This is in response to a request for some clarification on Body-Building-Bride posted at Who in the world are we? Critiques and comments are requested.
Adam is the primary representative (one who is the source of humanity and the one who shows humanity what it means to be human) of the “old humanity”, the one man from whom all humanity comes. In Adam, the old humanity rebelled against God’s rule and followed its own will, worshiping itself. Jesus is the “last Adam”. As the last Adam, Jesus is the primary representative of the “new humanity”—a humanity delivered from the consequences of rebellion and self-worship because the representative human—Jesus—took all those consequences himself. He died. Then, because he is God, he took up his life from death and came into a new life that contains no seeds of death. He shares this life with those who trust him. The “new humanity” consists of those who follow the last Adam (Jesus), who trust that he took their consequences on himself, and who stop worshiping and trusting themselves.
The church is this new humanity. Now, it is plain to see that, unlike our primary representative (our head, Jesus) we are not perfect in our worship of God. This is a paradox: for now, inside of time, the church is perfect and imperfect, complete and incomplete. Ephesians illustrates this by speaking of the church—as building and body—growing to be more like our primary representative, Jesus (God in flesh, our Savior).
There are those who refuse to trust Jesus’ taking of our consequences and who insist on worshiping anything/anyone but God. These people are choosing to take their consequences, including permanent separation from the One God, whom they refuse to worship. Such separation is called hell.
Bottom line: God made humanity for relationship with himself. Humanity told God to stick it. The consequence of telling God to stick it is lack of life, because God is life. God’s response is to take the consequences himself—in Jesus. The new humanity responds by worshiping and trusting the One God.
Tag(s): ecclesiology soteriology christology
“Unless otherwise noted Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.” http://www.esv.org/