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The Pilgrim’s Progress (Week 6 of 13)

Death Reigned: Adam and Moses

pilgrim's progress We continue our look at the “bad guys” of Pilgrim’s Progress.

Today we shift our focus from Christian’s journey to Faithful’s. After they meet on the road, Faithful tells Christian about episodes in his own adventure. During his story he tells Christian about his run-in with Adam and Moses.

Getting Started: Read all of the fifth stage of Pilgrim’s Progress.

1. Faithful recounts the phases of his journey:

a. City of Destruction: This is also Faithful’s hometown. After Christian left town, there was great discussion about his conversion. Faithful soon set out on the same journey. 

b. Slough of Despond: Faithful did not fall into the swamp like Christian did, but got up to the Wicket-gate without danger.

c. Wicket-gate and Mount Calvary: Faithful also entered the King’s Highway by the same narrow gate.

d. Temptation: Faithful meets Madam Wanton

i. She is Potipher’s wife, the one who tempted the patriarch Joseph to sleep with her (see Genesis 39).

ii. She is the forbidden woman of Proverbs 5:1-23 and 6:20-7:27

e. Hill Difficulty: Faithful also comes to this steep hill, but instead of falling asleep like Christian did, he comes across Adam and Moses.

f. Palace Beautiful: Faithful passes by this stop and moves on, missing out on the great lessons Christian got to hear for several days.

g. Valley of Humiliation: Faithful also comes to this valley, but he does not battle with Apollyon. Instead he meets Discontent and Shame.

2. Character sketch of the First Adam

a. He is a “very aged man” named “Adam the first” (see Romans 5:12-21). He is “the old man” of our former life.

b. He has inscribed on his forehead: “Put off the old man with his deeds.”

i. Ephesians 4:17-24

ii. Colossians 3:5-10

iii. Romans 6:5-6

d. He is from the town of Deceit, meaning he is filled with deceitful desires (see Ephesians 4:22)

e. He invites Faithful to live with him.

i. His house is filled with “all the dainties in the world.”

ii. Faithful is promised marriage to Adam’s three daughters who work in his house as servants: Lust of the Flesh, Lust of the Eyes, and the Pride of Life (see 1 John 2:15-17)

f. He invites Faithful to work for him.

i. His work: many delights.

ii. His wages: Faithful would become his heir (see Galatians 6:7-8).

g. His secret agenda: Faithful knew as soon as he got to Adam’s house, he would sell him as a slave (see Romans 6:16-18).

h. His attack: As Faithful tried to escape, Adam pulled at him, making Faithful cry, “O wretched man!” (see Romans 7:21-25).

3. Character sketch of Moses

a. He knocked Faithful down with a deadly blow three times because of his “secret inclining to Adam the first” (see 1 Timothy 1:8-11).

b. Faithful cries for mercy, but Moses says he does not know how to show mercy to those who transgress his law (see 2 Corinthians 3:7-9).

c. Moses had also been to the City of Destruction, threatening to burn Faithful alive in his house if he stayed there.

d. Moses would have killed him if the crucified Christ had not come to tell Moses to stop.

i. Romans 8:1-4

ii. 1 John 3:19-22

adam seizes faithful

Questions for Personal Reflection (please comment):

  • Faithful escapes the temptation of Wanton only to be tempted by Adam the First. How are these temptations similar? How are they different?
  • On the Hill Difficulty, Christian gives into the temptation to sleep (becoming lazy in his journey), whereas Faithful is attracted to the worldly pleasures of the old man. Why do you think Bunyan is contrasting their journeys this way?
  • What are ways the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life appeal to us today? What are these sins?
  • Faithful experienced the relief of the crucified Christ because he first understood the terror of the law of Moses. Have our hearts spent any time contemplating the condemnation of the law? How might we be different if we did?

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