Continued from here….
There had been a necessity that, in the first place, a human being should be fashioned, and that what was fashioned should receive the soul; afterwards that it should thus receive the communion of the Spirit.
Wherefore also “the first Adam was made” by the Lord “a living soul, the second Adam a quickening spirit” (1 Cor. 15:45).
As, then, he who was made a living soul forfeited life when he turned aside to what was evil, so, on the other hand, the same individual, when he reverts to what is good, and receives the quickening Spirit, shall find life.
For it is not one thing which dies and another which is quickened, as neither is it one thing which is lost and another which is found, but the Lord came seeking for that same sheep which had been lost.
What was it, then, which was dead? Undoubtedly it was the substance of the flesh; the same, too, which had lost the breath of life, and had become breathless and dead.
This same, therefore, was what the Lord came to quicken, that as in Adam we do all die, as being of an animal nature, in Christ we may all live, as being spiritual, not laying aside God’s handiwork, but laying aside the lusts of the flesh, and receiving the Holy Spirit.
As the apostle says in the Epistle to the Colossians: “Mortify, therefore, your members which are upon the earth.”
And what these are he himself explains: “Fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence; and covetousness, which is idolatry” (Col. 3:5).
The laying aside of these is what the apostle preaches; and he declares that those who do such things, as being merely flesh and blood, cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven.
For their soul, tending towards what is worse, and descending to earthly lusts, has become a partaker in the same designation [i.e. “earthly”].
[…] Now the final result of the work of the Spirit is the salvation of the flesh. For what other visible fruit is there of the invisible Spirit, than the rendering of the flesh mature and capable of incorruption?
[…] He goes on to say, “And put ye on the new man, that which is renewed in knowledge, after the image of Him who created him.”
In this, therefore, that he says, “which is renewed in knowledge,” he demonstrates that he, the selfsame man who was in ignorance in times past, that is, in ignorance of God, is renewed by that knowledge which has respect to Him.
For the knowledge of God renews man.
And when he says, “after the image of the Creator,” he sets forth the recapitulation of the same man, who was at the beginning made after the likeness of God.
Irenaeus of Lyons (2nd century AD – c. 202): Adversus Haereses 5,12,2-4.