Donald Karnes - Adam

As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”


How do we look upon Adam?  Have we forgotten him except as the villain in the play whose consequences reach down even unto us?  Do we think of him as something that speaks of the worst in humanity, that streak of selfishness and meanness in mankind, called Adamic nature?  What place do we give Adam?  His record is not long, but it is important.  There must be an Adam in the story! There is no narrative without him. “God took the man and put him in the garden. God commanded the man, 'Thou mayest freely eat of every tree of the garden but...'”

God gave Adam lots of liberty.  He could do as he liked except ‘one thing,’ which was the ‘test:’ Eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil = death.  Eat of the Tree of life = Live forever!  Immortality depended on something outside of himself.  Adam was free to choose, a free-will agent.  “Adam was not deceived.” What he did, he did deliberately.  He only followed suit.  He didn't want to lose Eve.  He lost a lot more. He lost the peace and presence of God.  He lost his free and guiltless conscience.  He lost Paradise.

Adam introduced death: “By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin.” Through disobedience the dreadful work was done.  The pall of Sin and Death fell upon the world that God had made so "very good.”  This death passed unto all generations.

Do we see another part Adam played?  His experience is basic to divine revelation. It is the experience of experiences.  After his sin and defeat, he blazed the path back, to peace with God.  He knew both ecstasy and agony.  He lived in one life-time, on both sides of the Gate.  He lost his place.  How could he survive such memories?

Sin did not overtake him in some dark ally in intelligence.  Adam was smart.  He named all the animals, fowls, and fishes.  Yet he didn't know something about himself!  See Jeremiah 18:9. Strong in body, he lived 950 years.  Yet he was no match for the devil.  God revealed the sorrow and shame of the human heart in those words: “Adam and his wife hid themselves from the Presence of the Lord.”

Job reflected upon it, “If I covered my transgressions as Adam, by hiding mine iniquity in my bosom.”  Man was born with the choice to walk with the Eternal, to live openly before Him.  But now shadows and shame, nakedness appeared.  They began to sew fig-leaves together.  How little the world has changed!  Today man covers himself with degrees and diplomas, titles and learning, exploits and industry.  His bags are full of aprons. But he cannot silence conscience.  "Who told thee that thou wast naked?"

Let the atheist answer that.  It is the second question in the Bible and one of the most important.  Mankind still repeats it today, “I was afraid because I was naked, and I hid myself.”  Before sin entered, man lived in the pure innocency as children and radiant ethereal light as Jesus was when transfigured.

Now, afraid of what?  Ashamed?  Why?  You tell me!  More than one man, when his sin is out, his errors are known, can't face up the shame and disgrace - ends it all!  Man can never cloth his inner nakedness, nor cover the shame of disobedience to God, nor wash away his guilty conscience.  Adam knew both sides, the sweet and bitter.  He knew it was better to live among thorns and thistles, in sweat and toil with the Presence of God, than to live in a Paradise, separated  from that Presence.  A godless life is an empty life.  A Paradise without God becomes a terror of shadows and a jungle of fears.

We talk about Heaven. We seek things above not because we long for music of harps.  Heaven is our goal not because we linger in dreams or want escapism. Heaven is our goal for the same reason that compelled Adam.  We seek Him whom our soul loveth.  We have to find God again! Psalm 16, “In His Presence is fullness of joy, at His right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”

Thirst mocks man.  Hunger torments him until he finds this fellowship with His Maker.  God alone can fill that void in the human heart, satisfy that inward longing, and erase that loneliness.  Salvation is a “foretaste" of this goal, “Heaven.”

Adam found there was no atonement he could make.  Many have tried, like Cain, his first born, who brought the fruit of the ground.  He offered his efforts and industry.  Behind the Bigness and Beauty of his gifts was the un-regenerated heart. Nothing he produced could cover this need.  Adam knew God only could cover him. "Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord make coats of skins and clothed them.”  There had to be a sacrifice first.  Another had to give his life for them.

“Jesus, Himself who knew no sin became sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” Jesus paid a penalty that He did not need for Himself.  Who was it for?  The serpent in every man's life will yield only to the Lamb.  It is the only antidote in this universe for pride.  

Isaiah 66:2, how perfectly all was prefigured in Adam’s experience.  Jesus got the victory in a garden.  It became a battlefield that led Him to the cross.  Centuries have passed.  Man's experiences with God remain the same: He must hear the Voice of God and come forth from hiding to face the Word.  He must learn that man's only real paradise here possesses the Peace and Presence of God, being clothed with His Righteousness.

Adam left a testimony. His faith is one record: “Then began men to call upon the name of the Lord.”