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The Garden and the Gospel

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DYING AND DEATHSEPARATION

“for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Gen 2:17

 

In the midst of the idyllic relationship between God and man, in the perfect environment of the Garden, with a perfectly attuned body, soul, and spirit, an event took place which would forever alter this heaven on earth. Through the temptation of the Serpent, man disobeyed his Creator and partook of the forbidden fruit. Immediately sin entered into the world, and with it, death by sin. Man became separated from God, who is holy, and in whose presence sin and the sinner cannot dwell. This is another aspect of death—separation. Just as a body that is separated from the spirit is dead, so man, who became separated from God, is dead also. Man, by eating the forbidden fruit, became spiritually dead in trespasses and sins; because his fellowship with God was lost, and his sweet communion with God was broken. The vital link to God’s resources was cut, and man was left empty and void of any real life—being separated from the One who is life. Adam’s body, soul, and spirit did not literally die as we think of death, but when man became separated from God, he was as good as dead; and to God he was dead, having no longer any critical union with Him. Adam’s spirit was still energized, but just as a battery will soon run down and be powerless, so would he. Man would eventually lose his spirit for life—his zeal and his energy—as the destructive forces of sin would soon wear him down.

Isa 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

Gen 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Eph 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

Furthermore, Adam’s disobedience not only affected his relationship with God, but that of the entire human race as well. Because of Adam’s sin, who is the representative head of all of mankind, we all begin our lives as spiritually dead—having inherited the fallen nature of our first father. None of us have ever experienced life as it was meant to be; but we are born sinners—creatures who sin because it has become our nature to sin. Therefore, because we are sinners, we live under the cloud of death.

Rom 5:12 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:
13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.
17 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

1 Cor 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

Psa 58:3 The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.

Psa 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

To mankind, God would become more and more distant as sin soon came to dominate his life. God began to lose all relevance to man; and to many God now seems dead or nonexistent; but in reality, we were the ones who had died. Without any genuine communion with God, the Creator has lost all true meaning in man’s life. There are many people who do not even give God the glory for His Creation, but assign it to natural or evolutionary forces.

Col 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

Rom1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

Our souls, having no spiritual input to refresh them or restore them, begin the slow descent into the darkness of life without God. Although the natural life of our bodily existence goes on until physical death, we are empty inside; and a spiritual void has replaced any of the real joy of having fellowship with God. Soon, the forces of corruption, brought about by sin, overcome our natural resistance to death and the struggle that we put forth against it. It is then that our bodies die and begin their return to the dust. Our soul and spirit, which have departed the body, go to their new home, which is hell for the unsaved, where they will continue to die, eternally separated from God.

Psa 9:17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.

Luke 16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

There are some who try to separate the causes of man’s ills into different categories. Many tend to believe that man’s problems are either, physical, psychological, sociological, spiritual, or even a combination. We have physicians for the body, psychologists and psychiatrists for the soul, social workers for our societal problems, and priests and preachers for the spiritual. While all of these professions may have some short term benefits for us, if we do not recognize that all of our problems have sin as the root cause, none of our ills can be dealt with effectively. Man’s fall not only separated him from God spiritually, but was the cause of all of his evils: to the soul—depressions, anxieties, fears, and psychopathic problems; and to the body—diseases, genetic mutations, disorders, pain, addictions, old age and death; also to man’s social relationships—divorce, murder, cheating, stealing, hating, and other sins against society. It is only when we see the big picture that a proper strategy against all of these ills can be formulated— and indeed, God has provided one.

Isa 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

Psa 42:11 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.

Psa 25:17 The troubles of my heart are enlarged: O bring thou me out of my distresses.
18
Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins

Rom 1:29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful
, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31 Without understanding,
covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

Psa 38:3 There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin.
4 For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me.
5 My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness.
6 I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long.
7 For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease: and there is no soundness in my flesh.
8 I am feeble and sore broken:
I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart.

Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

* * * * *

It would be helpful here to examine God’s warning to Adam when he was first brought into the Garden of Eden—“for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Because some have assigned to the meaning of day a longer period than what we commonly think of it, there have been many distorted views about the account in Genesis. We know that Adam continued to live and bear children even after he disobeyed God’s command. Not knowing exactly how old he was when he fell, we do know that he bore his first child, Cain, and after him Able, sometime after the fall; and that another son, Seth, was born when he was one-hundred and thirty years old. Furthermore, Adam lived after Seth was born another eight-hundred years before his physical body eventually died. So how then do we interpret God’s seemingly direct statement? First we may ask—‘Did God intervene on Adam’s behalf to prevent him from dying?’ We can only say to this question—that we could never trust God or the Bible if He was always circumventing His Word, even if it meant the death of His highest creation. He also would not be the One who is “just and right” if He excused sin and thwarted judgment. Secondly, we may ask—‘What then did God mean when He said “in the day”?’ Could God have been using the term to signify a longer period of time than just a day as we know it? We must assume, (although there are other meanings and time periods in other Scriptures associated with the word day) that Adam’s death happened instantaneously, “in the day”—in the twenty-four hour period of time known as “evening and morning.” His death happened immediately, “in the day,” because his disobedience brought an immediate separation from God. This also is verified by how we see Adam was affected just after he became a sinner.

Gen 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Gen 5:1 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him;
2 Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.
3 And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:
4 And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years:
and he begat sons and daughters:
5 And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.

Deut 32:4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.

Gen 1:5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

2 Tim 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

2 Pet 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

2 Cor 6:2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)

John 11:9 Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world. (Twelve hours in the “morning” in which we have daylight and twelve hours in the “evening.”)

Gen 3: 7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and
Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.

 

 

 

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