Dying, You Shall Die

Genesis 2:7 – “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living SOUL.” “Life” should have been translated “lives” because the Hebrew word is plural. Man was originally created with physical and spiritual life.  

Please note: Only Adam, the very first man, was supernaturally created by God, followed by Eve, who was taken from Adam’s rib. All subsequent human beings are reproduced by natural means, which is called “Mediate” creation. Mediate creation means that God forms mankind, including the soul, through an intervening agency — the human reproductive system. “Immediate” creation regards each individual soul as owing its origin to a direct creative act of God. Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1941; reprint ed, 1982, 196-201).

When Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating the fruit of the forbidden tree they actually died two deaths. In Genesis 2:17, the word “die” is actually a plural word. The plural form of this verb is not generally understood, and therefore the meaning of the blood of Christ is obscured. This Hebrew verb muth “to die” IS A PLURAL WORD and it means two deaths, referring to physical and spiritual.

Spiritual death means “separation” from God, which can be temporary or permanent. It should have been translated “dying (spiritually) you will die (physically).” This phrase is actually an idiom that indicates the intensity and immediateness of the deaths in our passage. So the penalty of sin is two deaths. Physical death is the consequence of sin. Spiritual death actually means “dormant” which means no relationship with God … sin severed the relationship of both Adam and Eve.

Scripture emphatically declares, Adam’s sin was imputed to all men for all have sinned (Romans 3:23). We are born into this world separated from God.

Again, let us state that in Genesis 3:6&7, Adam and Eve disobeyed with the result that they died two deaths. One was immediate “dying” — spiritual separation — and the other, eventual physical death. We know this because Adam lived until he was 930 years old.

So Adam and Eve died immediately (spiritually), and eventually physically; “dying, thou shalt die.”

Adam was born-again when Christ rejected the fig leaves (Adam and Eve’s attempt to cover their sin and shame; to ‘appear sinless’ before God, as in Genesis 3:7), by providing their covering of sheep skins (Genesis 3:23). Wrapping themselves in fig leaves to cover the shame of their sin was man’s first act of human good or human self-righteousness (Something similar happens today when someone says, “Hey, I can fix this. I can just be a good person and God will have to take me to Heaven”). By the way, how many times have you read these two verses and not realized that Adam offered God his own self-righteousness and Christ rejected it by providing coats of skin?

Only Jesus Christ is qualified to provide our covering for sin. He immediately sacrificed animals for their skin, to cover Adam and Eve properly, BUT … this also was a foreshadowing of Christ covering and paying for our sins in His death upon the cross, which was still yet to come at this point in the Scriptures.

The Scripture is very clear that every human being (with the exception of Christ) is born spiritually dead “in trespasses and sin” (Romans 5:8; 5:12) because each of us inherits the Adamic nature of corruption, also called the nature to sin or sin nature, or human nature; also known as the “flesh.” These terms are synonymous.

When we are born physically, we have a dormant spirit which is affirmed by Christ Himself in John 3:3,5,7 and further explained by Romans 5:12; Ephesians 2:1. This is why Christ said in John 3:3, 5-8, “you must be born again” for He spoke of the human spirit which is dormant until each person believes in Christ.

In order to purchase our salvation, Christ first of all, had to BECOME A MAN — true humanity — the reason for the incarnation. Having said this, Christ did not have the human nature that we all inherit from Adam, because He had no human father. If Christ did not become true humanity, He could not qualify to be our Savior, therefore without Christ, mankind is doomed to face a wrathful God. But, thank God that the Father had a plan. God’s Plan for man centers around His Son, Jesus Christ.

To reject Christ is to reject God’s Plan. God’s Grace is only available to man through faith in Christ (John 3:36). Mankind by the fall (default) lost relationship with God, resulting in a fallen nature in all humans since Adam (please see Romans 8:3; Philippians 2:7, and notice the word “likeness”). This is the reason for the “virgin birth.” The virgin birth was necessary because the Adamic nature is passed down through procreation by the male (father) seminally.

The reason the Adamic nature is passed down through our dad is because Adam sinned “willingly,” which means he knew what he was doing and did it anyway (Genesis 3:6, 12). Eve, was deceived by Satan (Genesis 3:13; 1 Timothy 2:14).

Now, it is imperative to always distinguish in Scripture the difference between the humanity of Christ as true man, and the “deity” of Christ as true God — this is called in theology the “Hypostatic Union,” meaning Christ is uniquely God and man forever in one person. Christ truly is our King of kings and Lord of lords — Christ is the unique person in the universe, and we will have all eternity to learn all the wonderful attributes of our Savior.

With these things in mind we all SHOULD know that since deity cannot die, our Lord’s cross-death refers to Christ’s humanity. So, the humanity of Christ died on the Cross to pay our penalty, which is death — two deaths! Christ made peace with God for us through His shed BLOOD on the Cross (Romans 5:9; Ephesians 1:7; Hebrews 13:12; 1 Peter 1:19; 1 John 1:7; Revelation 1:5).

Christ’s blood actually represents the spiritual death of His human spirit. Christ died spiritually first, before he died physically. This is demonstrated in Psalms 22:1; Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:33-34. In the Levitical Offerings, the blood sprinkled on the mercy seat was a demonstration of a future event — the spiritual death of God’s Son — the incarnate Christ who became human without the sin nature, so He could take our place on the cross.

It was at noon, ordinarily the brightest time of day, that total darkness covered Golgotha. So intense was Christ’s sufferings while bearing our sins, that the Father hid Christ’s face from view by the darkness. The intensity of Christ’s suffering for you and me is amplified by Christ’s shrieking, “My God (addressing the Father), My God (addressing the Holy Spirit) why have You forsaken me?” It was during this period of darkness that His spiritual separation occurred. As God poured out the sins of the world (all sins of history), this is when Christ died spiritually (meaning separated or severed from God).

Adam became separated and you and I are born separated from God. While being judged in our place, His humanity was separated from God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. We know this because He cried out in Matthew 27:46.

It was not the physical pain that caused our Lord to shriek, it was SEPARATION FROM THE FATHER AND THE HOLY SPIRIT FOR THE FIRST TIME … EVER.

The humanity of Christ was now separated from the Father and therefore He shrieked when our sins were imputed (poured out on Him). During this three hour period from noon until 3pm, God the Father and God the Holy Spirit turned away from facing Christ while all the sins of the world were poured out on Christ and JUDGED. We know Christ was restored to fellowship with the Father and the Holy Spirit by His statement addressing the Father in Luke 23:46, “Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit.”

NOTE: Man did not ‘kill God.’ Christ dismissed His own Spirit when the task of providing our salvation was complete, and not before.

The impact of Christ’s screams have eternal repercussions. The Lamb of God without spot or blemish was sacrificed for every human. Jesus died that we might live forever (Psalms 22:1). The penalty for Adam’s sin, and yours and mine, is death (spiritual death first, and eventually physical death). By the cross-sacrifice of Christ’s shed blood, every member of the human race has the same opportunity to be born again John 3:5, 7.

From Adam to Christ, men looked forward to the Cross (in the Old Testament). Since the Cross, we look back to the Cross for salvation. God promised the salvation of humanity immediately after the Fall in Genesis 3:15.

“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death (spiritual separation) through sin, and so death (physical) spread (is passed on) to all men, because all sinned” (when Adam sinned) (Romans 5:12). “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23a).

Christ first suffered the spiritual death of his humanity — separation from the Father, then He died physically. Christ died spiritually when our sins were poured out on Him. SIN ALWAYS SEPARATES MAN FROM GOD AND THEREFORE GOD REUNITES US BY HIS SON. DO YOU HAVE THE SON? Are you saved? If you are unsure — be sure! Nothing, absolutely NOTHING, is more important.

There is nothing for you to do to be saved because Christ did everything. Christ paid your sin debt for you. Christ paid for your sins when He died for you (in your place) on the Cross (John 3:15-18; Romans 5:8). Therefore, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31).  

Please turn to Psalms 22:13-18 and read the vile epithets hurled at Christ by the unbelieving mob. Try to envision the terrible and merciless treatment He endured at the hands of man — both religious and nonreligious. Ironically, it was the Hands of Christ that would be a part of our salvation. Separated from God by sin means that we are under God’s wrath. With all of this in mind, can you now see more clearly your own need for salvation and that of the whole world? We are born separated from God. Therefore, we must be spiritually born again (John 3:5,7).

Remember, in John 3:3-7 Christ is explaining that we must be spiritually born again. Why? Because in Adam all die — physically and spiritually. Christ asked Nicodemus, “Are you the teacher of Israel and do not understand these things?” 

It is amazing how many preach the gospel in our churches and do not understand the fall of man resulted in two deaths — physical (proved by aging constantly until death); and spiritual (separated from God by sin). Sin causes separation from God. God had to restore us through His Son or we would remain separated from God forever. GOD IS LOVE AND JUSTICE AND MERCY.

As previously stated, “blood sacrifices” portrayed the spiritual death of Christ and using animals was a pictorial of an event that cannot be seen — spiritual death.

Since the Cross, there is no more need for sacrifices. Christ paid once and for all, for all time.

In closing, please read Romans 5:15-19 which says it all.

And remember: death is separation, NOT EXTINCTION:

(1) Physical death is the separation of the soul from the body (of the unsaved); it is separation of the soul and spirit from the body of the saved (James 2:26).

(2) Spiritual death is separation of a person from God (Ephesians 2:1).

(3) The second death of the unbeliever is eternal separation from God (Revelation 20:14). Once your life has come to an end, the time — the opportunity — to believe … comes to an end and your decision for or against Christ is sealed forever. Irrevocable.

Don’t let your life end without taking God’s free offer of salvation. It ‘requires’ a simple act of belief. The clock is ticking. Your number could be called today.

Christ died for you personally. You can receive Jesus Christ right now and become a child of God with all your sins forgiven (John 1:12; Acts 16:31).

Blessings in fields of Grace.

Happy Studying!


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