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“A Figure of Him that was to Come”
In Genesis 3:22 the Lord God declares “Behold, the man is become as one of us.” What an astounding statement that is! What can it mean?
When Moses wrote, “The Lord God said,” who did he have in mind? It is Jehovah-Elohim speaking; but he says, “The man has become as one of us.” One Person is speaking, but more than one person is represented. The Person speaking is Christ, the second Person of the Holy Trinity, the Son of God, Jehovah-Elohim. He is speaking for the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. In that one sentence we have set before us the plurality of persons in the eternal Godhead, the eternal Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the preexistence of our Savior before his incarnation. But what do these words mean? — “The man is become as one of us.”
Adam a Type
As God the Holy Ghost declares, our father Adam was “the figure of him that was to come.” Nowhere do we see the love of Christ for his church set forth so fully as in the case of Adam’s love for Eve. The popular notion is that Eve beguiled Adam. Eve did nothing of the kind. Satan beguiled her, allured her by deception into sin and rebellion against God. But the Spirit of God tells us plainly that “Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression” (1 Timothy 2:14). Adam was not deceived to any degree, neither by the devil nor by his wife. He knew exactly what he was doing, and sinned with his eyes wide open. He saw his cherished wife, Eve, in the depths of her guilt and shame; and out of nothing but love for her, before he would be parted from her, he would be damned with her. He cleaved to his wife, for they were one flesh. And into ruin he plunged himself for her sake. In all this he was the figure of our blessed Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who was to come, for so it was with our dear blessed Redeemer. Moved by nothing but his love for us, before he would be parted from us, he plunged himself into our sin, our guilt, and our death, that he might save us from everlasting ruin (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Made Like Christ
“Behold, the man is become as one of us.” — This is also a declaration of Adam’s present state and condition, and of ours in Christ. Though fallen by nature, we are now, as Adam was, restored by grace. What God here says of Adam is true of every believer. Though in Adam we fell, in Christ we are restored, just like Adam was by the sacrifice of the Lamb of God and call of omnipotent grace.
Like Adam, we have been clothed with Christ’s righteousness, and we are “made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21), made “righteous, even as he is righteous” (1 John 3:7; Jeremiah 23:6; 33:16). Like Adam, being renewed by grace, we are now created in the image of Christ, conformed to him, created new by the grace of God “in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:24), made “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4). Like Adam, having been called from darkness to light in Christ, we now know both good and evil. We know both the goodness of God and the evil of our own hearts. Like Adam, we have become as one of the Holy Trinity; we have become like Christ our Mediator. — “And as he is, so are we in this world” (1 John 4:17).