Corporate Solidarity-section 3

  1. Rom. 5:9,10-Justification and reconciliation presented as parallel accomplishments "in Christ." Both are presented as facts of history. Both were laid down or placed in the death of Christ.

    1. "having been justified [nom., pi., part., aorist, passive] now [intensive particle—'by all means, be sure, surely'] by his blood ..."

    2. "having been reconciled [nom., pi., part., aorist, passive] ..." "to God by the death of His Son" ... "when we were enemies."

      1. Paul in using parallelism here emphasizes the fact that this justification and reconciliation are historical facts rooted in the cross of Christ. When He died and while we were enemies we were reconciled and justified in that act. This had to be a legal or forensic, and not an experiential, reconciliation and justification. As a person repents of his/her sins and believes in what Christ has done for His enemies, (s)he is reconciled or justified by a heartfelt faith, experientially.

      2. Justification and reconciliation cannot be separated from Christ. They reside in Him. "God was in Christ reconciling the world (i.e. the world of sinners, mankind, Adam) to Himself' (2 Corinthians 5:19). Likewise God was "in Christ" justifying the world unto Himself. Christ is our justification. We are to accept Him as our justification, our reconciliation, for with Christ is God and justification as well as reconciliation.

      3. In order for us to be reconciled Christ had to be estranged from God. Christ took our alienation, our separation, our estrangement in order for us to be reconciled to God. In Christ's cry of dereliction we may learn the fact of His separation from God and also the fact of mankind's reconciliation or restoration to favor with God. When Christ cried out, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?" there was a disruption of the bond between

      4. Himself and God in order for us to be reconciled. In the very instant of their separation was our reconciliation. Our reception of reconciliation does not make it so. Reconciliation is a legacy from the past. Faith appropriates that reconciliation that took place at Calvary.

  2. Rom. 5:12-18—Parallel persons, the two Adams

    1. The universality of sin in Adam is presented first.

    2. Next the universality of grace "in Christ" is shown to far surpass the universality of sin.

    3. Verses 13-17 are parenthetical.

    4. Verse 18 is a restatement of verse 12 and concludes the proposition begun in verse 12. Verse 12 is not an anacoluthon. In this verse, Paul laid down a proposition that calls for a contrast. Verses 13 through 17 are parenthetical in which he leads us into a discussion of contrasts between the two Adams as representatives of the race concerning sin and grace, condemnation and acquittal. The proposition from verse 12 is restated, then concluded in verse 18:

Verse 12



just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, for that [or "in whom"]19 all sinned ...

(Verses 13-17 are parenthetical)

Verse 18


(Premise from vs 12 restated:)

as through one man's offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation,

(Conclusion of verse 12:) even so through one Man's righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.

  1. The divine formula for justification is by grace alone, by Christ's blood alone, through faith alone (Romans 3:24; 5:9, 1). That grace "was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began." Christ's death was given to us "in due time." And "a measure of faith" is given to every person in the world (2 Timothy 1:9; Romans 5:6; 12:3). Christ has been given to every person on earth. And every person has been given to Christ. He is the representative and head of the race. Embodied in that Gift are the judicial gifts of grace and justification. Christ was judicially condemned and punished. In that very act, judicially, the human race was justified or acquitted. Neither condemnation nor justification can be separated from His person. At the same time He received our condemnation, the fallen race was acquitted and we were given legal justification.
  1. Acts 17:16-34—Corporate solidarity of the human race in Christ

    1. Presented in the context of the two representatives of the race (:26-28).

    2. Paul was provoked concerning the idolatry of the Athenians (:16).

    3. He reasoned with both Jews and Gentiles in the synagogue and in the public forum

    4. Paul preached the gospel to the pagan philosophers (:18).

    5. This was a new doctrine to those Athenian philosophers (:19).

    6. Paul used idols and Greek poetry as points of contact between those people and the gospel (:23, 28).

      1. The pantheistic Greeks believed that "god" was in everything. Everything to them was "god." They were god since their god was in them. Paul, in countering this false religious belief, presented them as "in" Christ.

    7. Paul's answer to their questions began with "I perceive that you are very religious" based on their objects of worship (:22, 23).

    8. He presented to them "the unknown God" whom they worshiped ignorantly (:23-25).

    9. Next he presented the first Adam and the consequent nations of men from out of him (:26).

      1. Here Paul presents corporate as well as universal concepts.

        1. Corporate, in that all nations of people came from Adam;

        2. Universal, in the sense that this covers every person on earth. Out of one, everyone, everywhere.

    10. God is in control of history, and as man learns this it should lead him to seek Christ (:27).

    11. Paul next quotes pagan poets to prove that "we" [both believers such as Paul and non-believers such as the philosophers] are "in" Christ who gives us live and being.

      1. This poem dedicated to Zeus was used by Paul for the "in Christ" motif. The line from the poem, "For we are also His offspring" had to do with spirituality, as well as physical existence.

      2. Paul led those self-worshiping pantheists from Zeus to the Creator and Redeemer of the human race.

    12. He confronted pagan idol worship by presenting those pagans as "in" Christ along with himself.

    13. Finally, after first presenting the gospel, Paul presented the law in a corporate and universal command to repent (:30).

      1. This reason to repent for practicing idolatry was based on the coming judgment: "Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness in the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead" (verses 30-31).

    14. Paul knew his audiences. In comparing Paul's methodologies in working with believers and non-believers we find that he used different approaches, but with the same goal in mind, namely, repentance and faith resulting in an experienced salvation.

      1. As recorded in Acts 13:14-23, while at Antioch in Pisidia, Paul began with the law and sacred history from Hebrew Scriptures to Jews and believing Gentiles. Then he led them to the gospel. The Jews rejected, while the Gentiles accepted, the gospel(:43-45).

      2. In Athens Paul began with the gospel and ended with the law(17:18, 30).

      3. Both in Pisidia and in Athens Paul presented the law and the gospel, albeit each in a different order, and harvested precious souls for the Lord both ways.

      4. In Pisidia Paul presented the relationship between David and Jesus as important, but he did not mention this in Athens because it held no weight with the Athenians. In both cities Paul preached Jesus and His resurrection but in a different order. This was because of different audiences.

Summary and Conclusion

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