Session 1 Recap: Dr. Stephen Wellum, “Adam”
Editor’s Note: Michael Kelshaw is the Head Minister at Trinity at the
Marketplace, Albuquerque, NM. He is a member of the Albuquerque Chapter of
The Gospel Coalition. This post is a summary of Dr. Stephen Wellum's message from
Friday evening, March 16, “Adam.”
Dr. Stephen Wellum opened the Clarus conference by helping us think about how all of Scripture reveals the glory of Christ from the beginning to the end. He set the stage by showing the importance of thinking about how the whole Bible fits together. Knowing the whole Bible is essential to knowing the Triune God because we know God through his Word. It is critical to know how to read all of the Bible, which is God given (2 Timothy 3:16-17), in order to know what do with the different parts of the Bible and how they relate to the whole. And we need to know the entirety of God’s revelation in his Word in order to know the Lord Jesus better who is presented in the entire unfolding of the covenant story of the Bible.
Having established the importance of knowing how the Bible fits together, Dr. Wellum stressed the importance of beginning at the beginning. The Bible is a unified story and so we must begin where the Bible begins, and the Bible begins with Genesis and with Adam and creation itself. We ought to approach Scripture according to what it actually is. The Bible is God’s authoritative revealed Word, it leads us to Jesus (Luke 24:25-27), and it must be read in terms of its proper context.
All of that makes the opening chapters of the Bible foundational, and so Dr. Wellum turned to creation and said that we must start with creation because it establishes the relationship between the created and the Creator. In Genesis 2:4 the word for God that is used is the covenant Name for God, Lord. There is a unique relationship that is described here and it is best called a covenant relationship, and there are seven crucial truths that are taught in creation that are foundational to understanding the Bible.
- We are introduced to God (Genesis 1:1), and He is introduced as the sovereign Lord who rules and reigns.
- Humans are presented as the crowning act of creation (Genesis 1:26ff), made by God, in His image, and to represent Him.
- Genesis 2 establishes the creation of Adam and his role to establish the whole future of the human race.
- Creation is called very good (Genesis 1:31), and we need one who will bring back that goodness.
- The seventh day establishes rest (Genesis 1:31-2:3), suggesting that God is satisfied with His creation and is entering into full enjoyment of it.
- Eden is a sort of garden sanctuary, like a tabernacle or temple, pointing to that fact that God will dwell with His people.
- The establishment of marriage which becomes a pattern of the greater marriage between Christ and His church.
Conclusion: All of these foundational truths are developed as the story unfolds, which leads to the final issue that Dr. Wellum raised, and that is, what went wrong. In Genesis 3 there is a revolution and a total reversal of all of creation, and the effects of sin are death spiritually and physically. However, in Genesis 3:15 there is a glimmer of hope, a promise given in seed form that God will not let the human race be ultimately destroyed, but will take the initiative to come and act to undo what Adam ruined. This promise will take on greater precision, clarity, and definition as the story unfolds. God will keep His promise and provide a better Adam, the Divine Son, who will bring us back, and Christ is seen from the beginning to the end.