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FROM THE PASTOR'S STUDY

Topic: Message Outlines: Chapter 5

Romans 5:12-21 (5)

by Darrel Cline
(darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)

Chapter # 5 Paragraph # 2 Study # 5
May 16, 2006
Lincolnton, N.C.

(220)

Thesis:The distinctiveness of the grace-gift.

Introduction:In our last study we attempted to follow Paul's thinking as he set about to enable us to understand Adam as a "type" of Christ. The difficulty in "following" exists in the fact that Adam and Christ were extremely different, so to make the one a "type" of the other has many "qualifications". Paul's overall point is that Adam is a type of Christ in that he is the human race that sprang from his procreative capacities and Christ is the human race that springs from His recreative capacities. The claim that the two are the races they produce is a major stumbling block to our understanding because we each exist as discernible individuals. But, just as "individuality" does not exist in Deity as a "polytheistic" reality, neither does "individuality" exist in humanity as a "polyhumanity" reality. In other words, the "individuality" exists under the absolute dominion of the "unity" so that no matter how many "individuals" there may be, all are "essentially" the same. And, since they are "essentially" the same, they all have the same fundamental attributes and produce the same fundamental results. So, when Adam sinned, the entire race not only sinned, but became essentially sinners. And, when Christ did the Father's will, His entire race not only did the Father's will, but became essentially saints.

There is a lot of mystery here for two reasons. First, the end result of Christ's activity is not yet a fully historical reality/experience: we are not yet what we shall be. In a sense, we are still "in the womb" as a metaphor for the "pre-final-reality" that "birth" will bring. And, second, we have been immersed in "individuality thinking" for thousands of years -- Adam essentially rejected his "unity" with God so that he could be "his own person" and the consequence of his rejection has been that everyone of his offspring is seriously and essentially committed to being "his own person".

But, there is a powerful and unarguable clarity in the reality of our experience: it is an inescapable reality that we all die (there has to be a reason for this) and that we are all naturally sinners (there has to be a reason for this as well). And, it is upon these undeniable facts of experience that Paul launches his "typology of Adam and Christ".

So, this evening we are going to attempt to continue to follow Paul's thinking as he sets about to explain the "qualifications" of the "typology". The first of these "qualifications" is the significant distinction between the "roots" of the impact of the "type" and the "antitype". The root of Adam's impact was his "stumbling into aggression against God". The root of Christ's impact is what our translators call the "free gift". There is a significant problem here, so we are going to zero in on what the "free gift" means.


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