Deathisdefeated

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

Adam and “Death” to “all” men

I want to piggy back off of a post that Larry made on the SGP site. Larry brings up the point that “those who are “saved” implies the necessity of logical limitation” concerning the use of Paul’s “all”. IMO this is an extremely important point to recognize concerning the language of the scriptures. There is an inherent propensity by Christians to “assume” that the “all” that is spoken of by Paul is to be inferred universally toward all men in context to the discussion. Well yes and no. Yes when the Gospel is for all men but no when specifically discussing the corporate application of salvation and covenant inclusion. Here is the specific quote from Larry that I had in mind.

Larry said … “With respect to "limited atonement" the fact that God's grace is directed toward those who are "saved" implies the necessity of logical limitation. The "all" verses of Scripture are always best understood from the standpoint of Jew and Gentile as the collective "all" to whom the text is directed. The word is never universally inclusive of every individual, nor should it be understood in that sense.”

Where this application can rear up and bite us is in the classic discussion found in Romans chapter 5 concerning “all” men. In verse 18 we see that “all” men are said to be justified and have life but should we understand that inclusion to be comprehensive of men who have rejected or outside of Covenant life? Obviously the answer is no because we realize that Life comes only through faith in Christ and His Works of faithfulness on the Cross.

Rom 5:18-19 Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.

Now let us consider the earlier application of “all” men by Paul just a few verses earlier.

Rom 5:12 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--

So how are we to consider the “all” men of verse 12 when it comes to the “death”? The answer is similar to the previous point. The “all” men under consideration that Paul has under consideration are only those Men seeking relationship with the One True God from Adam onward thru a Covenant status. Those outside of this Covenant relationship already resided in the original darkness which excludes them from Life with God. (Eph 2:12) and their position as “dead” men was already a given and firmly established. The “Death” of Adam was a Covenantal Death as he was the first and original hope of humanity for reconciliation with God but through the weakness of the imperfect flesh those men who strove to know the God of Adam, Abraham and Moses would have futility until Christ.

Paul assumes his “all” as Larry states within a “logical limitation” both in verse 12 and again in verse 18. This is firmly established in verse 19 in which the two statements of Paul are reestablished with the qualification of the “many” for both “all’s”.

(19) 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.

Adam was originally established to bring mankind into Covenant as a type of Christ (Rom 5:14) but we know that it is not a covenant inclusive of the non covenantal Gentiles. Contrary then to popular understanding Adam should not be understood as a biological progenitor of “sin death” but instead is one through whom was established a “covenantal “sin death” progeny as that is the default understanding found throughout scriptures. It is only in Covenant that Man is established with God and outside it becomes a moot point. When men come seeking God in Covenant is when they are effectively under consideration for Paul’s “all” men classification.

The question of whether Gentile Pagan men were in Darkness and already effectively dead to God is never an issue as it is the default understanding of scriptures. That is why Adam corresponds to the beginning creation of Light out of the void of Darkness and was created from the dead and mortal dust of the Earth and from a dry wilderness land in Genesis. This is also why because of the fall that he would return to the dust of the earth because he had lost the Gardne immortality through the weakness of the flesh and only through Christ this lost immortal life would be reclaimed for Covenant mankind.

Paul tells us clearly his logic and reasoning concerning the “all” in Rom 9:7-8.

Rom 9:7-8 and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but "Through Isaac shall your offspring be named." (8) This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring.

You can find Larry’s full post at the following link

http://preterism.ning.com/forum/topics/preterism-and-limited?page=2...


Norm

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Comment by Tami on November 16, 2009 at 5:29pm
Norm, thanks for posting this here. It is an important discussion. I have some catching up to do with this topic and I haven't been able to follow the whole thread yet at the other forum, due to other demands on my time, but I wanted to highlight a couple of things here from your post above.

First of all, with regard to the context of Romans 5 and Paul's use of the word "all": I completely agree with you that we must be consistant in our application of this term throughout the context of Romans 5. It quite frankly seems ludicrous to me to suggest that the word switches back and forth between a limited and universal application in one context (which I think is the common teaching of Calvinism). This article by Ward Fenley enunciates this point as well.

Secondly, I found this explanation of yours very helpful:

Adam was originally established to bring mankind into Covenant as a type of Christ (Rom 5:14) but we know that it is not a covenant inclusive of the non covenantal Gentiles. Contrary then to popular understanding Adam should not be understood as a biological progenitor of “sin death” but instead is one through whom was established a “covenantal “sin death” progeny as that is the default understanding found throughout scriptures. It is only in Covenant that Man is established with God and outside it becomes a moot point. When men come seeking God in Covenant is when they are effectively under consideration for Paul’s “all” men classification.

The question of whether Gentile Pagan men were in Darkness and already effectively dead to God is never an issue as it is the default understanding of scriptures. That is why Adam corresponds to the beginning creation of Light out of the void of Darkness and was created from the dead and mortal dust of the Earth and from a dry wilderness land in Genesis.


Here are a couple of important points I took from what you wrote above:

1. Sin or "the sin nature" is not biologically inherited. The argument I often hear from those who insist Adam was the first biological man (and has to be) is that if he wasn't, how could we say that "all men are under sin or death?" You can see the emphasis these folks place on biology, and physicality...as if sin resides in the physical body, which is a gnostic concept when you really think about it.

2. "[That] Gentile Pagan men were in Darkness and already effectively dead to God is never an issue as it is the default understanding of scriptures." I really like your phrase "default understanding." And also "effectively dead." Of course there is no life apart from covenant relationship to God. Therefore, they too, are spiritually "dead" in their natural state. And as Ephesians explains, they were strangers to the covenant and without hope, but were brought into the covenant by the blood of Christ and through belief in the gospel.

I do have a question regarding this statement:

"This is also why because of the fall that he would return to the dust of the earth because he had lost the Garden immortality through the weakness of the flesh and only through Christ this lost immortal life would be reclaimed for Covenant mankind."

I bet you can guess my question. :) This is something I am still sorting out....are you saying that Adam had immortality in the Garden, and then lost it? That's giving me pause. 1 Corinthians 15 comes to my miind, as I am sure it does yours. Perhaps this overlaps your other blog about the "image of God," which I hope to interact with soon.

Tami
Comment by Norm on November 16, 2009 at 6:31pm
Tami,

How about I try stating it like this.. “The opportunity was not grasped for immortal life which the Garden was intended to provide”.

I’m always looking for better and more accurate language for enunciating the first Garden plan. :)

Also recently here on DID it was pointed out that I may have been drawing an incorrect inference from Rom 7. My understanding was that Paul was speaking in a euphemistic manner describing Adam prior to the giving of the commandment. If Paul is speaking in such a manner the better application may be as Eve the woman who was first deceived. (1 Ti 2:13-14)

1Ti 2:13-14 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman WAS DECEIVED and became a transgressor.

Rom 7:8-12 But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead. (9) I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died. (10) The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me. (11) For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, DECEIVED ME and through it killed me. (12) So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.

Adam the husband was a type of Christ as regards the husband and the application of the Law. Hosea refers also to an eventual freedom from this master to a true husband.

Hos 2:16 And it hath come to pass, in that day, An affirmation of Jehovah, Thou dost call Me--My husband, And dost not call Me any more--My lord (master).

So I think Paul may have been speaking of Eve the body of Israel who was alive until the commandment came and she/Israel was deceived. This may make better contextual sense of the preceding verses concerning the death of the old husband (Adam) allowing Israel the woman to take a new husband. (Eph 5:22-33)

Eph 5:32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.

Thanks for the comments.

Norm
Comment by jjkratt on November 16, 2009 at 6:31pm
Tami and Norm,
I just posted this over at Preterism Debate before I saw Tami's excellent post here. The question she raises at the end is the one I am wrestling with myself, as you know Norm. I'll post what I wrote over there and then maybe we can "flesh" this out. This also could be a good segue to "flesh" out some of the critical points I made this summer at the Ardmore lectures. I presented two lessons that delved into this subject.

Here is my post.

Norm, I think you are correct in your assessment here. I think Genesis 5 is very important when discussing this topic:

Genesis 5:1-3 ESV This is the book of the generations of Adam. When God created man [Adam-jk], he made him in the likeness of God. 2 Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man [Adam-jk] when they were created. 3 When Adam had lived 130 years, he fathered a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth.

Adam was created [bara] in the "likeness of God". Adam fathered a son in his own likeness, not in the likeness of God. This is the perpetuation of the covenant line of Adam, the expansion of the covenant body of the death, to await its resurrection transformation of the natural [corporate] man under law, sin, and death, to the spiritual [corporate] man Christ, redeemed from the law, the sin, and the death.

The image of God as you showed was only to be obtained through Christ who as you pointed out is the One who has the image of God and bestows it to us through his righteousness.

This also goes to the heart of the doctrine of unconditional immortality of man. The only text that can really be used to support that man (human kind) has an "immortal" soul regardless of putting on Christ is this one here in Gen 1:26. But that is circular reasoning for one has to assume (eisegesis) that into the text. Especially when it becomes clear that only Christ has immortality (1 Timothy 6:16; 2 Timothy 1:10) and at the resurrection he bestowed immortality upon his bride, his body (1 Cor. 15:53, 54).

This all seems to tie in very well with the overall story of resurrection in 1 Cor 15. The only other possible understanding I can get from this text is that Adam was given the "image" when placed into a special covenant-relationship in the garden but lost it at the fall. Christ "Restores" what Adam lost. Adam still would have been created in the "likeness" of God as all mankind is but the specific "image" was lost at the fall and only regained in Christ through his accomplished work of redemption.

What is interesting here is that "Adam" is used specifically in certain contexts as opposed to the other Hebrew words for "man" revealed in Hebrew scriptures. I think that should be a clue for understanding Adam in Romans 5 and 1 Cor 15 as representative of "covenant" man in the body of sin and death for violation of the commandment. Those outside the covenant were in darkness just as they are now. The fitting analogy for me is (a) utter darkness for those outside the covenant (mankind that Adam was pulled from and put into a relationship), (b) moonlit shadowy light at night for those in the old covenant body of death, and (c) those living in the sunlight (Son, the true light) of the eternal Day.

Jerel
Comment by jjkratt on November 16, 2009 at 6:42pm
Forgive me, for I actually meant to post this to Norm's post about the "image of God", however these two issues are actually linked together I think. If it needs to be moved or if someone can do it for me, thanks. If it fits here, let's keep it. :-)

I do agree now that I think Paul is recapitulating "Eve" not Adam in Romans 7. I posited Adam in my lectures but now think Eve fits better as you point out Norm and was mentioned a while back in Alan's thread about one of his Romans messages.
Comment by Tami on November 16, 2009 at 7:12pm
Norm, you wrote:

How about I try stating it like this.. “The opportunity was not grasped for immortal life which the Garden was intended to provide”.

Norm, I like this a little better. Now...suppose we set aside a "literal chronological" element or aspect of the garden story, and see it as primarily prophetic? Then we are free to see that immortality could never be provided apart from Christ, and the garden scene was a prophetic picture of paradise, which is presence with God? This certainly is confirmed by the comparison in Revelation 22 of heaven to the garden, with the tree of life at the center of each. (I understand the discussion of what Adam actually had and experienced before the fall--compared and contrasted to what we have and experience in Christ--is still ongoing.)

As for Eve being a better fit with Paul's discussion in Romans 7, I think we are all on the same page. I discussed that somewhat in my "Language of Creation" article. When I saw you guys' discussion about Adam vs Eve, I went back and read the section I had written which paralleled that discussion and I think it still works. See if you agree:

The marriage relationship [referring to Ephesians 5--see larger context in the article] is a picture of Christ’s union with his “bride,” the church. We are “members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.” We have already seen that Eve, “the mother of all the living,” is a prophetic picture of the church in the Genesis creation story. Accordingly, Adam said of her, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh.” Whereas in the new covenant, God’s people the church are married to the new man Christ; under the old covenant, God’s people Israel were married to the old man, Adam. This “marriage” metaphorically pictures her condition of bondage under the law. Paul describes it this way:

Romans 7:1-4 Or do you not know, brethren (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives? 2 For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. 3 So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man. 4 Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.

In the same way that Eve desired the tree as that which would make her wise (Genesis 3:6); Israel, under the bondage of the law, looked for life in that law, and in self-righteousness (John 5:39). And thereby she proved the curse she was under:

Genesis 3:16…your desire shall be toward your husband, and he shall rule over you.

Again, we look to Paul for clarification. The rule of the old man was the curse of the law:

Galatians 3:10-13 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continues not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. 11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. 12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that does them shall live in them. 13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us.

Christ, our new “husband,” has redeemed us from the curse of the law, to which we have died. We are no longer under its rule, or its condemnation:

Romans 8:1,2 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

And our desire is now toward Him:

Psalm 73:25 Whom have I in heaven but you? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside you.


More later on what you and Jerel have both added...

Tami
Comment by Tami on November 16, 2009 at 7:30pm
Right on the money, Norm:

So I think Paul may have been speaking of Eve the body of Israel who was alive until the commandment came and she/Israel was deceived. This may make better contextual sense of the preceding verses concerning the death of the old husband (Adam) allowing Israel the woman to take a new husband. (Eph 5:22-33)

Eph 5:32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.


And it's important to identify the deception. She was deceived when she saw that the "tree" was good for "food." In other words, she sought righteousness (life) through the law, and through self-righteousness. Compare this to what Jesus said to the pharisees:

John 5:39 Search the scriptures [ie, the LAW] for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. [The law was a tutor to bring them to Christ, but the pharisees thought that the works of law made them righteous-they saw the "tree" and that it was good for "food," and desirable to make one wise--"you will be like God."]

BUT

John 5:40 Ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.
Comment by Tami on November 17, 2009 at 1:19pm
I wanted to include this comment from Jerel in this thread. Jerel posted this on the debate site in response to Michael Bennett's statement that "all" switches meanings in the context of Romans 5. Michael indeed "dances all over the place" and engages in Calvinistic "double talk" in that context. Here is Jerel's excellent response [emphasis mine]:

"They ["all" and "all" in Romans 5] most definitely are the same groups. I don't see how they aren't?

I'd like to see someone who believes the "all" in Adam are all mankind and the "all" in Christ are those who are redeemed deal with 1 Cor 15:22 and Romans 5:18, exegetically, in context, without dancing all over the place. There's no exegetical proof to be offered for changing "all men" in the same breath, in these two passages. Either both are covenantal or both are biological. You can't switch it half way thru without doing double talk. The only way Norm can say they "would not be the same if they were biological" is because the conclusion would be universalism. Norm rejects that so he rejects the biological interpretation. Of course the scriptures clearly teach against universalism in many places as has been pointed out, so the only logical conclusion is to make both covenantal. That does no violence to the text. But to make Adam "Covenantal" leads one to the slippery slope that he possibly wasn't the first human being, and so those who believe YEC is gospel truth will reject the covenantal position. What's interesting here is that it is much more clear that Rom. 5:18 and 1 Cor. 15:18 are talking about the same "all men", than it is that Genesis 1 proves a young earth. It sounds like the tail is wagging the dog here. [Ya think?]"


If you read Jerel's comments carefully, you will see why I have suggested before that Bennett's biological interpretation of one of the "alls" in Romans 5 logically concludes with universalism. And you may also begin to recognize why the "covennat creation" framework offers such a strong refutation of preterist universalism. And further still...you may catch a glimpse into what is the driving motivation behind Bennett's "exegesis" of this text, and that is his die-hard commitment to young earth creationism. It's all related.
Comment by Tami on November 17, 2009 at 2:07pm
In case Davo (a member here) drops by....and in case anyone reading Davo at the debate site drops by....

Davo wrote:

… and while they're at it, let the SAME consistency of rationale then be applied to the "all" of Paul's "for ALL have sinned…" – is it covenantalism or universalism?

The context is covenantal. Just keep reading. The very next verse says:

Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

The "all" who have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God are those who have been justifed by His grace. This "all who have sinned" is inclusive of believers and NO ONE ELSE. Contrary to what many of us were taught when we memorized this verse in Sunday School...or learned it out of context as a segment in the "Romans Road."

Here's a revolutionary idea. Let's read the entire sentence:

Rom 3:23,24 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

"Beng justified..." is a subordinate adjective clause modifying the subject, the "all who have sinned."

So...the pattern is in place, and the context established, and unbroken, for Romans 5.
Comment by jjkratt on November 17, 2009 at 8:54pm
Great comment Tami on Romans 3:23, 24! I totally agree and wish I would have thought of that in my last response today to Davo. I picked up on this a while back, and also remember Ward mentioning it briefly in his awesome "Holiness of God" lesson.

Thanks for quoting me over here. I'm glad we're finally having this discussion. :-)

Jerel
Comment by Doug on December 7, 2012 at 11:08am

This discussion is not only important, I think it is THE most important understanding a christian should understand. When one understands how God is working with a select group, then he can understand how Gentiles are grafted in to the spiritual Israel through Christ. Without understanding this doctrine, all sorts of weird interpretations of Paul's writing ensue. Many have come to the conclusion that "all Israel shall be saved" is talking about physical Israel, and then that leads to misinterpreting "end times" such that scenarios like Tim LaHaye are written. Not to mention that the reformed position of limited atonement is misunderstood and misapplied!

But rightly understood, it makes the bible SO MUCH clearer.

All that said, I would like to hear what others here believe concerning 2 Peter 3:9

"The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance."

Is this talking only to those "in covenant"?

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