The Present Work of Christ Part III: The Present Work of Christ in Heaven (Part 1) -- By: John F. Walvoord

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 121:483 (Jul 1964)
Article: The Present Work of Christ Part III: The Present Work of Christ in Heaven (Part 1)
Author: John F. Walvoord


The Present Work of Christ
Part III:
The Present Work of Christ in Heaven
(Part 1)

John F. Walvoord

In considering the present work of Christ, the dominating fact is that Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father and that primarily His present work is a heavenly work. Because Christ is, however, also omnipresent, it is legitimate to consider certain aspects of His work as done on earth. There is naturally an integration of all that Christ is undertaking to do in the present age even though His heavenly work is distinguished by the fact that it is accomplished in virtue of His position at the right hand of the Father, and His earthly work is accomplished from His position as indwelling the church.

It is considered normal in the theological discussion of the present work of Christ to think of it as principally an expression of His office as priest. While undoubtedly this is an important aspect, it is not difficult to demonstrate that this is only a partial analysis of His present work. Many of the present undertakings of Christ do not have the character of a priestly work and, in fact, His work as our high priest is only one of seven figures used in the Scripture relating Christ to His present ministry. These seven figures suggested by Lewis Sperry Chafer in his Systematic Theology are as follows:(1) the last Adam and the new creation; (2) the head and the body; (3) the shepherd and the sheep; (4) the vine and the branches; (5) the chief cornerstone and stones of the building; (6) the high priest and the royal priesthood; (7) the bridegroom and the bride.

The Last Adam and the New Creation

The work of Christ as revealed in the figure of the last

Adam and the new creation cannot be related exclusively to either the heavenly sphere or the earthly sphere. It rather involves the broad divine purpose for Christ’s present ministry which includes both. The ministry of Christ as the last Adam is part of a whole family of doctrine which includes such important aspects of Christ as His position as the head of the new creation in contrast to Adam as head of the old, the doctrine of imputation, the distinctive purpose of God for the church, the relation of Christ to the human race as a whole, the dominion of the world as given to Christ and similar doctrines. The purpose of this discussion will be to present the concept of Christ as the last Adam and His present work related to it.

The term last Adam is found only once in the Bible (1 Cor 15:45) and is generally considered synonymous to the expression second man, found also in this passage in

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