Federal Theology Is Good News For Sinners

Paul calls Christ the “last” Adam (1 Cor 15:45). So, we know that there was a definite link between the two. In Romans 5:12–21 Paul intentionally wants us to think of Adam and Christ as fulfilling similar roles. Adam was the first federal/representative head of all humanity. When Adam was charged with obeying God in the Garden he was obeying not only for himself but for everyone, for all humanity. When he sinned by disobeying God’s law, he did so as the representative of all humanity. Thus, the old colonial Puritan jingle, “In Adam’s fall, sinned we all.” That’s the federal or representative aspect. This is why we speak of a “federal” government in civics. Our representatives act on our behalf and we are bound by what they decide. This notion that Adam represented all humanity and that Christ represented all those whom the Father gave to him and all for whom he came to obey and die is biblical, orthodox, federal theology and to be sharply distinguished from its corruption by the self-described “Federal Vision” theology.

R. Scott Clark, “How Did Christ Fulfill The Covenant Of Works As The Last Adam?” Heidelblog (August 10, 2013)


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