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All humans fall into one of two categories: those who are in Adam, and those who are in Christ. There are major, if not antithetical differences between the two. One is death; the other is life. One is suffering; the other is joy. One is essentially a doctrine of introversion; the other of extroversion. Those who are without Christ (in Adam) are dead. They are without repentance destined for hell.
The attributes of being in Adam are every type of sin: murder, slander, envy, lust, malice, and many others. A person who is in Adam may seem a virtuous pagan (and it can be debated whether there is such a thing), but even if there are virtuous pagans it is doubtful that the majority of moderns can live up to it. Without Christ, even if virtuous pagans existed, most surely are destined to hell. Sin is something that corrupts at first quietly. It eats away from the inside, destroying the soul as a tree is destroyed from the inside by rot. Humans are not attacked externally, but rather from the inside out, like a hereditary disease or deformity.
The attributes of one who is in Christ are listed in Galatians. They are: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control. Against these things there is no law.” These are the polar opposites of the fruits of sin. Love instead of murder. Kindness instead of malice. Patience instead of envy or lust. Focus on other people, and ultimately on God, rather than the self.
When one is in Adam, it is as if one is in a family. We are descendants, and inherit a sin nature. Even if we did not inherit it, it is quite likely that we would still fall. We are in Adam, and because of this worthy of death: eternal death. When one repents and becomes a Christ-Follower, one is literally removed from Adam and place in the family and inheritance of Christ. The sinner is absolved, and the inheritance of guilt removed. Justice through Christ’s death is satisfied, and those who choose to accept it, are saved from eternal damnation.
If one is in Adam one is dead in the spirit. When one accepts Christ one is raised again with him, in spirit when one accepts Christ, and destined to be raised again in body at the end of the world as we know it.