Calvary Road Baptist Church

“HIM THAT WAS TO COME”

Romans 5.15-17 

I must have been a Christian for about six months when I was first exposed to the concept of Biblical types and anti-types. And I remember, to this day, the first thing that came to my mind when the concept of types and anti-types was explained to me.

When I was in junior high school in Florida, I lived at 1547 Southwest 47th Terrace, in Fort Lauderdale. And almost every afternoon on that quiet residential street the guys would get together, and we would play football. If the ball carrier was on the pavement, it was two-hand touch below the waist as hard as you could. If the tackle began on the grass, it was a tackle that could be completed on the asphalt, with all the accompanying bruises and abrasions. We were a tough bunch of kids playing tackle/touch football on that residential street in the early 1960s. One day, when skinny Wendell made me mad, I punched him in the face. It was a left hook to the jaw, and I was wearing my Boy Scout ring, which was a surprise because I was such a failure as a Boy Scout. I’ll never forget it because my ring left a perfect impression of the Boy Scout insignia on Wendell’s jaw. My ring was the anti-type, and Wendell’s jaw carried the type. I apologize for being so unspiritual, but that was what immediately came to my mind when types and anti-types in the Bible were explained to me.

The Biblical concept of typology is of a profound New Testament truth that has a clear impression in the Old Testament. For example, Abraham and Isaac on Mount Moriah are a beautiful type of God the Father (represented by Abraham) and the Lord Jesus Christ (represented by his son, Isaac), offered up for our sins. Another example is Abraham, as a type of the Father, sending his unnamed servant, who was a type of the Holy Spirit, to fetch for his son Isaac (again a type of the Lord Jesus Christ), a Gentile bride, Rebecca being a type of the Church.

The study of types and anti-types in God’s Word can provide a wealth of rich illustrations and insights into some significant truths.[1] And today’s message will be an example of that. You might remember that last week my sermon text was Romans 5.12-14. In that message, I showed how Adam was the representative head of the entire human race at the time he sinned against God and was plunged into the darkness of spiritual depravity. Further, I showed that each human being suffers the consequence of Adam’s single act of disobedience, which is the death God promised. But those of you who are used to hearing me preach on Sunday mornings might have noticed something about my message last week. It wasn’t so much what I said as what I didn’t say. Take note of the last phrase of Romans 5.14 and the phrase that I did not comment on last week: 

“...who is the figure of him that was to come.” 

See that word “figure”? That word translates the Greek word for “type.” Paul is telling his readers that Adam was a type of the Lord Jesus Christ. So, as we saw, last week, how Adam’s headship affected those who are subordinate to him, this morning we will see how Christ’s headship affects those who are subordinate to Him.

Please locate Romans 5.15-17, my text for this morning. When you find it I invite you to stand with me for the reading of God’s Word: 

15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.

16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.

17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. 

There are three vital considerations related to the headship of our Lord Jesus Christ that are to be seen in this passage: 

First, WE CONSIDER THE PRINCIPLE OF HEADSHIP 

The principle of headship is a concept of relationships that can be observed about not only Adam but also with the Lord Jesus Christ. How are people affected by their head, whether the head is Adam or the head be Jesus Christ? Since the principle applies to both, what can be said in both cases? Romans 5.15: 

“But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.” 

The first thing that can be said is that there is a parallel of heads. Notice how the verse begins: 

“But not as the offence, so also is the free gift.” 

In Romans 5.12-14 Paul has shown us that the headship of Adam has had its consequences in people’s lives and terrible and undeniable consequences they are. In Adam, all sinned and in Adam all die. And since Adam was a figure of Jesus Christ Who was to come, a type, there are definite and observable similarities between the two. But notice that the parallel is not exact. Adam and Jesus Christ are not the same. And what they have accomplished by their deeds is not the same. So, when Paul writes, “But not as the offence,” he is letting us know that he does not intend to carry this comparison, by which he parallels Adam and his Lord Jesus, too far.

The second thing that can be said is that there is a contrast of effects. The first sentence in verse 15 shows us that Adam and Christ are similar in that they are both heads. But the second sentence in verse 15 shows that there is a marked contrast to the effects produced by these two heads: 

“For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.” 

In that we are dealing with two heads, we have a similarity. But when we examine what was accomplished by those two heads great differences begin to appear. The effect of Adam’s disobedience was cursing. The effect of Christ’s obedience was a blessing. What Adam procured could hardly be called a gift. But the eternal life that comes through Jesus Christ is most assuredly a gift. What Adam wrought was deserved. But what Jesus Christ makes possible is not deserved, but is the result of God’s unmerited favor, or grace. There’s one more difference between Adam and Christ that should be pointed out here, about headship. What Adam did Christ did not merely undo. If you could quantify what Adam did, if you could assign it a numerical value, then what Christ did was not only opposite what Adam did, but it was also on an incomparably larger scale than what Adam did. More on that in verse 16.

So much for the principle of headship, Adam, and the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Next, WE CONSIDER THE PROMISE OF HEADSHIP 

Verse 16:

“And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.” 

What does Adam’s headship hold in store for a member of the human race? And what does Christ’s headship hold in store for the Christian? Understand that though both Christ and Adam occupy positions of headship over people, they are really in no other way comparable.

You see, Adam’s headship brings condemnation. Let me trace through the progression from Adam’s sin to the condemnation of the human race. Leaving Eve aside for a neat and clean theological discussion, when Adam sinned his sin plunged only himself into spiritual darkness and depravity. As a result of his sin, God judged him and found him condemned. Of course, every man is born a sinner and is condemned in the sight of God, but that’s the result of the mess we were born into rather than any indication of Adam’s power or greatness.

On the other hand, Christ’s headship brings justification. That first phrase in verse 16 shows us that there is no comparison between the sin of Adam and the gift that God gives through Christ. Whereas, Adam’s sin directly affected only himself, but had ramifications untold in our lives, Christ’s gift addresses not only Adam’s sin, but also the personal sins of each and every one of us, and results in our justification. Two comments need to be made here to show how much superior is Christ’s headship over Adam’s headship: First, Adam’s headship brought about the ruination of a single man. But since he was the head of the human race all men descended from him were affected. Christ’s headship, however, directly addresses and resolves not only the effects of Adam’s sin in our lives, but also the effects of our sins in our lives. So you see, Christ’s headship does not only undo the damage done by Adam’s headship. Neither does Christ’s headship merely undo the damage done by Adam’s headship and our sins. No. Christ’s headship results in the sinner being taken from the pit, the miry clay, up to the former level of Adam before his sin, and then far beyond that to a position of righteous standing that comes from being justified. That is, in fact, a better situation than Adam was in before he sinned. Tell me. With the promise of Adam’s headship being only condemnation and with the promise of Christ’s headship being righteousness before God as a result of being justified, why would anyone want to remain under the headship of Adam? That is precisely the result of rejecting the claims of Christ and remaining dead and trespasses and sins. 

Finally, WE CONSIDER THE PREEMINENCE OF HEADSHIP 

In Romans 5.17 we see how extremely important headship is to every human being. Who your head is is the most important judicial consideration imaginable about your eternal destiny and your relationship with God: 

“For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. 

Notice how Adam’s offense brought death’s reign: 

“For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one.” 

There are two things in this phrase that are important for us to take note of First, focus, if you will, on the fact that Adam’s headship is so significant to members of the human race that his offense resulted in the absolute dominion of death over all mankind. So much so that Paul tells us that death reigns, as if death were mankind’s king. Hey, friends, so powerful is death’s grip on us that we think that death is the result of just being human, instead of death is the direct result of being sinners. And how wrong that thinking is. Human beings need not be reigned over by death. But sinners of necessity are ruled over by death. Second, take note in this phrase of what is the beginning of a conditional statement: “If...then....” 

If such and such is true, then such and such is true. If death reigned by one.

Notice how Christ’s righteousness brings the believer’s reign. This conditional statement doesn’t have a “then” part but instead features a “much more” part. That means, “If the first part is true, then it must be acknowledged that the second part is true.” Well, does death reign by Adam? Yes, it does. Then what is a far more certain reality in the second half of that statement? That 

“they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.” 

Does death reign over those who have Adam as their head? It certainly does. Then a far more sure reality is that they who have Jesus Christ as their head will reign in life. Death reigns over them, but we shall reign in life. 

Sometimes this concept of headship is not appreciated by us very much because our cultural heritage and the society we have grown up in pay no homage to the concept of headship. So let me illustrate the concept in an imperfect way. Imagine yourself as a child who plays a game with the other kids. And because you are a little kid you never get to be the captain of any of the teams you are on. There is one kid who is recognized by everyone to be the captain. His name is Adam. Adam is the biggest kid. Adam is the oldest kid. Adam was the first kid. The only problem is, Adam is a loser. And if you are on Adam’s team you will lose with him. You see, it’s already been decided that Adam’s team will lose.

Why is that so? Because the head of the other team is the Lord Jesus Christ. Although He is a team captain, like Adam, they are in no other way alike or similar. You see, Adam did not please God. The Savior did and does please God. The result? The Lord Jesus makes everyone on His team winners. Not only that. He makes everyone on His team champions! Not only that. He makes everyone on His team all-stars! Not only that. He makes everyone on His team hall of fame players!

What Paul is telling us, and what I’m trying to illustrate, is that with Christ as your head your destiny is not only assured, it is astonishing.

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[1] See Patrick Fairbairn, The Typology Of Scripture, (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, two volumes in one)

Would you like to contact Dr. Waldrip about this sermon? Please contact him by clicking on the link below. Please do not change the subject within your email message. Thank you.

pastor@calvaryroadbaptist.org