In the recent Oasis sermon on Romans 5:12-21, Ray Derr and Adrian Hall touched on the idea in the Bible that there really two men in the history, spiritually speaking. The first man, Adam, and Christ, the Last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45). We born into Adam, the corporate “old man,” spiritually dead and sinners by nature and by choice. We are reborn by faith by the grace of God into Christ as the corporate “new man.” As Christians, we now walk and live and reign in Christ, the Last Adam.
Mark Driscoll, in his book Who Do You Think You Are?, contrasts the actions the first Adam and the Last Adam (p. 16):
In the Bible, Paul called Jesus the “last Adam” because he is the remedy for idolatry and the redeemer of humanity, whereas the first Adam was the source of idolatry and the downfall of humanity. The first Adam turned from the Father in a garden; the last Adam turned to the Father in a garden. The first Adam was naked and unashamed; the last Adam was naked and bore our shame. The first Adam’s sin brought us thorns; the last Adam wore a crown of thorns. The first Adam substituted himself for God; the last Adam was God substituting himself for sinners. The first Adam sinned at a tree; the last Adam bore our sin on a tree. The first Adam died as a sinner; the last Adam died for sinners.
According to the Bible, we die in Adam but are born again in Christ: “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive” (emphasis added). In Adam there is condemnation, but in Christ there is salvation. In Adam we receive a sin nature, but in Christ we receive a new nature. In Adam we’re cursed, but in Christ we’re blessed. In Adam there is wrath and death, but in Christ there is love and life.