The First and Second Man; Adam

There's a correction I must make.


The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven”
1 Corinthians 15:47

When I wrote about the first and the last Adam in a previous post, The Last Adam is Adam, I made an error that God has just shown to me. I made a mistake with the understanding of the first and second Adam as Paul wrote them.


The Order Of Resurrection

Paul, in verses twenty through forty-nine of 1 Corinthians 15, is explaining the order of resurrection. He does this by showing a pattern beginning at the forty second verse:

“It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body” 1 Corinthians 15:42

This pattern that Paul gives shows the order as first natural, then the spiritual. Continuing down through the text, he keeps this same pattern, natural then spiritual.


It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.” 1 Corinthians 15:44

To show the natural and spiritual body of all humankind, Paul goes back to the beginning, Genesis, to show how God made the first human, Adam.


“So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.” 1 Corinthians 15:45

Here, Paul is showing how God made the first man, Adam, in two different ways. The first way being spiritual, and the last way being natural (for more clarification read the first portion of The Last Adam is Adam and The Differences of Genesis 1 and Genesis 2). But because Paul is teaching about the order of resurrection and giving the order of first natural then spiritual, he flips the order back in the next verse:


“However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual.” 1 Corinthians 15:46

The order in which God created humankind (spiritual then natural) will not be the same order in which humankind will resurrect (natural then spiritual). God created humankind in His image and likeness first, which is spiritual:


“God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Genesis 1:27
“God is spirit” John 4:24

Then God formed humankind from the dust of the ground and breathed into its nostrils, giving the soul power to animate the body. God’s breath became the spirit of humankind that enables humans to move and have life in this natural realm.


“Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” Genesis 2:7

Breath of life, Genesis two says, and Paul says, we “became a life-giving spirit”. So, Paul showed how God made humankind with two bodies: one spiritual, then the other natural, by going back to the first human. But remember, because Paul is speaking on the order of resurrection, he must go back to his order of first natural then spiritual. Which is why he says, However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual” 1 Cor. 15:46. The key word being “however” because Paul realized the order that he has been giving in the text has been first natural then spiritual, but this is not the order in which humans were created. We were created spiritually then naturally. So, Paul, in the last portion of verse forty-six flips the order back to first natural then spiritual to continue showing the order of resurrection, “but the natural; then the spiritual”. And he continues with the order, natural then spiritual into the next verses:


“The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven.” 1 Corinthians 15:47

My Error Corrected

This is where I made my error in my previous post. I thought that Paul was keeping the order that humankind was created (spiritual then natural) when saying, “the first man” and “the second man”, but Paul was keeping the order that he showed throughout this text, which is first natural then spiritual.


“As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly.” 1 Corinthians 15:48-49

When Paul was describing the “earthy”, I thought he was speaking of our soul, the spiritual body. And when he was describing the “heavenly”, I thought he was speaking on our spirit, God’s breath that was given when humankind was formed. But God showed me how confusing that understanding was and how it did not flow correctly with everything that Paul was explaining about the resurrection.