christ) affected all those persons either “In Adam” or “In Christ.” We inherit or enter into their history (what they did) by our two births: our natural birth and our spiritual birth (our born again experience). Romans 5:12 tells us that when Adam sinned, sin, spiritual death, and physical death entered into the world and it passed down upon all men. No one escapes this effect who is born here or who has a natural birth. “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”
How would God free us from the effects of Adam’s sin and our personal sins? The first step of this deliverance was for Christ to become a man to be united (one) with mankind (John 1:14; Hebrews 2:14, 15). Christ joined the human race as the last Adam the final representative head of man (1 Corinthians 15:45). He did this so He could not just undo the damage done to man through the fall of the first Adam but also to start a whole new Creation. God first would deliver us from the fallen Adamic race through Christ’s Cross (Colossians 1:13).
In His death on the Cross He must deal with man’s sinful condition:
MAN’S SINS – man’s record of unrighteous acts (personal sins)
“Who His own self bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed1 Peter 2:24 (see also Hebrews 10:12).”
MAN THE SINNER – the sin nature (power of sin in man/flesh)
“For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh” Romans 8:3.
On the Cross, Christ not only took upon Himself the SINS of the world, but He also became SIN itself in the eyes of God, so that God could fully judge sinful man (judge the sins and sin). At the Cross, in Christ, God judged not only what we have done (SINS), but also who we were (SINNERS – one with sin in them). Redemption’s price was fully paid for man’s sins and man the sinner. Since God accepted Him as our Perfect Substitute on the Cross, what He did is credited to be as though we were there in Him (what is called by some as Co-Crucifixion). This is what is described in Romans 6:6 as “our old man” was crucified with Him and in Galatians 2:20 as “I am (have been) crucified with Christ….”
All that we were in Adam was crucified with Christ. We are no longer obligated to identify with the old fallen race, sins, and sin. “Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new 2 Corinthians 5:17.” This is our new standing and position “In Christ” before God. It is our position by the grace of God or the work God did through Christ for us. “IN CHRIST” is the grace of God. There are many definitions of the grace of God but included in that is “In Christ,” or who we are by the grace of God. The Apostle Paul had the revelation of this as his new identity in 1 Corinthians 15:10 where he said, “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” We are somebody by the grace of God and that grace will empower us to do what we are called by God to do. Find out who you are in Christ and tap into the exceeding riches of His grace. Be strong in the grace that is in Christ (2 Timothy 2:1).