Most people associate Adam with Eve, the fall of man, and original sin. But who is Adam in the Bible?
You know many famous characters in the Bible. One that I’m sure you stumbled upon is Adam. You’ve probably heard about him in Sunday school when discussing how the world came to be. Most people associate him with Eve, the fall of man, and original sin. But who is Adam in the Bible? In this article, you will get to know more about Adam and the significance of his story to yours.
Who is Adam in the Bible?
Adam’s story in the Bible
Adam’s story in the Bible is found in the book of Genesis. The first account is in Genesis 1:26-31, while the second account is in Genesis 2:4 to Genesis 3:24.
Adam is part of the grand creation story of God. God made the first human being on the sixth day and called him Adam. Adam lived in the Garden of Eden, a paradise filled with all the beautiful creations of God. God also permitted him to name the animals. But living alone, Adam became lonely. God gave Adam a helper to answer this sentiment and take care of creation. He made a woman out of Adam’s rib, and both enjoyed paradise.
Christians know that Adam is not a fictional character. He is a real person who walked the face of this Earth. The rest of humankind came to be through Adam, including Jesus Christ. Luke 3 details the lineage of Jesus going back to Adam (Luke 3:38).
Here is the contrast between Adam and Jesus Christ: our sinful and depraved nature traces back from the first Adam. Jesus Christ, called the ‘second Adam’, saves us from our sins. Adam brought death through sin to humanity. Jesus, as Savior and Lord, offers us eternal life. God expelled Adam from paradise while God sent Jesus to reclaim it.
What are the Characteristics of Adam?
God created Adam in His image
In the entire creation story, Adam is unique because God made Adam in His image and likeness. Man can think, reason, choose, and feel. Through this likeness, man also has a soul or an immortal spirit. From the first to the fifth day of creation, God made the world and called it good. During the sixth day upon creating man (Adam), He looked at all He had made and called it very good. Adam was the culmination of the wonders that God had made.
There is one vital reminder to note in Adam’s story. God’s image was not only imprinted on Adam but in every human being created since Adam (Genesis 1:27). Therefore, you, too, are made in the image and likeness of God. Therefore, you have inherent worth and value.
Adam was created from dust and God’s breath
You will notice when reading Genesis 1 that God’s voice formed all creatures. But Adam was different. When God made Adam, He did not speak Him into existence. Instead, God took the dust from the ground and then breathed life unto him (Genesis 2:7). In the Hebrew language, the root name Adam means “soil” or “earth.”
Steward of the Earth
God made Adam and Eve have dominion and rule over His creation: “And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the Earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the Earth.” (Genesis 1:28)
However, stewardship rather than complete sovereignty characterizes this type of rule. God made Adam care and be responsible for creation rather than exploit and destroy it. This part of Adam’s characteristics tells us that God created humanity for purposeful work. We are to keep God’s creation both as a gift from God and as a form of obedience. When we take care of the Earth and everything in it, we worship the Hands that made it.
This aspect of Adam’s function is significant because God created us to be productive, creative, and fruitful through our labor. The privilege of doing God’s work alongside Adam is a substantial benefit of our work. With the Holy Spirit’s help, we can emulate Adam’s exemplary stewardship of creation.
First man and father of mankind
According to the Bible, Adam walked the Earth first and fathered all humans. In the beginning, there was Adam, the first man. God created him, and at the beginning, He gave him a lovely garden. The Earth from which God fashioned Adam was also His home for him. All humans share a common ancestor in Adam, and his sinful nature has been passed down from generation to generation.
Adam and the Origin of Sin
Aside from one rule, God gave Adam and Eve everything they needed to flourish in the Garden of Eden. They could know neither good nor evil, so they were forbidden to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. One of God’s only requests of Adam was that he refrain from eating from this tree. However, Eve gave some of the fruit to Adam after eating it herself, and he subsequently disobeyed God by eating it.
Adam and Eve hid from God
Adam and Eve hid from God out of shame for their sins. Adam initially blamed Eve for his disobedience when God questioned their whereabouts and whether or not they had consumed fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Eve shared Adam’s anger toward the serpent for tempting them. Aside from Adam, God also punished the serpent and Eve for their sin. Since God is holy and just, He had to exact punishment for the sins committed by the serpent and Eve. But Adam was the one who seemed to bear the brunt of the blame.
God Commanded Adam
Initially, God gave His command to Adam. Adam should have been the one to guide Eve toward obedience. But instead, He allowed the two of them to spiral into disobedience. Such decisions brought ruin to the world, their labor, and their bodies. In the Christian view, mankind has been mired in evil ever since the fall of man. The sin of disobedience committed by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, when they ate the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, is the root cause of original sin.
The Fall of Adam
In Adam’s fall, sin entered the world and infected all of humanity. But the majestic redemption story did not end with Adam’s fall. Adam’s fall into sin, symbolized by the name of his first transgression, made him a slave to evil forever after. Adam’s fall left an indelible mark on humanity, one that every member of his family tree would have. But God had already prepared a way to deal with sin in human history. The Bible describes how God decided to rescue humanity. A single act of Adam brought condemnation and consequences, but a single act of Christ would bring redemption.
Significance of Adam in the Bible
Adam’s story is significant because it reveals truths about our past, humanity, and God. The Bible explains that God’s plan for redemption did not begin with the sending of Jesus but rather with the creation of humankind. Adam, and all humans, were made in God’s likeness, and he was given the role of fatherhood. Adam could not maintain the perfection of his marriage to Eve, his ability to express his creativity through his work, and his obedience to God.
Since Adam could not keep the universe or himself sinless, his story can be summed up as a tale of failure. He was frail, so he sinned and openly defied God when he had the chance. Despite this, God is compassionate, and He planned from the start to send Jesus – the Second Adam – to redeem us and bring us back to eternal life with Himself.
When we learn about Adam, we gain insight into God’s nature and His plan to save the world through Christ. Adam may have played a crucial role in the history of mankind, but he was still only human. Such mortality and depravity are why Jesus plays a central role in Adam’s story. Jesus is everything that Adam wasn’t, and his devotion and love for us allow us to celebrate him now. Jesus has made it possible for us to have a personal relationship with God. The Adam narrative illustrates the fallibility of humanity, sin, and the necessity of a Savior.
Adam’s historicity is crucial for making sense of the Bible and the gospel message. God created Adam as an authentic human being, made in His likeness. All creation was made available to Adam and his descendants to rule over. However, because Adam and Eve disobeyed God, sin entered the world.
Despite this, Adam fathered all humans. Even though Adam’s sin has resulted in a corrupt and depraved world, this story is not about how the serpent tempted Adam to eat a fruit from a forbidden tree. Instead, Adam’s story is a background to the grand story of Jesus’ redeemed strength and how He accomplished everything that Adam could not.
As Christians, we should care about Adam’s story because it sheds light on where we came from, what makes us human, and what kind of Creator we serve. The Bible shows us that God’s plan for redemption began with the creation of humanity and culminates in the Second Coming of Jesus.
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