A Pattern (τύπος)

Luther Walker

A pattern (τύπος – typos) embodies the characteristics or function of a model. Scripture uses the concept of a pattern for a physical imprint, such as from a nail, along with the manner in which a person’s life is governed.

After the resurrection of Christ, Thomas, who was not at the tomb, questioned the testimony of the other disciples, claiming that unless he sees the pattern of the nails in Christ’s hands, he will not believe, John 20:35. While Israel was out in the wilderness they were given a pattern of the heavenly Temple, Hebrews 8:5, which is the same model the Temple in Israel was made from when Solomon first had it built, Acts 7:55. Even though during the time of God delivering Israel from Egypt, they all passed through the sea and were immersed in the cloud and sea while partaking of spiritual food and drink, God was not pleased with many of them because of their unbelief. These are a pattern for our admonishment that we should not strongly desire things that lack in character (are wrong) and not to become idolators and fornicators as they were, for God destroyed them in the wilderness, 1 Corinthians 10:6,11. It is a foolish Christian who thinks that grace is a license to sin. This one is not heeding the pattern given to us through those who rejected God and sought their own way, bringing destruction upon themselves. Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; we reap what we sow, Galatians 6:7-8.

Adam is a type or pattern of the One who is to come, for Christ is the last Adam, Romans 5:14; 1 Corinthians 15:45. Just as Adam’s trespass and sin impacted the whole human race, Jesus’ obedience and righteousness are transferred to all those in the Christ; the new creation, 2 Corinthians 5:17. Since humans are not individual creations, they require a head, and from that head the entire body is impacted. When the head is corrupt, the whole body is contaminated. Adam brought sin into the world, subjecting all to physical death, Romans 5:12. Before he sinned, he trespassed, resulting in spiritual death. These two deaths are passed on to all humans, who are born separated from God in spirit (logical) and subject to physical death. However, through Christ, we have the gift of righteousness and the gracious gift of eternal life, Romans 5:18-19, which counter the physical and spiritual deaths that Adam passed down to us.

When we obey the pattern of the doctrine delivered to us concerning the fact that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures and was raised on the third day out from the dead just as Scripture stated would happen, we gain freedom from our sin nature. This freedom is then enjoyed when we apply the truth, which sets us free from sin, John 8:32. Know that we have died with Christ and are raised to walk in newness of life, which renders the sin nature ineffective, Romans 6:3-6. Reckon to ourselves the fact that we are co-crucified and co-raised with Christ, Romans 6:11. Yield our members to righteousness, Romans 6:13. When we obey this pattern, we have freedom from sin, Romans 6:17.

Many who are enemies of the cross of Christ walk among the Christians; therefore, we are to note those who properly govern their lives according to the pattern that Paul has left us, Philippians 3:17. In addition, we are to withdraw from every brother who walks in a disorderly manner that is not according to the traditions passed down to us. In leaving us a pattern to watch out for those seeking to use the saints for financial gain, Paul did not demand support from those he taught but worked day and night in great toil, not eating anyone’s bread free of charge. He did not do this because he lacked the authority to be taken care of by the Church, but to show a pattern to the saints not to take from others. If a man does not work, he should not eat, 2 Thessalonians 3:6-12.

Pastors are to be a pattern to those they shepherd, not lording their position over the saints as the Gentiles do, 1 Peter 5:3; Matthew 20:25, but as ones who are entrusted with the flock of God, they are to be an example of good works and in properly handling Old Testament information that is to be known but not practiced, while showing forth soundness, integrity, and proper morals, Titus 2:7.