March 20, 2017
From the desk of A.J. Higgins
Join all the Glorious Names
“Christ the first-fruits … Christ Jesus our Lord … the last Adam …
the Second Man is the Lord from heaven …”
1Corinthians 15: 23, 31, 45, 47
Few chapters in our Bibles bring together so many names and titles of our Lord Jesus Christ as does 1 Corinthians 15. To those listed above can be added that He is the Son (v 28), the One Who must reign (v 25), and the Christ (v 16), the Lord (vv 31, 58). Space will not permit a consideration of all these names but we will confine ourselves to just a few.
From verses 1-23, He is the Christ no less than thirteen times. It was the Christ Who died, was buried, and Who rose again. It is the Christ Whom Paul preached and in Whom they believed. All their eternal welfare hinged on the reality of the Anointed One having been raised from the dead according to the Scriptures.
But immediately in verse 23, we are informed that as the resurrected Christ, He is the first-fruits, the promise of a harvest to come. Christ is the first-fruits, but afterwards … Forth from the graves will come a mighty army of saints never to taste of death again. Finally, we will be able to cry, “O death where is thy sting? Grave where is thy victory?”
The Spirit of God leaps from the thought of resurrection to His reign. “He must reign!” What a tremendous promise and prospect. He must! Nothing can hinder it. All the power of Satan energizing His puppets on earth and their armies cannot hinder it. All the combined nuclear power of the assembled armies will not frustrate this one grand purpose of God: the Man Whom the world vilified will be vindicated. He must reign. All the stratagems of hell and machinations of men cannot stop it.
In that day, God will show Who is King of kings and Lord of lords (1 Tim 6:15). God’s own “time” will have come to demonstrate to all the true Heir of all. The Christ, the Anointed, the Heir to the throne is none other than Christ Jesus our Lord (v 31). His lofty exalted title is His by right.
He is the Last Adam, the Second Man, the Lord from heaven. Many take the thought of His being Second to indicate that there is going to be another man, a man of sin. But while another man is coming, that is not the main thought. As the Second Man, we are reminded that the first man failed. With every conceivable advantage that God could provide him with, Adam chose to sin and brought in all the consequences of sin. God has brought in a Second Man to secure everything. Into the hands of the Second Man, He has confidently and securely placed all His purposes for eternal blessing. He is the Lord out of heaven. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will one day bear the image of the heavenly.
As the Last Adam, He is the Head of a new creation and He will have dominion over the creation, a dominion which Adam forfeited by virtue of his fall. There will never be another head. All men are either under the headship of Adam or of Christ. Christ’s headship will never be superseded or suspended; it is eternal. This last Adam has been made a life-giving spirit, imparting life to all who are under His headship.
1. He is king, the Second Man, the Last Adam, the Christ, and the other titles mentioned. Perhaps only the Hebrew epistle presents more titles for our Lord Jesus Christ than does 1 Corinthians 15. Collect some of the may titles and offices presented in that epistle.
2. A Man whose life was Fragrant; a Servant Whose Service was faithful; a Savior Whose death was Fruitful.