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both in regard to the parenthetical nature of the dispensation under which they have been
called, and the sphere and character of their blessings. These are particularly related to
one feature, with which we are concerned at the moment, the period of their election by
"According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world" (Eph. 1: 4).
The word "according" links the distinctive sphere of blessing "in heavenly places"
with the distinctive period "before the foundation of the world". For our present purpose
we assume that the reader already accepts the translation "before the overthrow of the
world"--those to whom such a rendering is either new or objectionable are referred to
article No.10 of the series on Ephesians, in The Berean Expositor Volume XXXVI,
At the moment we assume that no reader has any difficulty in believing that heavenly
places is the destined sphere of blessing for this company, and that they were chosen
before Gen. 1: 2. The difficulty arises out of the fact that even though this company
were thus chosen in Christ they come into conscious existence in Adam, and it is with the
hope that the reason for this will be evinced that the present series is undertaken.
The chronology of the Bible commences, not with "the beginning" but with the
creation of Adam. Yet Adam appeared on the earth less than six thousand years ago (see
series entitled "Time and Place"). The period that intervened between the choice of the
church and the creation of Adam cannot be computed. We cannot speak of the enormous
length of time that intervenes in thousands or even millions of years, we must speak of
geological ages. One has but to consider the formation of the coal seams, the building up
of a chalk cliff, the evidence of igneous and sedimentary rocks, the provision of oil, and
the record of fossils, to realize that the period is so immense as to pass beyond the bounds
of human comprehension. If God chose the members of the church and destined them for
a super-heavenly inheritance IN CHRIST, why did he wait all these ages and bring them
into existence IN ADAM? (who was not "spiritual"--I Cor. 15: 46-50). Why did He not
create the church at the time of its election, or place these elect members straight away in
possession of their inheritance? There must be a reason, what is it? Before we can
proceed, we must divest the subject of one feature that if unremoved will clog the issue.
The words "in Adam" are so related to sin and death, that we may forget that these are
added complications that have come in after the creation of man, and that the words "in
Adam" primarily refer to man as the head of the race, and as he left the hand of his
Maker. This we must establish before we can go further.
Man was made in the image and in the likeness of God. This does not mean that the
physical appearance of Adam had any relation to the appearance of God, for God is spirit,
and is invisible. The "image' seen by Nebuchadnezzar in a dream symbolized the whole
course of Gentile dominion, but neither Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel nor the reader believes
the Gentile dominion is "like" an image in appearance. Adam set forth as a "shadow"
(Hebrew tselem) the glory of his Creator. Adam was "a figure of Him that was to come"
(Rom. 5: 14). Man was "made upright" (Eccles. 7: 29), he subsequently "sought out
many inventions" but these we leave for the moment. Man was made at the beginning