Heaven or Hell?

A friend of a friend’s blog recently featured a discussion of whether Esau was saved. And another friend’s blog recently featured a discussion of the Covenant of Works, also known as the Adamic Covenant. And thus into my head popped the question: Was Adam saved?

I think most of us would instinctively say yes. Or would we? I’ll just say that, until recently, I would have instinctively said yes. But I’m thinking the evidence indicates otherwise:

Now the only possible chance Adam has of salvation, of course, is by Grace, through faith in Jesus’ atoning sacrifice. And it is well understood that the Covenant of Grace itself was instituted by God in Gen 3:15, when God first promised that Messiah. But when God created the Covenant of Grace, did he place Adam into it? Certainly in Gen 3:15, Adam was offered the gospel. But as we saw above, there is no explicit scriptural indication that Adam claimed that promise by faith (at least no scripture I can find, with his name in it).

It is also important to consider Adam’s role as the Federal Head of the Covenant of Works. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. So those who die, those who are non-elect, those who are in Adam — if Adam is in Christ, how can they be in Adam and not be in Christ? Can Adam be “not in Adam”?

It seems to me the cleanest solution is for all those in Adam — including Adam — to be under condemnation for Adam’s violation of the Covenant of Works; and all those in Christ — the second Adam — to be, by virtue membership in the Covenant of Grace and union with Christ, justified. Not just passively innocent of Adam’s violation, but co-possessors of Christ’s active obedience.

Otherwise, Adam would have to be Federal head of a covenant he’s not even in!

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59 Responses

  1. He is in Jesus’ genealogy. Furthermore, God covered him with animal skins. That was the first atonement sacrifice, in which God acted as Adam’s priest. I’m not sure how much testimony of salvation is required before we believe someone is saved, but that’s enough for me anyway.

    E

  2. He is in Jesus’ genealogy.

    So we are Abraham’s seed by faith, but the seed of the woman is required to be by physical descent? Besides that chain is broken at Joseph.

    And is Adam then “not in Adam”? And if Adam is in Christ, why are those in Adam not in Christ?

  3. “God had promised that if Adam disobeyed, “in the day that you eat of it, you will surely die“. And yet we know that Adam did not die physically, so God must have been talking about the wages of sin, which is the second death.”

    what do you mean “he didn’t die physically” if…

    there is “The account of Adam’s death [gives no indication that he went to be with God (like Enoch did)].”

    he lived 930 years and then died.

    i don’t think “you will surely die” is speaking to the second death at all, actually. adam was told he would die and he did.

    overall, whilst you make some pretty good points, etc., i am with both echo and your first instinct. briefly, i have always, and still do, consider adam to be something of a representative nexus: just like the race he plunged into sin he shares a common curse on his head, yet he is also something of the first-born elect. he is the forerunner for all those who are both naturally in adam yet also in Christ. i know it’s odd for a person to be able to say “i was born in myself,” but i think a plain reading of scripture cannot render adam to be eternally damned.

    zrim

  4. what do you mean “he didn’t die physically” if…

    “In the day that you eat…”

    i think a plain reading of scripture cannot render adam to be eternally damned.

    A plain reading of what scripture? I see no positive assessment of Adam in scripture — only negative.

  5. i dunno, rube, i think the dying dimension here is to be taken figuratively. i think you may being slavish to a literal reading. just because he didn’t die *that day* doesn’t prove your point–at least, not to me. i think death came to adam when he ate, meaning he came under the curse of death which slowly eats away at all of us, we are born to die. he didn’t die “that day” literally but figuratively. also, it says he died (which seems to be scriptural nomenclature for the first death), not he was damned (second death).

    a plain reading of all of scripture, i think. where does the analogy of faith come into your hermenuetic? can we not say that what the whole tesimony of scripture bears on how we might render adam instead of only looking at the “adamic texts” narrowly?

    have a good weekend, all.

    zrim

  6. Adam was our federal representative in the covenant of works, NOT in the covenant of grace. So we are in Adam in the cov works, but not cov grace. The reason why we are saved in the cov grace is because we are in Christ, not because we are in Adam. The cov works was made with Adam and all his descendants. Being born of Adam, as we all are, except Christ who was born of a virgin, we are born into sin. We are born into Adam’s headship – not in general, but in the cov works which God made with Adam and his descendants. So we inherit his failure. But if he was in Christ by faith, we don’t inherit that through the “seed” through which we are born. We inherit that only by faith, being grafted into the line of Abraham, as well as being grafted into the “seed of the woman”. In the same way, our parents, specifically our father, is our federal head when we are born. But he inherited the sinful nature from his father, and him from his father, and so on all the way back to Adam. Thus our father is our cov head – in the cov of works. But this is why we baptize infants – not because we believe that the children of believers are elect and therefore in Christ in virtue of their parents’ faith, but because they are brought into the covenant family, brought into contact with the cov of grace and raised to be believers. But being born to believing parents is no guarantee of being a believer. That is only a work of God by the Spirit. By the Spirit, by grace through faith, we are grafted ultimately into Christ as a REPLACEMENT federal head in the cov works, which we call the cov grace.

    Adam’s federal headship is only in the cov works, and through this we inherit only failure. But by faith, we inherit the merits of Christ in the cov works, and this is the cov grace. Failure through Adam by birth, victory through Christ by re-birth. Fleshly birth, spiritual birth. Thus Paul’s contrast between living by the flesh and living by the Spirit is to be understood covenantally, not Platonically. For Plato finds that matter is evil, while the spiritual is good. Not so in the Scriptures. It’s the contrast between works and faith.

    E

  7. Zrim,
    Are you saying that if Adam didn’t eat the fruit he would have never died? Meaning God created humans to live forever on earth and only after the fall did his plans change that people should live forever with him in heaven instead?

  8. Are you saying that if Adam didn’t eat the fruit he would have never died?

    Yes. Are you saying God meant “If you eat the fruit, you will surely die. (But if you don’t eat the fruit, you will die anyways)”?

    So the answer to what you are asking is yes, except that God’s plans never changed. It was God’s will that Adam should eat the fruit, and violate his probation in the garden, thus making room for a glorious display of grace.

  9. Echo, I think you’re right in all you say, but I don’t know who you might have thought was asserting that Adam was our covenant head in the CoG.

    What you seem to be saying, though, is that the “mechanics” of covenant is that we are not taken out of one covenant and placed into another, but we remain in covenant (of works), but we enter additionally into a New Covenant (of grace), and one of the benefits of membership in the New Covenant is that we get a new representative our old covenant.

    Of course this is all tangential to the question of whether Adam accepted through faith a new representative for himself, to cover his failure in the CoW. But your point, which I think is a good one, is that CoW is transmitted by birth, and CoG is transmitted only by faith, so if Adam were to be in Christ, that says nothing about whether anybody who is “in Adam” is therefore in Christ. It’s not even a question of whether “in-ness” is transitive, but it is two different natures of in-ness; thus 1 Cor 15 should be read

    For as in Adam (by birth), all die; so also in Christ (by faith) shall all be made alive

  10. 5najers, what rube said. basicaally, it’s just plain reading to read “eat and die” to imply “don’t and live,” which is also interesting given that we often talk about “do and live.”

    echo, i am equally a bit lost as to what your post is doing to answer rube more directly (although it’s all good stuff).

    rube, what you do with echo’s response i like. i still contend for our brother adam! i have always wondered in a similar way about the fact that adam seems to have a place no other sinner has inasmuch as he himself was the earner of our damnation; he inherited nothing as we do. but this unique status does not seem to eliminate him from the CoG, i think. indeed, would not his inclusion serve only to bolster the glory of God? think about it: it’s great enough that we inheriters of wrath are saved by grace…but what a thing that the EARNER himself is given exactly the opposite of what he earned!

    zrim

  11. I think in the end, all arguments have to be arguments from silence, and thus we will just have to wait and see!

    As a side note, from OMF Rick B. I have the new (to me at least) idea that Eve’s naming of Cain showed that she clung to the Gospel promise concerning the Seed of Herself (although she apparently didn’t quite understand it! (but who could blame a woman in a world with no history for not understanding that a lot of history needed to unfold))

  12. 5,

    We HAVE to say that Adam could have EARNED life by his perfect merit, if he had exhibited such merit. We have to say that, because if we don’t, then we ruin the possibility of Christ earning life by HIS perfect merit.

    See, Christ has been given the name above all names. On the one hand, he always had this name above all names, because he is God. On the other hand, he EARNED this place precisely by his obedience. He was obedient to the Father (in his humanity) unto death. And lest we think that this didn’t cost him anything, we are given the story of the Garden (ahem, notice the Garden as being a throwback to the Garden of Eden) of Gethsemane. There we see Christ in such anxiety over what was about to take place that he sweat drops of blood. I don’t even know what kind of anxiety that that exhibits, but it’s serious business. He was to be cut off from the Father, and was to bear the curse on our behalf. And yet this was his greatest triumph, because in this, his perfect submission to the Father was exhibited and put on display for all to see, outside the camp, hung on the cross.

    It is this perfect submission – again, in his humanity, as a man – that led to his vindication, his resurrection from the dead, his ascension into glory, and his being exalted above all others.

    You see, Christ is not just God. He IS God, and let us never forget it, but he is also a man. He is real flesh and blood. But he wasn’t just A MAN, in a sense, he was THE MAN. He was the PERFECT man. He was what man was intended to be from the beginning. He was perfected in wisdom and obedience, and thus he is exalted to the highest place, even sitting on the throne of the Father.

    Because of this, we know that HAD Adam obeyed perfectly, he WOULD have earned for us what Christ earned for us. Namely eternal life.

    Now, the body that Adam was first given was not the body that he would have had if he had been confirmed in righteousness. If he had been confirmed in righteousness, if he had passed the test, then he would have been given the new body that we will be given at the last day, namely our resurrection bodies, those spiritual bodies that will be given to us that are incorruptible. Adam could have earned this for himself had he not sinned.

    We have to say this in order to maintain the truth of the gospel. To deny this is to deny even the possibility of the gospel. And of course, we don’t want to do that. We have to remember that Jesus did what he did as a man. That is of crucial importance.

    Furthermore, we want to avoid saying that Adam COULDN’T have merited/earned eternal life on his own. If we say that it was impossible for Adam to have done the right thing, then the fault for what Adam does no longer lies with Adam, but with God.

    For if Adam had been made by his Creator in such a way that he was flawed and HAD to sin, then sin is not man’s fault but God’s. It would be God’s fault for making him such that he had to sin. And of course we don’t want to say that, because the Scriptures declare that God declared the creation to be good, and of Adam he said he was very good (Gen 1). So we have to affirm the goodness, the inherent goodness, of creation. God made man righteous, upright, but MAN has sought out wickedness by heeding the word of the devil rather than the Word of God.

    We do not want to fall into the trap of thinking that God made man imperfect, and therefore he sinned. To be sure, God made man ABLE to sin, but he made him able to do what is right as well. It was up to man to decide what to do. Of course, man made the infortunate choice to do evil, but the responsibility for it lies with man.

    So, in order to avoid ruining the possibility of the gospel, namely what Jesus has done for us, and to avoid saying that sin is God’s fault, then yes, we must affirm that Adam, had he not sinned, had he been positively and actively righteous, could have earned eternal life for himself.

    Notice though, that we don’t say that Adam was created IMMORTAL. He was created in such a way that he could have EARNED eternal life. He failed to EARN eternal life, and thus he died. Adam was created MORTAL, but he would have been changed had he been righteous. He would have earned that as a reward. He would have been changed based on his own merit, even as we will be changed based on Christ’s merit. But he was created mortal, not immortal. He need not have died, but he did die, because he did not obey the Word of the Lord.

    Of course, that doesn’t mean that the redemption purchased by Christ cannot apply to him even as it applies to us. More on that in response to Rube.

    E

  13. Rube and Zrim,

    Zrim said:
    “think about it: it’s great enough that we inheriters of wrath are saved by grace…but what a thing that the EARNER himself is given exactly the opposite of what he earned!”

    – Echo:
    Zrim, don’t forget that we too have EARNED the wrath of God. Indeed, we have inherited a sinful nature from Adam – that cannot be denied. But this is not why we are condemned. We are condemned for what WE have done, not what Adam has done. This is perhaps a fine distinction, but Adam is no more worthy of the wrath of God than we are, and therefore no LESS worthy of the grace of Christ than we are.

    Rube said:
    “I don’t know who you might have thought was asserting that Adam was our covenant head in the CoG.”

    – Echo:
    I thought that was what you were implying/inquiring when you said:
    “So those who die, those who are non-elect, those who are in Adam — if Adam is in Christ, how can they be in Adam and not be in Christ? Can Adam be “not in Adam”?”

    I was trying to respond to this by saying that if Adam is in Christ, that doesn’t make us in Christ in virtue of being in Adam.

    So in a sense, yes, Adam can be not in Adam if Adam was in Christ. For if you are in Christ, your sin is washed away, and what you have done, namely your sin, no longer counts, no longer matters, because the debt incurred by sin is paid by Christ on the cross. So yes, Adam would no longer have been in himself, even as we are no longer in ourselves. As Paul says, it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And again he says, I thank God that I worked harder than them all, but it was not I, but grace that was with me. So you see, when we stand before God, it will not be as me or as you, but as if we were in fact Christ.

    What I mean is this. When you stand before God in judgment, your sins will not be present. You will be judged according to the merits of Christ, not the merits of Rube. So in a sense, you are no longer you, but Christ – in the context of the cov works, in the context of your standing before God. I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.

    Remember, even our righteousness is as filthy rags. And believe me, the words Paul chose to use here are not captured by filthy rags. What this actually refers to is the rags a woman soils once a month. A disgusting picture to be sure (even though this is of course quite natural). Paul uses this language to shock us deliberately, to tell us that our righteousness is a filthy and disgusting thing, to be thrown away and burned in the fire. It is not something to be cherished. It is not clean and beautiful. It is not to be seen in public, it is taboo, it is dirty, like a dirty diaper.

    By contrast, on the last day, we will be clothed in white, shining like the sun, and this is not our own doing, but it is the merits of Christ, the righteousness given to us by God that is from faith unto faith.

    Rube said:
    “For as in Adam (by birth), all die; so also in Christ (by faith) shall all be made alive”

    – Echo:
    Yeah, that’s it. That’s what I was saying. Christ, by his perfect obedience, acted on our behalf in the covenant of works. He is the new Adam that replaces the old Adam. Rather than (by faith), you could have said (by rebirth), just to balance it even more. Because by faith (through regeneration), we are given a new life, the life of Christ, which flows from him as a fountain. In him was life, and this life was the light of men. Christ is the king sitting on his throne in the city of God, and the river of life flows from him. But this is not the same life we are given by Adam, the mortal life with its sinful nature; no, it is a new life, an eschatalogical life. As here:

    Mat 21:14 And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them.

    And here:
    Rev 22:1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb
    Rev 22:2 through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
    Rev 22:3 No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him.
    Rev 22:4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.

    This is the eschatological life that Adam would have, could have, should have earned, but Christ came and earned instead.

    Rube said:
    “So the answer to what you are asking is yes, except that God’s plans never changed. It was God’s will that Adam should eat the fruit, and violate his probation in the garden, thus making room for a glorious display of grace.”

    – Echo:
    One more thing here. You’re right, it’s not that God’s plans changed. Of course, God had decreed from long ago, before the creation, that Adam would sin. That’s true. And while his decree is unchanging, the covenant he makes DOES change.

    As you said, the terms of the cov works, a.k.a. the cov of creation, were that Adam had to earn eternal life by being righteous. His righteousness – if he had, say, killed the serpent and protected his wife from his blasphemies – would have merited eternal life. God would have opened heaven and said, “This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased,” and would have confirmed him in righteousness. That WAS the deal.

    But of course, Adam failed, and did so on behalf of all mankind. But the deal remained on the table, and we have all failed to attain it. But then of course Christ came, and DID attain it.

    So now what? Well, Christ’s perfect merits count not just in the covenant of works, but the Trinity had a covenant as well, called by the reformed theologians of old, the covenant of redemption. So while Christ earned eternal life for himself in the covenant of works – something he didn’t need to do for himself because he was already God, and so already had eternal life in himself – but according to the covenant of redemption, he ALSO earned another prize: the people of God for his bride.

    It is according to THIS intratrinitarian covenant (referred to in Scripture in at least John 17) made within the Three Persons of the Trinity that Christ earned eschatological life FOR US.

    This is incredibly important, because it is only according to the terms and blessings given to Christ in the cov redemption that allows him to earn the blessings of the cov works FOR US, which state of affairs we call from OUR standpoint the covenant of Grace.

    The cov grace works like this: People of God, if Jesus Christ succeeds in the covenant of works, then, according to the covenant of redemption, you will belong to him as his people, and he will be your God. If this happens, he will become your new federal head in the covenant of works, thus bearing YOUR curse for sin, and earning the blessings of the cov works on YOUR behalf. You will give him your sin, and he will give you his blessings. Those blessings include vindication in the cov works, and thus the eschatological life that would have been given to Adam, had he not sinned.

    The covenant of redemption works like this: If you, Jesus Christ, succeed in the covenant of works, then you will be given the right to purchase for yourself a people, who will be your people, and you will be their God. You will bear their curse, and they will be given your merit, and thus your blessings earned by that merit. If you are cut off from God for their sake, then you will be vindicated by being raised from the dead and taken up into heaven, and you will furthermore be vindicated by returning to earth on the last day to destroy all your enemies, and the enemies of your people. You will be given authority to judge all mankind. And the Spirit will apply this state of affairs to your people, those whom your Father have chosen to belong to you as your people. He will breathe life into them, and their eyes will be opened, and they will see their sin and they will see you as the eschatological man, as their only hope, and they will look to you in faith of redemption, and you will be their God, and they will be your people. If you are faithful unto death, the Spirit will respond by bringing your life to your people, and they will live with eschatological life, and they will be glorified and be your people forever. They will be your people, and you will be their God. And the Spirit will bring this about. All this the Father will do, if you are obedient in the covenant of works and if you lay down your life for your bride, your people.

    And so, Jesus was obedient in the cov works. But there is no command in the cov works for us to die on the cross. That command was uniquely given to Jesus to purchase us from bondage in the covenant of redemption. So, Jesus fulfills the covenant of works by perfect obedience to the law, but he also fulfills the covenant of redemption by dying for us, and THIS ushers in the covenant of grace, that we might be redeemed by his merit, that he might be our federal head in the covenant of works, and that we might by his merit inherit eternal life.

    E

  14. One more thing. We should not think of God’s decree of reprobation as being logically equivalent to the decree of election.

    Eze 18:23 Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord GOD, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live?

    We cannot say that God LIKES IT when people are wicked and refuse to repent and live. It doesn’t make him happy in the same way that he rejoices over his people. Of course, all of this is analogical discourse, because God does not change, and thus doesn’t get mad in the same way we get mad, or happy in the same way we get happy. We get mad or happy in reaction to what we see and hear taking place, and it takes us by surprise. Not so with God.

    Yet God has bound himself to his people, indeed even his creation, by way of covenant. He has bound HIMSELF.

    I have an analogy I’ve been tinkering with lately to understand this.

    Mankind, in virtue of creation, are God’s bride. All mankind is God’s bride in the cov works. Covenants are like marriages. The husband-wife relationship is analogically like the God-people relationship.

    So when Adam and Eve sinned, it’s like when a husband comes home to find his wife in bed with another man, in this case Satan. Well, of course, a man is full of rage at both the other man and his wife when this happens.

    When this happens, it’s not precisely correct to say that the man now hates his wife. In some ways, he DOES hate her, but that’s only because he first loved her. It is his love that is TURNED to hate by her actions. If he didn’t love her, he wouldn’t care, but because he does love her, therefore he hates her.

    Of course, when a wife does this to her husband, it may be that the husband forgives her. But our God is perfectly righteous and holy and just. His rage, his wrath at our sin must be poured out. For the people of God, this rage is poured out on Christ, for the reprobate, the bear it forever in hell.

    So when we say that the Lord loves his people and hates the reprobate, while true, it’s not the full story. He loves his creation and takes no pleasure in the destruction of the wicked, but destroys them because he has to according to his justice, according to the terms of the covenant he made with his creation when he created them, or if you will, according to the vows of the marriage. The vows of marriage are: do this and die. Being righteous and just he had to uphold this because he must uphold his vow, his Word, but he takes no pleasure in it. And remember, his just wrath at sin is only present because he first loved his creation and bound himself to it. He bound himself by his Word.

    But of course, there is yet another layer to this, in which God decrees everything that comes to pass. So all of these things are true, and the mystery of it all is that God decreed it all to happen just as it did. And of course, we know why:

    Rom 9:21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?
    Rom 9:22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction,
    Rom 9:23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory–

    If things had not happened the way they did, we would know nothing of God’s justice, nor of his mercy. For there would be no sin to be punished by his justice, and no sin to be forgiven by his mercy. There would be no revelation of his awesome and boundless love for his people in the self sacrifice of God the Son on the cross for us.

    Rom 11:32 For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.
    Rom 11:33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
    Rom 11:34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?”
    Rom 11:35 “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?”
    Rom 11:36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

    Let us give our AMEN to these things, and ponder them in our hearts for the rest of our lives. Amen.

    E

  15. Will not the judge of all the earth do right?

    On another note, how does everyone feel about the existence or absence of the Adamic belly button? And is it true that when Adam came home a little later than normal from tending the garden that Eve counted his ribs? And could Eve be the only woman in history that honestly said “I have nothing to wear to the party”?

  16. I think God gave him an outy just for the heck of it.

  17. methinks you are being mocked, rube.

    zrim

  18. Don’t worry, it’s just my baby sister. If I need to, I can go over to her house and sit on her and give her nuggies until she repents.

  19. Albino is another matter, though. I’ll have to deal with him otherwise.

    I know, I will continue to mercilessly label him as a card-carrying, 5-remonstrance Arminian. That’ll teach ‘im!

  20. ha! yes, i meant albino, not 5. however, it is odd that you and i do the same thing to our younger sibling…must be a natural calvinist impulse to nuggify them.

    yes, your labeling should cause him fits. may i offer one that was especially “nuggifying”? here it is: PREF. it’s much less particular, of ocurse. your categories are a subset within my more broad label. but it did work nevertheless.

    zrim

  21. I believe that Albino thinks that what might have happened had Adam not sinned is speculation.

    That doesn’t at ALL surprise me.

    Well, I suppose some defense is somewhat necessary, even though he should already know this stuff.

    Hos 6:7 But like Adam they transgressed the covenant; there they dealt faithlessly with me.

    Gen 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden,
    Gen 2:17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

    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–
    Rom 5:13 for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law.
    Rom 5:14 Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.
    Rom 5:15 But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many.
    Rom 5:16 And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification.
    Rom 5:17 For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
    Rom 5:18 Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.
    Rom 5:19 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.
    Rom 5:20 Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,
    Rom 5:21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    1Co 15:21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.
    1Co 15:22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.
    1Co 15:23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.
    1Co 15:24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power.

    1Co 15:42 So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable.
    1Co 15:43 It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power.
    1Co 15:44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.
    1Co 15:45 Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
    1Co 15:46 But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual.
    1Co 15:47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven.
    1Co 15:48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven.
    1Co 15:49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.
    1Co 15:50 I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.
    1Co 15:51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
    1Co 15:52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.
    1Co 15:53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.

    I see no need to comment on any of this, as my explanation is abundant above. Christ succeeded where Adam failed. He was the second Adam. He was the second Israel. Christ succeeded where Israel failed. So whatever was promised to Adam upon success, and whatever was promised to Israel upon success – this is what has been given to Christ, who DID succeed. If we look at what Christ earned, then we can clearly see what Adam and Israel WOULD have earned.

    But Albino, you may continue to call all of this speculation if you wish. But by doing so, you do not make what I have said look foolish. You only make it plain that you do not understand what I have said, and you do not understand it because you do not believe it. Very well, fine, carry on. Don’t let me stand in your way.

    Echo_ohcE

  22. I’m not sure Albino was denying any of this. As a matter of fact, I’m not sure what Albino was even saying — “Will not the judge of all the earth do right?” Of course he will. So what do you think is right for the judge of all the earth to do, based on the biblical record concerning Adam? (Obviously, not that your vote counts, but that’s what the discussion is)

  23. Actually, I just quoted Abraham, in his famous negotiation with God over the destruction of Sodom, because Adam’s eternal destiny is His to sort out — above my pay grade. At graveside, I always commit the souls of departed loved ones (of questionable faith) into the love of Christ, because it is not for me to decide or speculate about their destination. I think the same thing is in order here.

    Reuben did some great homework, as did Echo. I don’t really have strong feelings either way here. But let me throw this out there. If I were God (and aren’t you glad I’m not?), I might base Adam’s destination on how he lived the rest of his life after the fall (and he did live a LONG life); if he sought to live by faith and please God. I don’t think we have a comprehensive record of his life in Genesis, so we lack all the information to make that call. If you damn him to hell, don’t his children have to be there as well?

    As to the jokes, they were only for your enjoyment.

  24. “I might base Adam’s destination on how he lived the rest of his life after the fall (and he did live a LONG life); if he sought to live by faith and please God.”

    Surely what you mean is: if he had faith in Christ, and therefore was saved by HIS sacrifice, HIS merits. Surely you don’t mean that our deeds determine whether or not we get into heaven, and surely you don’t mean that our faith obtains eternal life – surely you mean that the power of faith is not the one who has the faith, but the object that faith lays hold of. Surely that’s what you mean.

    E

  25. If you damn him to hell, don’t his children have to be there as well?

    Why? And that was kind of my biggest point — since all of his natural children are destined for hell, where’s the problem?

  26. Echo, breathe into a paper bag, dude. All the patriarchs were saved by faith, but since Jesus wasn’t born yet, it would have been kind of tough to believe specifically on the “Lord Jesus Christ”.

    Rube, I guess my question for you is “Why do you believe that Abel is in heaven”? If you say that it was because of his pleasing obedience and faith demonstrated through his acceptable sacrifice, who do you think taught him to do that?

  27. since Jesus wasn’t born yet, it would have been kind of tough to believe specifically on the “Lord Jesus Christ”.

    They didn’t know his name yet, but the Lord Jesus Christ is exactly who you believe in if you have faith in the Gen 3:15 promise of redemption through the seed of the woman.

    Rube, I guess my question for you is “Why do you believe that Abel is in heaven”?

    Hebrews 11:4

    who do you think taught him to do that?

    Are you propounding salvation by the works of good parenthood? In any case, it could have been Eve.

  28. Good. Now I think you understand what I meant by asking if Adam’s children were damned to hell as well. And we are illustrating why the decision to damn to hell or not belongs to God, and not to bloggers.

  29. I don’t understand. (a) Every individual descendant of Adam was damned to hell as a consequence of Adam’s sin. (b) Every individual descendant of Adam could be saved from hell by faith in God’s promise of redemption. (c) It is not biblical to infer “X [had/didn’t have] faith and was [saved/damned], therefore X’s [parent/child] [had/didn’t have] faith and was [saved/damned].

    So I still don’t know why you are asking “If you damn Adam to hell, don’t his children have to be there as well?”

    And obviously the decision belongs to God, not to bloggers. We’re just trying to examine the biblical evidence for which way God’s decision will go (went, before the foundations of the world). If you don’t want to join us in examining the biblical evidence, nobody’s twisting your arm.

    Are you saying we can’t/shouldn’t either consider the biblical evidence for the eternal destiny of anyone (Cain, Abel, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Esau, Moses, Pharaoh, Saul, David, Goliath, Ahab, Jezebel, Peter, Judas, Paul, …)? Must the great cloud of witnesses remain completely anonymous?

  30. Adam and Eve were the only humans on the face of the earth. If Abel, their son, had faith and was saved, who do you think taught him about that? Don’t you agree than over his lifespan, Adam may have learned from his sin in the garden and believed in God’s promise of redemption later? Since his son believed, I think it’s safe to surmise that Adam taught him well.

    And obviously I am interacting here, so I am not dead set against guessing as to the final destination of some Bible characters, but I simply pointed out why this decision is God’s and not ours (and definitely not a committee decision :-)

  31. If you want to talk about lifespan, note that it was not until Adam was 235 years old (well after Abel had died) that “people began to call upon the name of the LORD”, so if that was due to Adam, he didn’t get around to being a good teacher and (grand)parent until well after Abel was dead…

    But just as Adam could have been a good faithful example, which Abel followed, and Cain ignored, it could just have easily been that Adam was a hypocritical example, which Cain followed, while Abel took the words of God passed down to him and really, faithfully believed.

    Who taught Luther about sola fide?

  32. Rube,

    Re: 31

    Good point.

    E

  33. Albino,

    You said:
    “Echo, breathe into a paper bag, dude. All the patriarchs were saved by faith, but since Jesus wasn’t born yet, it would have been kind of tough to believe specifically on the “Lord Jesus Christ”.”

    – Echo:
    I wonder if you can disagree with me ever without being condescending. Here you say that the patriarchs were saved by faith. Good. Great. In your earlier post, you said:

    ““I might base Adam’s destination on how he lived the rest of his life after the fall (and he did live a LONG life); if he sought to live by faith and please God.””

    This is not a statement about Adam being saved by faith, but one about Adam being saved by works, or at least that’s how it comes across. Specifically, when you locate the reason for his eternal destination based on “how he lived the rest of his life”.

    Now, you can sit there and imagine me hyperventilating, as if I’m getting overly excited about some hair-splitting thing, that you, in your vast maturity know better than to get excited about, but the fact is, your statement here is an imprecise statement about the gospel. This is the one thing worth getting excited about. This point I’m making is a crucial one. To fail to understand it is to fail to understand the gospel, and to declare it unimportant is to declare the heart of the gospel unimportant. You are certainly free to do so I guess, but this would be very unwise. Any statement of the gospel must be precise, because it has to be CLEARLY understood. We ALL tend to believe in a works based salvation in our hearts, so whenever we talk about how we are saved, we must be VERY clear to remove any opportunity for misunderstanding. I have tried to explain this to you a thousand times. You can’t just state things however you feel like stating them, and expect people to be able to decode it in a common sense way. You can’t just say, “Oh, everyone knew what I meant.” In this day and age, you ought to know better than that. There’s someone who believes just about anything you can imagine. Don’t let your formulations of the gospel be something that the Pope could agree with, because if that’s the case, you have failed to properly state the gospel, because the Pope’s gospel is not our gospel. This is important.

    To add to what Rube said, OT saints are saved through Christ in the same way that NT saints are. Both are saved by grace through faith. No one was ever “saved” through obedience. Obedience is always EVIDENCE of salvation, never the GROUND of it, since the fall.

    Here’s another important point. Good works are the evidence of true faith. If it’s true faith, there WILL be good works. In this way, we can look at someone’s life and discover whether or not that person had true faith. Now can you imagine God being up in heaven and doing the same thing on judgment day? Do you suppose that if you die, you have to stand before God and hear him say, “Well, gee, I’m having a difficult time trying to figure out if you have true faith or not. Your good deeds and sins are almost the same.” Do you think God needs to consider the evidence of our deeds before he can KNOW if we have true faith or not? Of course you don’t, because you know God is not a man. You know that God is the one who GIVES faith in the first place, so he has no need to look at our lives to DETERMINE if our faith is genuine or not. You know that he already knows if our faith is genuine, because if it is genuine, it came from him! GOD does not require the evidence of deeds, WE do.

    Now then, Jesus is a different case, being the second Adam. He earned what he received by good works. And in a sense it’s not really proper to say that Jesus was saved, because the question must be, “saved from what?” We are saved from the wrath of God at our sin, but Jesus was not saved from the wrath of God. The wrath of God was poured out on him. Of course, he was raised from the dead, and that is a kind of salvation, but I think vindication is a more appropriate word. Whatever the case, everyone who is/was saved after the fall is saved only through Christ. And Christ is obtainable only through faith. Granted, Christ was not as manifestly revealed as clearly to them in the OT as to us, but faith can be in Christ without fully understanding Christ.

    Jesus said that Abraham saw “my day, and was glad”. When did Abraham ever see Christ’s day? Did Abraham have some vision of Christ walking around and teaching the people, saying “I am the bread from heaven”? And if he had, would it have meant as much to him, since he didn’t wander in the wilderness with Moses and eat manna? What would Abraham have seen? Maybe he saw him on the cross, but how would he have interpreted that so that he was “glad”? Wouldn’t this confuse him? Where is the account of this vision in the Scriptures? Was Jesus speaking as God, or was he commenting on the Scriptures?

    Jesus said that Abraham had seen his day because “Abraham believed God and it was counted to him as righteousness.” Christ was commenting on the Scriptures. It would have made no sense to talk to the Pharisees about something other than the Scriptures. They took the Scriptures to be authoritative already, but they denied Jesus’ authority. If he was talking about a vision Abraham had that only he knew about, the Pharisees wouldn’t be convinced by his argument, because they’d just be taking his word for it, and they didn’t believe him. Rather, Abraham had hope in the promises of God, as recorded in Scripture, which promises were FULFILLED in Christ. By hoping in the as yet unfulfilled promises, he hoped in Christ, the fulfillment of the promises. This statement of Jesus is a declaration that he is the fulfillment of the Scriptures. ALL of the Scriptures. THAT is why the Pharisees hated him.

    E

  34. Rube — It just comes down the fact that we don’t know for sure. You make good points, but we won’t know until we get there.

    Echo — You are fighting a ghost. We all agree on salvation by faith through grace. But at least no trees died for the all the text printed.

  35. Albino,

    Once again, I’m not accusing you of saying that you don’t believe in the gospel. I’m accusing of stating it in an imprecise fashion. There is of course a difference. I’m not surprised that you’re struggling to grasp this, of course.

    E

  36. Echo said: “You can’t just state things however you feel like stating them, and expect people to be able to decode it in a common sense way.”

    You can if the reader has common sense.
    I think maybe you assume the readers here don’t have common sense and you feel the need to make sure you are not misunderstood. Just spit it out. I really have to work at getting through your posts because they are so redundant. I usually understand what message you are trying to get across from your first paragraph. I guess i’m saying this because you have a lot of good things to say and you may be missing some readers because of the redundancy.

    BTW, you really need to lighten up on Albino. It’s almost like you feel like your anger towards Albino is somewhat of a “righteous anger.” It’s not.

  37. Please consider the following as from one beggar to another.

    If I were God (and aren’t you glad I’m not?), I might base Adam’s destination on how he lived the rest of his life after the fall (and he did live a LONG life); if he sought to live by faith and please God.

    I’m not sure what “live by faith” means but any common sense reading of the above would at the very least give me the impression that salvation is by faith plus works. So, due to this imprecision, the common sense reading of this is that we’re back to the Roman Catholic view of salvation (which Romanism we already know he shares WRT his Arminian soteriology).

    So, whether or not any one of us has common sense is not the issue, of course.

    Precision is a big deal. (Can you imagine being married to a computer programmer?)

    As for redundancy, I don’t spot a shred of it within any single post of Echo’s. Now, if you want to charge that all or nearly all of his posts always come down to a proclamation, an explanation or an application of the gospel, then I would tend to agree. But to decry that on the grounds of redundancy would, in my view, be in bad taste. There isn’t a Christian alive who doesn’t need to hear the gospel as often as possible.

    Preach on, Echo!

  38. Can you imagine being married to a computer programmer?

    No — can you?

  39. Alex,

    You said:
    “I think maybe you assume the readers here don’t have common sense and you feel the need to make sure you are not misunderstood.”

    – Echo:
    I appreciate the interaction, I really do, so my answer will be an attempt to interact with what you’ve said honestly. I don’t want to just be argumentative.

    It’s not that I assume the readers of this blog don’t have common sense. Here’s perhaps what you want me to “spit out”. The gospel isn’t common sense. We all have a sinful nature that hates the gospel and doesn’t want to believe it. That’s why we still sin. Our sins are so many manifestations of unbelief. Now I’m not saying that we absolutely don’t believe at all, because we DO believe to a degree. But we also tend to be racked with unbelief. Thus the prayer, “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief” of the centurion to Jesus.

    We need to remember that if left to our own devices, we wouldn’t believe the gospel at all. If we believe it, it is only because God has caused us to believe it by giving us his Spirit to dwell in us and reform us from the inside out.

    So where does that leave us? If a minister of the gospel is imprecise about how he states the truths of the gospel, if he isn’t crystal clear, then it will not succeed in achieving the goal that all pastors should have, namely that their congregants understand the gospel thoroughly, that they believe in it thoroughly, that it permeates their lives completely. I would think that any pastor who rightly recognizes that this is the most important thing in the world, would intuitively have that goal in mind, and that would intuitively make him determined to state the gospel ever more clearly, so as to be SURE to not just be understood, but so that he is constantly proclaiming the true gospel.

    If someone has a Roman idea of the gospel, and they hear their pastor saying something that COULD BE INTERPRETED THAT WAY, guess what’s going to happen? They’re GOING to interpret it that way. Well guess what else? Every single one of us has a sinful nature that wants to believe that we CAN earn our own salvation by works. Every single one of us in our sinful nature wants to deny the gospel. We all want to think that we don’t NEED Christ, but that we can earn our salvation ourselves. So if we state the gospel imprecisely, so that we MAY be interpreted that way, it’s not just the person with the Roman idea of salvation who will interpret it that way, but EVERYONE will, common sense not being an issue at all. If common sense IS an issue, common sense tells us that we CAN and SHOULD seek to earn salvation by works, because the law is written on our hearts, since we are all sons of Adam. Paul says as much in Romans. The law is what comes intuitively to us. The covenant of works is what comes intuitively to us. The gospel, by STARK contrast, is “foolishness” says Paul in 1 Cor 1. If we are stating the gospel imprecisely, you can bet your bottom dollar that it won’t be understood by those who don’t understand the gospel, and such statements will be of no value to those who DO understand the gospel.

    In fact, stating the gospel imprecisely such that it appears to be a statement of salvation by faith and works – from a pastor – is actually of negative value to a believer and understander of the true gospel. Under such circumstances, the believer has only a few options, neither of which is very good. Maybe he can, in his mind, say that what the man said was wrong, and therefore it should not be believed. In such a case, the outcome is bad, because now this believer no longer trusts this pastor. But perhaps a worse outcome would be that it causes the true believer to doubt, saying, “Well, I’ve always thought our works have nothing to do with our salvation, but this pastor seems to say that it does. Maybe I’ve been wrong.” But one outcome that is GUARANTEED not to come of it is that no one will be encouraged in their faith in the true gospel of Jesus Christ, which tells us that our own works have nothing to do with our salvation, except as the RESULT of it. No one will be encouraged in that belief, because they will either be encouraged to believe the wrong thing, tempted to doubt the right thing, or they will have to recognize that the pastor was wrong.

    You said:
    “BTW, you really need to lighten up on Albino. It’s almost like you feel like your anger towards Albino is somewhat of a “righteous anger.” It’s not.”

    – Echo:
    I can’t tell you what to think about my “anger towards Albino.” But I can promise you that he will continue to get this reaction out of me as long as he keeps this kind of talk up. I refuse to accept that this is how a minister should talk. I refuse to accept it, and I will continue to call him to task about it, because if I don’t speak up and tell him that, who will?

    You know, I’m studying in seminary, with the hope of one day being a pastor. I know how hard it must be to be a pastor, or at least I can imagine. Some day I hope to find out first hand it can be. But I think I know enough now to sympathize with Albino a little bit. I think I can imagine how difficult it must be. But this is precisely why I’m not letting him get away with this kind of thing. I’m not just trying to make his life harder. My concern is for the people under his care, and my concern is for him. I want HIM to understand the gospel thoroughly, and I want HIM to state it boldly and clearly, as Paul longed to do. I know it just looks like I’m being mean, but I’m not. I would hope that one day, if I get up in a pulpit and say something like what he said, I would hope that someone would call me to task for it, that I might STOP DOING IT. Because I know – and I DO know this first hand – how dangerous and detrimental it can be for the man in the pew who doesn’t fully understand the gospel, because it is never clearly stated. I myself grew up under ministers that made these kinds of imprecise statements. Whether it is because they didn’t speak clearly, or because they didn’t understand the gospel I don’t know, God knows, but I can tell you for certain that the reason I didn’t understand the gospel growing up is precisely because no one ever stated it CLEARLY to me. And I know this for a fact, because as soon as someone DID explain it clearly to me, I believed it, and it made a huge difference in my life.

    So no, please excuse me, I WON’T lighten up on Albino, because there are people who sit under his preaching who might not understand the gospel as fully as they could if he would learn to simply speak with a little more precision. How on EARTH are they supposed to know what he means if he never tells them? If all he EVER says is things that lead us to believe that works are involved in our justification before God – how are his congregants supposed to know that that’s not the case?

    How will they hear without someone preaching to them?

    I will not ever compromise the gospel, and when I hear Albino making statements that seem to compromise it, I’ll call him on it every time. How could I do anything less? Should I not CARE about it? Or maybe I should just let it slide, out of love for Albino? How am I being loving toward him if I leave him with less than a full understanding of the gospel, without challenging him on it? How am I being loving toward his congregation by saying that it’s ok if Albino doesn’t know how to properly state the gospel?

    I know for a FACT that if he makes a statement from the pulpit like he did in this blog that people will be led astray. How am I being loving toward ANYONE if I just let it go? Do you think Albino really WANTS to lead people astray? I don’t think he does. But if he does do so unwittingly, aren’t I doing him a favor by pointing that out to him?

    You may think I’m being mean, you may say that I am unloving, but I disagree. My original post was carefully worded. I said surely you didn’t mean this, but rather you meant that. I GAVE him the benefit of the doubt, but at the same time pointed out how his statement could have been easily misunderstood, based on common sense. His statement was poorly worded. Either he misspoke, or he doesn’t understand the gospel as fully as he should. Either way, as a minister he should be corrected by SOMEBODY. Somebody needs to say, hey, that’s not the way you should speak, because people might get the wrong idea. Someone NEEDS to remind him of that, because he apparently needs to hear it, because he’s apparently unaware of it, or simply temporarily forgot it.

    Remember Galatians 2, when Paul opposed Peter to his face for getting the gospel wrong. That was a LOVING act. Paul did Peter a FAVOR. And he wasn’t nice about it, he opposed him to his face, and he did it publicly. Should I not strive to be like Paul? Perhaps what’s good for Peter is not good for Albino? If it is good for Peter, it’s good for Albino. How else will he know that his statements are dangerous unless someone tells him? His statement IS dangerous. I can promise you that. We are saved by faith alone in Christ alone, and it’s really HARD to believe that. It doesn’t come naturally. It doesn’t come intuitively, it isn’t a matter of common sense.

    I’m really sorry if you think I’m being unloving or that I need to lighten up. I regret if I am a stumbling block to you. I don’t want to be. But I will not let up on a man who has taken the office of minister unto himself who yet cannot seem to clearly state the truths of the gospel. Such a man will do much more harm than good. I for one will not sit idly by and let him be at peace about it. And if he really DOES believe in the true gospel of Jesus Christ – something only HE can know – then I am glad to be of service to him and remind him of the possible consequences of his actions, because he SURELY didn’t intend them.

    E

  40. Thanks Bruce.

  41. Echo, the Gospel message is very simple but yet you seem to make it’s soooooo complex. It’s not. Don’t try and make it more complex. As a future Pastor you must recognize that the Gospel message can be understood and has been understood even by children. This is the point you need to understand. You and Albino do not disagree with each other on the Gospel. You and Albino have said it over and over again. SALVATION BY FAITH ALONE, NOT BY WORKS.

    Bruce, it’s funny because everyone else is capable of expressing their own thoughts without writing a short novel except for Echo. I think he would have more readers if he was able to condense his thoughts a little better. Am I the only one that notices?

  42. Sigh…what’s so wonderful here is the willingness of everyone to give a guy the benefit of the doubt, instead of jumping to conclusions with wacky accusations of heresy. Come on, fellas. I’ll give Echo a pass, because he’s a student who hasn’t been in the ministry yet, and doesn’t know me personally, but you guys who are my friends and know me should know better.

  43. Albino,

    It’s not about knowing YOU better. Sigh.

  44. Alex,

    It IS simple. What forces a complication is sloppy communication.

    Forget it

  45. And Albino, darn it, no one’s accusing you of &%$#&-ing HERESY!!! Figure it out already! No one is accusing you of heresy! No one is accusing you of heresy!

    No one, so far, is accusing you of heresy! Your STATEMENT sucks, but I still don’t know what’s on your heart. I don’t know what you teach, I know what you said. What you said seemed like a Roman thing to say. Ok, fine. I’m glad you’re not a Roman. No one accused you of BEING a Roman, but of TALKING like one. So stop talking like a &%$#@ Roman already and preach the gospel like you’re supposed to! And don’t think you can get away with talking like a Roman at ANY time, because you never cease to be a pastor, whether on a blog, in person, in the pulpit, at the store, in your home, wherever. You never cease to occupy that office! So watch your mouth, and no one else will have to do it for you!

    UGH!

  46. Sorry, Albino, that was over the top. My bad.

  47. I dunno, I think maybe it needed to be heard.

  48. darn it, no one’s accusing you of &%$#&-ing HERESY!!!

    Do you feel less sinful because you used “darn” and “&%$#&-ing” :)

  49. something occured to me at maundy service last night…

    peter denied jesus 3 times. it is written that he who denies jesus before men, jesus will also deny to his Father…so, is peter in hell?

    zrim

  50. Matt, this is what is called righteous anger. It’s different.

  51. Zrim,

    Prior to regeneration, the elect are children of wrath. See Eph 2.

    E

  52. Matt,

    haha… I did it like that so Rube wouldn’t have to cut it out.

    But it was over the top. And I maintain my apology. If it began as righteous anger, it certainly didn’t end that way.

    E

  53. peter denied jesus 3 times. it is written that he who denies jesus before men, jesus will also deny to his Father…so, is peter in hell?

    Let’s ask Steve Wilkins…

    The elect are those who are faithful in Christ Jesus. If they later reject the Savior, they are no longer elect — they are cut off from the Elect One and thus, lose their elect standing. But their falling away doesn’t negate the reality of their standing prior to their apostasy. They were really and truly the elect of God because of their relationship with Christ.

    So Peter was “really and truly elect of God”, as demonstrated by the fact that he was the first (?) to confess that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God (which knowledge he got from God, by the way), and we don’t need to negate the reality of that standing on the basis of his apostasy (as evidenced by his “not being faithful”; by “rejecting Jesus”). He must have “lost his elect standing” at that point.

    Such a miracle that, after that point, Acts records him acting as an Apostle, and then somehow God used Peter as a vessel (of wrath?) to write inspired books of scripture!

    And….SCENE. Sarcasm over. Crazy things can “happen” when you discard the concept that The Elect Persevere; once truly in union with Christ, despite still sinning, they remain in Christ. If they end up not in Christ, they never were in Christ. None of this in/out Hokey Pokey!

  54. And Peter went on to get himself in trouble with Paul at Antioch. Yikes! But saved nonetheless. We are wicked people. And yet, some still say that Romans 7 talks about Paul prior to regeneration. How foolish.

  55. Ok, I guess I was wrong about bloggers not being able to damn people to hell. http://www.youaredamned.com/

  56. Wow, reading through this thread was a blast from the past.

    A great original question, RubeRad. I’d never considered whether or not Adam was saved. It certainly gives one a lot to think about. Thanks for sharing!

  57. I heard today that some smart scholars might find Adam’s proper response to God in his naming of Eve. He had been divorced from his wife due to sin, but in naming her, reclaimed her as his own, and this was the proper response to the respite he got from God, in that God made them clothes. Something to think about perhaps.

    E

  58. Interesting. To make your point clearer, in Gen 3, immediately after initiating the covenant of grace and pronouncing the curse due to the fall, we see

    20The man called his wife’s name Eve,[f] because she was the mother of all living. 21And the LORD God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.

    The ESV note for [f] is “Eve sounds like the Hebrew for life-giver and resembles the word for living“. So Adam giving Eve the name ‘life-giver’ is like him saying “I believe the promise that God gave, that through your seed will come salvation — thus I name you ‘life-giver'”. And God’s response to Adam’s (and Eve’s) faith is to cover their shame.

    That’s a pretty good argument — I think I might be convinced that I’ll be meeting Adam someday…

  59. Meredith Kline writes:
    “God’s words of judgment on man (Gen 3:16-19) were directed to the generality of mankind who would experience in common the curse pronounced. But Genesis 3:21 relates an episode in which the Lord dealt with Adam and Eve in their own individual identities as those who had heard the gospel of redemptive judgment in the judicial sentence against Satan and had responded in faith. This shift in perspective takes place in verse 20, which breaks off the account of God’s judicial words and provides an introduction to verse 21 by relating an act of faith on the part of Adam. It tells us that Adam in effect declared his confessional “Amen” to the Genesis 3:15 promise of restoration from death to life through the woman’s seed. This he did by naming the woman “Life” (Eve). Verse 21 then narrates how the Lord responded to Adam’s confession of faith by strengthening and instructing that faith further through a symbolic transaction in which he reaffirmed his redemptive purpose. Only after this did he proceed with the banishing of the representatives of the fallen race from the holy garden.” (Kingdom Prologue, p. 149f)

    E

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