Was Adam a type of Christ?

Was Adam a type of Christ?

Recently I received a request to post my ideas on why Adam chose to sin when he was not deceived. The writer went on to ask:

“Could it have been intentional (prophetically typical of Christ), and as sacrificially paying the cost to be with his beloved. Paul also then confirming that the redemption from that sacrificial love would ultimately come from progeny through their union? What were Adam’s choices? Would God have cast her out, and taken another of Adam’s ribs for Eve number 2? Would that have been the end to humanity?
Also—if Adam (even the first Adam) is a type of Christ, that puts Eve as the type of the Church, which is both male and female.”

There are a lot of questions here that deserve to be answered in a thoughtful and biblical way. I have heard pastors preach that Adam ate the fruit because he was acting in a sacrificial way to be with his wife. She had already sinned by eating first and so it is said that he lovingly stands by her side and chooses to die with her.

While this view of the events is very romantic and sounds good as a story, it has a problem in matching up with the actual facts recorded for our benefit. (1 Corinthians 10:11) Let’s start with what we know for sure and move to what we can rightly surmise from the events.

1. We know that Adam was with Eve while she was being deceived. (Genesis 3:6)

2. We know that Adam was not deceived. (1 Timothy 2:14)

3. We know that Adam did not take the blame for his wife or try to shield her from God’s charge. Instead of fighting for Eve, he blamed Eve for his own sin (Genesis 3:12)

4. God charges Adam with dealing treacherously with him and thus deliberately transgressing the covenant with God. (Hosea 6:7)

So here are the questions that we need to ask – if Adam ate the fruit because of his great love for his wife…

1. how come Adam waited until after she ate the fruit before he “gave himself up” for her?

2. how come Adam didn’t try to protect her from God’s anger and judgment?

3. how come Adam wasn’t showing his loving protection of her when he answered God by passing the blame on to Eve?

What the facts show is that Adam failed to show his love for his wife while she was being tempted. The facts also show that Adam was not deceived so he ate the fruit with his eyes wide open. Adam sinned without being deceived so his sin was deliberately disobeying God. Not only did Adam deliberately disobey God, but he did not give himself to save his wife before she ate the fruit. Unfortunately the facts show that Adam ate the fruit for reasons other than his sacrificial love for his wife. Adam’s sacrificial love would have been shown if he would have sacrificially saved Eve by bringing her out of her deception. That did not happen.

Is Adam considered a prophetic symbol of Christ, dying for his bride? No, not at all. Adam did not warn his bride about sin. Christ not only warned his bride but he died to save her from her sin. Only Jesus Christ sacrificed himself as a true godly husband. Where Adam failed his bride, Jesus did not. This next question brings up one of the most important truths of our Christian faith:

“Paul also then confirming that the redemption from that sacrificial love would ultimately come from progeny through their union?”

The truth is that the progeny that saved mankind did not come from the man or his union with the woman. The Messiah was promised to come through the woman alone. The Messiah was not to be tainted by the inherited sin of rebellion and God accomplished through the woman’s seed the destruction of the destroyer himself.

The Messiah is the only picture of the perfect husband. His sacrificial love for us was the true love story and Adam does not qualify to be a foreshadowing of Christ. The first Adam lost it all. The last Adam bought it all back. Adam was not a type of Christ, but Christ is a type of Adam. Christ became the “last” Adam, the one who lived a completely sinless life and was the one who did not abandon his wife but sacrificed for his own bride.

“What were Adam’s choices? Would God have cast her out…?”

God did not cast Eve out when Adam sinned with her. God knew that Eve was deceived and so he extended mercy to her. God judges the intentions of our heart and Eve was not in rebellion when she sinned. Eve fell into sin through deception (1 Timothy 2:14). Being kicked out of the garden was not the original punishment for sin. The punishment was death not removing their garden home. The reason that Adam was kicked out was his rebellion. He had already sinned once by disobeying God’s commandment with his eyes wide open. Would he refuse to listen again when God now withholds the tree of life from them? The fact that God kicks Adam out of the garden shows that God knew what was in Adam’s heart.

The next question is an interesting question.

“Would God have cast her out, and taken another of Adam’s ribs for Eve number 2? Would that have been the end to humanity?”

Adam and Eve both needed a Savior. God promised the Messiah through the woman. Eve did not have to leave the garden with Adam for the Savior to come. After all did Mary need to have a man to become pregnant with the Messiah? No. The promise of the Messiah was through a woman alone. If Eve had stayed in the garden, the Messiah could have come through her without the aid of any man. Eve left the garden not because she needed Adam to have the promised Messiah. She left because she wanted to be with her husband. There was no need for another Eve to be created. God knew that Eve would leave the garden with her husband because he prophesied that her desire (or turning) would be to her husband. He also prophesied that the man would rule over her. I believe that it is fairly clear that Eve left the garden because she wanted to be with her husband and he took his sinful rule over her by demanding that she come with him.

“Also—if Adam (even the first Adam) is a type of Christ, that puts Eve as the type of the Church, which is both male and female.”

Yes, men and women are all part of the “bride” of Christ. Men need to learn how to be part of that “bride” just as women need to learn how to be “sons” of God. All of us can learn from each other. Men need to learn how to submit as well and women also need to learn how to be “warriors” of the faith.

29 thoughts on “Was Adam a type of Christ?

  1. As I’ve said before on this blog, it’s far better to stick with the facts of scripture rather than trying to construct a theological belief system based on what we don’t know.  Good thoughts Cheryl, on the difference between romantic fancy surrounding the fall and what scripture actually shows as fact.  If more preachers would just stick to the facts, maybe we wouldn’t have the ludicrous claim that woman must have a “spiritual covering” in the form of a male husband, and or priest over her.  No matter how bombastically they posture or how loudly they bellow “inerrancy”, scripture says no such thing.

  2. I agree, Greg and Cheryl.  I have just been challenged by a comp to defend my egal position just using the bible (interlinears and concordances being ok, also.)  I am such a novice at all this, but am going to give it my best shot.  One thing I noticed, in reading the bible, since this comp doesn’t believe that Jesus is subordinate for all time-just for His time on earth in human form-is that in 1 Cor. 11:3, the text says “….and the head of Christ is God.”  I had never thought about it before, but if one says that Christ is not subordinate to God for all eternity (as do many comps), but one uses this verse to show that women are to be subordinate to men or to their husbands, one has to realize that this verse was written after Christ ascended (thus His ‘subordinate’ time on earth had ended) and the verb used is present tense ‘is‘ (the head of Christ is God) then whatever headship means in reference to Christ cannot mean anything subordinate because it is an ongoing headship, a headship that continues beyond His time on earth.  So the headship has to refer to something other than the hierarchical definition it has often been given, I would think.  This was a lightbulb moment for me, given that this passage is often used as part of the basis for comp thinking, but I welcome your comments and critiques since you have likely already thought about this-all of you out there who read this blog.

  3. For my ‘assignment’, I would welcome opinions on favorite interlinears and concordances (and why) and other non-commentary types of resources.  I have only used Strong’s concordance via eSword and the scriptureforall interlinear thus far.

  4. Referring back to my comments in no.3, where I may have sounded muddled, what I mean is, if Christ only had God as His ‘head’ (meaning leader) while on earth (as opposed to having God the Father as Christ’s head for all time), wouldn’t the verse have to read something like ‘and the head of Christ was God” ?  So, since it says ‘…the head of Christ is God’, it would make since if the headship means source-which would be true always and would work with ‘is’-rather than ‘head’ which would have only worked while Christ was on earth in human form?  I ask this because the comps who believe that Christ was subordinate to God the Father while Christ was on earth use this part of the verse to justify that the word means head rather than source.  I say it cannot if my above thinking is correct.

    I know that there is a link on this site for recommended resources.  Just wanted to fine-tune if there is a reason to choose one over another in each category.  Thanks for bearing with me on all this.

  5. Correction:  my last entry, in the fifth line from the bottom, should have the word ‘leader’ instead of the word ‘head’. 

  6. Great Article and it’s “ALL” scripture!

    The word “Head” is “Source” when looking at the whole scope of scripture to read it as a chain of command you have a big God and a little god!

    When you read it as meaning source, it is clear! The source of the woman was the man(Woman made from Adams side) (Now all other sons and daughters are through woman (Birth)!) the source of the man is Christ (Because as in the book of Col. all things were made for Him and by Him), the source of Christ (The Incarnation,Virgin Birth) is God (Because Jesus is God, has no beginning or end!).

    If you read it with that understanding and using the Whole scope of scripture it all flows together like Living Water!

  7. ”  I have just been challenged by a comp to defend my egal position just using the bible (interlinears and concordances being ok, also.) ”

    Give them Cheryl’s DVD. It accomplishes exactly that! 

  8. Michael, thanks, and your points are good, also!  Somehow, one’s eyes have to be open.  Lin, you are right, and I actually do have Cheryl’s dvd series and have watched it, and this comp began to watch (saw about an hour of it) and felt there were a number of errors in just that much of it.  I realized then that I am dependent upon the Holy Spirit to enlighten the truth to this person and I have to trust the same Holy Spirit to guide my efforts and words.  I wish it could have all been answered-in the comp’s eyes-via Cheryl’s dvd series.  She has covered it so well and that would save me a lot of time!  Somehow, I think this whole issue, to some people, is kind of like that ink drawing of a face where you either see an old woman or a young woman depending on how you ‘see’ it.  I think or wonder if there is not some threshold point, with the concept of biblical equality, where a person finally ‘sees’ it.  How was it for  some of you that were comps and are not now?  Was there finally an ‘aha’ moment after which it just all made sense or were you persuaded gradually, bit by bit?  Did it happen quickly or over a long span of time>
         The difficult thing here is that this comp is my husband.  He is a very mild or non-existant comp in practice in our marriage, but officially is a comp, nonetheless.  When I go to his church, I sometimes have to really fight tears because I grieve so at the oppression that is taught in the name of Jesus.  In my mind’s eye, as I think of the verse that says ‘how beautiful on the mountain are the feet of them that bring good news’ I see this church (and ones like it) taking the men in, and setting them out on the wide open terrain and giving them rugged shoes and saying to them, ‘go freely, you can go anywhere’, and taking the women, and herding them into a corral and binding their feet and saying to them, ‘here, you can hobble around here and teach the other hobbled ones and the young children.’  This past Sunday I finally visited another church, a Salvation Army church of all things, that is egal., and it was a very freeing feeling to be back in the midst of egal. belief and practice, yet very sad to know that across town, in another place, sat my husband in his church, as we each sought to have like-minded fellowship.
         I was raised egalitarian, and even had a great grandma who was a minister, but I was never able to articulate well or defend the egal position (never had to because I was surrounded by egals),  yet was attending a Calvary Chapel when I met my husband (there were no egal churches in that area that weren’t very liberal per homosexuality, also, so I went to the Calvary Chapel; my husband lived hundreds of miles away so that wasn’t where I met him), so I was in a weakened position in my own mind, regarding this issue.  Now I am not, and am finding myself needing/wanting to defend my view.  I can only think that one of God’s purposes in all this is to make me well able to give a reason for this aspect of my Christian belief since I was not able to do so before, and perhaps He will have me use my honed belief time and again with others for His kingdom’s sake.  What a hard, painful journey, though! 

  9. Hi Truthseeker,

    Here’s how I’d go about it.

    Going straight to the passage in question, which is 1 Co 11, in context there must be something that points to or defines what Paul is talking about regarding ‘head’. Therefore if the hierarchal belief is correct then contextual support is a must. No belief can be supported without contextual support. So what I’d do is ask for my opponent to provide for me the evidence in the passage that shows that ‘head’ means, boss, chief, ruler. So if their view is correct then there should be some mention, in the context, of God’s authority, the husband’s authority, or Christ’s. There would have to be something along those lines, just a small something. I’d ask questions like, is the passage about authority structure? Does it talk about it or does it talk about glory and head coverings? What’s the whole passage about? In context Paul mentions origins. Why? Why would he talk about origins if the message is about authority? Does not the context determine the meaning? One cannot give weight to some doctrine that is soley based on the english word ‘head’. Where’s the proof in the context?

    That’s my 2 cents that is, can the gender hierachal view actualy be defended in context?  Answer: NOT at all. So I’m always up for those with this kind of belief to provide evidence and proof that their view is biblical. And I offer this kind of challenge all the time simply to show that it cannot be met. For me, that’s the route I take for now these days.

  10. Truthseeker,
    I spent years in a Calvary Chapel environment, and it sounds like you are well aware that they are strict fundamentalists.  Fundamentalism actually began as a good thing in the early 1900’s to counter the theological liberalism that came out of European universities in the late 1800’s.  Originally, it was only meant to reaffirm the virgin birth, blood atonement of Christ, his bodily resurrection, and in general, the stuff that was laid down in the creeds of early church history.  Over time however, fundamentalism began to include much more, and the list of “required” doctrinal stances began to grow.  I began my own journey to freedom and liberty just as you did, by asking questions and doing my own homework on God’s word.  What does God’s word say and what does it not say?  Why does Paul appeal back to the creation in a personal letter to Timothy? Is it to establish a new law prohibiting all women from teaching scripture or is it simply addressing a specific false teaching to a specific audience?  How many chain-link fences do you have to build around Acts 15:28-29 and Galatians 3:28 in order to limit their application and make Paul’s apparent no no on women teachers stand?  I thought your analogy of the foot-bound women painted a poignant picture of how cruel the traditions of men can be.

  11. Truthseeker,

    Since you have a comp husband, I’d be interested in his answer to what Jesus said about hierarchy in Matthew 20:

    25 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

    These words of Jesus tell us point blank that believers are to be different from the world, in that the leaders are the servants. Jesus, as the Cornerstone, is not on the roof but in the basement– and he told us to be like Him. And as He said, if He, being God, could come down to the lowest level, then so must all of us who claim to follow Him.

    So my question would be, What would Jesus say to anyone who claims priority over another believer?

  12. FWIIW, I believe that people that claim to use the “Bible only” are mistaken, as this is simply not possible.  For example, the Bible gets to define the words it uses, when then trumps the normal definition, but it does not define ALL the words it uses, so for those you need to know the normal definition, including idiomatic phrases.  In other words, we need all the help we can get.

  13. P.S. The help we need is to try our best to discern the original intent of the author and how his original readers would understand Scripture.

  14. Thanks, friends!  Lots of good things here:  Pinklady-essentially to not lose sight of the forest for the trees (verse over context) and that is so true.  Very good point of refocusing for me. 
        Greg-So true…and I, too, have wondered about the chainlinking of certain verses to make others ‘hold’ true.  It was said to me by the main pastor of my husband’s church that these various New Testament letters were ‘pastoral’ and thus broad or applicable for all time in their scope  yet he doesn’t require all the women to wear head coverings or go without gold adornment, etc., because that was ‘a cultural issue for their time’!  Furthermore,  supposedly these various epistles were shared amongst the churches and Paul ‘knew’ that when he wrote them, so thus they are meant to be applied to all churches.  This some-things-are-cultural and some-are-for-all-time twisting and turning is so hard to get them to see.  I have decided that perhaps I must do more question-asking, and less stating of things so that they/whomever will have to really think about what they are saying and its impact. 
         Paula, extremely good point and I had forgotten about that verse.
         Don, I frankly agree with you and have pointed out to my husband that he ought then to not need to listen to any sermons or teachings unless they are simply strict readings of the bible, and then who needs to go anywhere for that?  I haven’t received a good reply to that one yet.  It is vitally important to know what the bible’s message meant to the people of the time.  We have to distill from it the main points, the principles, and discard the shell of the things that are simply clues to context rather than binding rules for all time, critical for determining context and then principal, but not new rules in themselves.
         Most of all, I pray that I will engage in this whole exchange with my husband and other comps with proper humility, gentleness, respect, love, and yet steadfastness in holding to the truth.

  15. One other thing I would point out is the problem in the comp world of scriptural contradictions with their view.

    The entire view rests on ‘earthly authorities’ within the Body and if we get that wrong, we get it all wrong…including the marriage part between Christians.

    There are contradicting passages where women are prophesying within the Body and at Pentecost fulfilling the Joel prophecy for the church age. Even in 1 Corin 11, Paul is writing from the point of view that women ARE praying and prophesying in the Body to men! There are other examples so we know there are contradictions with the comp view. We know how they explain these away but the real problem is how many different explanations they have…some are more liberal and some are very legalistic.

    But, to me, it all starts in Genesis and understanding the creation account. Reading it without any presuppositions. Much of what comps teach is READ INTO the account and is NOT THERE.

    I grew up more like you even though we did not have terms for it! But, like you, I started attending a seeker mega church in my 20’s that was very intent on gender ‘roles’ that I later realized was simply a backlash to the culture. I always had an uncomfortable feeling about it all but just went on. It started becoming a huge problem in later years as the divide heated up. Anyone else notice that more time is spent on this issue in many churches than the basic Gospel? (And many in those churches have never heard the full basic Gospel! but they hear lots about happy marriage, raising good kids and balancing checkbooks!)

    I saw that this issue was being presented more and more as a ‘salvation’ issue in a general way and that was too much for me. I saw more and more conferences, books, sermons, etc on this ONE issue than anything else. I started feeling like women were being held responsible for the behavior and even the salvation of many men because they did take their submission ‘role’ seriously enough.
    Funny how my mom warned me about this 20 years ago and I ignored her. She warned me to beware of churches who spend most of their time on secondary doctrines that are not a salvation issue.

  16. Hi All,

    Perhaps some of the things that complicate our understanding in these matters involve the Kingdom transition we are presently in (i.e. Heb 2:8). This duality is coupled with Paul’s awareness of the continuing battle with the “old nature” in Romans 7, and that we have one authority of our own person (to be placed under, not over another -Phil 1&2) and another authority, that of the Spirit of Christ living within us, which is manifested with divine unction by women and men alike. I was a missionary in Africa for 20 years and have seen women cast demons out of male sangomas (witchdoctors). Those demons didn’t seem to have a very effective argument.

  17. Lin, my parents saw this, too, as well as other things that gave them pause for concern and it caused them to always be ‘fringe Christians’ because they could never fully buy into what they saw happening in churchianity.  They were very devout Christians and lived their faith in a very real and practical way, however.

    I am intrigued by Nate and Joanne Krupp’s description of what church and church leadership ‘should’ be like on their Radical Christianity website.  (I haven’t investigated all their recommended links, etc., so can’t vouch for those but like what they have written per church and its functioning).  They support home churches, and, again, the disclaimer would have to be that any group-home or corporate-has the potential to be good or misguided.

    In searching out Catharine Booth’s bio (per The Better Bibles blog, per ‘Sue’s’ entries on the blog Tiro just referred to, discussing Bruce Ware’s latest message) was very interested and stunned to see her reference this verse (with much valid indignation): Psalm 68:11-“The Lord gave the word and great was the company of those that published it.”  When I looked this up on scriptureforall’s interlinear, it says:  ‘my    Lord    he-is-giving     saying     the-women-bearing-tidings    host    vast.’ 
    Yet another example of translators doing an injustice?!  What  can we trust in the translations?!

  18. Tiro’s reference is on the Taking a Break blogtrail on this website.

  19. Lin, I agree with what you said about one’s understanding of the Genesis verses being the underpinnings for their views on all the rest of the issue.  One has to read a LOT into the Genesis verses to arrive at a hierarchical view.  Bruce Ware gives a quick outline of how comps. do this on his recent input at http://www.dennyburk.com/?p=2162 .

  20. My goodness, I just visited that site. I am amazed that Suzanne has not been banned yet. she is making too much sense and giving too many facts! :o)

  21. Lin, I posted in that site what I posted here in #12 (and they have completely ignored it), and I agree, Sue is being accused of exactly what the comp crowd does: twisting, misquoting, misunderstanding, spinning the meanings of words to suit ideology. She backs up everything with sources and quotes comps verbatim, yet they squirm and then tell her what her motives are. It’s just a pathetic mud-flinging contest on the comps’ part.

  22. Paula, I must concur with you on what’s happening over at Burke’s blog.  I too am surprised that McCarthy hasn’t been shown the door and told not to return.  I’ve noticed that the pattern with comp. blogs is to eject people who show up with data that is not easily swept under their theological rugs with a hand broom.  What are they afraid of?  I have yet to see an egal. blog that kicks out people for promoting the comp. view.

  23. And I’m really appalled at that “TUAD” for throwing around logical terms without a clue, accusing Sue of every fallacy in the book while completely ignoring those identical fallacies when committed by comps– which they do with alarming frequency. Sue, more than any of the amateurs there, knows which word to pick from a semantic range, and backs it up with references to other Greek literature of the time. Her opponents, however, since all that goes over their heads, simply defame her and declare themselves winners.

    I guess I’m glad they didn’t respond to my post, because I have no time for such juveniles.

  24. Ron, very good-thank you!  It really does seem that somehow a light just has to go on in one’s mind to even be open to the possibility of this type of thinking.

  25. just curious…did those of you with spouses come to an egal. position at the same time or did some of you have to wait a while to be on the same page (or maybe your spouse waited a while for you to catch up)?  How did you deal with the intervening gap of time if there was one? 

  26. Truthseeker. Thanks for the welcome.
    When I came to the Lord I was a research physicist with a very scientific world view. This was back when Bill Gothard was starting out—I knew him personally. I was comfortable with fundamentalist formulas, but another less known aspect of Bill’s ministry was an emphasis on mild manifestations of God’s supernatural presence. So through a series of changes of world view, seminary, trying to build a “New Testament Church”, and missionary challenges, I found experiences (closely related to fruit, don’t you think?) opened up Scriptures in new ways. African’s were colonialized by the West, but their oppression of their own women was worse. Mainly, when I began to develope a deeper relationship with Jesus and not merely doctrine, my heart started to change. The more I discovered the love the Lord was giving me, the more I discovered the love my wife was giving me. She “submitted” me into repentance. In our family I came to see that she was the real “minister”. This was a paradigm shift much bigger than just “the woman thing”!

  27. Ron, your story is very helpful-thank you!  Your insight about developing a deeper relationship with Jesus and not merely doctrine describes what happens when we move from being ‘Word’ oriented to using the Word to enable us to become Jesus-oriented.  Isn’t it so easy to focus on the ‘Word’ rather than the Author of the word?  That we then formulate rules which become substitutes for knowing Him is the oft tragic result.  Your wife does indeed sound like a true minister and an example of ‘the least among you being the greatest.’  Your story is very encouraging to me-thanks, again!

    (ironically the anti-spam word of the moment is ‘women’. 🙂

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