Corporate Solidarity—endnotes, page 2

  1. This Psalm is a lyric echo of Moses' account of creation. It is also a prophecy of Christ as the Second Adam. It is frequently quoted in the New Testament and applied by, and to, Christ the Messiah. In the light of the New Testament Psalm 8 is a prophecy of Jesus, the Son of Man, and also of the new humanity as redeemed by Him (Matthew 11:25; 21:16; Hebreews 2:6-9; John 12:23-33; 1 Corinthians 15:17). In Psalm 8:4 Christ, as the last Adam, is called by equivalent representative titles: "man (enosh)" and "the son of man (ben Adam)."

    Commenting on the word enosh Gesenius wrote: "It is rarely used as a singular in sense; ... generally collective of the whole human race, ...; Psalm 8:5 [4] (This ... passage applies to Christ solely; see Heb. 2:6)"—Gesenius's Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon, p. 63 (emphasis his).

    Wilson elaborates more extensively on the term enosh: "to be sick unto death; to be in very great distress; in a desperate, incurable condition, past all relief; mortal, fatal: man in this condition, and according to nature. As [Adam] is the common name of man in regard to his earthly origin, so [enosh] is the common name of man in regard to his being heir to corruption and weakness: not used of man before the fall, occurs first in Genesis 6:4; used of the Messiah, Ps. 8:4"— Wilson's Old Testament Word Studies, p. 266.

    Again in the book of Hebrews the central thought of Psalm eight is restated, then continued. It reveals the loss of dominion by man, then its restoration through Christ. Hebrews 2:6-9 reveals the sovereign dominion of Christ by showing that He is the Man God crowned with glory and honor, and made to have dominion over all the works of creation.

    After quoting Psalm 8, Paul sums it up thus: "For in that He put all in subjection under him [the first Adam] He left nothing that is not put under him." Then he adds: "But now we do not yet see all things put under him" (Hebrews 2:8). When Adam sinned he lost his God-given dominion and received the condemnation of the second death. But as soon as sin began its rulership the grace of God entered and abounded "much more."

    Immediately following the declaration of not seeing all things under Adam, Paul states, "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death." (Hebrews 2:9). We see Jesus, made to die. Christ who as God was immortal laid aside this attribute and took upon Himself mortality in order to be "numbered with the transgressors" and to die as the Representative Man.

    "Made ... for the suffering of death ... that He by the grace of God might taste death for everyone." Unfallen angels know nothing of grace, personally. Adam before he fell did not need grace. Grace came in because of sin. Christ was made to be sin for us. Christ needed grace. And it was by the grace of God that He tasted eternal death for the fallen race. By this same act the entire human race was acquitted or, in other words, was "justified of life" (Romans 5:18).

    Christ in his human nature is the only human who was destined to go to hell. No other human being has to go there. That fire was prepared for devils, not mankind. Those only who persistently refuse the grace of God that surrounds them, as certainly as the atmosphere encircling the earth, will join the devil and his angels there (Matthew 25:41).

    The greatest honor ever bestowed upon the human race is in the fact that Christ took upon Himself our nature in the incarnation. And being a man, God visited Him, cared for Him and thus visits and cares for us. And the fact that Christ in glorified human nature sits at the side of the Father, God blesses us in Him (Ephesians 1:3, 6). And so it is that Psalm 8, prophetic of Christ, was fulfilled in, and by, Christ. [return to text]

  2. Faith cannot create or produce anything that does not already exist. Faith makes real to the believer that which has real existence. Faith does not create justification. Justification has existence apart from faith. It resides in a person. Christ created justification through His meritorious death. Faith reaches back to the cross, takes and makes that justifying death of Christ real to the sinner when (s)he believes. Faith makes Christ's justification personally ours. It is not our faith that justifies us, but Christ's obedience even unto death. [return to text]

  3. The foundation for the doctrine of salvation was laid by Jesus on Calvary. The foundation of all theology must be the language of Scripture as illuminated by the Holy Spirit, not in the language of philosophy. No system of philosophy is necessary to theology. Theology may use reason and philosophy, but is never subservient to it. Through Adam's disobedience, mankind fell under legal condemnation. God, in mercy, determined on another course which carried out the legal effect of the Everlasting Covenant. As Adam was the representative man in the covenant of sin, so Christ is the representative man in the Covenant of Grace. In Christ mankind was lifted up from a state of damnation into grace through His merits. As Adam was one man and all men, so the Second Adam became one man and all men. [return to text]

  4. Judaizing teachers continually presented circumcision and exalted it above the gospel of Christ. They also brought Paul under condemnation because he refused to urge upon the people the ceremony of circumcision. Circumcision typified Christ, and therefore was no longer of value after His death. Paul presented the ministration of righteousness of Christ's death as exceedingly glorious in contrast with the ministration of death, as manifested in the religious rite of circumcision.

    Ellen White had clear insight concerning the Christological and soteriological battles of Paul's day. She wrote the following concerning circumcision and the cross:

    "There were those in Paul's day who were constantly dwelling upon circumcision, and they could bring plenty of proof from the Bible to show its obligation on the Jews; but this teaching was of no consequence at this time; for Christ had died upon Calvary's cross, and circumcision in the flesh could not be of any further value. The typical service and the ceremonies connected with it were abolished at the cross. The great antitypical Lamb of God had become an offering for guilty man, and the shadow ceased in the substance. Paul was seeking to bring the minds of men to the great truth for the time; but these who claimed to be followers of Jesus were wholly absorbed in teaching the tradition of the Jews, and the obligation of circumcision." RH May 29, 1888 (emphasis supplied).

    The cross was a scandal over which "the Pharisees who believed" stumbled. They refused to believe, in contrast with the Samaritans, that Christ "is the Savior of the world." They refused the concept that Christ "is the Savior of all men" (John 4:14; 1 Timothy 4:10). In refusing the message, they refused "the Gift of God."

    Notice again Ellen White's insight: The Judaizing teachers "refused to admit that the work of Christ embraced the whole world. They claimed that he was the Saviour of the Hebrews alone; therefore they maintained that the Gentiles should receive circumcision before being admitted to the privileges of the church of Christ." Sketches from the Life of Paul, p. 121 (emphasis supplied).

    Is it possible that we are stubbing our theological toes over the same issue of Christ as the Savior of the whole world as well as of the believer? [return to text]

  5. When men preach philosophy and practice ritual they are preying upon those whose ears have never heeded God's warning and who have never heard of the completeness "in Christ." Few realize their "fullness" "in Christ!" The reason: instead of believing the simple truth God graciously gives, Christianity generally has courted philosophy and married ritual. Plato has been exchanged for Christ; Paganism and ritualism substituted for Christianity. Asceticism along with the directions and the doctrines of men are too often used as a test for "orthodoxy." [return to text]

  6. "crucified together with I have been" (perfect tense, indicative mood, passive voice). The thought clearly presented in Galatians 2:20 is that Paul, first of all, considered himself as having been "crucified together with," or in the equivalent term "in," Christ; and second, that Christ presently lived in him. A.T. Jones perceived the "in Christ" motif in this verse:

    "For any soul to say, 'I am crucified with Christ' is not speaking at a venture. It is not believing on a guess. It is not saying a thing of which there is no certainty. Every soul in this world can say, in all truth and all sincerity, 'I am crucified with Christ.' It is but the acceptance of a fact, the acceptance of a thing that is already done, for this word is the statement of a fact.

    "It is a fact that Jesus Christ was crucified. And when he was crucified, we also were crucified; for he was one of us. His name is Immanuel, which is 'God with us'—not God with him, but 'God with us.' ... And when he was crucified, then who was it but 'us' that was crucified?

    "This is the mighty truth announced in this text. Jesus Christ was 'us.' He was of the same flesh and blood with us. He was of our very nature. He was in all points like us. 'It behooved him to be made in all points like unto his brethren.' He emptied himself, and was made in the likeness of men. He was 'the last Adam,' and precisely as the first Adam was ourselves, so Christ, the last Adam, was ourselves. When the first Adam died, we being involved in him, died with him. And when the last Adam was crucified,—he being ourselves and we being involved in him,—we were crucified with him. As the first Adam was in himself the whole human race, so the last Adam was in himself the whole human race—the old, sinful, human nature—was crucified with him." A.T. Jones, Adventist Review and Sabbath Herald, Oct. 24, 1899 (emphasis original).

    The envelope construction in this verse brings out the "in Christ" motif followed by "Christ in you."

         crucified together with I have been
              yet I live; no longer I
         but lives in me
    [return to text]