How Sweet the Name, Part 14: Last Adam

March 6, 2016 ()

Bible Text: 1 Corinthians 15:20-26, 42-49; Romans 5:12-21 |


How Sweet the Name: Last Adam | Romans 5:12-21; 1 Corinthians 15:20-26, 42-49
March 6, 2016 | Brian Hedges

We’re in a series together on the names of Jesus, images for Jesus, and the last few weeks we’ve been looking at the offices of Christ; Christ as our Prophet, our Priest, and our King. Last week in particular we talked about Jesus as our King, and you may remember, in a part of the message, I alluded to Christ as the true and the new Adam, the second Adam. This morning I want to focus in particular on that typology that we have in Scripture, where Christ is compared and contrasted with the person Adam.

Most of us, I think, if you’ve been in church for a while you’re familiar, at least, with the concept—and maybe even if you’re not a regular church attender, if you’ve ever heard the Christmas carol, the Christmas hymn “Hark! the Herald Angels Sing”. Wesley included it in the last verse of that hymn, where he says,

Adam’s likeness, Lord, efface,
Stamp Thine image in its place:
Second Adam from above,
Reinstate us in Thy love.
Let us Thee, though lost, regain,
Thee, the Life, the inner man:
O, to all Thyself impart,
Formed in each believing heart.

So you’ve at least heard the phrase and sung the phrase, “second Adam from above,” but I want us to look at two places in the New Testament where Paul draws those comparisons, and I’m not going to give so much an exposition of these two passages as much as I want to think about the underlying theological structure that Paul has in mind and some things that it teaches us this morning. Okay?

So we’re going to look in two passages: Romans chapter five, verses 12 through 21, and then First Corinthians 15, in a couple of different paragraphs. You can follow along in your Bible or just read along on the screen as I read to us God’s Word.

Romans chapter five, beginning in verse 12:

Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come. But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man's sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous. Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Rom. 5:12-21)

The second passage I want to deal with is First Corinthians 15, and we’re going to look at verses 20 through 26, and then 42 through 49.

First Corinthians 15 verse 20:

But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. (1 Cor. 15:20-26)

Verse 42:

So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. Thus it is written, "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven. (1 Cor. 15:42-49)

This is God’s Word.

So, I want us to think about three things here in relation to Christ as the last Adam. I want us to see that:

I. Christ is a true man
II. Christ is a representative man
III. Christ is the new man

I’m going to spend a little more time on this first point, just because I think it’s important every so often to emphasize this aspect of our faith, the true humanity of Christ. Okay? So let’s take these one at a time.

I. Christ is a true man

Christ was (and is) a true human being—that is, he had a genuine human nature. In the text—you see it in verse 21—“For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.” He’s also called the “man from heaven”. Christ is a man—he was and is a man.

It’s important that we understand this, that we understand what this means. Sometimes I think that when we think about the life of Jesus, we think about the obedience of Jesus, we think about the perfection of Jesus, we think, “Well, of course; he was God.” That’s true; he was God. But Jesus did not obey the Father in the strength of his divine nature. He didn’t somehow bypass his human nature. He didn’t “cheat on the test.” All right? He didn’t call on some extra superhero-type powers in order to get him through the difficult stuff. He obeyed in his true, genuine humanity.

This is crucial. As I think you’ll see in a few moments, this is crucial to our salvation. It’s crucial—it’s important, it’s essential—that we understand and accept and believe that he felt the same kinds of emotions that you and I feel, that though he never sinned he faced the same sorts of temptations that human beings all face, that his nerves transmitted the same sensations to the brain when he felt physical pain that happens with you and me. His human nature was both real and it was complete. He was—and is—a true man.

Just so I don’t forget to say it later, I want to emphasize the “is” part. He IS a true man because he was not only incarnate, his body was resurrected from the dead, and he ascended to the Father in his human nature. So Jesus is TODAY at the right hand of God, Jesus TODAY is a true man, a true human being.

Now there are lots of passages that teach this. I’m just going to rattle off a few of them quickly, just because I want you to see the broad scope of texts that underline this. Some of these, at least, many of you will know by heart.

John 1:14: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

1 Timothy 3:16: “Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh”—God was manifested in the flesh.

Philippians 2:5-8: “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who though he was in the form of God did not count equality with God a thing to grasped, but emptied himself by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on the cross.”

Jesus is God eternal, the second Person of the Trinity, and yet he took to himself human nature. Here’s just one or two more.

Romans 8:3-4: “God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”

Or over and over again, in the apostle John’s letters, where he emphasizes the fact that Christ has come in the flesh. Jesus Christ has come in the flesh. In fact, for John, who was battling false teaching in churches, probably, of Asia Minor, this confession that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is the essential test of orthodoxy.

So he says, “By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,” (1 John 4:2) and the spirits that don’t confess that are not from God.

In fact, in the second letter he says, “Many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh.” John says, “Such a one is a deceiver and the antichrist.” (2 John 7)

So this is essential—it’s just essential. Sometimes we forget, don’t we, that the church spent five hundred years battling this and defining this and crystallizing this and coming to grips with this. I want to just specify some things that this does not mean, to clarify.

In a moment, the next thing that’s going to be on the screen is going to be the Definition of Chalcedon, and I want to read it, because it was the document that kind of crystallized this orthodox confession of Christ in his human nature.

But this is what we don’t mean when we say that Jesus came in the flesh, that Jesus came has a human nature.

We don’t mean this:

(1) We don’t mean that Christ just appeared to have a human body, but was more like God in a man’s suit. We don’t mean that. That’s the ancient heresy of Docetism, from the Greek word dokeo, which means to seem or to appear. The Docetists basically taught that Jesus only appeared to have a human nature, but it wasn’t a real human nature; his body was more like a phantom. You might think of it this way: they almost had a view of Jesus that was something like Superman. Like Kal-El from Krypton—he looks like one of us, but he’s not one of us. He’s alien to us.

The church condemned that. Scripture condemns that. Jesus was not an alien! He was one of us, and he is one of us! He had a real human nature, and it was complete, one hundred percent human nature, sin excepted. But sin is actually a perversion of genuine human nature. Jesus had a genuine human nature through and through.

(2) When we say that Jesus came in the flesh, that Jesus had a human nature, we don’t just mean that the man Jesus was anointed somehow by the spirit of Christ so you have the man Jesus who’s separate from Christ—which is another of the ancient heresies; there are some who believe that the man Jesus was anointed by the spirit of Christ and then the spirit of Christ departed from him before he was crucified. That was the heresy of Cerinthianism, and that’s reportedly one of the heresies that the apostle John combated.

In fact, there’s an old story that one time John was in a bathhouse in Ephesus and he heard Cerinthus was in the house, and he rushed out of the house for fear that the thing would collapse under the judgment of God. These were serious distortions of the incarnation of Christ, and the apostles and then the apostolic fathers after them were combating it.

(3) Here’s another thing we don’t mean: we don’t mean that Jesus had a human body but not a human mind. A human body without a soul. There are some who believe that Jesus had a human body, but his soul was essentially the divine nature. That also was rejected by the church, and it was essential that the church understood, it was essential that Christ had both.

Scripture taught that Christ had not just a human body but he had a human soul, human emotions, human mind.

(4) Nor was Jesus like this split personality, where he was somehow divided between divine nature and human nature. He had both natures completely, yet they were united in one person. So it was not that there were two persons. There were two natures in the one person.

(5) A final thing that the church also rejected was the idea that the human nature and the divine nature were somehow combined into a new kind of nature, so that what Jesus had was neither purely divine nor purely human, but it was some kind of a new hybrid. That was the error of Eutychianism, and that was also condemned by the church.

Now, that little five-minute parentheses on christology—some of you are thinking, “Okay, why, really, is this important? I mean, is it really necessary to do this on a Sunday morning? This feels like a seminary class!”

I’ll tell you why it’s important. It’s important because it was only by fully sharing in our nature that Jesus could redeem our nature. The only way Jesus could redeem human beings was to fully participate in the human experience, to actually have a human nature. That’s the argument of Hebrews chapter two, where the author says there that Christ had to be made like his brothers. He took the nature of the children of Abraham in order to be this merciful High Priest.

Here’s how one of the church fathers, Gregory of Nazianzus, put it. He said, “That which he has not assumed he has not healed.” (Gregory of Nazianzus, Epistle 101) You can’t heal that which is not assumed. It’s only if he takes human nature to himself that that human nature could be redeemed.

So Jesus was one hundred percent human, also one hundred percent divine, and in his human nature he obeyed God, thwarted temptation, fulfilled the law, faced grief, defeated death, rose from the grave, and ascended to God in our nature.

Now, here’s positively stated the confession of the ancient church. I want to read it to you. This is the Definition of Chalcedon, 451 A.D.

We, then, following the holy fathers, all with one consent, teach men to confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in Godhead and also perfect in manhood; truly God and truly man, of a reasonable [that means a rational] soul and body; consubstantial [that means coessential] with the Father according to the Godhead, and consubstantial with us according to the Manhood; in all things like unto us, without sin; begotten before all ages of the Father according to the Godhead, and in these latter days, for us and for our salvation, born of the Virgin Mary, the mother of God, according to the Manhood, one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, to be acknowledged in two natures [and then these four adverbs are so important], inconfusedly [without confusion], unchangeably [without change], indivisibly [without division], inseparably [without separation—in other words, all four of these things are true], the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by the union, but rather the property of each nature being preserved, and concurring in one person and one Subsistence, not parted or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son, and only begotten, God, the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ, as the prophets from the beginning have declared concerning him, and the Lord Jesus Christ himself has taught us, and the Creed of the holy fathers has been handed down to us.

Jesus was—and is—a true man, and you couldn’t be saved, your human nature couldn’t be redeemed, if that was not true.

II. Christ is a representative man

Now secondly, Jesus is also a representative man. This is the thrust, especially, of the Romans five passage that we read. There are a lot of details that I’m not going to cover this morning. (If you want to hear a sermon there’s one online from a couple of years ago when we were working through Romans one through eight.) But in summary, Paul is showing that while the disobedience of the first man, Adam, led to condemnation, and then death, for the entire human race, so that death reigns. In contrast to that, the obedience of Christ, the second man, leads to justification and to eternal life.

So you have the performance of two different people; disobedience of Adam, obedience of Christ. These two performances lead to two different verdicts: condemnation for Adam, justification for Christ. And those two verdicts lead to two reigns: the reign of death for all who are in Adam, and the reign of life and righteousness—the reign of grace, as Paul calls it—for all those who are in Christ. So the idea here is two representatives.

Now you also have this in First Corinthians 15. I want to read again verses 45 through 49.

Thus it is written, "The first man [just notice first, last, second; notice those phrases] Adam became a living being"; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.

The best explanation I’ve read of that comes from a theologian named Richard Gaffin. He tells us here that Adam and Christ “are key representative figures, or heads, over contrasting orders of existence. Adam is first, and there’s no one before him, verse 45. Christ is second; there’s no one between Adam and Christ that is a representative in this way. And then, Christ is last; there’s no one after him.”
[Richard B. Gaffin, “Adam,” in New Dictionary of Theology, ed. S. B. Ferguson, et al (Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2000) 4]

Adam is first, Christ is second, Christ is last. That’s why we call Christ the second and the last Adam.

Underlying this is a principle that just runs through Scripture, and it’s very important we understand this. It’s the principle of corporate solidarity. What in the world is that? It’s the principle that one person can legally represent another person or a group of persons, so that what the one does counts for all.

This may sound, at first, a little bit foreign to rugged, individualistic Americans, where we kind of want to stand or fall on our own two feet, but this principle actually runs through our legal system, political system—it’s even in our educational system. So let me give you some examples.

A team playing for a school. When a team plays for a school—when Notre Dame’s football team, when they win, everybody that’s rooting for them—everybody in the school, all the alumni, everybody that’s a fan—they say, “We won! We won!” Now wait a minute! You didn’t go out there and carry the ball, and yet you say, “We won!” Why are you saying that? Because the team represents the school, right? The team represents the school.

Here’s another illustration. Think about our political system, when we elect senators and congressmen to our legislature, what are they? They are our representatives. They’re acting in our behalf—we are a representative, democratic republic, so that the people we elect represent us. They make choices, they make laws, on behalf of those who represented them.

And of course we see the principle at work in the legal system with “power of attorney”. Now what is a power of attorney? Well, power of attorney is a document that gives someone the power to legally represent another—to act in their name when it comes to their estate, to their property, their possessions.

Well, that’s the principle that’s at work in Scripture, so that we can say this: that there were two team captains. Captain One was Adam the First, and he fumbled the ball. And Captain Two is Adam the Second: Jesus, and he carried the ball all the way to the finish line.

We could say that there were two legal representatives, two heads, two individuals, that were given power of attorney to act in our name: Adam, who acted and failed, and Christ, who acted in complete and perfect obedience and righteousness, leading to the justification of all who receive this gift of grace, as Paul says in Romans five; it’s those who receive it who are justified.

So what are the benefits of this? Salvation, past, present, and future. Justification, sanctification, glorification. The benefits are:

(1) Past: Justification

“Through the one man’s obedience the many are made righteous.” Christ’s obedience counts as your obedience so that you, if you believe in Christ, are declared righteous before God.

You know what that means? It means that the day of judgment has come from the future into the present, and the final verdict has already been stated over you, if you’re in Christ. If you’re in Christ, God looks at you and says, “Not guilty,” because he’s already pronounced this verdict of, “Not guilty, justified,” over Jesus, and if you’re in Jesus then his verdict counts as yours. That’s justification.

But it’s not just justification.

(2) Present: Sanctification

There’s a line in that old movie—I mean, sort-of old movie—“First Knight”. Anybody ever see that? Richard Gere plays Lancelot, and Sean Connery plays King Arthur. There’s a line in the movie where Sean Connery says, “Lancelot, I can’t love people in slices.” He’s basically telling Lancelot that if he comes on board Arthur’s going to embrace him altogether.

Every time I hear that I think about Calvin, who said essentially the same thing, that you can’t tear Christ into pieces. You don’t get one piece of Christ and not another.

Here’s the deal: if you’re united to Christ, if you’re united to Christ, you’re united to him for both justification and for sanctification. Not only are you legally declared righteous, but if you’re incorporated into Christ, if you’re united to Christ, then you’re also set apart to God, his Spirit is in you, and he’s beginning to produce righteousness in you. That’s why Romans six follows Romans five. The principle in Romans six is that if you’re in Christ you’ve died to sin and you’ve been raised to new life, and now you yield yourself to God to yield the fruits of holiness that leads to eternal life.

(3) Future: Glorification

Then there’s glorification, and that’s the emphasis of First Corinthians 15, where it’s Christ who has been resurrected, and because he’s been resurrected, we will also be resurrected so that the body sown in dishonor is going to be raised in honor and in glory. All right?

III. Christ is the new man

So Christ is the new man, Christ is the representative man leading to justification, sanctification, glorification. The final point is Christ is the new man. He’s the new man.

What I mean by this is just that Christ, as the second Adam—Christ— is the one who brings new creation. You remember Paul’s words in Second Corinthians five, “If anyone is in Christ he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and the new has come.” New creation. We see this in a couple of ways. We see it in the language of firstfruits, in First Corinthians 15, where Paul says that Christ is the firstfruits from the dead, firstfruits of the resurrection.

What’s a firstfruit? The firstfruits were the first sheaves of the harvest; the very first bunch of sheaves or the first bit of fruit that’s harvested in a crop. And in the Old Testament, the firstfruits would be offered to God. It was kind of a hope and a promise of the full harvest that would come. Paul’s argument is that Christ is the firstfruits of the resurrection, he’s the first one to be raised from the dead, but others are going to follow.

Another way this is taught is where Jesus is called the firstborn. Colossians chapter one he’s “the firstborn from the dead,” or in Romans chapter eight, “God has predestined us to be conformed to the image of his Son that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” That is, he’s the first one in the family, but it’s a new family. It’s a new family, so he’s the new man, the new humanity.

And listen: every time you read the “put off, put on” passages in Paul—you know how Paul says, “Put off the old man and put on the new”? He doesn’t simply mean, “Put off bad behavior, put on new behavior.” It means that, but it doesn’t simply mean that. It means, put off the whole old humanity and put on Christ.

One argument for that is that in some of those “put off, put on” passages he actually says that. He says, “Cast off the works of darkness, put on the armor of light, put on the Lord Jesus Christ,” in Romans 13. The new man is Christ, and all of the virtues of the new life are the virtues that are ours only in connection to Christ. Here’s the deal: you can’t separate the benefits of Christ from Christ himself.

So the goal in the Christian life is not just to get more holy; it’s to be in Christ and to live in Christ and to abide in Christ, because it’s only as you’re in Christ that you’re a new person. See? You don’t get the newness without getting Jesus, you only get the newness when you’re in Jesus. But if you’re in Jesus, he’s going to make you new.

All right, I want to finish by reading kind of a long quotation that’s so helpful for me. I think it’ll be helpful for you, just kind of pulling this together in one different way, and then I want to end with an illustration.

The quotation is from Sinclair Ferguson. It’s from an essay that he wrote on sanctification, and he’s talking about another bit of language used in the New Testament, but I think it ties into this whole idea of Christ as the new man.

Here it is; you should be able to follow along the screen.

In the New Testament, Jesus is presented as the “author,” “captain” or “pioneer” of salvation (Acts 3:15; 5:31; Hebrews 2:10; 12:2). The word archēgos (author) is notoriously difficult to translate into English. In the case of Jesus (especially in the context of Hebrews) it seems to convey the twin notions of primacy and origin. Jesus is the “author” of our sanctification, in the sense that he creates it for us, but he is also its “pioneer” because he does so out of his own incarnate life, death and resurrection. He is the “pioneer” of our salvation, because as the Hero of Faith (to be distinguished from the long list of those heroes who bear witness to him [Hebrews 12:1]), he has endured the cross, despising its shame and the opposition of sinners, and is now seated at God’s right hand. He is the first and only fully sanctified person. He has climbed God’s holy hill with clean hands and a pure heart (Psalm 24:3-6). It is as the “Lead Climber” that he gives the sanctification he has won to others (Acts 5:31). As “pioneer,” Jesus has himself gone ahead of us to open up the way to the Father. By doing so, he brings to the Father in similar obedience all those who are “roped” to him by grace and faith.

Christ is our sanctification. In him it has first come to its fulfillment and consummation. He not only died for us to remove the penalty of our sin by taking it himself; he has lived, died, risen again and been exalted in order to sanctify our human nature in himself for our sake. This is the significance of his words shortly before the cross, “Sanctify [the disciples] by the truth. … As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself; that they too may be truly sanctified” (John 17:17-19)…

Sanctification is therefore neither self-induced, nor created in us by divine fiat. Like justification, it has to be “earthed” in our world (that is, in Christ’s work for us in history) if it is to be more than a legal fiction. To change the metaphor, we can only draw on resources which have already been deposited in our name in the bank. But the whole of Christ’s life, death, resurrection and exaltation have, by God’s gracious design, provided the living deposit of his sanctified life, from which all our needs can be supplied—because of our fellowship (union) with him we come to share his resources. That is why he can “become for us” sanctification, just as he is also our wisdom, righteousness and redemption (1 Corinthians 1:30).
[Sinclair Ferguson, Christian Spirituality: Five Views of Sanctification, Ed. Donald Alexander, (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1988), 49.]

It is a beautiful thing, what Christ has done as our new man.

Now let me end this way: I want to close with something—some of you have heard me share this before, but I think it illustrates the message this morning, so I want to end in this way.

Several years ago Holly and I went to Chicago to see a live production of “Beauty and the Beast.” You know that story; you’ve seen the cartoon. It’s the story of this prince and all of his household who’ve been cast under a spell, this curse, and they’re under the curse until the prince learns to truly love another person. The prince has been turned into a beast because of the curse, but you remember that all the servants have also been turned into other things. You know, there’s one that’s been turned into a clock and one that’s been turned into a candlestick, and there’s—Angela Lansbury was the voice, in the cartoon, for the pot, the teapot. So all of the servants are under this curse because of the failure of the beast and the curse on the beast.

So Holly and I went to see the play of this; it’s kind of based on the cartoon. We went to see it partly because I have a cousin who’s an actor who was in the play. But when we went, something grabbed me that I’d never noticed before, because it was a new song that was not in the original version of the movie. I think it’s in the versions now, but the song is called “Human Again”. It’s all of the servants—the clocks and candles and teapots, and so on—who are singing together about what it will be like when the curse is lifted and they become human again. Here are the words:

We’ll be dancing again!
We’ll be twirling again!
We’ll be whirling around with such ease
When we’re human again
Only human again
We’ll go waltzing those old one-two-threes
We’ll be floating again!
We’ll be gliding again!
Stepping, striding as fine as you please
Like a real human does
I’ll be all that I was
On that glorious morn
When we’re fin’lly reborn
And we’re, all of us, human again!

What Christ, the true human, and the representative human, and the new human—the new man—what Christ is doing is he’s making us human again. He’s making us human again. You become human again, you become your true self, you become your new self, you become the best possible version of yourself, if you are in Jesus Christ.

So the question this morning is, which team captain is carrying the ball for you? Adam the first, or the second and the last Adam?

Let’s pray.

Father, we thank you for this wonderful and liberating truth this morning, that Christ obeyed in our place and has done all that must be done to declare us righteous before you. That he has taken the full penalty of the law in his death and that he was been raised in new, glorious life; and that all of us, if we are united to Christ by faith, share in that newness. That his justification is our justification, that as Christ sanctified himself so we are sanctified in him, and that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we also are now raised to walk in newness of life, and someday we’ll be raised in glory from the bondage and corruption of death.

I pray, Father, this morning, that as we think on these truths and as we come now to the table that we would do so with heartfelt faith in Christ, our Man in heaven.