Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-19 (7/4/11)
A long time ago in one of my Bethel classes, one of the students read this passage and asked, “Why did God lie to Adam and Eve? He said they would die on the day they ate the fruit, and they didn’t.”
I responded, “Yes, they did!” They just didn’t know it yet.
You know about “dead men walking,” right? You know about “brain death,” right? You know about “might as well be dead,” right? You know about “chickens with their heads cut off,” right? I saw that once when I was a kid. The headless chicken ran around the yard, not even knowing that my grandma had cut off its head and it was dead. Its body just hadn’t caught up with the facts.
God is the source of all life, and we saw a few weeks ago that sin separates us from God. When we are separated from God, we are dead; our souls – our bodies and minds – just haven’t caught up with the facts.
Proverbs 10:25, 27; 11:5, 7, 19; 12:7, 28; 13:13, 21:12, 15 (7/5/11)
“Live fast, die young,” is a modern proverb. It arises – as all proverbs do – from observation, in this case the observation that life expectancies vary with living habits. The habits of sin and associating with evildoers lower one’s life expectancy by as much as 50 years, depending on your habit. For example,
In contrast, the habits of righteousness and associating with law-abiding friends raise one’s life expectancy
As it turns out, this is an old
observation, which happens to withstand the scrutiny of science. So it should give us pause that the book of Proverbs applies this observation not only to our physical life expectancies, but to our eternal-life expectancies as well. Sin leads to physical and eternal death.
Matthew 13:24-43 (7/6/11)
Okay, if sin leads to premature physical death as well as eternal death, why is it that we look around and see evildoers going about the business of harming the righteous? If they are already dead in their sin, why can’t they just be dead and leave the rest of us alone? (Assuming for the sake of argument that we are not evildoers, which is, of course, open to debate.) Good question.
The Bible puts forth three basic responses:
- Job was told, “I’m God and you’re not. You wouldn’t understand the answer if I gave it to you.”
- We saw several weeks ago that (fortunately for us) God gives sinners time to repent, in the hope that they will repent.
- Finally, Jesus points out that sometimes getting rid of the evildoers might accidentally entail getting rid of some of the righteous. God tries to avoid this unfortunate side effect.
James 1:13-15; Ephesians 2:1-6 (7/7/11)
Two of the world’s great whines are “It’s not fair!” and “It’s not my fault!” As near as I can tell, we come from the womb and go to the coffin drinking these whines.
The Bible says (today in the persons of James and Paul), “Oh yes, it is fair, and it is your fault. You commit the sins you desire, which leads to your death. Your death is perfectly fair, because it is your own fault. Only through God’s grace and mercy do you have any chance of life.”
Romans 6:20-23 (7/8/11)
Well, Houston, we’ve got a problem here:
Now what? Praise be to God, who gives us life in Jesus Christ
- Every person sins, and most Christians believe that we are born with the taint of original sin.
- Sin = death.
More on The Law and Sin
The Law: Given by God
The Law: Civil and Criminal
The Law: Ethics, Morality, and Love
The Law: Written in Our Hearts
Sin: Breaking of the Law
Sin: Separation and Estrangement
Sin: Unfaithfulness to God is Adultery
The Doctrine of Original Sin
Dead in Sin
Copyright 2011, 2013 by Regina L. Hunter. All rights reserved.
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2626 Arizona NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87110
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