I. THE DEATH OF CHRIST BEING DIFFERENT
FROM THE DEATH OF ADAM
The death of Christ is different from the death of Adam. The death of Adam brings every one of us into death, making all of us dead.
A. The Death of Adam
Having Come In through Sin
The death of Adam came in through sin, and all men have suffered of his death (Rom. 5:12; 1 Cor. 15:22a; Heb. 9:27). Even before Adam’s sin, death was mentioned in Genesis. God warned Adam that if he partook of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he would surely die (Gen. 2:17). After God created man, He put him in a garden before two trees: the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The Bible does not say that there is a tree called the tree of death. The tree of death is called the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. On the positive side, there is a tree called the tree of life. On the negative side, there is a tree which we would think should be called the tree of death. But the Bible calls the tree of death "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." Knowledge plus good plus evil equals death.
Today if you are trying to collect knowledge or do good, you are involved with the element of death. We would always consider evil as death, but we would not consider knowledge or good as death. The knowledge such as the knowledge concerning Christ and the church is positive, but the knowledge that has nothing to do with the reality of God’s economy is negative, being in the same category of good and evil, which are of death.
We should not think that death was not present before Adam’s fall. Before Adam’s fall, death was there with Satan. Hebrews 2:14 says that the devil is the one who has the might of death. Death is Satan’s might. Satan is the very source of death, just as God is the very source of life.
In his cleverness Satan contacted the female first. Through the female he reached Adam, and Adam took in Satan’s proposal. When you take in another’s proposal, that means you take the proposer. Thus, the proposer got into Adam. The result of Adam’s fall was death. Thus, Romans 5:12 tells us very clearly that sin entered into the world, into the human race, through one man, Adam. Then this sin brought in death as the result, the end. The death of Adam is altogether negative. Adam’s death caused all of us, his descendants, to be in death. We were born not only in sin but also in death. Sin and death were our inheritance at our birth.
(The Christian Life, Chapter 6, by Witness Lee)