Chapter # 5 Paragraph # 2 Study # 4
Thesis: Adam was the "type" of Christ, but only in two "areas" of characteristics.
Introduction: Last week we looked into Paul's argument that "humanity" is an integrated "whole" that cannot be destroyed by the sub-thesis of individuality. Individuality is a reality. But it is only such as a sub-thesis of the greater fact of the unity of humanity. Paul's argument is made theologically, historically, and judicially so that we can understand that when Adam sinned, we sinned. Now, it is a fact that the majority of humanity does not embrace this "unity" thesis and rebels -- sometimes rather violently -- to it. But, there is a very good reason for all of us to be very careful about such a reaction: Paul claims that Adam was a "type" of Christ. So, if we throw off our "unity" with Adam, it is highly likely that we will never get to any real kind of "unity" with Christ. That is a most dangerous possibility since there is no salvation apart from being "in Christ".
This evening we are going to investigate Paul's claim that Adam was a "type" of Christ so that we may see as clearly as possible what he meant.
May 2, 2006
- I. What Is a "Type"?
- A. Its meaning is revealed by looking at the way it is used in the New Testament.
- 1. In John 20:25 Thomas used it to refer to the way the nails left an impression in the hands and feet of Christ.
- 2. In Acts 7:43 Stephen accused the Israelites of turning the "types" into the realities they were to represent.
- 3. In Acts 7:44 Stephen said that Moses was told to build the tabernacle according to the "type" he had been shown.
- 4. In the epistles of the New Testament the word is used for "examples" that were "pattern setters".
- B. The key issues are two.
- 1. The "type" is historically the "prior" or "first".
- 2. The "type" establishes at least a certain basic reality to which the "antitype" conforms.
- II. What Is Paul's Meaning?
- A. He clearly realizes that there are several ways in which Adam and Christ are not alike.
- 1. This realization takes up the majority of his effort in our paragraph.
- 2. There are more contrasts between Adam and Christ in the paragraph than similarities.
- a. There is the contrast between the "offense" and the "gift" (5:15).
- b. There is the contrast between the impact of the offense and the impact of the gift (5:15).
- c. There is the contrast between the "number" of "sins" involved (5:16).
- d. There is the contrast between the "degree of impact" involved (5:17).
- e. There is the contrast between the "results" involved (a restatement of 5:15 in 5:18) where those results are made more potent -- condemnation vs. justification.
- f. There is, moreover, the contrast between the function of "Law" and the function of "Grace".
- B. But it is imperative to his doctrine of salvation that we "get" the claim of "typology".
- 1. The areas of similarity are two.
- a. Both Adam and Christ are "human": they are exactly what we are and what each other are.
- 1) This is important in the light of Hebrews 2:16.
- 2) This is important in the light of other "living beings" in the creation.
- b. Both Adam and Christ are "Heads" of their respective "many".
- 1) The issue of "headship" is the issue of being the primary "actor" whose actions completely dominate those who come after them by their actions.
- 2) The issue of "the many" is "those who are genuinely united into one".
- 2. There is no lostness apart from Adam and there is no salvation apart from Christ.
- a. The entire issue of man's demand to be an "individual" is rooted in the fact that men do not want to be "lost" in Adam.
- b. The entire issue of man's demand to be a "free moral agent who makes his own choices" is rooted in the fact that men do not want to be "saved" in Christ.
- III. What Is Paul's First "Point"?
- A. He deliberately changes "words" between 5:14 and 5:15.
- 1. In characterizing Adam's action in 5:14 he used the word "parabasis".
- 2. In characterizing Adam's action in 5:15 he used the word "paraptoma".
- B. The translators have a serious difference of understanding -- the Authorized Version calls "parabasis" transgression and "paraptoma" offense; and the NASB calls the "parabasis" offense and the "paraptoma" transgression.
- C. The resolution to the problem is to be found in studying the use of the words in their respective contexts in the New Testament.
- 1. Romans 2:23 reveals that "parabasis" is a "breaking of the Law".
- 2. Romans 11:11-12 and Galatians 6:1 reveal that "paraptoma" is a "stumbling" so that what is right is violated.
- 3. It seems that the real issue between the two is that when a person "stumbles", the result is that he "breaks the Law".
- a. This implies that "stumbling" is most likely in the area of "reasoning" -- i.e., the preliminary stages of departure from the Truth.
- b. Then the "breaking of the Law" is in the area of the overt activity -- i.e., the final stage of departure from the Truth.
- D. The significance of this is that Paul is claiming that Christ's solution is not just about the overt issues, but the more difficult issue of wisdom.
- 1. The meaning is that Christ has done far more than address the purely "judicial" issue of payment in kind and to the same degree.
- 2. Christ has actually immunized those who trust in Him from the problem of being "led astray" so that condemnation must occur: His "grace" moved into the area of the preliminary stages.
- a. This does not mean that those who are Christ's cannot be led astray at all.
- b. But, if being led astray will result in condemnation, the salvation He offers is not very real because we are not very wise.