One undeniable truth about life is that our physical existence has an end. Nobody should be surprised by it. It’s a known fact since the beginning of humanity. Perhaps we may say medical science has progress so much that the years of life have been prolonged. But I rather believe that medical science has helped improve the quality of life at the onset of diseases. It could also be argued that medical science might sometimes have unknowingly been prolonging the suffering of a terminally ill person. So it could be a matter of perspective.
Mankind has forever been trying to solve the problem of aging in the hope of addressing the reality of death. Death is a reality declared in the Bible. And Scripture did provide the solution to death.
In Genesis, God declared the punishment of death once the first humans broke His commandment – that they should not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God gave mankind everything they needed for life, just one command, and yet they chose to break it so death occured.
But wait, what exactly did God say to Adam? See Genesis 2:16 -17.
And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, FOR IN THE DAY THAT YOU EAT OF IT YOU SHALL SURELY DIE.”
Fast forward to Genesis 3:6-8.
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
No physical death occured immediately after mankind violated God’s commandment. The excuse that death came later cannot be acceptable if we take God’s Word accordingly. Reading from the text of Genesis 3:6-8, two things immediatly occured – mankind saw themselves naked and they became alienated from God – so spiritual death occured immediately after they broke God’s covenant. See Genesis 3:10.
And he [Adam] said, “I heard the sound of You [God] in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.”
Yes, God made a Covenant with Adam the moment He put him in the garden of Eden. The condition of God’s covenant was clearly stipulated in Genesis 2:16-17. Adam did not simply violate God’s commandment, he broke God’s Covenant with him. See Hosea 6:7, God said: “But like Adam they transgressed the Covenant; there they dealt faithlessly with Me.”
The Scripture in Job 1:21 said: And he [Job] said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.”
Physical nakedness cannot be the problem. Adam and Eve were created naked (Genesis 2:25). No human was born dressed. It’s quite obvious from the narrative of Genesis that God didn’t saw nakedness as a problem, mankind did. See Genesis 3:10-11.
And he [Adam] said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” He [God] said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”
Also see Genesis 2:25 “And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.” Both Adam and Eve were naked when they were created and there seemed to be no problem with it. But when Adam told God he was afraid because he was naked so he hid himself, the LORD replied, “Who told you that you were naked?” Then He asked Adam, “Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” (Genesis 3:10-11).
Do you understand God’s question to Adam? God actually was asking Adam, “Did you broke the covenant that I have made with you?
Clearly nakedness as implied by Adam equates to his breaking of God’s covenant. And since God’s condition for mankind to remain inside the Garden of Eden was broken, Adam and Eve needed to be banished from the garden. See Genesis 3:22-24
Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever-“ therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.
Before Adam and Eve broke God’s Covenant, mankind was in a state of innocence because they knew no evil, only goodness. Now that humanity had committed an evil deed breaking God’s covenant with them; hence, they now knew good and evil. Yet despite mankind’s sin, God clothed them to cover their shame – clearly an act of God’s kindness toward His creation. See Genesis 3:21.
And the LORD God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.
God simply provided a temporary remedy for mankind; it looks forward to the calling of Abraham and the covenant making at Mount Sinai to the coming and return of Jesus Christ. See 2 Corinthians 5:2-4.
For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened-not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.
By “tent”, the apostle Paul here spoke of the Mosaic covenant, of which Paul said they groan longing to be further clothed by the New Covenant of Christ Jesus, then mortality may be swallowed up by life.
Spiritual death then means to be out of God’s Covenant. And without God’s Covenant mankind could forever be outside the Garden of Eden, where the TREE OF LIFE is.
It is quite obvious that mankind remains to be living even after Adam and Eve had broken God’s covenant and banished from the garden. In fact, they even multiplied by having children. But henceforth, every human would be born outside of the Garden of Eden and apart from God’s Creation Covenant.
The immediate consequence of mankind’s banishment from the Garden of Eden then demands as stipulated in Genesis 3:19 saying,
By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.
Consequently, apart from God’s Covenant, physical birth and death became the natural cycle of humanity, and there is no way out of it. Mankind being of dust also is susceptible to degeneration, hence aging and death. The dilemma of death was the making of Adam, the representation of all humanity before God, with whom the LORD first made a covenant.
We can’t make any complaint or demands with God. The life that we have now still originated from God. See Genesis 2:7.
Then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.
See also Ecclesiastes 12:7; Scripture said: “And the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.” By “spirit”, the Bible refers to the “breath of life” which made man a living being. See also Genesis 6:3.
Then the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.”
Our present existence or life is truly a gift from God. Eternity is not part of the original equation in creation due to Adam’s fall to sin. Rather, eternity is God’s gift for everyone whom will embrace His New Covenant. See Matthew 26:27-29.
And He [Jesus Christ] took a cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them [the disciples] saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”
See also Hebrews 8:6.
But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises.
Jesus Christ alone is the solution to the humanities problem of death. The apostle Paul on his letter to the church of Ephesus said:
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience- among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ-by grace you have been saved– and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus …
The journey of faith sometimes is long and tedious. But the transition from unbelief and faith in Christ Jesus is made once and should be real and true. God’s covenant with Adam demands obedience. Similarly the New Covenant of Jesus Christ also requires faith and obedience. See John 3:35-36.
The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
It is a delusion to claim faith in Jesus Christ yet be without obedience. Consequently, the apostle James said, “So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead” (James 2:17).
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