letters to surfers

Question: Was death the result of the original sin in Genesis 3 ? If Adam hadn't sinned would humans have lived for ever?

Robert Brow July 1999   (Web by site - www.brow.on.ca)

I don't think the fall in Genesis 3 (often called original sin) is anything to do with physical death. The Lord had said "In the day that you eat of it you shall surely die" (Genesis 17). When Adam and Eve ate of the fruit of the tree they did not die physically, but that very day they experienced spiritual death. This is marked by hiding from the Lord, making excuses, blaming others, murderous thoughts, etc. . And that condition continues to this day. It is what we are saved from by believing the good news. "You were dead through the trespasses and sins in which you once lived . . . but God out of his great love with which he loved us even when were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ" (Ephesians 2:1-5).

That suggests that the physical death of humans (and animals) is not a mistake. It is merely the means chosen by God to terminate our temporary existence in this life. In the case of humans there is an awesome freedom for some to choose eternal spiritual death (darkness, separation from the love of God, as in John 3:19). But God's loving purpose for humanity includes our physical death as a means of "bringing many children to glory" (Hebrews 2:10).

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