ADAM — REPRESENTATIVE MAN
(FIRST ADAM, LAST ADAM)
Adam was more than a normal man; he was a “representative
man.” Adam was a progenitor, the federal head, the prototype,
the master copy, the “representative” of the first human race.
What he did stood for us all.
In this study, all scriptures are from the New International
Version unless otherwise noted.
Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through
one man, and death through sin, and in this way death
came to all men, because all sinned….
Amplified Therefore as sin came into the world through one man
and death as the result of sin, so death spread to
all men, [no one being able to stop it or to escape
its power] because all men sinned.
A. S. Way The error of one individual man made the breach
through which sin entered our world; and in the track
of sin came death. So it was that death passed
through that door to assail all men….
KJV Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world,
and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men,
for that all have sinned
Because Adam was not a normal man, but a “representative”
man, we see that death ruled as king thru the law of sin and
death because of his original sin.
Romans 5:14 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to
the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by
breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of
the one to come.
Amplified Yet death held sway from Adam to Moses [the
Lawgiver], even over those who did not themselves
transgress [a positive command] as Adam did. Adam
was a type (prefigure) of the One Who was to come….
We see here in verse 14 that as Adam was a representative man,
so too Christ is a representative man. So herein is the basis
for the gospel. Since, if one man (Adam) got us into sin and
death, so too, one man (Jesus) can get us out.
v 15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many
died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s
grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man,
Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!
Amplified But God’s free gift is not at all to be compared to
the trespass–His grace is out of all proportion to
the fall of man. For if many died through one man’s
falling away–his lapse, his offense–much more
profusely did God’s grace and the free gift [that
comes] through the undeserved favor of the one Man
Jesus Christ, abound and overflow to and for [the
benefit of] many.
v 16 Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one
man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought
condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and
v 17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned
through that one man, how much more will those who receive
God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of
righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.
Amplified For if, because of one man’s trespass (lapse,
offense) death reigned through that one, much more
surely will those who receive [God’s] overflowing
grace (unmerited favor) and the free gift of
righteousness (putting them into right standing with
Himself) reign as kings in life through the One,
Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One.
v 18 Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was
condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of
righteousness was justification that brings life for all men.
Amplified Well then, as one man’s trespass–one man’s false
step and falling away–[led] to condemnation for all
men, so one Man’s act of righteousness [leads] to
acquittal and right standing with God, and life for
v 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the
many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the
one man the many will be made righteous.
Amplified For just as by one man’s disobedience (failing to
hear, heedlessness and carelessness) the many were
constituted sinners, so by one Man’s obedience the
many will be constituted righteous–made acceptable
to God, brought into right standing with Him.
We see this representative man idea laid out for us in…
1 Corinthians 15:21, 22:
v 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the
dead comes also through a man.
v 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made
Amplified For just as [because of union of nature] in Adam all
people die, so also [by virtue of their union of
nature] shall all in Christ be made alive.
In verse 45 Christ is called the “last Adam” making reference
to his role as “Representative Man.”
v 45 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living
being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit.
Amplified Thus it is written, The first man Adam became a
living being–an individual personality; the last
Adam (Christ) became a life-giving Spirit–restoring
the dead to life.
Jesus made reference to himself as the last Adam in many terms
we fail to recognize. For example:
John 15:1 “I AM the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.”
(We see the contrast in Jeremiah 2:21: …corrupt, wild
Also, we see in John 12:24 (a grain of life, planted in death,
to bring forth many).
v 24 I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the
ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it
dies, it produces many seeds.
(Contrast to Matthew 3:10: …ax laid to the root of the
So we see that the entire plan of redemption revolves around
two men. The basis of the gospel is that through faith in what
one man–the God-man Jesus Christ–did, all men could be saved
(the second Adam–the second representative man.)
Both Representative Men
Corrupt, wild vine–Jer 2:21 True vine–John 15:1
Bad tree, bad fruit–Mt 7:17 Good tree, good fruit–Mt 7:17
Law of sin and death– Law of life in Christ–
Romans 5:12 Romans 8:2
Romans 8:2 Romans 5:17
Spiritual death, mortality Spiritual life, immortality
Curse, sin, sickness Removal of the curse–
poverty, suffering, Galatians 3:13, 14
death–Dt 28:14-68 Dt 28:1-13
1. Spiritual death 1. Spiritual life
2. Mortality 2. Immortality–2 Tim 1:10
3. Curse 3. Removal of curse
Other Parallels Jesus Made
From above–John 8:23 1 Corinthians 15:47
Resurrection–John 11:25 1 Corinthians 15:21, 22 Gate–
John 10:7 Romans 5:1, 2
The way, truth, life Romans 5:17-19
Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL
VERSION. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society.
Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED NEW TESTAMENT, copyright
1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
The copyrights of the other translations have expired.
If you have any questions or wish to make any comments I can
be reached c/o The Christian Resource Services BBS, Chesapeake,
VA, 804-543-0830 (300/1200/2400, 8-N-1).