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Understanding Types and Parables


Types are like our LordŐs parables. They are intended to show us one, specific thing, not many things, just one. Types usually stand on just two legs: their natural, historic meaning and their spiritual, allegorical meaning. They are bipeds, not centipedes with a hundred pairs of legs.

      Adam was a type Christ our Covenant Head and Representative (Romans 5:12-21). That doesnŐt mean that there was some hidden, mystical, spiritual significance to the size of his feet or the shape of his toes. Sarah and Hagar and their sons, Isaac and Ishmael, were an allegory about law and grace (Galatians 4). But that does not mean that everything they said, did, and experienced were typical. David slaying Goliath was a clear, instructive type of ChristŐs conquering sin and Satan in the accomplishment of our salvation. But it is a mistake to try to find something spiritually significant in the sling he used, or the five smooth stones he carried in his hand.

      If you try to find more in the type than is intended by the Spirit of God in giving it, you mar the beauty of the picture.








Don Fortner








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