Corporate Solidarity—endnotes, page 1

  1. Christ's re-enactment of the Everlasting Covenant was not in precisely the same context as it was in Heaven. In the Covenant, as one equal with God, Christ made a promise to redeem mankind. That covenant was not made again when He became man, rather it was actualized. He performed His promise within the context of sin and redemption. [return to text]

  2. Adam was the first of the Savior's types. Both were tested as representative men. Each stood for others as well as for themselves. Upon the conduct of each depended the condemnation or the justification of the human race—either the malediction and misery or the acquittal and happiness of the race. Adam was not merely the human race's father. He was also our representative. He was the representative man. When God told Adam to not eat of the forbidden fruit He spoke to the entire human family in Adam. That command embraced humanity as can be observed by hindsight—all are fallen. That fall goes back to our first representative, our procurator. When he acted it was not merely for himself, but it was for us and as us. He was invested with full authority and responsibility with accountability to conduct important matters—of life and death—for himself and for all future generations.

    Adam's sin and condemnation was imputed to us, legally. Christ's righteousness, likewise was imputed to us, forensically. We all share in the fruits of the failure of Adam and in the triumph of Christ. Ruined by the first head of the race, God gave us another. Christ had certain requirements of righteousness to meet on condition of which the whole human race would become entitled to justification and thus acceptance with God.

    The two Adams are compared as the two common heads, or two roots, of mankind. Both communicated their conditions to the human race. And yet there is a vast difference between them. Christ's power is far more active and effectual for the human race than was Adam's. Christ communicated abundantly more to the race than we lost in Adam. Christ's blood is not only sufficient to redeem all those who believe, but even the whole of the fallen race. The blood of Christ purchased (1) legal acquittal (i.e. forensic justification) which is acceptance by God, a restoration of favor for the whole race; and (2) personal forgiveness of sin when one believes (i.e. justification by faith.) [return to text]

  3. God dealt with Adam as the representative of the human race as well as a separate individual. That first sin was generic as well as personal and particular. He involved himself and his posterity in his disobedience; mankind thus fell into bondage to sin and death. That was a legal condemnation and penalty of death. As the representative of mankind, Adam's act of disobedience was binding upon all those he represents. Then and now in mankind's guilt, the love of God appears as wrath and judgment. The law given as a guide, became a curse. In Adam mankind, legally, shared his sin, guilt, and condemnation. This was not guilt in a literal sense as partners with Adam in his transgression, but rather guilt in the legal sense of exposedness to penalty. The race has no guilt in the sense of culpableness, on account of his sin. There is no deserving of blame or censure as being wrong from personal involvement. It is exclusively a legal liability to the penalty of that offence, by reason of the representative relation established by God. It is a legal responsibility. Thus there is need of a legal Redeemer. [return to text]

  4. Christ represents not only the individual believer, but the entire fallen human race. It is written that Christ is the head of every man (1 Corinthians 11:3), and thus represents all human beings as members of his body, even those who withhold from Him the recognition that He is their rightful Head and Savior. Christ's life represented a perfect manhood, a perfect Adam, a perfect race in Him.

    The second Adam occupies a status above all principalities and powers, and every name that is named. He has been lifted up to the throne of the universe. And mankind is there represented by Him.

    In Romans 5:14 we learn that the first Adam was the figure of Christ and in 1 Corinthians 15:45 He is called "the last Adam." Adam was a figure of Christ in that what Adam did he acted for others as well as for himself, and through his transgression the race was condemned. Likewise with Christ. What He did, He did for the same ones Adam ruined. Adam brought condemnation to "all"; Christ brought "justification of life" to that same "all."

    Jesus assumed the position of Adam condemned under the law. Leslie Hardinge put it this way: As the Sin-offering, "He deliberately laid it [His body] on the altar to die for all mankind. And because He took man's place on the cross, humanity was executed in Him."

    "[W]hen He became man, it is still true that we, including every man and woman who has ever lived, are 'in Him.' Because Jesus is free from all guilt, He was entitled to pay man's ransom. On the cross humanity died in Him." Leslie Hardinge, With Jesus in His Sanctuary, pp. 361, 362.

    "When Jesus died, humanity died in Him. When He arose, mankind again lived in Him. As Jesus ascended to His Father, redeemed humanity ascended in Him. In the heavenly Sanctuary Christ's blood is representative of the human race. And when Jesus is ultimately glorified, the race will be glorified in Him." Ibid. p. 122. [return to text]

  5. "Here was the assurance to the Son of God that his Father accepted the fallen race through their representative, and that he had granted them a second trial... .

    "But few have a true sense of the great privileges which Christ gained for man by thus opening Heaven before him. The Son of God was then the representative of our race; and the special power and glory which the Majesty of Heaven conferred upon him, and his words of approval, are the surest pledge of his love and good will to man." ST Aug. 7, 1879.

    "And the word that was spoken to Jesus at the Jordan, 'This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,' embraces humanity. God spoke to Jesus as our representative. With all our sins and weaknesses, we are not cast aside as worthless. 'He hath made us accepted in the Beloved."' Ephesians 1:6. DA 113. [return to text]

  6. "At the Saviour's baptism, Satan was among the witnesses. He saw the Father's glory overshadowing His Son. He heard the voice of Jehovah testifying to the divinity of Jesus. Ever since Adam's sin, the human race had been cut off from direct communion with God; the intercourse between heaven and earth had been through Christ; but now that Jesus had come 'in the likeness of sinful flesh' (Rom. 8:3), the Father Himself spoke. He had before communicated with humanity through Christ; now He communicated with humanity in Christ. Satan had hoped that God's abhorrence of evil would bring an eternal separation between heaven and earth. But now it was manifest that the connection between God and man had been restored" DA 116. (Emphasis original). [return to text]

  7. tagna—This word means order, such as people ranked and arranged in groups. Paul used a metaphor drawn from the military, of companies appearing in their proper position and order. Here he distinguishes three classes, or groups, of persons resurrected: Christ the first-fruits, next are believers raised to life at His second coming, and finally, the rest of humanity—the lost—when death, the last enemy, is destroyed. Christ is the first-fruit of ALL who die. All shall be raised because of Christ.

    "According to 1 Corinthians 15:23f the gift of life is given to various ones in turn. ... One view is that in this connection Paul distinguishes three groups: Christ, who already possesses life, the Christians, who will receive it at his second coming, and the rest of humanity (telos), who will receive it when death, as the last of God's enemies, is destroyed." Arndt and Gingrich, p. 810.

    While it is true that the primary issue in this chapter is the resurrection of Christ and Christians who receive immortality at His Second Advent, it is likewise true, in the immediate context, Christ is presented as the One "in" whom even the lost will be resurrected. This will take place at the end of the 1,000 years when death, "the last enemy" is destroyed.

    These groups are enumerated, according to their places of importance, using the particles "afterward" and "then." Under the figure of speechprotimesis (description of order), E. W. Bullinger places verses 22-24 along with verses 5-8. He wrote, "The figure is employed when things are enumerated according to their places of honour or importance, using the particles 'first,' 'again,' 'then.'....

    "This figure, therefore, increases the emphasis of a particular statement by setting forth the order in which the things treated of stand, or take place."

    He next quotes verses 5-8 emphasizing the terms "then," "after that," "after that," "then," and "last of all." Following this he comments on verses 22-24: "Christ the first-fruits;" "afterward they that are Christ's at His coming." "Then cometh the end"; or "then, to telos, the end," or the last final rank of this great army of raised people. So that, there is no such thing as what is called a "general resurrection"; for as nearly nineteen hundred years have elapsed between the 'first-fruits' and 'them that are Christ's,' so there will be a thousand years between then and the last or second resurrection (Rev. xx. i-6)"—Figures of Speech Used in the Bible, p, 457. [return to text]

  8. "then the end (telos)." This has been touched on in the above endnote. Of what, or what end, can only be determined by the context. The subject here is the various ranks of persons in their proper resurrection group in ranking order. A third and final order of resurrections ending with the lost when the last enemy is destroyed. The word "then" permits an interval between the resurrection of the group of believers at Christ' s coming and the final consummation at the end of the millennium.

    The resurrection of the wicked dead terminates the devil's power over the lost. It had been demonstrated, previously, that he could not keep Christ in the tomb. It will be demonstrated that Satan will not be able to keep Christ's followers in the grave, at the time of the Second Advent. Finally, at the end of the millennium by the resurrection of the lost, the demonstration reveals that Satan is not even ruler of those who chose him as their head.

    Christ is the "first-fruits" of the harvest of believers. He is likewise the "first-fruits" of the harvest of the damned. It was the harvest of the lost that Christ reaped when He died and then was raised from the dead.

    Ellen White understood the meaning of Paul's use of the universal adjective "all." "In consequence of Adam's sin, death passed upon the whole human race. All alike go down into the grave. And through the provisions of the plan of salvation, all are to be brought forth from their graves"—GC 544 (emphasis supplied).

    The two Adams were not merely individuals; they were representatives of the fallen race. Both their actions affected mankind in the most profound ways. In this passage Paul reveals the final triumph of Christ over death and over sin as sin draws death after it. The fundamental point is that universal death came because of Adam's sin; but further: because of Christ's resurrection all shall be resurrected in their proper rank and place. Christ's death was a representative one. Christ led the way in resurrection, just as Adam did in death.

    In this place Paul presents the concept that we do not die merely because of Adam, but "in" him. Paul included all of us in Adam. To be "in" Adam means to be a part of the fallen race. To be "in" Christ means to be a part of that same race, but much more: a fallen race redeemed "in Christ." Likewise, everyone shall be resurrected from the grave, not merely "because of" Christ, but "in" Him. Christ rose not merely for Himself, but as the Head of the race.

    The acts of Adam and of Christ are public representative acts, done in their capacity as heads of the human race. All who die, die through the sin of Adam. All who are raised, arise through the merit and the power of Christ. All without exception and without distinction shall arise by virtue of Christ' s resurrection. Christ more than undoes what Adam did to us. Death is canceled by resurrection. [return to text]