1 Corinthians 15:45
So it is written: "The first man Adam became a living being;" the last Adam a life-giving spirit.
The Last AdamJ.R. Thomson 1 Corinthians 15:45
The Exposition and Defence of the ResurrectionJ.R. Thomson 1 Corinthians 15:1-58
The Two AdamsR. Tuck 1 Corinthians 15:21-23, 45
Objections to the Resurrection; Replies Thereto; Conclusions InvolvedC. Lipscomb 1 Corinthians 15:35-50
A Spiritual BodyCanon Evans.1 Corinthians 15:42-45
It is Sown in Dishonour; it is Raised in GloryF. W. Aveling, M.A.1 Corinthians 15:42-45
It is Sown in Weakness; it is Raised in PowerC. H. Spurgeon.1 Corinthians 15:42-45
Life in Heaven a Spiritual Life in a Glorified BodyJ. Lyth, D.D.1 Corinthians 15:42-45
Our Spiritual BodiesChristian Age1 Corinthians 15:42-45
The Natural Body and the Spiritual BodyS. Cox, D.D.1 Corinthians 15:42-45
The Old House and the New1 Corinthians 15:42-45
The Relation Between Resurrection and Immortality1 Corinthians 15:42-45
The ResurrectionProf. Van Oosterzee.1 Corinthians 15:42-45
The Resurrection BodyJ. Lyth, D.D.1 Corinthians 15:42-45
The Resurrection HarvestT. Guthrie.1 Corinthians 15:42-45
The Resurrection of the DeadJ. Lyth, D.D.1 Corinthians 15:42-45
The Resurrection of the SaintJ. Lyth, D.D.1 Corinthians 15:42-45
The Resurrection BodyE. Hurndall 1 Corinthians 15:42-53
Adam and ChristJ. Lyth, D.D.1 Corinthians 15:45-50
Christ the Archetype of AdamW. Anot, D.D.1 Corinthians 15:45-50
Natural and Spiritual LifeJ, Lyth, D.D.1 Corinthians 15:45-50
The First and the Last Adam S. Cox, D.D.1 Corinthians 15:45-50
The Last AdamA. Gray.1 Corinthians 15:45-50
The Second Adam A Quickening SpiritW. Dodsworth, M.A.1 Corinthians 15:45-50
The Two AdamsD. Thomas, D.D.1 Corinthians 15:45-50
The Wonderful ContrastHomiletic Monthly1 Corinthians 15:45-50
The apostle has supported the Christian belief in the resurrection by adducing natural analogies, and these will always possess a certain measure of force for intelligent and reflective minds. But it is observable that he returns to what is the strongest ground of belief in the future life and all which it involves, viz. the personal relation of the Christian to his Divine and mighty Lord. The foundation of our hope is in the assurance of our Saviour, "Because I live, ye shall live also."

I. THE DESIGNATION OF CHRIST: THE LAST ADAM. This, though a rabbinical expression applied to the Messiah, has a truly Christian signification.

1. It implies our Lord's true humanity; he was a descendant of our first parents, and he was the Son of man.

2. It implies his federal headship, his representative character, and his peculiar authority. There is a new humanity created afresh for the glory of God; and of this the Lord Christ is the one rightful Ruler and Head.


1. This is in contrast with the description of the first Adam, "a living soul," so called in the book of Genesis. From our progenitor we have inherited the body and the animal and rational nature for which that body is a suitable vehicle.

2. This is indicative of the perogative of Christ to impart a new and higher spiritual life to humanity. We receive from him by the bestowal of his Spirit a nobler being, a being which allies us to God, and which fits us for the occupations and the joys of heaven. "In him was life." He did not however possess life only to retain it as his own, but in order to share it with his people. "I," said he, "am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."

3. This is explanatory of the revelation of resurrection and immortality. The nature we inherit from Adam fits us for earth; the nature which we receive from Christ fits us for heaven. Adam is "the earthy," and they who dwell on earth share his earthy being and life; Christ is "the heavenly" and they who are made in his likeness and who share his character and spirit are qualified for celestial and eternal joys. - T.

The first man Adam was made a living soul
or the mystery of life contemplated: —


1. Adam was endued with natural life, Christ with a life-giving Spirit.

2. The natural preceded the spiritual.

3. The natural is of the earth, the spiritual is the Lord from heaven.


1. From Adam we derive the earthy or natural life, from Christ the heavenly.

2. The image of the earthy precedes the heavenly.

3. As the earthy body (flesh and blood) cannot inherit heaven, it must be exchanged for an incorruptible body.

(J. Lyth, D.D.)


1. The existence of each rose not in the ordinary course of nature. Neither came by the ordinary laws of human generation.(1) The first was formed out of the dust of the earth, and derived his spirit from the breath of God.(2) the second was conceived of the Holy Ghost. The pedigree of each is unparalleled in the history of the race.

2. Each commenced free from sin.(1) The first was created in the image of God; all his faculties were well balanced and free from all bias to wrong.(2) The latter was harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners.

3. Each had a nature capable of temptation. Temptability is an attribute of all created intelligences. Where there is no power to go wrong, there is no virtue in keeping right.(1) The first Adam was tempted, and was conquered.(2) The second was tempted, and triumphed.

4. The character of each exerts a momentous influence upon the whole race.(1) The character of the first generated a moral atmosphere of sensuality, ambition, selfishness, unbelief.(2) The character of the second generated an atmosphere that is morally salubrious, sunny, and invigorating. He who lives in the first atmosphere is still in Adam, and is earthy. He who lives in the second is Christly and spiritual.


1. The one had a sublimer connection with God than the other. Adam was the offspring, representative, and steward of God. Christ was God-man. God was in Him in a special sense, unfolding truths, working miracles, and reconciling the world unto Himself. Be was God "manifested in the flesh." The one yielded to the devil, the other conquered him.

2. the One possessed a higher type of moral excellence than the other. The character of the first was innocence, not holiness. Holiness implies intelligence, convictions, efforts, habits. This had not Adam. Hence he gave way to the first and simplest temptation. This holiness Christ had in the sublimest degree; and He triumphed over principalities and powers of evil, and made a show of them openly.

3. The influence of the one upon the race has been infinitely pernicious, that of the other infinitely beneficent. The first planted that upas whose pestiferous branches have spread over all men, and whose poisonous food all have tasted and been injured. The other planted the tree of life, bearing fruit for the healing of the nations.

4. The moral influence of the one is destined to decrease, the other to increase. "Where sin abounded, grace will much more abound." "The kingdoms of our God shall become the kingdoms of His Christ, and He shall reign for ever."

(D. Thomas, D.D.)

1. St. Paul bases his assertion that "if there is a psychical body, there is also a spiritual," first, on the analogies of Nature; second, on the nature of Man as revealed in Holy Writ (see ver. 44); third, on the historical facts that Adam had the one and Christ the other.

2. Note, however, some interesting preliminaries. The opening clause of the text is almost an exact quotation from Genesis 2:7; that the second refers to Christ is proved by these two facts: that with the rabbis, at whose feet Paul sat, "the last Adam" was a common name for "the Messiah"; and that St. Paul never uses the designations the second Man," or "the last Adam," of any one but Christ. Again the rabbis bid us note that Moses says, not "man was made, but became a living soul." They hold that when God breathed the breath of life into Adam, He conferred on him the higher spiritual nature of man; but that, when Adam sinned, he fell, and became a man in whom the soul ruled rather than the spirit. And the rabbis have the Scriptures on their side. What was "the fall" but a fall from the higher life of the spirit into the lower life of the soul, into a life of mere intelligence and passion as distinguished from a life of righteousness, faith, love, joy, peace? Why was he debarred from "the tree of life" but because that it was no longer meet that his body should put on incorruption and immortality?


1. The psychical or soulish man is a man in whom the soul is supreme. Conscience, righteousness, faith, God, etc., do not stand first with him; but man, time, earth, the gratifications of sense and intellect. Was not Adam a man of this type? When the spiritual crisis came his faith failed him. God was not first with him, nor God's will.

2. A soulish man he came to have a soulish body. Indications of this are seen in —

(1)Adam's newborn shame of his nakedness.

(2)The passion which made Cain a murderer.

(3)The infirmities, the special forms of death and corruption, to which Adam and his children became liable.Nevertheless, as our own experience proves, the body, even when thus changed and depraved, was nevertheless perfect in its adaptation to the faculties, functions, cravings, needs of the soul.


1. He was the true spiritual Man; for in Him all faculties and passions of the soul were in subjection to the spirit. To Him, living and walking in the spirit, all that is of earth and time and soul was as nothing when compared with the eternal realities. And therefore He could refuse all the kingdoms of this world, and could hasten to help any man, however lowly, however earthly, and seek to quicken in him, by help to the body, the life of the spirit. Of a charity so intense that He loved every man, of a faith so clear and strong that He looked through all the shows of time to the eternal substance, of a hope so lively that He despaired of no man, of a righteousness so pure that even the practised eyes of incarnate evil could find nothing in Him, of a peace so perfect that even His unparalleled labour and conflict could not impair it; in heaven even while He was on earth; making His Father's will His daily food, He stands before us the one true spiritual Man.

2. So also the last Adam teaches us what the spiritual body is.(1) He had a body like to ours, yet not altogether the same as ours. Conceived of a Virgin by the Holy Ghost, Christ took our flesh as Adam took it, from the hands of God, immaculate; receiving a physical body which might change and rise into "a spiritual body" without passing, as our bodies must, through the purifications of corruption. We die perforce. But He "laid down" His life. He saw no corruption. It was not possible that He should be holden of death.(a) And therefore we see signs of the spiritual body even in the body of His humiliation. Virtue went out of Him. He lived not by bread alone. He walked on the storm-tossed waves. On Mount Tabor He stood before the eyes of His amazed and dazzled disciples a spiritual man in a spiritual body.(b) But all these signs of the spiritual m the physical region of His life were prompted by that which is of the spirit, not by that which is of the soul. It was at the touch of faith, of spiritual need and desire and trust, that virtue went out of Him. It was that He might feed the hungry, succour the distressed, or deliver the imperilled, that He exerted a supernatural control over natural laws: and He fed, succoured, delivered men that they might come to know Him, and God in Him, and thus possess themselves of eternal life. When the weak physical frame was transfigured with an immortal strength and splendour, it was because His spirit was rapt in the ecstasies of redeeming love as He talked with Moses and Elias, because He saw that the work of His redemption would be triumphantly accomplished.(2) After His death and resurrection, the signs that He inhabits a spiritual body grow more apparent. Though He can still eat and drink, etc., He glides through closed doors, passes as in an instant from place to place, vanishes from their sight as the disciples recognise Him. At His will, He is visible or invisible: He is here. He is there; the spiritual body being now as perfect a servant of the spirit in Him as the psychical body of the soul. He can eat, but He does not need to eat. His body is raised into higher conditions, endowed with loftier powers. It is heavenly, not earthly; it is spiritual rather than physical or psychical. Conclusion: Do any ask: "But what is all this to us? Adam and Christ were both exceptional men. If the first Adam was a psychical man and the last Adam a spiritual man, how does that bear on St. Paul's argument? "It is much — nay, it is everything — to us; and that precisely because both Adam and Christ were exceptional men, who stand in an exceptional relation to the human race. For (ver. 22) both the Adam and the Christ are in us, and in all men; that they contend together in us for the mastery; that it is at our own option to side either with the one or with the other; and that, according as we espouse the first Adam or the last, we become earthly or heavenly, psychical or spiritual men. If we permit the Christ to reign in us, in our mortal members, our mortality will put on immortality — as His did, and be swallowed up of life — as His was. Like His, our spiritual manhood will demand and receive a spiritual body. And therefore St. Paul may fairly exhort us that, "as we bear the image of the earthly (man), so also we should bear the image of the heavenly."

( S. Cox, D.D.)

Human relationships correspond with those which subsist between Jesus Christ and His people, and doubtless were constituted to shadow it forth. In procuring the redemption of His people, Christ assumes the standing of a husband, who, by uniting Himself to us, made Himself capable of standing in our place, and answering for our acts. In advocating our cause, that He may do this effectually, and with an experimental feeling of our wants, He assumes the place of a brother unto us. By His resurrection He assumes the relationship of a father, the giver of life and of being to His people. As the natural life, or life of the soul, is to be traced to the first man Adam, so the spiritual life in the believer is to be traced to Christ, the last Adam. But here, however, the resemblance ends. Adam was but a living soul, capable of continuing the same life in others who should succeed him; but Christ, by His resurrection from the dead, has become "a quickening spirit," capable of giving life unto the dead. Note the bearing of the text —


1. The apostle here enumerates only two men of all that have ever lived: because all men stand in such a relationship to the first Adam, and all believers stand in such a relationship to the second, as they can stand in to no other man. We do not see, in the ordinary course of human generation, that all children are born with what is peculiar in the sinful propensities of their immediate progenitors. By dint of care you may guard against the outbreaking of those sins which have been peculiar to the immediate progenitor; but you will not be able by your utmost care to root out the evil which is in the heart of man. And the inference from this is that there is a connection between us and the first man Adam which does not subsist between us and our immediate parents, or any intermediate link of the chain by which we are connected with our first progenitor. And so it is written of Adam, that he "begot a son in his own image, after his own likeness"; who thus deriving from him his life of nature, shared with Adam in all the miserable circumstances of his fallen condition. When God created Adam, He created all men; all therefore stood, and all fell in Adam: all in him became not only exposed to the consequences, but also infected with the very nature of his sin.

2. Now there is no greater difficulty in the idea that having union with the last Adam as a quickening Spirit, we are endowed with His life and His likeness, than in the former idea. This is the only foundation of our salvation. Salvation is not to be found in the reformation of conduct, in a difference of feeling, in an act of the mind, but in a vital union with Christ.

II. ON THE TRIALS OF THE CHRISTIAN'S PRESENT CONDITION. The great peculiarity in the Christian's condition is that while he is a quickened spirit in union with Christ the quickening Spirit, he yet has a body proper only to a soul, by still having, in his own nature, union with the first Adam. This throws a striking light on many passages in Scripture which are descriptive of the Christian experience (2 Corinthians 5:1-4; Romans 8:22, 23; Romans 7:24). What do these (and a variety of similar passages) express but the desires of the quickened spirit to be released from this prison-house in which it is pent up? And does not this also point out the Christian's resource under such trials? What is it but to walk by faith and not by sight? (Romans 8:10-13; Colossians 3:1-5).

III. ON THE CHRISTIAN'S FUTURE PROSPECTS. We are as yet, indeed, in the natural body — the body proper to a soul; but there is a spiritual body; and as we are now by faith quickened in spirit, so there is a renewal unto holiness to this body also, which shall be revived, and glorified, and changed into the likeness of Christ's glorious body. For as the resurrection of Christ shows us the perfection and sufficiency of Christ's work, so ours will bring to perfection in us the fruit of His work. As it was His resurrection that showed Him to have come out from under the effects of imputed sin, into the possession of the glory which He had with the Father before the world was; so ours will show us to have come out of the course of sin and of the flesh into the enjoyment of that glory. As it was His resurrection that showed Him to be the Conqueror of Satan; so ours will show us to be conquerors over all evil through Him. As it was by His resurrection that He was declared to be the Son of God with power; so it is ours by which we shall be manifested to be sons of God.

(W. Dodsworth, M.A.)

Note —

I. THE RELATION BETWEEN CHRIST AND ADAM WHICH IS IMPLIED IN THE NAME. A name used to designate a party whoso proper name it is not, expresses a symbolical or typical relation between the two (Romans 5:14). Adam prefigured Christ —

1. In the holiness of his nature. There have been only two men who were free from every taint of sin when they came into the world; and there never will be more.

2. In his dominion (Psalm 8; cf. Hebrews 2.). Adam as the lord of this world, and the creatures contained in it, symbolised that King who has on His head many crowns.

3. In his marriage (Ephesians 5:25-33).

4. In his trial.(1) By God. A course of obedience was prescribed to him, and a reward was promised if he followed it. Do this and thou shalt live, was the substance of what God said to Adam. To the Son of God also a course of obedience was prescribed: and on this account He took the form of a servant. To Him, too, it was said, Do this and live.(2) His trial by Satan.

5. In his covenant headship. The covenant with Adam was expressed in the form of a threatening (Genesis 2:16, 17), while the covenant with Christ was expressed in the form of a promise (Galatians 3:16); but the fact is unaltered that there was a covenant with each. Now Adam, in his headship, typified Christ in —(1) The representative character which he bore. The first progenitor represented his posterity. Such representation is not unusual. Parents represent their children, and princes their subjects. But the only case which for magnitude and grandeur can be likened to that of Adam, is the case of Christ.(2) The vicarious action of Adam under the covenant, which furnishes a typical illustration of that which was vicarious in the Saviour's career.(3) The imputation and legal reckoning of Adam's vicarious procedure to his posterity. Analogous, in some measure, to this, is the legal reckoning which we see applied to great trading companies for the doings of their managers. So vicarious action was binding on Christ (Romans 5:12-19; Galatians 3:13).(4) The transmission of moral qualities and tendencies from Adam to all his posterity. The first man, by his fall, not only contracted guilt, but brought upon his nature the taint of corruption; and that taint is communicated through him to all mankind. In Christ, the Son of God, there is a holy human nature. And by the power of His Holy Spirit, effecting a real and vital union between Him and His people, they become holy as He is holy.

II. THE RELATION WHICH IS IMPLIED BY PREFIXING TO THE NAME "ADAM" THE TERM "LAST." Christ is called "David" and "Solomon." But He is not called "the last David," or "the last Solomon." John the Baptist is called "Elias," but not "the last Elias." These were types and only types. But Adam was not a mere type. There was, beyond this, a public and official relation between him and Christ; so that if Adam had not gone before, or if he had been other than he was, or had actual otherwise than he did, there would have been no need of Christ. The common name is suggestive of the unity of obligation being derived from the first member of the series. The special term "last" is suggestive of the obligation being at last fulfilled.

1. Let the two Adams be contrasted.(1) In respect of what they were (vers. 45, 47).(2) In respect of what they accomplished.

(a)The first Adam entailed only sin upon his posterity; the last Adam has for His people righteousness: He is their righteousness (Romans 5:19).

(b)The first Adam condemns all; the last Adam justifies all (Romans 5:18).

(c)In the first Adam, all die, all are dead (Romans 5:15-17); in the last Adam, Christ, all are made alive (1 Corinthians 15:22, 18, 19).

2. Let our Lord's success, as the last Adam, be considered in opposition to the failure of the first Adam. Christ, as the last Adam, succeeded by fulfilling the obedience to the law in which the first Adam failed, and by overcoming the obstacle which the first Adam's failure created. The last Adam is perfect, as a competitor for the prize — eternal life to man — which the first Adam lost; as a worker at the task in which the first Adam broke down.(1) In respect of his vicarious action. In that respect he is emphatically the "last Adam." His vicarious action was perfect. There was no flaw in it (Hebrews 5:8, 9; Romans 5:19).(2) In respect of the imputation and legal reckoning of his vicarious action (Romans 5:18).(3) In respect of the actual transmission and communication of all the life and holiness which His vicarious action involves. As the last Adam, He has the Holy Spirit to give. And by the gift of the Holy Spirit He effectually secures the salvation of all who are His.

(A. Gray.)

Sometimes, after an engraven steel-plate has given forth some pictures it is destroyed, in order to enhance the value of the copies thrown off. If the copies were all destroyed, then the ideal would be lost. But when one type was thrown off and planted in paradise, the original remained when the copy was spoiled. Man still remained — the Eternal Son remained.

(W. Anot, D.D.)

Homiletic Monthly.
I. ADAM WAS A LIVING SOUL, which includes —

1. Reason; thus above the brute, and able actively to glorify God. They passively praise Him.

2. Spirituality, or knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness in mind and soul. Nothing can comprehend holiness but the image of that holiness.

3. Happiness. Holiness is happiness; God infinitely happy, because infinitely holy. He must delight in His own image, and for us to wear that image is a greater honour than, if it were possible to be invested with creative power.

4. Immortality. We are immortal, but not independently so; God alone is (1 Timothy 6:16).


1. From spiritual death (Ephesians 2:5).

2. The afflicted (Psalm 119:50).

3. The backslider (Hosea 14:4).

4. From the grave (Philippians 3:20, 21).We manifest our oneness with Adam by our disobedience, and our oneness with Christ by our obedience. The most glorious work of God is the renewal of a human soul, and its transition from grace to glory. How grateful we should be that God has promised that His work within us shall be as perfect as His work for us (Ephesians 5:14).

(Homiletic Monthly.)


1. Endued with natural life.

2. His body possessed no inherent immortality.

3. Its perpetuated life depended upon obedience and his access to the tree of life.

4. Consequently he could not in any case confer immortality upon his descendants.


1. Possessed life in Himself, hence His resurrection.

2. Communicates it to all who believe in Him.

3. Hence also He will raise them up in the last day.

(J. .Lyth, D.D.)

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