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Volume 4 & 5 - Page 39 of 161 Index | Zoom | |
whereby they may be delivered out of it in order to agree with the teaching of
reconciliation. We have dealt briefly with this question on pages 31-36.
One other consideration too important to miss is the meaning of the expression,
"in Christ." Readers of this magazine, we feel sure, heartily believe that the verbal
accuracy of the Scriptures is a real part of its inspiration, consequently, when we find two
phrases nearly but not quite alike, we at once realize that the difference is worthy of close
attention. Strictly speaking I Cor. 15: 22 is the first occurrence of this phrase in the N.T.
where the article is used, and should be rendered "in the Christ." A careful study of the
usage of the two expressions "in Christ" and "in the Christ" will shew that "in Christ"
refers to doctrinal position, whereas "in the Christ" refers to the actual Person of the
Lord, without carrying with it, necessarily, what is meant by the blessed term "in Christ."
Take an illustration:--
"All spiritual blessings in the heavenlies in Christ" (Eph. 1: 3).
"Gather together in one all things in Christ" (Eph. 1: 10).
It will be seen that while both passages refer to the same blessed Person, two distinct
ideas are involved. The words "in Christ" occurs twenty-five times, while the word "in
the Christ" occur six times. Following is a list of the six; the reader can consult all other
references for the other phrase: I Cor. 15: 22; II Cor. 2: 14; Eph. 1: 10, 12, 20; 3: 4.
The expression, "even so in the Christ shall all be made alive," must not be made to teach
that those thus made alive are necessarily "in Christ" in the sense of the words as used of
believers. We do not say they are or are not; what we are seeking is not a buttress for a
theory, but the truth of God, whatever it may be.
The death mentioned in I Cor. 15: is Adamic death, and in no wise touches the second
death--that is read into the passage from subsequent revelation. Christ is set over against
Adam. All Adam's children are included in death; all shall be included in life by reason
of the last Adam, the second Man. Death is to be destroyed, death is to be swallowed up
in victory. The question which the apostle set out to answer was the question of
resurrection. This he does most clearly and fully. To go beyond this to the then
unrevealed second death, and the question of universal reconciliation, is to allow one's
desires to outrun the true principle of exegesis. We must not add to the Word, even for
the truth's sake. The great question of final universal reconciliation is untouched in this
chapter. There is surely no one, if he were to give an honest answer to the question,
Would you like to find that universal reconciliation was a fact? but would reply, Yes,
with all my heart. This desire, however, proves nothing. Only the Word of God
considered in all its facts can tell us the truth as to this, as to all else.
The death mentioned in I Cor. 15: is Adamic death. The words, "in Adam," are not
only inclusive, but also exclusive. That death goes as far as the appointed death of all
men. From that death all will be raised. The second death is entirely outside the scope of
Adam's influence. Satan fell before Adam was created. Satan did not and will not die
"in Adam." The redemption and reconciliation regarding all who die in Adam does not
include Satan and his angels who have no connection with his headship. Yet beloved