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Featured Did Adam die spiritually when he sinned?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by JonC, Mar 28, 2023.

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  1. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    Thank you for explaining how you reason this out. I look forward to your thoughts regarding Adam.

    I have come to abandon some of the things I had reasoned from Scripture. The reason is I have found often what people do when reasoning out Scripture is to reason away Scripture (not that I am saying you are doing this - but in the past I did). I have come to take Scripture a bit more literal than I did in the past. At one time I agreed with Reformed doctrine and dismissed the early church understanding as too simplistic, but as I have aged I have come to see a greater spiritual depth in the "simple" rendering.

    That isn't to say we don't reason together. Just that reasoning together does not necessarily mean coming to an agreement or being disagreeable in our disagreements.

    I hope your doctor's apt goes well.
     
  2. Dave G

    Dave G Well-Known Member

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    It is in His word:

    Romans 1:18-32.
    Romans 3:9-18.
    Romans 5:12-14.

    I'm not sure how you missed it, Jon.
     
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  3. MrW

    MrW Well-Known Member

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    To answer the question of the thread: Yes.
     
  4. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    I'm not sure what you mean.

    We all know death entered through Adam's sin, and spread to all for all have sinned. I even mentioned this several times.

    You are arguing against what nobody has argued for.

    I am saying that there are not passages in the Bible that presents spiritual life as temporary. Nowhere is any man said to have been spiritually alive and then died spiritually.
     
  5. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    Is that an opinion or something written in God's Word? If the latter, please provide the passage so we can have a look.
     
  6. MrW

    MrW Well-Known Member

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    I referred to it yesterday, but I'll quote it:

    1 Corinthians 15:22; Romans 5:12-21, and the fact Christ was born of a virgin. Why? Because all born of Adam are born sinners, as their spirit comes from Adam just as one candle lights another, and that one another, and that one another, yet they all ultimately came from the first candle. Therefore Christ HAD to be born of a virgin, else He would have been born spiritually dead to God. Sin is therefore passed on by the man, not the woman.

    See also Proverbs 20:27.
     
  7. Dave G

    Dave G Well-Known Member

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    " because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
    22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
    23 and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
    24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
    25 who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen."
    ( Romans 1:21-25 ).

    This tells me the answer to that, Jon.

    How about what Paul tells the Ephesians here?

    " This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,
    18 having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:
    19 who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness."
    ( Ephesians 4:17-19 ).

    I see what's being described in the above as spiritual "deadness", and Romans tells me that it was brought about by our own actions towards God. Adam and Eve were first ( Romans 5:12-14 ).

    Good evening to you.
     
    #27 Dave G, Mar 30, 2023
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2023
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  8. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    I disagree that those men in Romans 1 who knew about God and His nature as evidenced through creation but turned to idolatry were ever alive spiritually.

    That said, I never disagreed that we are by nature (our old nature) spiritually dead.

    My argument is that Scripture does not offer the possibility of dying spiritually (of being made spiritually alive only to spiritually die). Instead the contrast is always flesh vs spirit.
     
  9. Alan Gross

    Alan Gross Well-Known Member

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    I don't have any point to make other than these two verses to look at.

    The commentaries are just references to think about, or not.

    These two verses show what is Regained by the New Man in the New Birth and therefore, help us know what Adam had before he sinned and fell and became dead in trespasses and sins, i.e., being made "upright", Adam had been alive in some capacity to possess Perfect Innocence, "the Image of God", "righteousness, and true holiness", and "knowledge; after the image of him that created him."

    Did these attributes Adam had include the Spirit of God in him that could then relate directly, Spirit to Spirit, in communion with God, Who is Spirit (more so, than just conversationally?), as Watchman Nee describes, here and in the next post?:

    "Adam existed by the breath of life, which is the spirit.
    The spirit has God-consciousness; it knows God’s voice,
    has fellowship with God, and has a very keen knowledge of God."


    "And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." Ephesians 4:24,

    And have put on the new man which is renewed in knowledge; after the image of him that created him;" Colossians 3:10


    Then, "After Adam fell, his spirit became dead"?, as Wathman Nee talks about more, in the next post.

    Then, this verse, of course, is about a saved soul losing The Holy Spirit's Influence and Blessing, so it is different than what Adam experienced:

    "But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him."

    Matthew Poole's Commentary

    "God took away that prudence, and courage, and alacrity, and other gifts and assistances of God’s Spirit, wherewith he had qualified him for the management of his public employment."

    Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

    "But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul,.... As a spirit of prophecy as at first, as a spirit of wisdom and prudence in civil government, and as a spirit of fortitude and courage..."


    ...

    "The breath of life" is plural in Hebrew.

    Benson Commentary

    "He breathed into his nostrils — And thereby into his head and whole man; the breath of life — Hebrew, the soul of lives, that is, both natural and spiritual, both temporal and eternal life. It is sufficiently implied here that the soul of man is of a quite different nature and higher origin than the souls of beasts, which, together with their bodies, are said to be brought forth by the earth and waters, Genesis 1:24."

    Barnes' Notes on the Bible

    "And breathed into his nostrils the breath of life." The word נשׁמה neshāmâh is invariably applied to God or man, never to any irrational creature. The "breath of life" is special to this passage. It expresses the spiritual and principal element in man, which is not formed, but breathed by the Creator into the physical form of man. This rational part is that in which he bears the image of God, and is suited to be his vicegerent on earth."

    Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

    "the breath of life—literally, of lives, not only animal but spiritual life.

    Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

    "We should compare the expression “breathed into” with the words in St John’s Gospel John 20:22. There the symbolical act of our Lord derives significance from this verse. Christ who is “the New Man,” Himself imparts the life-giving Spirit; “He breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Spirit.”(?)


     
  10. Alan Gross

    Alan Gross Well-Known Member

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    Watchman Nee goes there a little bit, of all people, for what it is worth. It doesn't seem to contradict any commentaries or systematic theologies, I've seen.

    Collected Works of Watchman Nee,
    The (Set 1) Vol. 12: The Spiritual Man (1), by Watchman Nee


    MAN’S SPIRIT, SOUL, AND BODY AFTER THE FALL

    "Adam existed by the breath of life, which is the spirit. The spirit has God-consciousness; it knows God’s voice, has fellowship with God, and has a very keen knowledge of God. After Adam fell, his spirit became dead.

    "At the beginning, God said to Adam, "In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" (Gen. 2:17). After Adam and Eve ate the fruit, they continued to live a few hundred years. This shows that the death that God spoke of was not only physical death. The death of Adam began from his spirit. What kind of death was this death? The scientific definition of death is to be cut off from all fellowship with the environment. When the spirit dies, the spirit loses its fellowship with God. When the body dies, the spirit cuts off fellowship with the body. Therefore, for the spirit to be dead does not mean that the spirit is gone. It merely means that the spirit has lost its keen knowledge of God and is dead to God. Spiritual death means that there is no more fellowship with God. Consider, for example, a dumb person. It is not that this person does not have a mouth or two lungs. He cannot speak because there is some problem with his mouth. His mouth is dead to the human language. When Adam disobeyed God, his spirit died. The spirit was still there, but it was dead to God and had lost its capacity. When man sinned, this sin corrupted the keen intuitive knowledge of God that existed in man’s spirit so that he became dead to the things of the spiritual realm. Thereafter, man may have religion, morality, education, ability, power, and mental and physical health, yet he is dead to God. He can speak about God, conjecture about God, and even preach about God, yet he is dead to God. He can no longer hear or feel the voice of God’s Holy Spirit. This is why many times in the New Testament, God refers to those who live in their flesh as dead people.

    "The death in the spirit of the first man gradually spread to the realm of the body. Although after his spirit died, he still lived for a long time, during that time death was operating in him. It continued to work in him until his spirit, soul, and body all became dead. At that time, a body that could have been glorified and changed was turned back to dust. When the inner man within him became disorganized and fallen, his outer body was destined to death and destruction.

    "From that time on, the spirit of Adam (as well as that of all his descendants) was suppressed by the soul. Soon after, through the soul’s suppression, the spirit was merged with the soul, and the two parts became closely knit together. This is why the writer of Hebrews said in 4:12 that God’s word has to pierce and divide the spirit from the soul. The reason that the two have to be divided is that they have become one. Since the spirit became so closely knit to the soul, man began to live in an idealistic world. He began to act according to his intellect or his feelings. At that time, the spirit had lost all its power and senses, and had become dormant.

    "Originally, the spirit had the ability to know God and serve Him. Now it had lost all its ability to function and had fallen unconscious. Although it was still there, it was as if it were not there anymore. This is the meaning of the expression in Jude, "soulish, having no spirit" (v. 19). (In verse 19, the spirit does not refer to the Holy Spirit but to the human spirit, because the expression immediately preceding it says "soulish." Since the soul is human, the spirit following this expression must also be human. The position of the article in Greek also confirms this.) This does not mean that man’s spirit no longer exists, for Numbers 16:22 clearly tells us that God is the "God of the spirits of all flesh." Every person in the world still has his spirit. But this spirit is covered up by his sins and cannot fellowship with God.

    "Although this spirit is dead to God, it still works as actively as the mind and the body. It is indeed dead to God, but it is still active in other areas. Sometimes a fallen one can have a spirit that is stronger than his soul or his body and that can still rule over his whole being. Most people are soulish or are carnal.

    "But the former kind of people are "spiritual"—their spirits are greater than others’. One can find such cases in those who practice planchette, divination, witchcraft, etc. They communicate with the spiritual realm, not through the Holy Spirit, but rather through the evil spirits. The spirits of sinful men are joined to Satan and the evil spirits. Their spirits are dead to God but alive to Satan and receptive to the operation of the evil spirits within them.

    "The soul becomes subject to the demand of the senses and becomes their slave, so that even when the Holy Spirit would fight for a place for God, the fight is futile. This is why the Scripture says, "My Spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh" (Gen. 6:3). The flesh in the Bible refers to the life and nature of the soul and body of the unregenerated man. More often it refers to the sinful nature within the body. This flesh is the common nature that man shares with other animals. Now man is completely under the control of the flesh, and there is no possibility of escape. The soul has replaced the spirit as the ruling one, and everything is independent and self-centered. Man now walks according to the desires of the heart. Even in matters of religion and in the most zealous pursuit of God, man exercises the power of his soul and decides on his own to seek after God and to please God apart from the revelation of the Holy Spirit. The soul not only exercises itself in this way but is controlled by the body. The lusts of the body, its feelings and demands, are all summoning the soul to obey, to carry out their commands, and to gratify them.

    "Not only are all the descendants of Adam dead in their spirits, but they are "out of the earth, earthy" (1 Cor. 15:47). They are fully under the control of the flesh and walk according to the soulish life and the carnal nature. Such people cannot have fellowship with God. Sometimes they express their intellectual power, and sometimes they express their lusts. More often, they express both. The flesh controls the whole being without hindrance and without any interference.

    "This is the kind of people mentioned in Jude 18 and 19: "Mockers, going on according to their own lusts for ungodliness. These are those who make divisions, soulish, having no spirit." To be soulish is the opposite of having the spirit. Now, the spirit that was the highest, that ought to be joined to God, and that ought to rule over the soul and the body has become surrounded by the soul, whose motive and purpose are totally earthy. The spirit has lost its original position. Its condition is now abnormal. This is why the Bible says that they have no spirit. The result of such a fully soulish condition is to mock, to go on according to one’s own lusts, and to make divisions.

    "First Corinthians 2:14 also speaks of this kind of unregenerated soulish person: "But a soulish man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him and he is not able to know them because they are discerned spiritually." Such persons are controlled by their souls and are suppressing their spirits. They are the opposite to the spiritual man. Although these ones can be very intelligent and can come up with wonderful ideas and theories, they cannot say anything about the things of the Holy Spirit of God. They cannot receive the revelation from the Holy Spirit. How different is this from the world’s view! The world thinks that man’s intellectual power and his reason are almighty, that he can find out all kinds of truth in the world by his mind. But God’s Word considers these as very vain.

    "Even when a man is soulish, many times he still realizes the uncertainties of this life and seeks for eternal life in the coming age. However, man can never find the truth of life through his mind or by theories. These are unreliable means. Most of the time, clever people hold divergent views. Theories are liable to lead men to errors. They are castles in the air and lead men to nothing but eternal darkness.

    "Indeed, unless intellectual power comes under the leading of the Holy Spirit, it is unreliable and is very dangerous. It will take right as wrong and wrong as right. If one is not careful, he will not only suffer temporary loss but will suffer permanent damage. The dark thoughts of man usually lead him into the place of eternal death. It would be well for the unregenerated soulish man to know this..."
     
  11. Eternally Grateful

    Eternally Grateful Active Member

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    God said, for in the day you eat you shall surely die

    Adam, Like all mankind after. had to be born again, or made alive in christ.

    we also know from the way Adam acted.

    He thought he could hide from God
    He blamed the woman, even though he willfully sinned
    He was ashamed if his nakedness etc etc.

    in other words. the things of God were foolishness to him.
     
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  12. Eternally Grateful

    Eternally Grateful Active Member

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    was adam spiritually dead before he sinned?
     
  13. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    Yes, but that is not the question. The question is why Christians centuries after Christ and over two thousand years of having the Hebrew Scriptures decided that Adam died spiritually when he ate the fruit.

    I agree that Adam needed to be "born of the Spirit" like any other man.
     
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  14. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    Yes (by the biblical definition). Adam's mind was "set on the things of the flesh". Otherwise Adam would not have sinned. Sin is a manifestation of our state.
     
  15. Eternally Grateful

    Eternally Grateful Active Member

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    did you not just answer your question though?

    why did he have to be born again?
     
  16. Eternally Grateful

    Eternally Grateful Active Member

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    But Adam was perfect before he sinned, Hence he kept the law. He was not "dead" because of sin.

    the penalty of sin is death, the gift of God is life..

    Adam suffered the penalty of sin the moment he died did he not?
     
  17. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    For the same reason we need to be reborn. Adam was made flesh, a living soul. But it is appointed man to die once and then the Judgment (flesh and blood will not inherit the kingdom of God). Adam needed to be born of the Spirit for the exact same reason we need to be born of the Spirit.
     
  18. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    Yew, Adam was created "upright". And Aam was taken from where he was created and then placed in the Garden were he had a law given the him (just as Paul noted his experience with the Law of Moses). And Adam transgressed that law (perfect does not mean Adam kept the Law which had not yet been given).

    Yes, Adam suffered the wages of sin as he died. It is through his sin that death entered the world and spread to all men for all have sinned. Jesus is the only person who experienced the wages of sin without earning those wages.
     
  19. Eternally Grateful

    Eternally Grateful Active Member

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    Adam was born perfect. He had no sin. so why did he suffer a penalty of death?
     
  20. Eternally Grateful

    Eternally Grateful Active Member

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    The death is spiritual death..

    We who WERE DEAD in trespasses and sin, he has made us alive in Christ

    Physical death is just a byproduct of the fall..
     
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