In my last post, I talked about the three parts of our being – body, soul, and spirit. Knowing all of this, let’s move on to an understanding of just how our spirit operates. To do this we must go back to the beginning when man was first created.
There are a few basic things that I have no Scripture for, but I have to take on faith, knowing what the Word of God infers. First, I believe what Jesus said – that God desires true worshippers who worship Him in spirit and in truth.
Second, I believe that God created Adam to be absolutely perfect and that in this perfect state Adam communicated with God the way God wanted him to. Because of these two beliefs I infer that Adam, in his perfect state, did not communicate with God using his flesh.
All of the interaction between God and Adam took place in the realm of the spirit. I also believe, if you will stick with me for a moment, that the Scripture will bear this out.
And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”
When I read this passage, I see Adam hearing in his spirit the command not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He was warned that if he did ever eat it he would surely, definitely, absolutely, DIE. My problem was this – when Adam ate from the tree, he didn’t die. At least he didn’t die according to our modern society’s concept of death.
What I found was that we don’t understand what God means when He uses the word death. We usually only see it from the earthly standpoint. Just because our body stops functioning does not constitute death to God.
We are told in the letter to the Romans to “Count yourself dead to sin” (Romans 6:11). Paul said that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. (II Cor. 5:8) This tells me that when my body stops working, I merely change residences.
To understand the events in the Garden, I need to know what God means when He uses the word death. A careful study of the Word will prove that when God says that someone has died, it means that communication has stopped. There is no longer any capability to interact with that person.
That’s why, in the parable of the Prodigal Son, the father said, “My son was dead, but now is alive.” (Luke 15:24) The prodigal was not physically dead, but the father could not communicate with him. So, to the father, he was dead.
Even among Christians we’re told not to grieve like the world that has no hope. We understand that when we attend the funeral of a fellow believer, the parting is only temporary. Why do Christians grieve? Because of a temporary loss of fellowship.
This concept is important to our subject. In my next post, I’ll apply it to Adam’s situation.
Question: How does this view of death explain sin’s affect upon us?
© Nick Zaccardi 2014