Chapter # 6 Paragraph # 1 Study # 9
Thesis: Freedom from sin is through the crucifixion of Adam with Christ.
Introduction: Last week we argued that Adam is "the old man" to which Paul referred in Romans 6:6. If we remember that the Romans were a group of people of whom Paul knew little in terms of the content of their faith, it helps us to understand his terminology. He could assume nothing beyond regeneration, and he could not even assume that in the particular (as it might apply to any specific person in the group). Therefore, he could hardly use terminology that did not have an adequate "context" for understanding on their part. So, when he used the phrase "our old man", he had to have laid a foundation for it in his prior teaching. We find that prior teaching in Romans 5 where he clearly establishes the fact that Adam is our "problem". When Adam sinned, we sinned. When Adam died, we died. That death passes upon all of us proves these claims.
Now, in Romans 6:6 Paul makes the claim that "Adam" (our "problem") was crucified together with Christ. Paul says that, in some way, this should get rid of our "problem". But, the issues are a bit more complex than simply having Adam "die". Adam "died" 930 years after he was created, but his "death" passed upon all men anyway so having him "die" does not get rid of the problem. Paul's argument is not that Adam's death solved anything for us, but that Adam's co-crucifixion with Christ solved it. And, also, in Galatians 2:20, Paul claimed that he was co-crucified with Christ -- meaning that he saw himself as "Adam".
Therefore, we are going to give further consideration of what Paul meant when he said that we are released from the dominion of sin by the co-crucifixion of our old man with Christ.
September 12, 2006
- I. Our "Oneness" with Adam and Christ.
- A. Paul's theology is that the only rationale for the universality of both sin and death is that all of humanity is "one" with Adam.
- 1. When God created Eve, Adam, the Ish, called her "Ishshah" after saying "she is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh" (Genesis 2:23).
- a. This terminology follows that of 2:7: as "from the ground" is "min-ha-Adamah" and "Adam" arises from it, so "me-'ish" is "from Adam" and "Ishshah" arises from him [see the article on "Ish" in Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament, vol. 1, p. 226)].
- b. Then, the "man" and the "woman" are said to be "one flesh" (Genesis 2:24) and the illustration is in the children who are "one" out of "two".
- 2. The result is that all who come "from" Adam are "one with him".
- 3. The "oneness" is so profound that both the guilt and the penalty of the one are imposed upon all because all are one.
- 4. Paul's argument is reverse-order: since all die, we must have a rationale for that; since death is the consequence of sin, there must be true guilt.
- B. Paul's theology is that the only escape from the universality of both sin and death is that of a new "oneness" with One Who is neither guilty, nor dead.
- 1. The "oneness" must be just as "real" as the "oneness" that brought about sin and death.
- 2. The "oneness" must be "legitimate".
- a. There must be a prior "oneness" between "Adam" and "Christ" sans guilt and penalty.
- 1) This can only be if Christ is genuinely "me-ish" (from Adam) -- bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh.
- 2) But this can only be if Christ is somehow not "infected" by the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil -- thus the virgin birth.
- a) There was no "creation" of a "new" Adam as in the beginning -- for that would have negated any need for birth.
- b) There was a "generation" of a "new" Adam through the woman (1 Corinthians 11:12).
- b. There must not be more to Christ than there was to Adam.
- 1) The implication of the eating of the fruit is that the fruit somehow stripped something out of Adam that had kept all in harmony so that there was now the competition of death.
- 2) Whatever the Holy Spirit did when He "overshadowed" Mary so that she conceived, He did not impart to her anything that was not in Adam's original makeup.
- C. Paul's theology is that if we are "one" with Adam, and if Adam is "one" with Christ, then we are "one" with Christ.
- 1. This means that when "our old man" was crucified with Christ, "we" were crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20).
- 2. This does not eliminate the necessity of regeneration, nor does it eliminate the on-going "oneness" of Adam's progeny in the guilt and penalty issues.
- a. Regeneration is necessary because there has to be an inner change that restores "faith" to the equation...there can be no harmony between two who do not trust each other.
- b. The "oneness" issues are "out there" -- objective reality -- whereas the "faith" issue is "in here" -- very much a subjective issue.
- II. Our Freedom From Sin.
- A. Paul claims that "faith" in our oneness with Christ's "crucifixion" sets up an effective block to the dominion of sin.
- B. His claim is that the "roots" of our bondage have been cut loose because our "bodies", which embody those roots, have been "stripped of their power".
- 1. All we got from Adam was "body" stuff.
- 2. But what we got from Adam was sufficiently "potent" to enslave us to sin.
- 3. So, how is that "potency" negated?
- a. Paul works from the inside out.
- 1) First, he claims that the only way a believer can be enslaved to Sin is if the believer's mind is deceived (Romans 7:11).
- a) The power of the body is real, but it is "tenuous" because it is founded upon deceit.
- b) Where there is no deception, there is no power.
- 2) Second, he removes the "penalty" issue by establishing "co-crucifixion" as the "payment" of that penalty.
- a) This removes the "fear" factor by which all bondage works.
- b) This sets up the "love" factor by which all freedom works.
- 3) Third, he removes the "power" issue by telling us that the potency of the body has been negated.
- a) This, however, is where the issues of "faith" come into play: no one can experience authority over the power of the body who does not believe that the power has been broken.
- b) But, this is not mere "mind over matter" stuff: a greater "potency" has been added to the mix -- the "glory of the Father" has placed resurrection power in us by the Spirit Whom He has given us (Romans 8:10-11).
- b. Paul works from the teaching to the practice (there is no "exhortation" until the "explanation" has been laid out).