More Resources on Adam vs. Christ and Romans 5:12-21

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

If you have been following my series on Adam's Lie vs. Christ's Truth, you may want to read or listen to the sermons by Piper that helped shape my understanding of justification. They are much deeper than my meditations.

Adam's Lie vs. Christ's Truth, Part IV

The infinite worth of Christ is of such sufficiency that when He became our sin and was crushed by Yahweh, His sacrifice was deemed acceptable (Galatians 3:13, cf. Isaiah 53). Those who are in Christ are thus saved from the coming wrath. Those who turn from Adam’s lie about God to the Christ’s truth are saved. Those who go from being in Adam to being in Christ are declared to be righteous and escape eternal wrath. Wrath will not be exacted twice. The omnipotent wrath of God was placed on Christ for those who flee to Him, and it will be poured out in hell on all those who remain in the lie about God. Thus, Paul says, “…God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him” (Romans 5:8,9).

Adam failed in his charge and led a people to death because of his lie, but Christ will bring “many sons to glory,” delivering “those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives” (Hebrews 2:9,15). Those things which were to be true for man, as disclosed by the Psalmist and quoted by the writer to the Hebrews, namely:
“Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet…” (Psalm 8:5,6, cf. Hebrews 2:7,8)

are not true for those in Adam. However, they are true for Christ, and therefore, for all who are in Him, i.e. “His brethren.”

Paul summarizes this concept of Adam’s sin and Christ’s righteousness and their representative headship over mankind to explain the deep truth of justification:

“Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come. But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man's sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous.” (Romans 5:12-21)

Adam's Lie vs. Christ's Truth, Part III

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Yes, they should have died the day on which they ate of the fruit of that tree. Also, we who are Adam’s seed deserve the same righteous wrath. However God withheld judgment. He waited. He waits. He forbears, showing countless hours of patience to a wicked people who lie about the glory of God (Romans 2:1-8) . Our words and deeds serve to propagate Adam’s lie, defaming God, misrepresenting His goodness. We deny that He is majestic, sufficient, and all-satisfying. Yet God waits. Our feet are swift to shed blood—remember Cain. The venom of asps is under our lips—remember Lamech, Cain’s descendent. As God waits, do we repent? Most of us store up wrath for ourselves! We should be consumed by the Holy hatred of God, brewing against the children of wrath every day (cf. Psalm 7:11). However, He waits. Why does He wait?

In Genesis 3, He discloses a small portion of a plan to rescue a people. A seed would be born unto Eve. This seed would destroy the curse. He would be the truth of God made manifest, intimating to all creation the perfection of God’s offerings. Ultimately, we see this seed realized in Christ, the Incarnate Word. When we understand this, coupled with Paul’s words,
“[F]or all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Where then is boasting? It is excluded.” (Romans 3:23:27a)
The justice of God mandates punishment for sin. God passed over Adam's sin, but He cannot just do this. He is obligated by the constancy of His character to uphold the dignity of what is most valuable: His Name. But Adam has profaned God's Name, and so have we by being born in Adam. Forbearance must finally give way to justice. Today, God has been patient with us, but we should not presume upon theriches of His kindness and forbearance and patience. These are to lead us to repentance, to turn back to the truth of the all-satisfying God. Thus, punishment for Adam's sin and our sin must be exacted in one of two ways:
  1. On Christ at the cross, or
  2. In eternal hell.

Adam's Lie vs. Christ's Truth, Part II

Friday, August 17, 2007

There are a few commands given to man, and each demonstrates the afore-mentioned truth.

  1. “[F]rom any tree of the garden you may eat freely” displays God’s providence. In our enjoyment of what He has given to us, we display His goodness to creation. We show that He satisfies us and that He words for us and does need us. We show ourselves to be dependent upon His mercy. His words are to be kept for our own satisfaction. We see this in the penalty for not seeing God as sufficient provider: “But from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:17).

  2. We are to rule. In our ruling, we are to understand that God rules over us and all things. Moreover, we are to see what benevolence He exercises and imitate His care. Our ruling over things is charge to display the goodness of God in the previous command.

  3. We are to be fruitful and multiply. In our procreation, we see the beginnings of life and display something of God’s creation of us. God’s joy yielded life, and our joy finds an outlet ordained by God to reflect this truth.

In creating man, God saw the complementary roles of man and woman to facilitate the keeping of the commands. “It is not good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18a). Man alone is incapable of fulfilling all that God has for him; he is inadequate. Again, we see that God provides. He creates for Adam a suitable helper. Eve is equal in value to Adam: bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh.” Eve, however, has a different role: a helper to Adam. They need each other to fulfill the commands of God and thus glorify Him. They were to be one flesh. Indeed, it was “very good.”

Everything established, God has finished creating, so He sets an example for us and rests. However, a problem occurs, the ones who were to glorify God believed a lie about God. They bought into Satan’s lie, a philosophy of independence from God and self-exaltation. Man saw God’s provision as insufficient—even harmful—propagating a message that God is not good. What tasted satisfying for a moment brought shame. Sin was now manifest in those who were to represent Glory: marred mirrors, misrepresenting the majestic and manifold beauty of God’s light. All creation groaned, subjected to futility (Romans 8:20-22, cf. Jeremiah 2:11-12). Man was changed. All of us born of Adam are slaves to this. We are Adam’s lie. All of our actions perpetuate Adam’s abominable act. Our hearts are far from God; we seek to cover our lie by suppressing truth (Romans 1:18ff). Creation is aghast. The Almighty God’s eternal power and divine nature are evident.

The heavens are telling of the glory of God;
And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.
Day to day pours forth speech,
And night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words;
Their voice is not heard.
Their line has gone out through all the earth,
And their utterances to the end of the world.
In them He has placed a tent for the sun,
Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber;
It rejoices as a strong man to run his course. (Psalm 19:1-5)

We, who are Adam’s offspring, trivialize the majestic; we show ourselves to rebellious, robust haters of God. We are Adam’s lie.

Man was to be a statement about God: His dominion and His provision, all to be savored. Instead of ruling over the earth and its inhabitants, man was dominated by a piece of fruit from a tree he was to cultivate. He failed in charge to care for Eve, and he was dominated by the serpent’s lie—a serpent he was to rule over. Man sought satisfaction outside of God’s provision. The truth to be said about God in mankind was forsaken, exchanged for a lie. This demands condemnation. Holy justice cries out for the infinite, eternal wrath of an omnipotent Judge. Adam and Eve deserved the fierce the wrath of a righteous God. They, according to God’s own words, should have died the day on which they ate of that tree.

Adam's Lie vs. Christ's Truth, Part I

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). God is the author of all things. There was a time when there was nothing except the eternal, self-existing One. Original and never-becoming, all that is needed to be abides in Him. He does not look outside of Himself for provision. He is uniquely other. All things that were to become were not yet. There will be for all things outside of Him flux. For God, there is unwavering constancy woven into His very being. He is the great “I am.” All meaning and purpose are bound up in His nature, a nature that is unlike any other; He is holy. Every thing to become has a meaning and purpose that is derivative; that which is created is “meant” or “purposed” by the Creator. All reality serves as a demonstration of eternal truth, chiefly in the display of God’s glory.

Carefully placed in the beginning chapter of Genesis, the book of beginnings, the term “good” is placed upon certain things. Well, what is “goodness”? What does it mean for something to be good? We flippantly throw around such a word without a thought of their substance, their point-of-reference. Whatever we understand “good” to be, we have just seen that its meaning must be derivative. This value must be assigned, based upon some eternal, infinite, perfect, and fixed reality, by the One who upholds all such reality.

Just as the moon, i.e. the lesser light, has no original light of its own and whose light is derivative, based upon what small amount of light it reflects from the sun, i.e. the greater light, how much more does creation derive its goodness from the greatest Good, the original Good. God’s glory spills forth from the goodness observed in Himself by Himself to create for Himself something to reflect Himself. To the degree which He sees Himself in this creation, He enjoys it. God’s providence in creation—creating filling, supplying, maintaining, etc.—display an eternal truth about God, something intrinsic to His nature. Creation is an overflow of, or outpouring of, something of Himself, some characteristic.

We see lights that govern over night and day. We observe vast creatures that could crush us with little effort. We search out the tiniest realities that we suppose are the glue of the universe. The continuum of size and variety display the eternal reality of the size of our God and the vast array over which He exercises authority. He is the Sovereign Lord over all things.

Until man was created, everything was good. God had evaluated those things He had created, and He was pleased. The eternal joy that God had in Himself then led Him to say,

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” (Gen 1:26)

Thus, we see a creature aware of its glorification of his Creator, illustrated in his fruitful multiplication and dominion over all other creation on earth. Man: Imago Dei, i.e. the image of God. God’s creation had reached a crescendo; God had established man as a representative for Himself unto creation, and seeing His glory bearers, “Very good.” What a divine pronouncement! After all, man did bear the image of God.

Good Blog Entries from 9 Marks

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

A good blog entry on false teachers can be found on the 9 Marks blog: Church Matters. On another note, there is a series of ten entries being written on Where'd All These Calvinists Come From?.