“For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous” (Romans 5:19). Men were made sinners because Adam willfully chose to have his own knowledge of good and evil rather than depending upon God. By choosing his independence, and consuming the forbidden fruit, Adam acquired a nature that looks to self-interests rather than to God’s interests and depends upon self rather than God. Read Genesis 3:1-11. Every individual is born with the same godless nature because the heredity of all mankind stems from Adam. Sin is not wrong doing: it is wrong being- a creature who is willfully independent of God. Sin in man, his willful independence of God, his wrong being, produces the wrong doing that manifests in his day-to-day life. Other religions, including false Christianity, deal with man’s outward sins, but the true gospel deals with sin itself- the godless nature.
“For He hath made Him to be sin for us, Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus made the atonement for our sin by literally taking our godless nature upon Himself because all that had come to life in man through the fall had to be put to death in a man before mankind could be freed from it — “He hath made Him to be sin for us”. Atonement means: to rectify, set at one again. So you can see that the soul of man is rectified and brought to again be one with God when sin is put to death in it. Sin, the godless nature, came to man from a tree in the Garden of Eden, and it was taken from man when it was put back on a tree in the crucifixion of Jesus. Now, the whole human race can be “made the righteousness of God in Him”. With the putting away of the godless nature, there can now be an impartation of the divine nature-“According as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:3-4). Unsaved man, the man whose heredity stems from Adam, produces unrighteousness and is bound to unrighteousness because of his godless nature. Saved man, the man whose heredity now stems from Jesus, produces righteousness and is bound to righteousness because Jesus has made him to be a partaker of the divine nature. Whereas before salvation man’s nature is independent of God, looking to self-interest and depending upon self-ability, after salvation man’s new nature is wholly looking to God’s interests and solely dependent upon His provision. Man can now be made the righteousness of God in Jesus because Jesus has provided for His own heredity of holiness to be put into us.
“And so it is written, the first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening Spirit” (1 Corinthians 15:45).Jesus, the last Adam, regenerates man from a state of death to a state of life by imparting His Spirit, or in other words, His hereditary disposition, to us. “God is love” (1 John 4:8). The hereditary disposition of Jesus is that of God’s selfless love. Through His cross, Jesus destroys the selfish, independent disposition, and through His resurrection He imparts God’s loving, selfless disposition. Most are familiar with the terminology of “abiding in Jesus”. In the 15th chapter of John, Jesus says, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: he that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing” (vs. 4-5). Each and every one of us are abiding in one of two places- either in Jesus or in Adam. The outward manifestations, or fruit, that is produced in a man’s life is the result of his inward nature. Those who are in Adam walk after the godless nature and produce the works of the flesh. Those who are in Jesus walk after the divine nature and produce the fruit of the Spirit. Just as a tree branch produces fruit according to its root, man produces fruit according to his nature (read Matthew 7:15-20). Speaking of abiding in Jesus, 1 John 2:6 says, “He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked”. Those of us who say we abide in Jesus ought to be walking as He walked because if we are abiding in Him, our steps will be directed by the same nature that directed Him. The following verses from Romans 8 will help you to see that individuals are either in Adam or in Jesus. “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be Spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (vs. 5-14). You can see that it’s impossible for anybody in Adam (the flesh) to do the will of God. You also see that a person is severed from Adam and now in Jesus when the Spirit of Christ dwells in him. The Spirit of Christ then makes man’s body alive and capable of producing righteousness. Those who continue to live after the godless nature will die, but those who, by the Holy Spirit, put to death the works of the godless nature will live. A person only becomes a child of God when he is delivered from the Adam nature and regenerated with the divine nature to become a new creature who is led by the Sprit of God.
“But as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation (conduct); because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:15-16) God, the Father, demands holiness. In fact Hebrews 12:14 says, “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:” When unregenerated man is enlightened to this truth, it causes great despair because he realizes that he is not holy and does not expect that he can be. It’s necessary for man to come to this awareness and despair so that he will realize his need for God. The Father doesn’t just require holiness, He supplies it! This is the substance of God’s grace. Jesus Christ regenerates man with His own heredity of holiness. Redemption means that Jesus has freed a man from his godless nature and replaced it with His holy nature. God’s standard of holiness is not based upon what can be produced by Adam’s nature; it is based upon what is produced by Jesus’ nature. The miracle of redemption is that God can put His holy disposition into you and me whereby we can live a totally new life.“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Just as sin entered into the human race by one man, Adam, the Holy Spirit has entered into the human race by one man, Jesus Christ. Now, “by the obedience of One shall many be made righteous”. The miracle of redemption!