Was Adam in Covenant with God?
I remember when I first started to study the bible nearly 6 years ago. I had no clue what I was doing. I overlooked so much. I had no concept of "Covenant".
Covenant is such an important theme in the scriptures. God is a Covenant making God. In Hebrews, just prior to the destruction of the Temple and all the elements associated with that Old Covenant, we read that "the first Covenant was flawed and there is need for a new one" and "what was becoming old was about to fade away" etc (paraphrasing)
But it didn't dawn on me just how far back the Covenants went until maybe not even a year ago. I had always heard bits and pieces about Genesis being actually the creation of a Covenant people rather than about material creation. Of course at the surface that seems stupid, but man was I wrong. When I dug in and actually started to study, it began making total sense. The first "Heaven & Earth" was a Covenant order and a Covenant people just like the New "Heaven & Earth" is new Covenant and a new people.
But not many people understand these concepts. Within Preterism there are very few who take the time to really see the full, complete, story. From cover to cover. It's as if figuring out the end is sufficient enough. The beginning isn't as important and we can continue to hold onto childhood fables there and be just fine. Well, no. It just doesn't work that way.
People often come to Paul's statement that "as in Adam all men died, so in Christ all men shall live" and they rightly apply an equal interpretation to his statement. It says what it says.
If "all men" died in Adam....Paul makes sure to let us know that "all men" will live in Christ. Which of course, means Universalism is the truth.
Paul also said "Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life." Which again, being fair, really does show universal reconciliation.
But this is not at all what the bible is telling us. In fact, the bible isn't concerned with anyone other than COVENANT PEOPLE.
Picture it this way....in a movie, we have 3 or 4 main characters. The movie focuses on them the whole time yet all throughout we have other characters that intertwine with the story line. But no matter what, the focus is still on the 3 or 4 main characters the whole way through. Same thing with the bible.
The "all men" who died in Adam, were Covenant people. Adam's sin brought death to God's people. This was not "all people" as the bible wasn't concerned with the pagans who worshiped false gods. In fact, when God said "let their be LIGHT" in Genesis 1, He was giving illumination of Himself to a people whom He was calling away from all of that pagan worship and darkness.
Just as the "all men" in Adam is limited, so is the "all men" in Christ. The "all men" in Christ who will have life, are Covenant people. Unique and distinct.
Adam was a NATURAL man AND a NATURAL people. Let's not forget that! Adam (the man and the people) was a unique people called out and was supposed to be a light to the darkness in the world. A testimony of the true God among all the false gods. A people to "til the ground" and spread and plant seeds that would grow and bear fruit.
Christ is a SPIRITUAL man AND He is a SPIRITUAL people. Christians are a unique people called out and are supposed to be a light to the darkness in the world. A testimony of the true God among all the confusion and lies in the world. A people bearing true fruit.
But let's consider for a moment what God did to the "world" when He flooded it back in the days of Noah...
Wickedness was rampant and God was grieved over His people that He created. God wasn't grieved over ALL people because ALL people were already wicked and depraved from the start. Remember, darkness was on the "face of the deep" according to Genesis. People were already in darkness and paganism so this was nothing new. God was grieved over the wickedness of what HE CREATED...that being, His Covenant people that He called out to be a light to the darkened world around them. So what did He do about it?
He washed them away in a flood. But He said something to Noah. He said this...
"And behold, I Myself am bringing floodwaters on the earth (land), to destroy from under heaven all flesh in which is the breath of life; everything that is on the earth (land) shall die. But I will establish MY COVENANT with you; and you shall go into the ark—you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you." Genesis 6:17-18
Now, why would God say "I will establish MY COVENANT with you?"
Was God introducing something totally new here? That is, was He introducing a new concept- that being a Covenant? Was the Covenant concept totally new here? Is this the first time we see it?
Why wouldn't God say "I am establishing A covenant with you"? Instead, He says "I will establish MY Covenant with you."
Well consider this...
As soon as Noah comes off the ark in His new headship position of this Covenant with God, God gives him instructions and commands or laws. God tells Noah to build an altar and make sacrifices to Him.
So we have God establishing His Covenant with Noah. We also have a major component of that Covenant seen in the building of an altar and the command to sacrifice to God on it.
So now we have to take ourselves back to some of the very first people mentioned in Genesis. Cain and Abel.
Remember when Cain and Abel brought sacrifices to the altar for God? God found Abel's sacrifice acceptable and Cain's to be lacking.
Why was Cain and Abel sacrificing to God on an altar here just one generation removed from Adam and Eve?
Isn't this the same command that God gave Noah when He established HIS COVENANT with Noah? It most certainly is.
So when God wiped away His people in the flood and established HIS COVENANT with Noah, do we see what He did? He was carrying it over and continuing it through Noah. Which is why He says "MY Covenant". This was not new.
Lastly, when Paul in Romans 5 & 7 speaks of sin entering the "world" through one man (adam), he speaks of "THE commandment" that came to adam. "THE" commandment. Singular. Not plural. One commandment that came from God.
What's a commandment? Is it not a Law?
Lastly for now, consider what Hosea wrote in chapter 6 about Israel....
"But like ADAM they transgressed the covenant; There they dealt treacherously with Me." Hosea 6:7
We see clearly here that Israel transgressed the COVENANT just like who? Like Adam. Bingo.
This is just the tip of a HUGE iceberg but Adam was most certainly in Covenant with God.
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