ADAM – A TYPE OF CHRIST

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Saturday Evening, June 18, 2011

“Death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come” (Romans 5:14).


Dr. Charles Hodge said that “The design of this section [of Romans] is the illustration of the doctrine of justification of sinners on the ground of the righteousness of Christ, by a reference to the condemnation of man for the sin of Adam” (Charles Hodge, Ph.D., A Commentary on Romans, The Banner of Truth Trust, 1997 reprint, p. 142).

“Death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression...” That is, death reigned like a king over all men, before the Ten Commandments were given to Moses. They did not sin “after the similitude [‘in the likeness,’ George Ricker Berry] of Adam’s transgression.” Those who lived between Adam and Moses did not have the written law to condemn them. Why, then, did death reign over them? It was the sinful nature of man, inherited from Adam, that caused it. They died because they inherited Adam’s sinful nature.

“Death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the [likeness] of Adam's transgression...”
       (Romans 5:14).

Adam sinned against a direct commandment of God, “thou shalt not eat of it” (Genesis 2:17). But those who lived between Adam and Moses had no direct, written law. Yet they were sinners. Why? Because “death reigned” over them (Romans 5:14). “Death” here means more than physical death. It refers to spiritual death as well. Dr. J. Vernon McGee said,

There is spiritual death, which is separation from and rebellion against God. We are alienated from God, and we are dead in trespasses and sins (see Eph. 2:1)...That is the picture that Scripture presents (J. Vernon McGee, Th.D., Thru the Bible, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1983, volume 4, p. 679; note on Romans 5:14).

That brings us to the part of our text which I want to focus on this evening – “[Adam] who is the figure of him that was to come” (Romans 5:14). The Greek word translated “figure” is “tupŏs.” It means a “type” or “figure” (Strong).

The importance of Adam is critical. He was “the figure (type, picture) of Him that was to come,” that is, of Christ. Adam and Christ are pictured as the two pivotal [men] of human history, as the two figureheads or representatives of the human race (The Preacher’s Outline Sermon Bible, Alpha-Omega Ministries, 1996 edition, volume 2, p. 473; note on Romans 5:12-21).

And, so, Adam is a type or picture of Christ in several ways. This outline is a simplified version of one given by the Puritan Baptist, Benjamin Keach (1640-1704) in his book, Preaching From the Types and Metaphors of the Bible (Kregel Publications, 1972 reprint, p. 972).

“Adam...who is the figure of him that was to come”
       (Romans 5:14).

Benjamin Keach gave three parallels between Adam and Christ, which make Adam a type of Christ. I will give you two of Keach’s points.

I. First, Adam had no father but God; so Christ likewise had no father but God.

Adam and Christ were both in a special way called the sons of God – Adam by direct creation, and Christ by eternal generation. Jesus was always the Son of God.

Dr. John MacArthur has taught that Jesus became the Son of God at the incarnation, when He was born of the Virgin Mary. His view is called “incarnational Sonship.” Dr. MacArthur said,

The Bible nowhere speaks of the eternal Sonship of Christ…He was always God, but He became Son. He had not always had the title of Son. That is His incarnational title. Eternally He is God, but only from His incarnation has he been Son…Christ was not Son until His incarnation (John MacArthur, D.D., The MacArthur New Testament Commentary – Hebrews, Moody Press, 1983, pp. 27-28).

Dr. MacArthur’s view of “incarnational Sonship” was refuted by George W. Zeller and Renald Showers (The Eternal Sonship of Christ, Loizeaux Brothers, 1993).

Christ has always been the Son of God. Zeller and Showers said, “The Bible teaches that the [eternal] Sonship of Jesus Christ involves the very person and nature of our Lord, the essence of who He is as the Second Person of the Trinity. Since He can never become other than who He is, He can never exist apart from being the Son” (ibid., p. 91). He is,

“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever”
       (Hebrews 13:8).

Dr. John F. Walvoord, author, theologian, and for decades the president of Dallas Theological Seminary, said,

Christ has been a Son from eternity; and the theory that He became a Son by incarnation is inadequate to account for the usage of the term…The Scriptures represent Christ as eternally the Son of God…The Scriptural view of the sonship of Christ, as recognized in many of the great creeds of the church, is that Christ was always the Son of God (John F. Walvoord, Th.D., Jesus Christ Our Lord, Moody Press, 1969, pp. 39, 41-42).

C. H. Spurgeon, the “Prince of Preachers,” said,

Jesus, the eternal Son of God, “very God of very God,” who had been hymned through eternal ages by joyous angels, who had been the favourite of his Father’s court, exalted high above principalities and powers, and every name that was named, he himself condescended to become a man; was born of the Virgin Mary; was cradled in a manger; lived a life of suffering and at last died a death of agony (C. H. Spurgeon, “Justice Satisfied,” The New Park Street Pulpit, Pilgrim Publications, 1975, volume 5, p. 243).

The widely respected theologian and commentator Dr. Charles Hodge said,

Christ is called the Son of God because he is consubstantial with God the Father, and therefore equal to him in power and glory. The term [Son of God] is therefore, as applied to Christ, not a term of office, nor expressive of any relation assumed in time. He was and is the Eternal Son (Charles Hodge, Ph.D., Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, Eerdmans, 1976, p. 18).

“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever”
       (Hebrews 13:8).

Christ has, therefore, always been the Son of God, and Dr. MacArthur was wrong.

I do not write this as a mere diatribe against Dr. MacArthur. He has many good things to say in The MacArthur Study Bible (World Bibles, 1997 edition). I often read his notes there, and sometimes even quote him positively in my sermons. But as late as 1997, in the notes of his study Bible, he still appeared to endorse “incarnational Sonship,” in his note on Psalm 2:7 (“...the Father/Son relationship in the Trinity, a relationship planned in eternity past and realized in the incarnation...”); in his note on Romans 1:4 (“He was eternally the Son in anticipation of His incarnation, it was when He entered the world in incarnation that He was declared...as the Son of God and took on the role of submission to the Father”); and in his note on Hebrews 1:5 (“He was always God, but He fulfilled His role as Son in space and time at His incarnation”), emphasis mine. Christ did not take on the “role” of the Son at His incarnation. Dr. Hodge said, “The term [Son of God] is therefore, as applied to Christ, not a term of office [i.e. “role”] nor expressive of any relation assumed in time [i.e. at His incarnation]. He was and is the Eternal Son” (ibid.).

Thus, Adam is a type of Christ. The Bible calls Adam “the son of God” (Luke 3:38). Adam had no father but God. Likewise Christ had no father but God. Adam was created by God, but Christ was eternally generated as the Son of God.

“Adam...who is the figure of him that was to come”
       (Romans 5:14).

II. Second, Adam’s sin was imputed to all his offspring; so, Christ’s righteousness is imputed to all His offspring through faith in Him.

“By one man [Adam] sin entered into the world”
      (Romans 5:12).

“By one man’s disobedience [Adam’s] many were made sinners” (Romans 5:19).

By Adam’s sin all men were made sinners.

Christ, the last Adam, imputes righteousness to all His spiritual offspring. As Adam’s sin was imputed to all his offspring, so was Christ’s righteousness imputed to all His offspring by faith in Him.

“For as by one man’s disobedience [Adam’s] many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one [Christ] shall many be made righteous” (Romans 5:19).

“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (I Corinthians 15:22).

When you first heard the Gospel you were in Adam, in a state of sin and death. But now you have heard of Jesus, “the last Adam” (I Corinthians 15:45). Jesus, the last Adam, has come to save you from judgment, pardon your sins, and cleanse you from all sin with His own Blood.

But you must not confound Jesus the Son with God the Father. The Father meets sinners with consuming fire! (Hebrews 12:29). You must come to Jesus, the eternal Son of God. Jesus is the only Person in the Trinity who has Blood to cleanse your sin. Jesus loves you more than you will ever fully know. Jesus said that He came “to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).

Jesus came and died on the Cross in your place, because He loves you. Jesus came and shed His Blood to cleanse your sins, because He loves you. To paraphrase an old song,

Yes, Jesus loves you!
Yes, Jesus loves you!
Yes, Jesus loves you!
The Bible tells us so!

Come to Jesus in simple faith and repentance. You have made it hard by rejecting His call to come to Him. But it is not “hard” at all! Salvation is by grace! Come to Him. He loves you so very much that He will pardon your sins and save your soul the moment you come to Him! Come to Jesus and you are saved for all time and for all eternity!

(END OF SERMON)
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or you may write to him at P.O. Box 15308, Los Angeles, CA 90015.
Or phone him at (818)352-0452.


THE OUTLINE OF

ADAM – A TYPE OF CHRIST

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

“Death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come” (Romans 5:14).

(Genesis 2:17)

I.   First, Adam had no father but God; so Christ likewise had no father
but God, Hebrews 13:8; Luke 3:38.

II.  Second, Adam’s sin was imputed to all his offspring; so, Christ’s
righteousness is imputed to all His offspring through faith in Him,
Romans 5:12, 19; I Corinthians 15:22, 45; Hebrews 12:29;
Luke 19:10. Christ, the last Adam, is also a real person,
representing all His spiritual offspring. As Adam’s sin was
imputed to all his offspring, so Christ’s righteousness was
imputed to all His offspring, Romans 5:19.