'Spiritually Dead'
"...You will certainly die"
One thing about our God is that His faithfulness is so abundant we can hold tight and stand firm on the fact that if He said it, it will be. He is the God that merely spoke an entire universe and its creations into existence.
We see this in the beginning chapters of Genesis how the Lord says and it is so (Gen 1:7, 1:9, 1:11, 1:15, and 1:24). He didn’t have to repeat himself, change his mind, or doubt. No, even to this day every time he speaks is so.
So this is why I was caught up on Genesis 2:17, where the Lord commands Adam not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for if he does he will certainly die… Which is interesting because we know that they ate from the tree… But their hearts were still beating. They even went on to have a life outside of the garden, kids, and all. So...?
The Deception
We all have heard the story of creation, how Adam and Eve were deceived in the Garden, and so forth. But one thing about the Bible is that these are not just individual “stories”, they are a plot line.
So I always find it interesting to deep dive into certain verses that stand out to me. And more likely than not I’m always surprised by the findings.
When we read this part in Genesis 2 I think we ignore or overlook the part where the Lord says “... you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” You WILL certainly die. The Lord didn’t say might or could, no he said you will certainly die. And one thing we know about the Lord our God is that he is not a human that he should lie nor a human being that he should change his mind, so what exactly does this verse mean? Did God just change his mind? Was the serpent correct when he assured them they would not die?
Spiritual Death
I don't know about you, but I serve a God who is true to His word and that is a confidence I can stand firm on. So did He just say it to scare them? Maybe just to hear Himself speak?
"God said what He said. He is not a human that he should lie, nor a human being that he should change his mind (Numbers 23:19)."
Up until this point, EVERYTHING the Lord said was so (Gen 1), so why would that change now? But what I think is that day in the Garden, Adam and Eve did die. And not in some kind of conspiracy theory way, but I do believe they did die; just not the kind of death they were expecting.
Matter of fact, because of their actions and disobedience, when sin was brought into the world, we all died. And the unfortunate truth is that many of us still are.
“For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive” (1 Cor 15:22)
The Resurrection Power of Jesus
This highlighted to me, that this is what makes the resurrection power of Jesus all the more prevalent.
“For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once and for all; but the life he lives he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” Romans 6:9-11
As Paul says in 1 Cor, “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive” (15:22). So obviously we know that their deaths were not physical or literal. As Jesus tells Nicodemus in John 3, “No one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again”. He is not speaking of reincarnation or “entering a second time into their mother’s womb’ (John 3:4). He is referring to a spiritual born-again experience.
“Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the spirit gives birth to spirit” (John 3:6)
The Good News
God said what He said. He is not a human that he should lie, nor a human being that he should change his mind (Numbers 23:19). No he said, “You will certainly die”. And because we don't understand this verse and what it means, not just for Adam and Eve but also for us, the enemy is able to keep us in a place of spiritual death and never fully understanding the need for Jesus. You can be alive, “happy”, have a family, have a career and still be dead. But the Lord has given us the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).
Through His Spirit, we are made new.
“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” Ephesians 2:1-5

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