In 1 Corinthians 15:21-22. Paul is referring to Genesis chapter 3. That chapter explains how Adam, the first man, chose on purpose not to obey God. Adamís decision has affected every person who has lived after him.
Sometimes people say that Adam only needed to confess his evil deed for God to forgive him. Those people have not realised how serious this matter was.
When God created man, God gave him authority over every living thing on earth (Genesis 1:28). By his evil deed, Adam handed over that authority to the devil. The result was that the devil could do his evil work in the world. That was how death, disease, and every kind of evil deed entered the world (Romans 5:12).
It seems that Adam and his wife Eve did serve God after that event. But they could not stop the evil results of their actions. The devil had gained power, and he wanted to use all his power to oppose God.
Only Jesus Christ, Godís Son, was able to defeat the devil (Hebrews 2:14). To do that, Christ had to suffer, in his own body, the results of peopleís evil deeds. He suffered the pain and punishment that they deserve (Isaiah 53:4-6). He suffered a shameful death in order to save them.
Because Christ suffered their punishment, God can forgive them. When God forgives a person, he frees that person from the devilís power. In the end, even death will lose its power over Godís people (15:51-57).
The result of Adamís evil action is death for all people. The result of Christís action is new life for all Godís people. That is, God saves all the people who trust him. He saves them from the devil, death and every evil power.
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© 2014, Keith Simons.