The tree of life.

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Robert Snow, Jul 12, 2010.

  1. Robert Snow

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    In another thread a comment concerning the "tree of life" was mentioned.

    I have never thought about it before so let me ask:

    If mankind was immortal before the fall, why was there a tree of life in the garden of eden?

    Along the same lines, something else I have often wondered about. Since Jesus Christ was sinless and did not have a sin nature, why did he grow old. Old age leads to death, but since Christ was not a sinner in any sense of the word, shouldn't he have lived for ever, if not for the crucification?
     
  2. Darrenss1

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    I mentioned the tree of life. Before I ever heard of any such thing as an old earth model I happened to believe that Adam and Eve would have needed to "eat" the fruit of the tree of life to live forever. Therefore the reason Adam and Eve eventually died a physical death after the fall was because they could no longer eat the fruit of the tree of life. This fits in perfect because the tree of life makes a reappearance in -

    Rev 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

    Rev 22:2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

    Rev 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

    I believe even in glorified bodies we will need to eat of the tree of life to live forever, just as Adam and Eve could have eaten of the tree of life before and after the fall. I don't believe the bible teaches mankind ever had immortal bodies because of this reason. As for the aging process it may be the case that it is somehow slowed down as we saw in Genesis that the first few generations they lived very long lives up until the flood.

    On a physical basis there is no record of God creating immortal bodies not even Christ's having been resurrected bodily; that's my understanding. Does Jesus now have to eat from the tree of life to live forever? I'd say so.

    Darren
     
    #2 Darrenss1, Jul 12, 2010
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  3. Luke2427

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    Now you're on to something.

    No where does the Bible say that Adam would never have died physically had he not sinned.

    The Word of God meant something when it recorded God saying in Gen 3:22 "lest he put forth his hand and eat of the tree of life and live forever"

    The clear implication from the natural reading of the text is that Adam was not physically immortal before the fall.
     
  4. blackbird

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    Friend---Jesus doesn't have to eat from the Tree of Life---Jesus IS the Tree of Life!!! For all eternity---as time rolls on---Jesus will keep giving us life!!!! Life in Heaven will come from that tree!!!
     
  5. Darrenss1

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    Jesus is a resurrected man as He is, so shall we be also. His position is that He is both God and man, I was not making an absolute statement just a point that Christ's human resurrected body does not seem to be immortal when you follow the principle of Christ being the firstborn from the dead. I never said Christ was merely a man just that He has a human body, glorified but I can't presume its immortal; He will also be eating and drinking in heaven as well. The tree is in the new creation in the middle of the city it seems, I suspect its not just merely for decoration.

    Darren
     
  6. RAdam

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    Because He came in the likeness of sinful flesh.
     
  7. Webers_Home

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    Response to Robert Snow

    .
    RE: If mankind was immortal before the fall, why was there a tree of life in the garden of eden?

    Webster's defines immortality as: unending existence; and defines immortal as: exempt from death; viz: imperishable.

    Well, obviously Adam's body was neither exempt from death nor imperishable or it wouldn't have needed nourishment from the tree of life in order to live forever.

    There's two separate koiné Greek words translated immortality in the New Testament. One is aphthrsia (Rom 2:7, and 2Tim 1:10) which means: incorruptibility. In other words; aphthrsia means that something never goes bad or spoils like autumn leaves, rusting metal, or rotting fruit.

    The other word is athanasia (1Cor 15:53, 1Cor 15:54, and 1Tim 6:16) which means: deathlessness.

    From what I gather from those two words; a truly immortal body can get by without nourishment since it is exempt from death, imperishable, deathless, and impervious to aging.

    RE: Along the same lines, something else I have often wondered about. Since Jesus Christ was sinless and did not have a sin nature, why did he grow old. Old age leads to death, but since Christ was not a sinner in any sense of the word, shouldn't he have lived for ever, if not for the crucification?

    There are two genealogies in the New Testament certifying that Adam is Jesus' kin— Matthew's certifies his legal kinship, and Luke's certifies his biological kinship. Therefore, since Adam was Jesus' biological progenitor, then he had to get old, and he had to die.

    †. Rom 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

    Note the grammatical tense of the word "sinned" in Rom 5:12. It's in the past tense, indicating that at the moment of Adam's transgression, his entire posterity (including Eve since she was his first child) was charged with his sin; so that babies not yet born have already been charged with a sin even before they see the light of day.

    †. Rom 5:18 . . The result of one trespass was condemnation for all men

    †. Rom 5:19 . . Through the disobedience of the one man; the many were made sinners

    This means that Jesus too, the moment he was conceived in his mother's womb, was charged with Adam's sin. Therefore, he was doomed to get old and die even before he was born.

    However, it isn't necessary for Jesus or anybody else to offer an atonement for their imputed complicity in Adam's sin since one's own mortality is the appropriate satisfaction of justice for that sin. So then, nobody goes to Hell for Adam's sin since justice is served for that sin the moment they die. People who die a second death in the reservoir of liquefied flame at Rev 20:11-15 do so for their own sins, not Adam's.

    A question that usually comes up in this regard is: How can Jesus qualify as a lamb without blemish or spot if he was charged with Adam's sin just like everybody else? Well, that's pretty simple. Adam's sin was due to no fault of Jesus' own. You see, he didn't have to have a sinless pedigree; he only had to be innocent of any personal sins of his own in order to qualify as a lamb without blemish or spot.

    C.L.I.F.F.
    /
     
  8. jaigner

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    Jesus put on a post-fall body. He was completely righteous in thought, action, attitude, but was not immune to the broader, parasitic effects of sin, such as pain, aging, death, etc.
     
  9. jaigner

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    The tree of life my soul hath seen,
    Laden with fruit and always green:
    The trees of nature fruitless be
    Compared with Christ the apple tree.

    His beauty doth all things excel:
    By faith I know, but ne’er can tell,
    The glory which I now can see
    In Jesus Christ the apple tree.

    For happiness I long have sought,
    And pleasure dearly I have bought:
    I missed of all; but now I see
    'Tis found in Christ the apple tree.

    I'm weary with my former toil,
    Here I will sit and rest a while:
    Under the shadow I will be,
    Of Jesus Christ the apple tree.

    This fruit doth make my soul to thrive,
    It keeps my dying faith alive:
    Which makes my soul in haste to be
    With Jesus Christ the apple tree.

    - anon, 18th c.
     
  10. Webers_Home

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    Response to Darrenss1

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    RE: I believe even in glorified bodies we will need to eat of the tree of life to live forever, just as Adam and Eve could have eaten of the tree of life before and after the fall.

    That theory conflicts with Jesus' testimony in the sixth chapter of John.

    †. John 6:49-51 . . Here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which if a man eat, he won't die.

    †. John 6:51 . . I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever.

    †. John 6:57-59 . .This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who dines on this bread will live forever.

    So then, people don't obtain immortality by eating from a tree, but rather by correctly dining upon Jesus' flesh; which is accomplished by accepting that he gave his life a ransom to rescue men's souls from the wrath of God.

    †. John 6:51 . . This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

    We know from Genesis that the tree of life doesn't give its diners immortality; but rather it gives them longevity which Webster's defines as: a long duration of individual life. In point of fact, one of the keynotes of the future kingdom is longevity.

    †. Isa 65:20 . . Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years: He who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere youth; he who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed.

    Believers aren't supposed to be looking forward to longevity; but rather immortality; which refers to a kind of supernatural body that can actually get by without food because it's exempt from death, imperishable, deathless, and impervious to aging; therefore it cannot grow old, nor can it waste away under any circumstances of either feast or famine.

    †. 1 Cor 15:52-54 . . For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory."

    An immortal, imperishable body is the very kind of body that Christ occupies right now.

    †. Phil 3:19-2 . . But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ; who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

    †. 1Tim 6:14-16 . . Keep this commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will bring about at the proper time— he who is the blessed and only sovereign, the king of kings and lord of lords; who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light; whom no man has seen or can see.

    Rev 2:7, Rev 22:2, and Rev 22:14 don't promise immortality, but rather, longevity; and just as Adam died because he lost access to the tree, so people in the future will die too if they lose access to the tree. So then, all things considered, the tree of life won't be a permanent fixture; but rather, a temporary blessing so ordinary people can enjoy long lives in the millennial phase of the kingdom.

    It's interesting that numbers of people in the millennial phase of the kingdom will actually bite the hand that feeds them by joining the Devil in a rebellion while enjoying the auspices of Christ's administration. Apparently nutrients in that tree will make people so strong and healthy they'll feel like supermen who can take on and whip anybody, even Christ.

    C.L.I.F.F.
    /
     
  11. Darrenss1

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    There's no conflict, you take the literal approach that people will be eating Jesus's flesh?? Of course not. We can only speculate so far as to whether or not we will in fact have immortal bodies. Does eating and drinking refer to the need to be sustained or likewise not eating and drinking infers the bodies will be immortal? I don't know and neither do you...

    So a glorified body will be immortal??

    1 Cor 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
    15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

    Considering the lack of DETIALS I can't say for certain when the tree of life remains to be in the city in Rev -

    Rev 22:2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

    Some things in scripture are a mystery and I'll be happy to wait and see who's right and who's in not when we finally walk the streets of gold for ourselves, all our questions will be answered!!

    Darren
     
  12. Darrenss1

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    If there is any confusion over what I said here, please ask me to clarify and I will. I believe the tree of life will play a part in the eternal life of the believer. I don't have all the more details for the body, if you do please go ahead and make your case. Obviously there will be no more death how the specific details of that plays out is a mystery as far as I'm concerned, especially since the tree of life is in the new city.... Another factor to consider is those unrighteous people risen from the dead were cast alive into the lake of fire and will be tormented day and night forever. Are they tormented in flesh as a resurrected body? I believe so. They live forever in the lake of fire in a body that cannot die.

    My contention is death is not the only definition of mortality, neither is a lack of death an automatic assumption of an immortal body. As far as I can see the role of the tree of life is somehow being overlooked.

    Darren
     
  13. convicted1

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    RE: The Tree of Life?

    Friend,

    These are SHOUTING words!! Glory to His name! Adam and Eve were separated from the Tree of Life because they ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and they died spiritually. God placed a flaming sword(the Gospel) in between them and the Tree of Life, and if they got back to the Tree of Life(Jesus), they'd have to go through the flaming sword(the Gospel) to eat of it. It's that way today: if we are saved, it is through the Gospel of Christ(the Sword mentioned in Heb 4:12). I just love the way you put those words together!!

    i am I am's!!

    Willis
     
  14. percho

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    God formed man from the dust of the ground then breathed into him the breath of life. Caused what was made from the ground to come alive. What was formed from the ground plus life from God became a living soul.

    There is a reason Christ was slain from the foundation of the world.

    That was not first which is spiritual but that which is natural.

    The first man Adam was made a living soul. From the earth
    Jesus was born of Mary a living soul.
    The last Adam [was made] a quickening spirit. The firstborn from the dead. See also John 5:26 then John 5:21.
    26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;
    21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth [them]; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.
    Acts 13:30,33 But God raised him from the dead: God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.

    Then for us Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate [to be] conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
     
    #14 percho, Jul 30, 2010
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  15. Webers_Home

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    Response to Darrenss1

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    RE: I believe the tree of life will play a part in the eternal life of the believer.

    It needs to be pointed out that Indiana Jones had it wrong. Eternal life and immortality are not synonymous. They're juxtaposed at 2Tim 1:10; where the two terms are connected with a conjunction. They aren't connected with a verb, so that you can't say Life is Immortality; no, Life and Immortality are two distinctly different states of being. Immortality refers to the nature of an indestructible body; while Life refers to the nature of one's existence; e.g. animal life, plant life, human life, angel life, and God life.

    Eternal life is the life of God (John 3:6-7, 1Jn 1:1-2). who is stated to be spirit (John 4:24) and who never had a beginning nor will ever have an ending. From the vanishing point in the past, to the vanishing point in the future, the Bible's God has always existed, and He will always be. Does God need to nourish Himself with an organic substance in order to continue existing? No; the Bible's God is self-existing. So then, eternal life is neither obtained, nor sustained, by ingesting an organic substance. It's obtained, and sustained by God.

    Jesus testified that which is born of human life is human life (John 3:6a) and that born of God's Spirit is Spirit (John 3:6b). Well, God's Spirit is an eternal species of life rather than a mortal species of life. So then, they that are born of God's Spirit have the life of an eternal species rather than the life of a mortal species.

    A truly born-again Christian has within themselves an artesian well of eternal life so that there is no need to sustain it with a special diet.

    †. John 3:5-6 . . Jesus replied: The truth is, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit.

    †. John 4:10 . . Jesus replied: If you only knew the gift God has for you and who I am, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.

    †. John 4:13-14 . .Jesus replied: People soon become thirsty again after drinking water from your well. But the water I give them takes away thirst altogether. It becomes a perpetual spring within them, giving them eternal life.

    Note the grammatical tense of the "have" verb in these next passages. It's in the present tense rather than future; indicating that believers have eternal life right now— no delay, and no waiting period.

    †. John 3:36 . . He who believes in the Son has eternal life

    †. John 6:47 . .Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life.

    †. John 5:24 . . I assure you, those who heed my message and trust in God who sent me, have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from Death into Life.

    The Christians to whom John penned his first epistle were in possession of eternal life even before his letter arrived.

    †. 1John 5:13 . . I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.

    Now, the real kicker is; according to God's immutable testimony as an expert witness in all matters pertaining to His own son, people passing themselves off as Christians, while not possessing eternal life, do not have Christ; in other words those kinds of Christians are quite christless.

    †. 1John 5:11-12 . .And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the life, does not have God's son.

    People passing themselves off as Christians, while not believing in the possibility of obtaining eternal life right now— in this life prior to dying and crossing over to the other side —openly suggest that the Bible's God is a dishonest person of low moral integrity who cannot be trusted to tell the truth.

    †. 1John 5:10-12 . .Anyone who does not believe God insinuates that He's a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about His son. And this is the testimony: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in His son. So whoever has God's son has the life; whoever does not have the life, does not have His son.

    It is a very grave situation to be a christless Christian.

    †. Rom 8:9-1 . . Whoever has not the Spirit of Christ, does not belong to Christ.

    It is very possible to rub shoulders with a Christian who has eternal life and not know it because eternal life is a supernatural kind of life that cannot be detected with any of the five natural human senses of sight, smell, touch, taste or hearing.

    †. John 3:8 . .The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell from whence it comes nor where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.

    C.L.I.F.F.
    /
     
    #15 Webers_Home, Jul 30, 2010
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  16. percho

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    Titus 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; Romans 8:24,25 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man sees, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, [then] do we with patience wait for [it]. 2 Corinthians 2:4,5 For we that are in [this] tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. (therefore eternal life) Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing [is] God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.

    How was it promised? By the Lamb of God slain before the foundation of the world. That life is in his Son the firstborn from the dead. Colossians 3:3,4 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, [who is] our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

    Now if you want to put 2 Corinthians 5:6,8 in context it is in the above. It's not about dying and going to heaven but about being raised incorruptible and putting on immortality. 1 C 15:52,53 and 2 C 5:4.
     
  17. Webers_Home

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    Response to percho

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    RE: Titus 1:1-2

    " I have been sent to bring faith to those God has chosen; and to teach them to know the truth that shows them how to live godly lives. This truth gives them the confidence of eternal life, which God promised them before the world began— and He cannot lie."

    The primary point to note about that passage is the confidence of eternal life; which is not the same as confidence of immortality. What Paul is saying is that conscientious Bible study has the benefit of assuring believers of their possession of eternal life; for example, note the grammatical tense of the "have" verb in the following passages; it's present, not future, indicating that believers have eternal life right now— no delay and no waiting period. Belief in these verses gives the Lord's sheep confidence that they will be in no danger whatsoever of the wrath of God when they cross over to the other side.

    †. John 3:36 . . He who believes in the Son has eternal life

    †. John 6:47 . .Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life.

    †. John 5:24 . . I assure you, those who heed my message and trust in God who sent me, have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from Death into Life.

    †. 1John 5:13 . . I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.

    RE: Romans 8:24-25

    That passage should never, ever be quoted without including the preceding verse. Here's the whole shebang.

    †. Rom 8:23-25 . . We ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we eagerly await our adoption— that is: the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

    The primary focus of that passage is NOT eternal life, but rather, immortality (the redemption of our bodies).

    The koiné Greek word for hope in that passage is elpis (el-pece') which doesn't mean to cross your fingers. It means to expect; viz: to anticipate, usually with pleasure. The world's hope is nothing but wishful thinking, while the believer's hope is in the bag and that's why I can look forward to a supernatural body rather than wish for it.

    RE: 2Cor 5:1-4

    "For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: if so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life."

    The primary focus of that passage is NOT eternal life; but rather, immortality.

    One of the more difficult things to clarify in the minds of poorly-trained and/or inexperienced Christians is the difference between eternal life and immortality. Since eternal life is a spirit kind of life; it can be had right now— no delay, and no waiting period (John 3:3-8, John 4:10-14 with John 3:36, John 5:24, John 6:47, and 1John 5:13) while immortality is a bodily kind of life and is yet future.

    †.1Cor 15:51-54 . . Behold, I show you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed; in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

    †. Php 3:20-21 . . But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ; who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

    C.L.I.F.F.
    /
     
  18. percho

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    So all of these years they should have been talking about eternal life of the soul instead of immortality of the soul?
    No wonder everybody is confused or should I say deceived.?
     
  19. Webers_Home

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    Response to percho

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    RE: So all of these years they should have been talking about eternal life of the soul instead of immortality of the soul? No wonder everybody is confused or should I say deceived.?

    I wouldn't chalk it up to deception; I just think that common terminology and Bible terminology are out of sync. For example there was a mini-series on cable TV not long ago called Generation Kill about a Marine Recon unit operating in Desert Storm. Well, the jar heads in that mini-series used proprietary terms and phrases that made no sense to me whatsoever. So I found a glossary of their terms and phrases online to see what they meant. It would really help if the Bible came with a glossary of its own proprietary terms and phrases something like that so we'd all be on the same page, so to speak.

    I mentioned Indiana Jones in a previous post. In one of his adventures (the Last Crusade?) he was on a quest for the holy grail; which was located in a secret cave in the city of Petra. Inside the cave was a Knight Templar guarding a cistern of water that if somebody imbibed using the holy grail, would supposedly give them eternal life; which in the movie's way of thinking, was actually immortality rather than eternal life because drinking the water would not replace one's human nature with the nature of God. You'd go on existing with human nature, but at least your body would be impervious to death.

    However, that is an intolerable situation since human nature is man's biggest obstacle to holiness.

    †. Eph 2:3 . . We were by nature objects of wrath.

    So then an immortal body sans the nature of God would not be an improvement as far as sin is concerned. But when you combine an immortal body with the nature of God; you're really in the money.

    †. 2Pet 1:4 . . We have been given exceeding great and precious promises: that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature

    C.L.I.F.F.
    /
     
    #19 Webers_Home, Jul 30, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 30, 2010
  20. jaigner

    jaigner
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    I would be careful with this one. Sin is man's biggest obstacle to holiness. It is original, generational, forensic, pervasive, parasitic sin.

    But we were created as good and in the image of God. That image is still present and intact. God's pronouncement of Creation as "good" was never revoked.

    The KJV, maybe in its only helpful point, gets this one right by calling it "flesh," which is way more helpful than "sinful nature."
     

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