Sep 27, 2012

Definite Atonement II

"So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.  For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous."  (Rom. 5: 18-19 NASB)

"The sin of Adam did not make the condemnation of all men merely possible; it was the ground of their actual condemnation. So the righteousness of Christ did not make the salvation of men merely possible, it secured the actual salvation of those for whom He wrought."  (Charles Hodge)

Paul introduces the case of the fall of Adam in order to teach something about the work of Christ in dying upon the cross.  Paul's thesis is simply this:  Men are condemned because of the disobedience of one man and likewise are saved by the obedience of one man.  The disobedience of Adam is a parallel to the obedience of Christ.  Charles Hodge clearly states what is one of the main ideas of Paul in the parallel. 

It is the teaching of Arminians that Christ, by his one act of obedience in dying upon the cross, did not make the salvation of all that he represented sure and certain.  Yet, how can they deny that the disobedience of Adam certainly made all who he represented sinners? 

In Romans 5: 12-19 the Greek aorist tense is used when the Apostle says "all have sinned" and "many were made sinners."  (KJV)  It is a statement of what happened to all in the past.  When Adam sinned all humanity sinned.  When Adam died all humanity died.  Yet, it is also a fact that all sin and die as they are born into the world and commit individual acts of disobedience. 

It was shown in the previous posting how it is scriptural to say that a person was saved when Christ died, as well as when he is converted, and also when he actually escapes the coming wrath in the day of wrath.  So also it is scriptural to say that men sinned and died when Adam sinned as well as to say they sin and die in time when they are born and commit acts of sin. 

Just as "Levi paid tithes in Abraham" because he "was yet in the loins of his father" when Abraham paid tithes to Melchisedec (Heb. 7: 9-10), so likewise all humanity sinned in Adam for they were in the loins of their father Adam.  Paul says "in Adam all die."  (I Cor. 15: 22)  Adam was a representative man, the "head" of all those who were "in" him.  Likewise Christ is a representative man, the "head" of all those who were "in him." 

"The many" and the "all men" who were made sinners cannot be the same group without teaching universal salvation.  The text does not say that the obedience of Christ merely makes it possible for "the many" to be made righteous but that it shall certainly make them righteous.  The "many" and the "all men" that were made sinners are the many or all that Adam represented.  Likewise, the "many" and the "all men" that are made righteous are the many or all that Christ, the second Adam, represented. 

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