Friday, March 12, 2010

Two types of Death

There are two types of death spoken of in the scriptures and they are both significant to the atonement. Spritual death is one type and Physical death is the other. Both are said to enter the world with the fall of Adam and Eve and both are overcome by Christ.

    I'm not really trying to get into a discussion about wether or not physical death is only 6000 years old. We will all face physical death, undeniable, when it started is a debate I'd rather stay away from here as I feel it will miss the overall point of the post, which is the atonement overcomes both forms of death that we experience.

    Spiritual death is defined as the separation of our spirits/souls from God. The passage in Gen 2:17 is speaking of this spiritual death. "17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." If God was speaking to them of physical death we should expect that he continue speaking of their physical death when he discovers that they have eaten from the tree. Instead we find that is not the case. Gen 3:22 shows us that God was not speaking of physical death but rather that they had come to know good from evil. "22 ¶ And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:" Since the worry was that they would live forever we must be speaking of a different type of death.

     In the Garden of Eden Adam and Eve were in the presence of God. Once they had disobeyed the commandment to not eat of the tree of  knowledge of good and evil, they had sinned and become unclean and therefore were removed from Gods presence. "23 Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken." Sin is what keeps us separated from God. There is no way for us to overcome the consequences of sin and become clean, or free from sin, to be able to return to God. We all suffer the consequences of our own sins, and that comes in many different forms, the ultimate one is having to be permanently separated from God forever. In the Atoning sacrifice Christ took upon himself the sins of every human being and thus made the removal of sin from us possible. If you compare sin to debt, Christ has paid your debt of sin and is able to make you free and clear of that debt so you are no longer held accountable for your sins. This is the work that Christ did for everyone that we couldn't do ourselves and it is to him we owe the repayment of that debt.

He also died (his physical body and spirit were separated), like all of us will, but he was given the power of God to be resurrected, or have his spirit and physical body reunited to never again be separated. This is a free gift that all of us will have as a result of the atonement. Everyone of us will be resurrected and live forever, but the quality of our forever is dependant upon what we do here.

No comments: