Without Christ, there would be no gospel. The person and work of Jesus Christ are essential to the Christian message of salvation. That’s a fact that isn’t difficult to understand. But what about Adam? Does his existence have any bearing on the gospel?
There are plenty of evangelicals who would answer “no” to that question. Among them is the famous apologist, Dr. William Lane Craig: “Before we conclude that the sky is falling . . . it isn’t true that the whole story of human sin and redemption falls to pieces if you deny the historical Adam and Eve.”
Peter Enns, a Bible scholar and member of the Institute for Biblical Research, goes a step further and outright denies that the biblical Adam ever existed. Science is too compelling for Enns, a professing Christian, to take that part of the Bible seriously: “One cannot read Genesis literally—meaning as a literally accurate description of physical, historical reality—in view of the state of scientific knowledge today.”  Peter Enns, The Evolution of Adam (Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press, 2012) 137.
But even among those who affirm a true historical Adam, many believe that death preceded him—either through evolutionary processes or vast amounts of time. Some of them are men who would never compromise the gospel but are willing to leave our Old Testament origins open to interpretation.
The degrees of error may vary but the fundamental reason never changes—we all (Scripture included) must bow to the golden calf of modern science.
John MacArthur forcefully differs with the theological errors and indifference concerning our origin. He argues that the gospel stands or falls on the historicity of the biblical Adam. Moreover, in his sermon, “Through Adam, Death,” John points out that the real theological flashpoint concerning Adam actually lies in the New Testament—Romans 5:12–14 to be exact.
Adam was a real man—a real, genuine, true, historical person. Not mythical, not symbolic. A real person. The first man. Not some kind of collective man at the end of some evolutionary process; not some kind of symbolic man; not some mythical man; not some fabricated, poetic man; but a real man. Adam is a real man, and that is essential to Christian truth in an understanding of the world and the way it is. He is a real man as Jesus Christ was a real man, and it is Jesus Christ who is called the second Adam and the last Adam. Any evolutionary lies that seek to eliminate Adam as a historical person are guilty of a destructive assault on the gospel and on Scripture.
In order to understand Christ’s mission as the “second Adam” we need to be grounded in the true historical account of the first Adam. If we’re to understand who we are and what we are to do today, we need to understand who Adam was and what he did at the dawn of time. If we are to see our desperate need for Christ, we need to grasp our identity in Adam. In his sermon, “Through Adam, Death,” John MacArthur reveals that Christ’s accomplishments on the cross must be seen in contrast to Adam’s failure in the garden.
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