Federal or Seminal Head
Many commentators in their attempt to explain imputation will refer to Adam as our “Federal Head”. By “Federal”, they mean “Representative”. When Adam, as our representative sinned, God charged or imputed the guilt of that sin to all mankind. “By man came death…” “In Adam all died”. I Cor. 15:21-22. I believe the truth of imputation goes further. Just as Levi paid tithes to Melchizedek because he was in the loins of Abraham, Heb. 7:9-10, we were in the loins of Adam. It is not “Federal” headship, it is “Seminal” (seed) headship. We were there in the garden physically in our Father according to the flesh. If these new DNA tests could go back far enough, they would trace every man’s ancestry to Eden in Mesopotamia. Death was not just charged to us, it was experienced by us. We actually died in Adam. “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, FOR THAT ALL HAVE SINNED”. Rom. 5:12.
In the same way (spiritually not physically) all God’s elect were placed by God “in Christ” before Adam. We are His seed. When it pleased the Lord to bruise Him and make His soul an offering for sin, God saw His seed. Is. 53:10. He did not just bear our sin, He bore us. Christ suffered at the hand of His Holy and Just Father the punishment we deserved… and we died in Him.
Read Rom. 6:3-11 “Reckon yourselves to be dead indeed…”
Paul said, “I am crucified with Christ” Gal. 2:20. Then he said in Phil. 3:10, that his hope was to know Him and the fellowship of His suffering. When Christ died, He did not just own our sin to satisfy Divine justice, He owned every one of His people. We were “IN” Him. The just for the unjust that He might bring us to God. Federal Head speaks to legal imputation. Seminal Head speaks to the glory of Christ and our real spiritual union with Him.