The Crown of Life

"We are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ."

The restoration and consummation of life, then, would take place in a second and last Adam, a new royal mediator who would triumph over sin and pass beyond the possibility of death, and in doing so bring his people to reign with him in life over the consummated kingdom of glory forever (Rom. 5:17).

 

The garden was a kingdom that the Lord fashioned by divine fiat in which he would reign in life with his holy people. Within the garden-kingdom of God, Adam, the image bearer of God, was appointed to be the Lord’s royal representative or vice-gerent.[1] Therefore, protological life of covenantal communion with God can be understood more precisely as a kind of royal living or kingdom life. It was Adam sharing in the reign of God as an expression of his solidarity with God and the face-to-face fellowship he enjoyed with him in the reciprocal giving of one’s self to the other.

Van Groningen speaks of this as God bringing humanity into “his royal family.”[2] He continues, “[God endowed] them with the privilege and responsibility to be co-workers with Him in the regal tasks to be carried out in creation.”[3] God does not bestow life by bringing people into his presence to be peasants or slaves, but to sit with him on his throne to share in the glory of his kingdom. This point will prove significant when Paul speaks of believers who will “reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:17).

Adam was a public figure, that is, the royal mediator of the covenant of works and as such through his obedience or disobedience would lead all of humanity in him either to reign in life or to be put in bondage to death. Through his disobedience sin entered into the world and its dominion of death spread over all humanity. The restoration and consummation of life, then, would take place in a second and last Adam, a new royal mediator who would triumph over sin and pass beyond the possibility of death, and in doing so bring his people to reign with him in life over the consummated kingdom of glory forever (Rom. 5:17).

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