In Which Camp Are You Living?

Studies in First Corinthians – XXVI

1 Corinthians 15:21-22

“It’s good to be alive!” This phrase usually expresses the joy of a moment, some fleeting experience. But what does it really mean to be alive in the spiritual and eternal sense of the word? Paul writes of the real significance of life in Christ.

“For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (15:21-22).

Paul points to two camps: in Adam, in Christ. Everyone who has ever lived has chosen to live in one or the other. There is no neutral ground. We are all born into Adam’s camp and most live and die there. However, we can be implanted by the miracle of the second birth into the camp of Christ.

“As in Adam all die.” Adam had been warned that rejection of God’s authority would mean loss of life. But he took the reins in his own hands, defied God’s authority, and promptly died. He didn’t die a physical death at that moment but he died a death much more to be feared. His relationship with God was cut off immediately. The mark of death grew on him in every way.

So begins the story of the tragic breakdown of human life at every level when out of proper relationship with God. Each of us, by the law of heredity, has become involved in this tragedy. As Paul put it, “by the disobedience of one the many were made sinners” (Romans 5:15).

The marks of death are upon each of us today: the stains of sin, of hatred, of all the decaying fruit of the self-life. Unless we move out of the camp in which we were born and into the camp in which we are born again, we will continue in the rebellion, not only in life but in eternity.

“So in Christ shall all be made alive.” Here is the counterattack of heaven. Man, made in the image of God, has chosen the devil as his master and become like him. Now God is made like man in order to rescue him from the rule of Satan. He has come to restore the character of God in man.

It was not necessary. Justice would have been completely satisfied if the entire human race had perished forever. But God is not only just, He is loving! And His love seeks and saves the lost.

The kingdom of death was invaded by a Man who’s life knew no sin. He was tempted in all points like we are, yet without sin. So as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, “by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous” (Romans 5:19). He has removed the mark of death and set in its place the mark of life.

In which camp are you living?

5 thoughts on “In Which Camp Are You Living?

  1. I doubt the truth of this statement: [There are two camps: In Adam and In Christ] “Everyone who has ever lived has chosen to live in one or the other.”

    Only Adam had a choice. When he ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, he did not consult with us. He made the choice alone and we were subjected to the consequences of his choice. For we were born in sin and shapen in iniquity. To say that we made the choice to be in the camp of Adam is just like saying children choose to be born Jews or Samaritans or Greeks or Barbarians or Scythians or Romans. All humans were born sinners and that not by choice.

    1. While I certainly agree that no one has a choice which camp they are born into, I do believe that, because of calvary, we have a choice which camp we live in. Jesus said salvation was for “whosoever will.”

      Thank you for your comment! It brings clarification to the topic at hand.

      1. If I may reply once more, I want to make two points.

        1. I quote from your reply, “Because of Calvary, we have a choice which camp we live in”. True, those of us who have been fortunate enough to hear the gospel may choose which camp we live in. But what of those who have never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ? In the last 2,000 years, millions of people have lived and died without hearing the name Jesus.

        “How can they believe in him of whom they have not heard?” How can they make choices when they have no idea of the existence of the other camp or the Way into that camp?

        2. And even if we can choose, does it really matter considering what Roams 9 says, “It is not of him who wills nor of him who runs but of God who shows mercy”?

      2. I believe the following Scriptures should be considered when interpreting the meaning of Romans 9 and addressing the concerns that you have raised.

        Acts 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:

        1 Timothy 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

        2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

        Romans 5:18 Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

        Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

        Romans 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

        Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

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