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  • Chad Werkhoven

1 Corinthians 15:21-22 - Only Two Choices

Death has come into the world, and it was man that held the door wide open. Find out how to escape.


1 Corinthians 15:21-22 (NIV)

21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.


Listen to passage & devotional:


Belgic Confession of Faith, Article 15: The Doctrine of Original Sin

We believe

that by the disobedience of Adam

original sin has been spread

through the whole human race.

It is a corruption of all nature—

an inherited depravity which even infects small infants

in their mother’s womb,

and the root which produces in man

every sort of sin.

It is therefore so vile and enormous in God’s sight

that it is enough to condemn the human race,

and it is not abolished

or wholly uprooted

even by baptism,

seeing that sin constantly boils forth

as though from a contaminated spring.


it is not imputed to God’s children

for their condemnation

but is forgiven

by his grace and mercy—

not to put them to sleep

but so that the awareness of this corruption

might often make believers groan

as they long to be set free

from the “body of this death.”

Therefore we reject the error of the Pelagians

who say that this sin is nothing else than a matter of imitation.



God is nothing if not true to His word. He told Adam that death would result from eating the forbidden fruit. The serpent, who Jesus would later refer to as the father of lies, twisted God's words, telling the woman that "you will not certainly die" upon eating the fruit, and sure enough, she didn't! In fact, she kept right on living! And so did Adam after he ate.

Yet God would remain faithful to His word, and death would come. It's one of the first things He told Adam as the curses came raining down: "You [will] return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return."

And death did come. First to Adam's son Abel, at the hands of his brother, no less. But then nearly a millennia went by before Adam himself died when he was 930 years old (Genesis 5:5). But it's at this point that the way Genesis tells the story changes. The repeated refrain of "and God saw that it was good" that sets the pace for the creation narrative transforms into the phrase "and he died," repeated eight times in Genesis 5 alone.

Death had come into the world, and it was man that held the door wide open.

And although man's years are prolonged far more than we deserve, especially in those early generations, death ultimately is inescapable. Paul, writing by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, makes that exceedingly clear: "In Adam, all die."

Dig Deeper

Paul doesn't write these words reminding us of the certainty of death just to rub it in and remind us that we're getting what we deserve. Quite the opposite, in fact! These words come in the midst of one of the strongest defences of the bodily resurrection of Jesus! These words come to announce the good news that the resurrection of the dead and new life in Christ are every bit as certain as what death is.

Maybe you've noticed in our Bible reading plan over the years that we give a massive amount of attention to Adam. Today's passage is one of the primary reasons why we do! These verses help make clear that there are only two types of people in this world: those who are in Adam, and those who are in Christ.

All people are born in Adam, having inherited original sin, which instills in us a propensity to sin, and the wages of this sin is death (Genesis 2:17, Romans 6:23). But the heart of Christianity is that you can change your status before God. You don't have to be represented by Adam any longer! You can now be represented by another man, Jesus Christ.

Just as Adam plunged you into death, Christ brings you resurrection. Just as the certainty of God's curse hangs over all who remain in Adam, "all in Christ will be made alive (v22)." Be absolutely sure that your life is "hidden with Christ in God (Ephesians 3:9)!"

  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father, who keeps His Word perfectly;

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Thank God for giving man a new covenant representative in His Son, and pray that you will cling to more to Him and less to Adam;



Read the New Testament in a year! Today: Matthew 19


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