We are connecting dots. One may ask, “Connecting dots to what?” Paul’s teaching of our being “in Christ” is the very basis for who we are as Christians. Bible teachers through the years have called this “positional truth.” God’s payment for sin is death – spiritual death (Rom. 6:23). This is true for everyone – everyone. Every sinner must die. Because Christians are baptized into the one who bore all our sins in His body on the cross, we die in Him. We pay our sin debt of death in Him! This is what baptism is all about. The baptism that saves has nothing whatsoever to do with H2O. Real baptism is beyond the visible, or audible; it is beyond anything that has ever even entered into the minds of human beings (1 Cor. 2:9; 2 Cor. 4:16-18). At the moment that our faith is placed in Christ, we are immersed into our King. Paul’s words now take on incredible meaning: “I have been crucified (past tense) with Christ, it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. And the life I now live I live by the power of the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal. 2:20). “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?” (Rom. 6:1). Our debt for sin was paid in full – in the King. We are positioned in the One where the fires of hell have already burned. Now what about the issue of being born again into Christ’s kingdom?
Here is another of God’s unseen, unheard, and unimagined truths (1 Cor. 2:9; 2 Cor. 4:16-18). All are born physically into this fallen world, the dark kingdom of the first sinner – Lucifer (Col. 1:13). It was his temptation of Eve and the sin and fall of the first man, Adam, that plunged this world into darkness. Our first human father’s death seed continues to spread the gloom and doom of sin worldwide (Rom. 5:12-14). Satan told Christ that power had been given to him to give the kingdoms of this world to whomever he chose (Lk. 4: 6-7). Jesus did not dispute his words. This is why Jesus told Nicodemus that he must be born again, or he would not enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:3–6). The famous conversation is all about being born into a kingdom – the kingdom of light.
God called the first Adam “a type of Christ” (Rom. 5:14). The Greek word “type” is tupos, meaning imprint. It would be like a hammer striking a wooden board. Though the hammer may not be visible, the imprint is there. The imprint reveals the hammer. The truth is hidden in plain sight! The first Adam is an imprint of the last Adam – Christ? The two Adam’s produce two different seeds – Adam the first, a corrupt seed; Adam the last, a living seed. Through the seminally corrupt seed of the first man, a sinful people are being birthed – the children of wrath, children of darkness (Eph. 5:8; 1 Thess. 5:5; Eph. 2:1-4).
In like manner, through the living seed of the last Adam, Jesus Christ, a new people are being born, a people of righteousness; children of light. Through the first man judgment comes; through the second man, life comes (Rom. 12:15-19). Peter continues the contrast. “Having been born again (past tense) not of corruptible seed; not of Adam’s corrupt seed, but incorruptible (living seed) through the word of God which lives and abides forever” (1 Pet. 1:23). James said, “Of His own will He birthed us by His word that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His people” (James 1:18). Firstfruits is a synonym for a new heavenly people. Again, why the new birth? Peter wrote, “All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, And its flower falls away” (1 Pet. 1:23-25). All of man’s amazing achievements, including his high tech world, are going to fall away. Life is short! James said the same thing. “Life is like a vapor that appears for a little while and is gone” (James 4:14). Life is short! This is why the ancient words of Jesus to Nicodemus shout louder today than ever.
Peter said that it is through God’s word that the gospel is preached (1 Pet. 1:25). This makes the picture crystal clear. Adam the last, the Lord Jesus Christ, is birthing a new kingdom, a kingdom of light through the gospel. The gospel impregnates fallen minds and, energized by the Spirit, has the power to conceive a new birth, a new life, a spiritual life. Dead human spirits are “made alive” (Eph. 2:1). Human beings born into Satan’s kingdom of darkness are reborn into God’s kingdom of light. The moment that one is born again, God moves that one from Satan’s kingdom of darkness into Christ’s kingdom of light. This is what happens in God’s invisible world when a sinner trusts in Jesus Christ. These amazing events – baptism and the new birth – occur in an instant. And John said that God’s seed – the gospel – remains in us (1 Jn. 3:9). And oh, by the way. This makes it impossible to be saved without the gospel. God is an absolute Genius! Absolutely! Blessings!