The following text is taken from the twentieth and final lesson of Bible First. As promised in a previous issue of our newsletter, we’ll be publishing The Seven Pillars of Genesis as a series of blog posts over the next few weeks.
The Seven Pillars of Genesis
Genesis introduces many significant characters, but seven individuals in particular clearly illustrate the Gospel message in story form. These men–Adam, Abel, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph–are Genesis’ Seven Pillars. Their stories constitute the bulk of the Genesis narrative, each one presenting a different aspect of the Gospel and revealing God’s plan for the salvation of the world.
The Bible is a book of kingdoms, and Adam was earth’s first king. Like most monarchs, Adam’s authority was given him by right of birth. Immediately after his creation, God charged Adam to take dominion over the entire planet.
But Adam was more than our first king. He was also our father. Though he did not fully understand it at the time, his position as head of the human race meant that every decision he made would directly affect his descendants. Sadly, when Adam chose to disobey God, he forfeited his dominion to Satan who became the god of this world. As a result, mankind was plunged into darkness and corporately separated from God’s life-giving presence.
Like Adam, Christ also came as King on the earth. He too received His authority by right of birth, and stood at the head of a new family. As such, Christ commanded the same power of influence over His descendants that Adam did. But unlike Adam, Christ understood His position fully, and He chose to obey God in righteousness, succeeding where Adam had failed. His complete triumph over sin and death brought about the rebirth of multitudes into a new family whose children enjoy freedom from the bondage of the old kingdom. The Scriptures aptly refer to Christ as the Second Adam, “And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. …The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.” (1 Corinthians 15:45, 47)
Adam’s Dominion in Genesis
“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” (Genesis 1:26–28)
Adam and Christ Contrasted in the New Testament
“For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:21-22)
“For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore as by the offence of one [Adam] judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one [Christ] the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” (Romans 5:17–19)