Friday, December 26, 2008

Sin and Death

Much of the modern world just celebrated the birth of a man born to die. I even joined in the festivities! For me, Christmas has been and will continue to be a time to cherish friends and family. But that also means that it is a very busy time, so this week's study will be a short study.

One mantra familiar in almost every branch of Christianity is that we die because of sins, we die physically because we live in a world of sin, and Jesus died paying the price for our sins. Is the price really paid? Let us think about this...

Sin and Death
Way back in the Garden of Eden, God said to Adam in Genesis 2:16-17:
"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." NIV
I think it is important to note that God does not mention anything about the afterlife here. It is plain and simple. God didn't say “for when you eat of it, after you die, you will go to Hell,” nor did He say “for when you eat of it, after you die, you will not go to Heaven.” God told Adam and Eve that they would die, as in physically cease to live, if they sinned by eating the forbidden fruit. The punishment, the price, for their sin is physical death.

So, if we can extrapolate this, it is because we sin that we die today. Think I overreach? Consider these verses:

Romans 5:12
"Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned" NIV

Romans 6:23
"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." NIV

So then, sin = death. The punishment, the wages, the price of sin is physical death.

Now then, Jesus died for our sins. For all of our sins. For all time.

1 Peter 3:18
For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. NIV
Sinless Jesus received the punishment, paid the wage, paid the price for sin to make everything right between the Saved and God.

With that said, this is my question: If Jesus paid the price for sin, why do the Saved still die?

God did not mention anything about an afterlife to Adam and Eve. Death was it. Death was final. And death was due to sin.

You could claim that the Saved die because they live in the Fallen World that is permeated with sin. Scientifically, you could describe the deficiencies of our bodies or nourishment. However, this discounts the power of God. God could keep the Saved alive if He wanted to do so. I will leave you with His words:

Matthew 4:4
Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.' " NIV


  1. This is something that has bothered me for some time. Jesus, who is immortal, paid a mortal and physical price to atone for the sins of humanity. The NT says that humans, who are mortal (because of sin or whatever it may be) are doomed to suffer immortal and eternal spriritual death. If we're being consistent, wouldn't Jesus have to die AND suffer in hell for eternity? It seems like a bit of nepotism in that get out of hell free card he plays. (BTW, I am Nate's wife. I thought I'd join the fun.)

    1. I know it is from long ago, yet I want to comment on this one.

      Anonymous, consider the Mantra of many Evangelicals:
      (1) Hell is eternal.
      (2) Hell is spiritual death, which is eternal separation from God.
      (3) Jesus is inseparable part of the trinity, i.e. God.
      (4) Jesus died to pay the actual wages for sin.

      If (3) and (4) given (1) and (2) it necessary follows that the Son from the trinity is still in Hell, separated eternally from God.

      Otherwise, either Jesus did not die for our sins which would cause split in the trinity (that is not what we can have), or he was not part of the trinity (that is also not what we can have), or hell is not eternal separation from God (some liberals consider the choice)!

      Pick your choice!
      I hope this illustrates the inconsistency in this doctrine.

    2. Nice logic summary, agema-makedonin.

  2. Hi Nate's wife. ;-) Thanks for comment! Very good point, indeed. This is one mega-inconsistency I'd recently debated about with a friend of mine. About the best defense that could be said is that it goes back to the original consequence of sin, physical death. That's nice, but (as you point out) it turns a blind eye to the overwhelmingly more significant eternal consequence.