Systematic Theology: The Historical Adam
Topic: Midweek Sermons
I'm glad that all of you are with us here this evening as we continue our study in systematic theology. Sometimes you have to cover matters that are not directly devotional as some messages might be and you have to address content that is necessary for the protection of our long-term thinking in the face of opposition that we may not necessarily be aware of. My approach to the pulpit here at Truth Community Church is to not necessarily, in fact, I don't, I don't try to address every error that is circulating out in the world or even within the broader Christian church if I don't think that it is really affecting our church from within. Sometimes you can be very polemic on everything that is going on and you end up just introducing people to error that otherwise they wouldn't be aware of and that is not necessarily a productive use of time.
Here tonight I do want to introduce you to an issue that you may not be familiar with, those of you that are familiar with the ministry of "Answers in Genesis" would likely have some familiarity with this, but last week we talked about the origin of man and tonight I want to build on that by talking about the issue of the historical Adam. The historical Adam. When we talked about the origin of man last time, we made an assumption that we didn't bother to articulate at the time, we made the assumption that Adam was a real historical person and a plain reading of Genesis that is unaffected by other philosophies, treats Adam as a real person to any fair reading of the situation.
Look at Genesis 1:26 and 27 as we begin, as we turn to the text now. Genesis 1:26 and 27 says that,
26 ... God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." 27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
Then over in chapter 2, verses 6 and 7 it says,
6 ... a mist used to rise from the earth and water the whole surface of the ground. 7 Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
Then over in verse 20,
20 The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him.
As you read this, it's obvious that Scripture is treating Adam as a literal man and something that I would add to what I said last week is the impossibility of maintaining an evolutionary approach to the start of the human race in light of the clear teaching of the text of Genesis.
Look at verse 7 with me again of chapter 2, "the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground." He formed him of pre-existing elements. He used pre-existing elements to form him, not a pre-existing primate. We made that point last week, but also worth noting is this, is that man obtained his life not as receiving it from a prior primate ancestor, but he received life for the first time when God "breathed into his nostrils the breath of life." So his life was given to him by the input of God, by the out-breathing of God into his form, and that is what gave him life and it is not possible to square that with an evolutionary reading by any fair reading of the text and by any hermeneutic that takes the Scriptures on the basis of what they actually say and not reading into them from other outside presuppositions.
We're all on the same page on that, I believe, but many teach that you cannot take Genesis at face value. Quoting from one book on this subject, "Some believe that God created the universe but instituted evolution as the means to form the human race. They see Adam and Eve as symbols for humanity as a whole, not a single pair from whom all mankind originates." So Adam and Eve are just symbols of something else; rather than being two literal people, man and woman, they are symbols of something else. It's a literary technique that is used to communicate some other kind of truth. Others say that Adam and Eve were historical people but not the first humans. They would say that Adam and Eve were not the parents of all mankind so they were just some among others rather than being the progenitors of the entire human race, the ones from whom we all are descended.
Now, those views are seeking to harmonize Scripture with evolution and a belief that the universe is millions or billions of years old, and we addressed the age of the universe and the issues at creation earlier in this series on systematic theology in our message "Creation." If you didn't hear that or you want to review that, you can find that message in multiple places. But here's our point for this evening. Scripture, and let me just back up because this is the foundation of our church, it's the foundation of my life and everything that I do and everything that I have lived for for the past 35 years. Scripture is preeminent. The Bible prevails over all. The Bible is that to which we give our allegiance, from which we understand truth. It is sovereign over us as God's word. It informs us as to what things really are and what the truth really is and that has consequences, and that means that what we do here at Truth Community Church is we do our levelheaded best to let Scripture speak for itself; to say what the Bible says rather than trying to make the Bible say something that it does not say or something that it was never intended to say. We want to let the Bible speak for itself and then we're going to respond to that, we're going to believe that, we're going to defend that, we're going to proclaim that because it's God's word and we love the God of the Bible because the God of the Bible is our Lord Jesus Christ who redeemed us from sin when he gave his life on the cross and paid the debt of our great sin against him. So because those things are true and because those are our presuppositions, our approach when it comes to the issue of who is Adam and what does Scriptures say about him, we just want to see what Scripture says about the historicity of Adam and let Scripture defend itself and let the consequences for modern philosophies and modern thought fall where they may. That is incidental to us. The preeminent issue is what does Scripture teach.
Now with that said, with that framework established, and I feel a lot better after having said that, Scripture presents Adam and Eve as historical people, the first and only parents of the human race, and what I want you to see tonight is that it is devastating to reject that. It is not too much to say that if you throw out Adam as a real historical person, as the first man, as the head of the human race, you are throwing out all of biblical salvation in the process if you follow your logic all the way through. One writer said this, "The rejection of the Genesis story as a myth tends to the rejection of the Gospel of salvation. One of the chief cornerstones of the Christian doctrine is removed if the historical reality of Adam and Eve is abandoned." And I'm going to try to unfold for you why that is true as we look at some different areas of Scripture teaching in the next hour or so.
First of all, we want to look at this from three different perspectives, we want to look at the teaching of Genesis and the genealogies of Scripture; secondly, the teaching of Jesus; and thirdly, the teaching of the apostles. So we're going to look at Genesis and the genealogies as one subsection here, one section, I should say; the teaching of Jesus, secondly; and the teaching of the apostles. So we're going to go back to the beginning and then we're just going to kind of follow Scripture through and see how Scripture treats Adam and see how Jesus treated Adam and how the apostles treated Adam, and then we will draw some conclusions from that.
So first of all here for our first point here this evening, the teaching of Genesis and the genealogies. The teaching of Genesis and the genealogies. Adam is presented as a real man having real relations with a real wife with real human consequences. That's about as real as you can get.
Look at Genesis 4 with me. Genesis 4, beginning in verse 1.
1 Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, "I have gotten a manchild with the help of the LORD." 2 Again, she gave birth to his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of flocks, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
This is not describing Adam as some symbol or as a representation of something else, it's showing Adam as a real man, married, having relations with his wife, and having the natural outcome of relations being babies and children coming out of the union together. And it repeats it in chapter 4, verse 25, when you see this again, Genesis 4:25,
25 Adam had relations with his wife again; and she gave birth to a son, and named him Seth, for, she said, "God has appointed me another offspring in place of Abel, for Cain killed him."
Then it goes on and speaks of Seth,
26 To Seth, to him also a son was born; and he called his name Enosh. Then men began to call upon the name of the LORD.
This is describing a natural outworking of a man and woman relationship as if we were talking about our own families and when we had our kids, and that kind of thing. Adam was a man with children, he was a man with a lifespan. That is time and space history that Scripture is describing.
And it goes on here in Genesis and Adam is listed as the head of a record of generations in Genesis. Look at chapter 5, verse 1,
1 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day when God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. 2 He created them male and female, and He blessed them and named them Man in the day when they were created. 3 When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth. 4 Then the days of Adam after he became the father of Seth were eight hundred years, and he had other sons and daughters. 5 So all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years, and he died.
So Adam is created. He has a wife. They have relations. They have multiple sons and daughters. He lives for a period of time and he dies. This is the description of a historical man in time and space and so Adam is presented as a real man with the other men of Scripture and Genesis goes on naturally and starts to talk about the other descendants of Adam and goes on describing men in the same terms. So here's the question that we have for those who deny the historicity of Adam, who deny Adam is the head of the human race as he is described here in Genesis, here's the question that I want the answer to, to men like that, to women like that: if you reject Adam and say that he is just a symbol of something else and not the real man that he appears to be described as in Scripture, I want to know this, when does your principle of interpretation kick in so that you actually start to accept the men as they are described? Do you accept Seth who is described as a son of Adam? Do you kick in at Noah? Do you accept Abraham? Do you accept Samuel? Do you accept David? When do you start and by what principle do you distinguish the ones that you accept as real versus Adam whom you reject? It's obvious that there is an arbitrary choice of interpretation that is being made to accommodate other presuppositions and philosophies rather than simply accepting Scripture on face value for what it says, and we need to identify that and call it what it is because if you think about it this way when it comes to the genealogies, what you start to see very quickly just on what I just said, is that there is quickly a domino effect. Once you flick over Adam as being unhistorical, then the dominoes start to fall elsewhere, and where do you step in, where do you intervene to stop the falling dominoes in the genealogies?
Now, that's the genealogies and the testimony of Genesis. Look at the long neglected book of 1 Chronicles, if you would. The nice thing about Chronicles is even though you're not that familiar with the book itself, it's a very big thick book with 1 and 2 Chronicles so you can find it rather easily. 1 Chronicles 1. Chronicles has long series of genealogies and where does it start? It starts with Adam. 1 Chronicles 1:1,
1 Adam, Seth, Enosh,
And then going on through the other descendants as they followed in time. Adam is not separated out as a symbol. He is not separated out as an allegory or a figure of something else. He is presented as the head of the human race in the inspired word of God in yet another place of Scripture in the Old Testament, there in 1 Chronicles 1.
Now, someone might say, "But well, I don't know what to think about the Old Testament. I know what the Germans said about the Old Testament a long time ago, but I'm a New Testament man. I want to be a New Testament and that's what drives my thinking. I'm a not so concerned about the Old Testament." Okay, let's take you on your terms, we could say, and invite you to turn to Luke 3. Let's just start to kind of prove our point. Let's start in verse 34. Here in Luke 3, the genealogy is starting with Jesus and working its way back rather than in 1 Chronicles where it started with Adam and worked its way forward in time. Well, just to pick up with the names that we are familiar with from the whole book of Genesis, in verse 34,
34 the son of Jacob [he is continuing to work backward], the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, 35 the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Heber, the son of Shelah, 36 the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, 37 the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalaleel, the son of Cainan, 38 the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.
Where do you look at that and find a basis upon which to treat Adam as someone different than those who are clearly in a direct genealogical line related to one another by generation? Anthony Hoekema, the respected Reformed theologian, says this speaking of these genealogies and the import of them, "This clearly places Adam at the beginning of a list of historical persons and indicates that Adam came into existence not through natural generation but by the creative act of God." Adam is in the context of other historical persons and thus should be treated that way, and the testimony of Scripture about his origin as a direct creation of God should be accepted on its own terms if, if we are going to let Scripture be the norm by which we interpret everything else, and for those of us that believe the Bible and in the context of our church, that's not open for discussion here. You cannot reject Adam and take Scripture at face value, and as we've said, those who do so, those who reject Adam, they do so by bringing prior assumptions of an old universe to the text rather than letting the text speak for itself.
So that's the teaching of Genesis and the genealogies. Let's consider the teaching of Jesus. The teaching of Jesus. As we've said in other places at other times, it's just very very critical for our spiritual well-being to remember what it is that we believe as Christians. We believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, the second member of the Godhead. We call him Lord. We call him Master. We call him Teacher. And rightly we do, for thus he is. But as our Master, as our Teacher, he instructs us and we instinctively believe what he says. We have a duty to believe what he says. If we call him Lord and Master and Teacher, it is ours to take what he says and to take the words from his lips as our law, as our truth, as that above which there is no higher authority. For those who confess Jesus Christ as Lord, then, what he says is absolutely determinative. It settles the matter. He cannot lie to us. He would not lie to us because he is truth himself. He is the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but through him. Where lies come from are from the devil but not from Christ. It is impossible for God to lie. Jesus Christ is God and therefore whatever he says is true and our response as believers in Christ, is that we submit to him in every area, including his teaching.
You see, beloved, to be a follower of Christ is so much more than simply saying, "I will follow his moral teachings," as if Jesus were only a good human example for us. No, he's the Lord of our souls. He owns us by right of creation and by right of redemption, for those of us that are in Christ. He owns us. We belong to him. We are his slaves, his servants. He is our Master. So we submit to him in every area and it's not simply that he gives us some moral precepts, he tells us how to think about the world. He has disclosed to us in his word and in his teaching, he has disclosed to us the origin of the human race, the purpose of the human race, and where the human race is ultimately going. He defines our worldview for us. He defines for us how we are to think, not simply what we are to do. His Lordship is expansive. It is vast. It is over all because he himself is over all.
Well, what can we glean about Adam, then, from the lips of our Master? Turn to Matthew 19, and as you're turning there, you can also put your finger in Mark 10. Matthew 19:3,
3 Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?"
And Jesus answers, answers the problem of his day in verse 4,
4 And He answered and said, "Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female [quoting from Genesis 1], 5 and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'?
A direct reference to Adam and Eve as the narrative was described in Genesis 2:24.
Turn to Mark 10:6 where Mark gives a parallel account. Jesus said in Mark 10:6,
6 "But from the beginning of creation, God made him them male and female. 7 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, 8 And the two shall become one flesh; so they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate."
So in these passages, Jesus quotes from Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 to answer questions in his day about divorce and he appeals back to the original text, he appeals back to the beginning in Genesis, and he appeals to those opening chapters of Genesis in order to settle the discussion, in order to give a context and say, "Here is God's direction in the situation. Let's go all the way back to Genesis 1 and 2, remember about Adam and Eve, and we see the pattern that God established for marriage going forward from the beginning." Beloved, Jesus' appeal to those opening chapters of Genesis would have no force and no meaning for the situation of his own day if Adam and Eve were simply allegories or symbols of something else. The reason that his argument settled the matter before the Pharisees was because he was referring to something that was a historical fact, true in time and space, and he alluded to people who really existed and set a pattern for humanity going forward. That's why what he said answered their question about divorce. Now, his words therefore assume the actual existence of a human pair who set a standard for those who come later in the institution of marriage.
Now, critics who somehow still are allowed to carry the label evangelical, critics even in the evangelical camp, might say that Jesus was simply accommodating the belief of his day. The sense of this argument is that Jesus knew it wasn't real but he accommodated those who were around him because they believed it was real and therefore he spoke as adopting their beliefs even though he knew it wasn't true. So for the sake of identifying with the philosophies of our day, these evangelical critics make the Lord a purveyor of deception, and let me ask you a question: as you read the Gospels, do you find Jesus as one who is afraid to confront the error of his day? Is he reticent? Is he awkward? Is he retiring? Does he differ in the face of error? Does he differ in the face of lies? Matthew 23, "Woe to you Pharisees, you whitewashed tombs." Jesus wasn't afraid at all of confronting the error of his day. This is nonsense to speak in such manners and to make the Lord a participant and one who perpetuates deception rather than exposing it. The reason Jesus alluded to Adam and Eve to settle the argument was because they were real, he knew them to be real, and he knew that the testimony of Scripture settled the argument that was in front of him. So Jesus affirmed by his teaching the reality of Adam and Eve just as Genesis presented them. He quotes Genesis without qualification, without alteration.
So as we start to say what are we to believe in our day about these issues, we go to Genesis and say, "This is pretty clear." We go to the genealogies and we say, "This is really clear." We go to what Jesus said and we say, "This is really clear." Then as we go on, we start to realize that the rest of the New Testament builds theology of salvation on the reality of Adam as the head of the human race. So that brings us to point 3: the teaching of the apostles. The teaching of the apostles and let me just remind you of some things that we've said about the apostles in the past. Those of you that weren't with us at the time, maybe you haven't heard this, the nature of the apostolic office, the nature of the 12 plus Paul, is really really crucial for us to understand because the apostles were Jesus' personally appointed representatives to reveal his truth to the first generation of believers. Jesus personally appointed the apostles to be his authorized representatives. He sent the Holy Spirit to empower them, to guard them, to guide them in the truth. So when we read – here's the key, beloved, and I'm not repeating all that I said in those two messages that you can find also online – when you read the teaching of the apostles, when you read the letters of the New Testament, Jesus Christ himself is the guarantee that the apostles were trustworthy because he is the one who designated them as his authorized representatives in a unique way that has not been repeated since the first century and never will be. One of the qualifications to be an apostle was that they had to be an eyewitness of the resurrected Christ. Martyn Lloyd-Jones talking about the apostles said this, he said, "Christ enlightens and reveals his will and teaching to these apostles, endows them with a unique authority, fills them with the needed ability and power, and gives them the teaching that is essential to the well-being of the church and God's people." Let me say that again: Christ in appointing the apostles, gave them the ability, the authority, and the power, to provide for the people of Christ, to provide for the sheep of the Shepherd, the teaching that was essential for the well-being of the people for whom he died. So the apostles were a great gift from Christ. They were the foundation upon which the church is built, according to Ephesians 2:20, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone.
So when we read the teaching of the apostles, when we read the New Testament, we are reading the very word of God himself. We are reading precisely what Christ has for his church to know, understand, believe, teach, defend and obey. There is no separation between Christ and his apostles. Their teaching is one and the same as it is recorded in Scripture because they spoke as his authorized representatives. So with that in mind, when it comes to the issue of the evening, it's right and proper for us to say what do the apostles say about Adam? What do the apostles say about Adam? Well, what we're going to see is that the apostles agree completely with the recorded words of Christ in the Gospels. The apostles agree with the teaching of Genesis and the genealogies. They assume Adam's literal existence as it is recorded in the book of Genesis.
Let's look at Romans 5. In Romans 5, the Apostle Paul is addressing the matter of Christ's redemption of humanity and he is going to make a comparison between Christ and Adam to make his point. In Romans 5:12, look at it with me, he says,
12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned-- 13 for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.
Now, this text is very involved and very complex. For tonight, all we need to see is this: is that the Apostle Paul is speaking about Adam as a literal man. He speaks about Adam in the same breath, in the same clause as he does Moses. You can't say Moses was real and literal and then turn Adam into a symbol without destroying the entire point that Paul is making here. One writer said this, "Adam is a real person of history and therefore the events of his life are causes that produce genuine effects in the world. Adam's story explains what happens because it tells us what happened." And the point that Paul is making is a historical point here in chapter 5. Adam was a real historical person who did real historical things and because Adam did those things, because Adam fell, because Adam disobeyed, there were consequences for all of humanity. As the head of the human race, when Adam sinned, it had an effect on every other man in the human race who would ever live. That's his point there.
Now Paul goes further and makes a critical comparison to Christ Jesus. Look at verse 15.
15 ... the free gift is not like the transgression
In other words, the free gift of salvation available in Christ is not like the transgression that Adam committed. I just want you to see as we go through here the comparison and the analogy between Christ and Adam. That's all we're looking for here tonight. We'll deal with this text in the future. Verse 15,
For if by the transgression of the one the many died [Adam sinned and therefore many died], much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. 16 The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation [Adam's sin resulted in the condemnation of the entire race], but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification. 17 For if by the transgression of the one [that is, Adam], death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. 18 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.
So one man, Adam, sinned and it had consequences for the whole human race. Jesus Christ, one man did one thing in his life, his death, his resurrection, the actions of one man in Christ also had implications for all. That's the comparison that he's making. Adam did one thing and every one was affected. Christ did one thing and everyone was affected. That's the basic gist of his argument here.
19 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. 20 The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
That's a lot but grab the main point here: what one man, namely Adam, did had consequences for the entire human race; what another one man, Christ, did had consequences for the entire human race and what Paul leads up to, what the climax of his point is is found in verse 21, you find that it leads into a declaration of the grace that reigns through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. So he has built up to this great conclusion that shows us there is something about the reality of salvation in Christ. Here's the thing, beloved: Paul's entire explanation of salvation falls apart, becomes meaningless if Adam is not a historical person. If you take away Adam and the explanation that Adam gives of humanity being in sin, if you take that away, then you take away the entire premise of salvation. You take away Adam, sin and salvation fall apart because through the first Adam we became sinful, through the second Adam, namely Christ, we are redeemed, and if you take away the first, you lose the second as well.
Again, Anthony Hoekema pointedly asks in this context, he says, "If Paul thought of Jesus Christ here as a historical person, what right has anyone to suggest that he thought of Adam whom he describes in each of those verses with an expression identical to the ones used for Christ, as not a historical person?" In other words, Paul uses the same language to describe Christ and to describe Adam. How can you possibly hold to Christ as historical and reject Adam as historical?
Now I realize that those who want to be friends with our evolutionary philosophy of our age, I realize that that puts them in an embarrassing position. I'm not sympathetic. You have to choose what it is that you're going to be loyal to. Are you going to be loyal to Christ and to his word and stand apart from the philosophies of a world that would undermine the clear teaching of God's word, or will you come out from the camp and stand with Christ and stand with his word and stand with that which gives the word internal consistency and clarity as it speaks about the only way of salvation for men? I'll tell you, to me that's not a hard question to answer. This is not a difficult choice. In part it's not a difficult choice because of the work of the Spirit of God in my heart that has opened my eyes to see that these things are actually true.
But what I want you to see here, beloved, and I think I used this pun last time, when people start to monkey around with Adam, the consequences of that go throughout the Bible. The principle that would make you monkey with Adam eventually undermines the only hope of your soul and you can see that as you see other apostolic teaching. Turn to 1 Corinthians 15. In 1 Corinthians 15 when he's talking about our resurrection hope in 1 Corinthians 15:21, he ties it into Adam. He ties it into Adam. 1 Corinthians 15:21, he says,
21 For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.
Then in verse 45 of 1 Corinthians 15 he says,
45 So also it is written, "The first MAN, Adam, became a living soul." The last Adam [referring to Christ] became a life-giving spirit.
So what you see, beloved, is this: we bear the image of Adam now as physical beings here on the earth, one day we are going to bear the image of Christ in glory, those of us that belong to him. So when we step back as Christians and say what is the most precious thing that we have, the most precious thing that we have is the certain hope of eternal life, seeing Christ face-to-face and one day being like him. We will be like him because we will see him as he is, 1 John 3:2. Well, what I want you to see is that according to Scripture, the great eternal, infinite value of that hope is tied to, compared to, related to the historicity of Adam.
Lastly, Paul addresses male leadership in the church in 1 Timothy 2. Turn over there with me. 1 Timothy 2. Paul is dealing with the issue of male leadership in the church. He says in chapter 2, verse 13,
13 ... it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. 14 And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.
Beloved, Paul's solution to a real problem in the church in real time and space in his day was a real appeal to a real person who settled the argument, who made his case, who illustrated his point.
So you have Genesis, you have the genealogies, you have Jesus, you have the apostles in multiple places for each one. The testimony of Scripture here is abundant. On the positive side, the Bible affirms a real Adam. On the negative side, biblical theology collapses without him, and when biblical theology collapses, the reality of salvation collapses as well. Beloved, mark it, mark it: it's not long in time, chronology, it's not long in logic, it's not a far leap that those who would take a historical Adam away from you, mark it, eventually they will take your salvation away from you as well, and what I mean by that is that they will end up denying, since Adam is the premise of the things that lead to Christ and the salvation that Christ wrought, when you kick out the slats of the foundation, the rest of it is going to fall eventually as well. Leland Ryken says this and I quote, "Our salvation connection to Christ is grounded in our human connection to Adam. If we remain in Adam, than the guilt of his sin and our sin will bring us under the wrath of God, but if we come to Christ, we will be rescued by his atoning work. Both men are real representatives which makes our salvation as real as our sin."
Beloved, we have not followed cleverly devised fables when we believed in Christ. We have not believed in myths and fancy stories when we have committed ourselves to the truth of Scripture. We have committed ourselves to that which is true, that which is right, and that which God will vindicate in the end, and may God bless our efforts individually and collectively as a body of believers here at Truth Community Church to be faithful to his precious word in every respect.
Yes, Father, thus may it be. Thus may it be that we would be true to Christ and true to your word; that we would be true, Father, even when it is unpopular; that we would be true even when it costs us in our personal lives; that it would be true in our commitment and our faithfulness would be real and proven even when we are insulted, even when we suffer, even when we are mocked, even when we are misrepresented because, Father, that's what Christ is worthy of and so much more. He is worthy of that heart commitment, that intellectual commitment, that effort of life. And Lord, we could give all of ourselves in perfection back to you if that were even possible, and it wouldn't be enough. It wouldn't be enough to pay for the nail-scarred hands. It wouldn't be enough to pay for the shed blood. No, we have been on the receiving end of such marvelous, infinite, matchless grace that there is no repaying. We receive it as a gift. We give ourselves over to it gladly. We ask you to help us be faithful until the end, and then when the end comes and they pull down our eyelids in death, Father, may our eyes then open to the wondrous glories of Christ, the wondrous glories of that which you have promised to all who love you, and in a fleeting glance back we would look back and say, "It was worth it all." In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
Thanks for listening to Pastor Don Green from Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. You can find church information, Don's complete sermon library and other helpful materials at thetruthpulpit.com. This message is copyrighted by Don Green. All rights