Lampstand July 2017 insert – Adam was made?

The Lampstand insert continued…they now start to focus on Adam’s condition prior to sin:

EC Teaching Bible Teaching
Adam was created with a nature prone to sin

 

Adam was created with a natural body that was “very good” in kind and condition from God’s own perspective (Gen 1:31, 1 Cor 15:44-45).  He was capable of sin and capable of death should he sin but he was not created mortal (ie subject to death) with a sin prone nature.  Adam’s sin prone nature came as a consequence of his sin, and this is passed on to all his descendants (Rom 5:12, 19, 7:14-25).  BASF 4,5,10

 

There was no change in the condition of the nature of Adam and Eve as a result of sinning.

 

Gen 3 details several changes to the condition of human nature that came in consequence of sin:

·       The eyes (of their understanding) were opened v7

·       Now aware and ashamed of their nakedness v3,11

·       Need to be clothed with animal skins v21

·       Now afraid to meet with God v8,11

·       Enmity of conflict introduced that did not exist before v15.  This reflects the change to a nature that now is sin-prone Rom 7:14-8:7

·       Pain and sorrow for man and woman were introduced v16,17

·       Ground was cursed and man would have to work in sweat v19

·       Now subject to process of aging until they die and return to ground v19 BASF 5,8-10,12 “This sentence became a physical law of Adam’s being which was transmitted to all his posterity” (clause 5)

 

 

Adam’s very goodness

It is remarkable that we even need to argue about this.  We all agree with the reality of our current nature and that Christ shared in it but was sinless.

The Lampstand seemingly remains unaware that Adam being moral is not new in our community.  In Gen 1 God described all of creation (including bacteria, scavengers, things with stings, attitude even a talking serpent who becomes the representative of the godless) as very good.  Humanity is only called very good by virtue of the verse being inclusive.  As bro LG Sargent stated plainly:

The quality of being “very good” is therefore not peculiar to the man, nor does it bear some special significance for him; as “a beast of the field” it must include the serpent. Clearly, being “very good” in the sense in which it is here used of the animal creation does not exclude “the thinking of the flesh””.[1]

Bro H Whittaker simply noted:

very good” is far too vague to be useful, without further definition[2]

Of course basic bible study demonstrates the phrase is used numerous times and means – really good.  See this post for the detail of scriptural use and many who have rendered it as such.

Adam was very good in kind and condition (a phrase which can equally be applied to the serpent).  This expression must be understood in the context of the biblical meaning.  Adam was made specially by God in a fantastic garden.

 

Adam being mortal

A number of respectable commentators in our community have concluded Adam was mortal prior to the fall (See LG Sargent’s lengthy explanation).  Obviously though his fate was contingent on his behaviour NOT his nature.  The balance of Scripture plainly points to Adam being mortal.  The Lampstand article doesn’t engage with this evidence or provide any counter scriptural evidence.  Ironically they reference 1 Cor 15 which states that prior to the fall Adam had the same body as us – consider Paul’s comparison:

Us now In the future
v44 Natural body Spiritual body
v45 living soul Adam quickening spirit Christ
v46 Natural body Spiritual body
v47 of the earth earthy from heaven
v49 image of the earthy image of the heavenly
v50 corruptible/mortal incorruptible/immortal

Paul very explicitly compares the earthy mortal Adam with the spiritual/immortal Christ and sets up that we are in the image of Adam and will be in the image of Christ.  His specific context is about the body/nature we possess now versus in the Kingdom.  Surely there is no doubt we will be in the image of Christ means the nature (immortal and without any bias to sin).  For the comparison to work, we must also conclude Paul is drawing no difference between our nature/state and Adam’s when created.

Note that while the proof texts provided by the insert describe our wretched sin prone nature now (Rom 7:14-25) this text says nothing of a change in Adam.

The consequences of Adam’s sin – a powerful list?

Firstly let’s be clear.  The statement re EC positions on this is almost misleading.  Bro Roberts later changed his view but twice in 1869 firmly stated:

Adam, before transgression, though a living soul (or natural body—1 Cor. 15:44–5), was not necessarily destined to die, as obedience would have ended in life immortal.  After transgression, his relation to destiny was changed.  Death (by sentence,) was constituted the inevitable upshot of his career.  He was, therefore, in a new condition as regarded the future, though not in a new condition as regarded the actual state of his nature.  In actual nature, he was a corruptible groundling before sentence, and a corruptible groundling after sentence; but there was this difference: before sentence, ultimate immortality was possible; after sentence, death was a certainty.  This change in the destiny lying before him, was the result of sin[3]

Look carefully at the list of changes listed by The Lampstand:

Lampstand highlighted change Comment
The eyes (of their understanding) were opened v7 Not a change in nature but in experience

Gaining a knowledge of good and evil is a normal human process Deut 1:39 (see this detailed post)

·       Now aware and ashamed of their nakedness v3,11

 

Not a change in nature but in experience

 

·       Need to be clothed with animal skins v21 Not a change in nature but in experience

 

·       Now afraid to meet with God v8,11

 

Not a change in nature but in experience

Shame and separation is the consequence of sin

·       Enmity of conflict introduced that did not exist before v15.  This reflects the change to a nature that now is sin-prone Rom 7:14-8:7

 

Not a change in nature but in experience

The enmity was between two classes of people.  Even the article softens their claim to “reflects”, because it doesn’t talk about change.

·       Pain and sorrow for man and woman were introduced v16,17

 

Not a change in nature but in experience

 

·       Ground was cursed and man would have to work in sweat v19

 

Not a change in nature but in experience

 

·       Now subject to process of aging until they die and return to ground v19 BASF 5,8-10,12 “This sentence became a physical law of Adam’s being which was transmitted to all his posterity” (clause 5)

 

Not a change in nature but in experience

The introduction of a process of ageing is not in the bible and is not what the expression surely die means (as per this biblical exposition)

Consider that there are many detailed consequences for Adam’s sin, outlined in detail by God in Gen 3.  But the one thing The Lampstand is most insistent on is absent from the record.  They are forced to claim the consequences “reflect” the single biggest issue (in their mind).  It is not in Genesis 3.  The absence should be obvious and damning.

What is clearly there is a host a serious consequences which changed Adam’s consciousness, his experience, his conscience, his relationship with God (and his wife) and saw him removed from the tree of life – destined to die.

________________________________________________________________

[1] Sargent “Dr Thomas on Adam’s Temptation” The Christadelphian Volume 106, 1969, page 124

[2] Whittaker, H. “Commentary on Genesis 1-4” Biblia (p. 58) (1986).

[3] Roberts. “Notes on the Mystery of Godliness” The Christadelphian Volume 6 page 242-243 (1869).

 

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