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Archive for sin

The Virgin Birth Miracle

December 18, 2012

The absolute genius of our God is revealed in the miraculous virgin birth of my Savior. The fact that God the Holy Spirit attached the tiny embryo of His Son to the womb of a young virgin named Mary produces in me such awe and mystery that it is hard for me to process, much less express. God could have chosen to bring His Son into the world through the use of a man and a woman. The reason that He did not reveals His holiness and will ultimately determine what we believe about His magnificent grace. Let me explain!

At some point in eternity past, God determined that He was going to come into this world in order to pay man’s sin debt by dying on the cross. However, God as God cannot die because He is eternal life. Dying required that He have a human body. His transformation into a human body required a miracle that surpasses all miracles.

God’s preparation for His amazing entrance into this world began with His creation of Adam from the dust of the ground followed by the formation of Eve from a rib of Adam. Adam would be God’s representative head of the human race. The human race would come from him through the woman.

God continued the preparation for His earthly entrance. Satan tricked Eve into eating fruit that God had forbidden. The woman became a part of the fall of mankind even though she was genuinely deceived, and thus God left her womb unaffected by the fall, incapable of passing on sin to her offspring. Adam, on the other hand, took the fruit from her hands and knowingly, willfully sinned. No deceit, no trickery! Thus, the man became the transmitter of the spiritually corrupt seed (1Timothy 2:13-14; 1 Peter 1:23-25).

God determined that His Son would come into this world as King of the Jewish race (Genesis 49:10). Specifically, God chose the family line of King David (Isaiah 9:7). Both Joseph and Mary were descendants of David. In fact, Joseph was the firstborn of his family through David’s son, Solomon. He had the royal right to Israel’s throne as the firstborn heir. God, however, took great care to let us know that Jesus was not the natural son of Joseph. God threw a mysterious wrench into the works. He said that no seed of Coniah (a wicked king in the family line of Jesus) would ever rule (Jeremiah 22:30). Coniah, alias Jeconiah, was the final king of Judah before the deportation into Babylon. None of his future children could become king, and yet Jeconiah’s name is recorded in Matthew as a part of Jesus’ kingly line. This disqualified any child of Joseph from ever being the king.

Mary just happened to be in the kingly line of David through his son Nathan (Luke 3:23-38). In fact, the line ended in her. She had the blood right to the throne, free from the genetic curse of Coniah. And, in the sovereignty of God, she fell in love with Joseph who had the royal first born right to the throne. It was no accident that Mary and Joseph found each other. Through this union and the virgin birth, the curse of Jeconiah was bypassed and God accomplished His ultimate purpose. God is a genius, is He not?

Adam knowingly sinned and plunged himself and all of his future family line into a veritable slave market of sinners. Through one man, sin entered the world and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned (Rom. 5:12).

Through Adam death spread to all men because all sinned. That’s the big deal! Adam was not alone when he chose to rebel against God’s command and eat the forbidden fruit. We were there! How, you say, is that possible? It is possible the same way that we were in our human parents¬–our DNA was in them. We came from them because we were biologically in them. We were also–all of us–in our original parents, Adam and Eve. Therefore, when they sinned we sinned “in them.”

This is why original sin is called “original sin.” Our sin originated in Adam and passed down to everyone. All who come into this world the natural way are born in sin. When Adam began to father children, his children inherited his corrupt sinful condition. (Genesis 5:3). We are all chips off the old block! Everyone eventually chooses to commit acts of sin in time, but we choose to sin because we are sinners.

Then came that first Christmas morning and the supernatural birth of our Savior! He was born of a virgin. This meant that He bypassed inherited sin from Adam. He could not be contaminated with sin from His mother because God had made provision for that. Amazing! He was born the sinless Son of the living God. He became the only one in this entire universe qualified to die for sin. He was God’s sinless Lamb. Hallelujah! God the Father made Him (Jesus Christ) who knew no sin to become sin for us. What an incredible miracle this is. What a wonderful Savior we have. From the Ponderosa to you, have a wonderful Christ-filled Christmas.

Just Like Him

September 6, 2011

We recently returned from a quick trip to Indiana to see my oldest son and his family.  I was surprised at how much my little grandson Jacob looks like his dad. When Jacob’s picture is placed alongside a photo of his father at his age, the likeness is astonishing!  I can’t help but ponder what little Jacob is going to be like. I imagine the old saying, “Like father, like son” will play out somewhat. It’s hard to fight genetics.  The same is true with believers. We are all spiritually connected to the Lord Jesus Christ and destined to be like Him.

One of the most fascinating Bible truths is captured by the little phrase “in Christ.” I suppose one could spend a lifetime in study of just this tiny two-word expression and never really begin to plumb its depths. Though we now look through that dim glass, the Bible gives us some small insights into its truth. When the Holy Spirit immerses us into Jesus Christ, incredibly but understandably His qualities become ours. In order to appreciate this character exchange, we must realize some downsides of our position in the first Adam. In Adam all die! Short line but loaded with truth.

We come into this world spiritually connected to the first man’s death. In fact, we are laden with his character traits. We are born physically fallen and spiritually separated from God. But the moment faith is placed into Jesus Christ, we change locations. We are taken out of the old Adam and placed into the new Adam. That’s a remarkable exchange! As a result we are made alive in Christ.

How is this new life received? John said in his gospel that God gives us eternal life and this life is in His Son. The moment we are placed into Him, His life becomes our life. What amazing truth! What kind of life does Christ have? Eternal life,of course! This is why we have eternal life. We have His life because we are in Him.

We also come into this world strapped with the weight of Adam’s spiritual baggage – sin. His sin is attached to us at birth. This means that before we commit our first act of sin, we are already spiritually bankrupt before God. In order to live forever with God, we must have righteousness equal to His. Who has the righteousness we need? There is only one source, God’s sinless Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Again, when we believe in Christ, we are positioned in Him. At the moment we are found to be in Him, His righteousness is placed on our account. In fact, God made Christ – who knew no sin – to become sin for us. Why? So that being in Him we might have His perfect righteousness credited to our fallen bank account. The necessary righteousness – His righteousness – comes to us the very moment that we are placed in union with Him.

Finally, having been born in Adam, we come into this fallen world as children of the devil. That doesn’t sound very comforting, but it is true nonetheless. We were painfully referred to as the children of darkness living under the power of darkness. What made it even worse is that we were spiritually blind to this fact with no hope of ever finding our way to light. God opened our blind eyes to spiritually understand the gospel and He gave us the faith to place in Jesus Christ. At that very moment the light came in and we were given eyes to see it. We became children of the living God. But how? It is important to recognize that Jesus Christ is the very Son of the living God. What does His identity have to do with us? When we are placed into Him, His identity becomes our identity. We become connected to His heavenly Father just as He is connected to Him. We become children of God. We are all sons of God through faith in Christ. When we are baptized into Christ, we put Him on like a garment. Since we are in Him, His relationship is transferred to us. By being in Him, His life becomes our life, His righteousness is placed on our spiritual account and His relationship to the Father becomes ours. My, what riches we have in Christ!

This truth is evidently what motivated Paul to over and over refer to Christians as those who are – you guessed it – in Christ. We also receive a new heavenly citizenship, the promise of a new body just like our Lord’s and we are some day to reign with Him. We are predestined to be conformed to His very image. It’s simply like father, like son. Wow! God you’re a genius!

Satan: The Original Sinner

January 9, 2009

One of the delightful things about a blog is that one can wonder and speculate without penalty. I want to take a momentary plunge of profound proportions. I want to take a stab at identifying the original sinner and the original sin.

When I was younger, I worked hard at never sweating the details. My view was, just give me the big picture. The older I have become and the amazing truths that I have seen in the Bible have turned me into somewhat of a detailed person. I never cease to ask questions! One of the most probing questions that I have asked is where did sin originate? I can see the results of it everywhere, but where did it originate? You might be thinking, well it was ole Adam and his wife. No, I mean before them. Sin “entered the world” through Adam, but it did not originate with him (Romans 5:12).

God does not tell us everything that we would like to know about this subject, but we can put some small insights together and come up with some intriguing thoughts.  The first time we run into the devil in the Bible is in Genesis 3:1.

“Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, ‘Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?”

God had given Adam and Eve the command to freely eat of every tree in the Garden. There was only one tree that was off limits, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The verse quoted above seems to come out of nowhere. There is no explanation of who this serpent is or where he came from. We are just told that a snake slithered into paradise and ruined Adam and Eve’s day.  The serpent (Hebrew: natash), bright one, shinning one, was extremely beautiful. This was obviously not an ordinary snake. Strangely enough we are given a small insight into his identity in the book of the Revelation.

“So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” (Revelation 12:9)

“He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.” (Revelation 20:2)

So there was much more to that reptile in the garden than at first met the woman’s eye.  In order to unmask the real snake behind this snake, we must take a short peep into the realm of angels.

The Old Testament word for angel is “malach,” which means messenger.  The New Testament word is “angelos,” messenger.  Names have meaning, so God created angels to be His messengers. Angels were characterized by wisdom (2 Sam. 14:20) and by strength (Psalm 103:20).  Angels were also created to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation (Hebrews 1:14). One of the most amazing truths in the Bible is this strange angelic conflict that is evidently going on all around us.  Evil angels are somehow being used upon the earth to orchestrate rebellion against God’s kingdom.

Daniel was in captivity in Babylon. He asked God for information concerning Israel’s future. And angel came to give Daniel the answer to his prayer. Though no name is given to this angel we assume it was Gabriel since he had already been sent to Daniel twice.

“Then behold, a hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. He said to me, ‘O Daniel, man of high esteem, understand the words that I am about to tell you and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you.’  And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling. Then he said to me, ‘Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia.’” (Daniel 10:10-13)

It is evident that the prince of the kingdom of Persia was not a human being!  This prince was an angel. This angel had prevented Gabriel from coming to Daniel for 21 days. Michael, the archangel came to Gabriel’s rescue freeing him so that he could get to Daniel.  Such angelic activity is continuing today.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)

Gabriel continued to speak to Daniel.

“Then he said, ‘Do you understand why I came to you? But I shall now return to fight against the prince of Persia; so I am going forth, and behold, the prince of Greece is about to come’” (Daniel 10:20)

Notice again the prince behind the king of Persia and the mention of the prince of Greece. Evidently these demonic spirits are in Satanic control of many of the kings of the earth. They continuously attack the kingdom of God and appear to be working to establish the false kingdom of the antichrist.

With this truth now in our minds, let’s plug into a seemingly strange request by God to His prophet, Ezekiel. God instructed Ezekiel to give a message to someone he referred to as the “prince of Tyre.”

“The word of the Lord came to me again, saying, “Son of man, say to the prince of Tyre, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD. ”  (Ezekiel 28:1-2a).

This king was consumed with pride. He was in control of much of the sea trade of the ancient world and was very wealthy. In fact, he was so arrogant that he considered himself to be a god (Ezekiel 28:2). Again, Ezekiel did not refer to him as “king” but he called him a “prince.”

In the course of the conversation Ezekiel’s words take a strange twist. Notice carefully this next passage.

“Again the word of the LORD came to me saying, ‘Son of man, take up a lamentation over the king of Tyre and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, You had the seal of perfection,full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.” (Ezekiel 28:11)

Ezekiel is no longer calling him a prince but now calls him “a king.” Seal is a word that indicates that this “king” filled out the pattern of perfection! He was the most perfect being that God created. Full of wisdom means he filled up the pattern for wisdom, he was the wisest being that God created.  And perfect in beauty means that he was the most beautiful being that God created.  Note carefully where this being had once been.

“You were in Eden, the garden of God; Every precious stone was your covering: The ruby, the topaz and the diamond; The beryl, the onyx and the jasper; The lapis lazuli, the turquoise and the emerald; And the gold, the workmanship of your settings and sockets, was in you. On the day that you were created they were prepared.  You were the anointed cherub who covers, and I placed you there. You were on the holy mountain of God”

It is obvious that we have left the surly bonds of earth and launched into a heavenly realm. We are obviously introduced to the angelic being behind the human king of Tyre.  Ezekiel referred to this being as “the anointed cherub who covers.”   There were three separate ranks of beings in the angelic realm.

The lowest rank was the angels under the command of Michael the archangel. Next were the seraphim. The Hebrew word “seraphim” means “burning ones.” Fire in the Bible implies judgment. Evidently these angels were to carry out judgment for God (Isa. 6:1-3).

The highest order of angels was the cherubim. The name “cherubim” means “to cover.” The cherubim were anointed to protect God’s throne in order to preserve His holiness.  Satan may have once been one of these anointed angels.  The garden of God was not located in the Eden that we know about.  That garden, as we shall see, was a garden of trees and plants. The garden described here was a mineral garden. It evidently served as this angel’s original dwelling place. The original sinner was the most perfect, wise, and beautiful creature that God that God created.

“You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created until unrighteousness was found in you.” (Ezekiel 28:15)

This creature was blameless “until.” “Until” is a time word.  He had been blameless until the moment in time when unrighteousness was found in him. The details of this moment of unrighteousness are found in Isaiah 14:12-14.

Like Ezekiel, Isaiah was at first speaking with the human king of Babylon. But all of a sudden it becomes obvious that he was speaking to someone behind this human king.

“How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, You who have weakened the nations! But you said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, And I will sit on the mount of assembly In the recesses of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High’” (Isaiah 14:10-14)

It is obvious that the king of Babylon had not been in heaven and then been cut down to earth. Isaiah refers to him as “Lucifer,” translated glistening one or shining one.  This may be a description of the original original sin.

 

·       I will ascend to heaven.

I will start my climb to the lofty position of God Himself.

·       I will raise my throne above the stars of God.

I will take over as commander and chief of the angelic realm.

·       I will sit on the mount of the assembly in the recesses of the north.

I will rule over Israel which is a position reserved for the Messiah.

·       I will ascend above the heights of the clouds.

I will take upon myself glory that is reserved for God alone.

·       I will make myself like the Most High.

Now we know who the original sinner is, and we also know what the original, original sin was. Lucifer’s ultimate goal is to take for himself the position of God. God judged Lucifer because of his pride, and he became Satan, the adversary of God. God cast him out of heaven and reserved for him judgment (Matt. 25:41). Satan is brilliant, but God is the ultimate genius. Satan has a plan, but God has the master plan. “God will do according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth,” records the prophecy of Daniel (Daniel 4:35).

Satan is a perfect, wise, and beautiful creature, but he is just a creature and as such, he is limited. He is not omniscient, omnipotent, nor omnipresent.

Pride has now become public enemy number one to God and the mainspring behind all sin!

For more information on this subject, read the articles on our website: The Adversary and The First Sinner.

 

 

Why the Cross?

October 31, 2008

My youngest grandson’s name is Felix. We call him “Beeks.” The reason? Granddaughter Karis Grace couldn’t say “Felix” when she was small.  It came out “Beeks.” Beeks has a favorite word: “why?” Why granddaddy? Why is your hair white? Why is the hair growing out of your ears, granddaddy?  I want to say, Beeks, see the above answer! Come to think of it, his daddy asked that “why” question constantly. It must run in the family.

I have approached the Bible with the same insatiable desire to know. Why God? Why is it this way? God has answered my questions by giving me some amazing glimpses into His plan.

There is no greater glimpse into God’s unseen world than the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. Adam’s sin and fall did not catch God by surprise. He was not caught off guard sitting in heaven wringing His holy hands wondering what to do next. God had already determined that He was going to come into this world and pay the sin debt of death that fallen man owed Him. God already had a Lamb prepared. Peter said that God ordained Christ before the foundation of the world. It was His plan all along to place on display His magnificent grace.

The wages of sin is death! Since God determined to pay that debt, He seemingly had a problem. God as God could not die because God is eternal life. This meant that God was to go through the most amazing transformation in all of human history. The eternal God took upon Himself a body (Hebrews 10:5).  He came into the world conceived by the Holy Spirit within the womb of the Virgin Mary. Therefore, He was untouched by Adam’s sin. He knew no sin! He was not a sinner by birth nor did He ever commit a single act of sin. He came into the world of sinners as a freeborn man. Yet He came for one purpose – that purpose was to die.

Where did He die? He died on a cross! Why the cross? This becomes clear when we read this strange passage from the Old Testament. “If a man has committed a sin worthy of death and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, his corpse shall not hang all night on the tree, but you shall surely bury him on the same day (for he who is hanged is accursed of God), so that you do not defile your land which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance” (Deuteronomy 21:22-23).

Paul went back to this very place to explain the death of Christ. He told the Galatians that God never meant for us to keep the law in order to receive the righteousness that we need (Galatians 2:21; 3:21).  Quite the contrary! The law has a spiritual purpose. It is used by the Holy Spirit to reveal that that we all have all sinned and come short of the glory of God. By whose standard have we sinned? By God’s standard revealed in His Ten Commands. We have not kept them perfectly. The law reveals that we have received a curse by having been born in Adam – the curse of spiritual death. Paul then quoted a part of the passage used above to show that when Jesus Christ died on the cross He took that very curse in His body. Paul said, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.” Jesus Christ hung on a tree, and by hanging on that tree He was cursed for us!

How did He bear our curse?  He died the death that we died in Adam the first. How did we die in Adam? We died spiritually! We became separated from God. Catch this amazing glimpse! Jesus spoke several words as He hung on the cross but none more powerful than these. He screamed, “My God, My God why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). The reason is mind boggling! We begin to plumb the depths of it when we realize that throughout His ministry on earth our Lord had referred to the first person of the Trinity as “Father.” This is a term of relationship!

But here He shocks us by referring to His father with the impersonal “my God.”  What was happening? At this moment Jesus Christ actually became sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21). He took the curse of being separated from God for us (Galatians 3:13). God the Father separated Himself from God the Son.  God’s eyes were too holy to look upon sin (Habakkuk 1:13). Jesus Christ died spiritually in our place!  What a magnificent scene! His last words spoken from the cross have shouted to the world for centuries telling us that our sin has been paid for in full. These words are “It is finished.”

His death happened over 2000 years ago. How do we receive the amazing benefits of His death today? Next time!

A Chip off the Old Block

October 26, 2008

One of the most amazing glimpses into God’s unseen world is the truth concerning our sin.  It is apparent to me that what God the Holy Spirit has taught me about sin ultimately determined what I now believe about God’s grace.  The horror of sin is what makes grace, grace.

What does it mean to be a sinner? What does Paul mean by his words all have sinned and come short of the glory of God?

I understand that sin means “to miss the mark” and the mark that we have all missed is the absolute righteous standard of God. God requires that I have a righteousness equal to His own if I am going to live in His presence. Yet it became painfully obvious to me that I had not come close to measuring up to that standard. I was not alone! There is not even one righteous man, not one?

Our sin has everything to do with Adam the first.  How exactly are we connected to him? As I attempt to answer this question, I am aware that I am gazing in awe into God’s unseen world.

This is what I was taught early in my Christian life – that I had been spiritually “influenced” by Adam’s sin in the garden. This mysterious influence causes everyone to sin.  We are born spiritually innocent, and we become sinners only when we reach the “age of accountability” before God.  That age is not the same for everyone. When that age is reached, we are then held accountable to God for our sin, but not before.

I once believed and even taught this! The problem I ran into is I could not find this “accountability teaching” anywhere in the Bible. The truth is, I was not born innocent before God and, therefore, I did not become a sinner with time.  I was born a sinner and this nature expressed itself outwardly early and often.

I realize that this subject creates a minefield of emotion in us all.  However, emotion is never to become a substitute for truth.

Jesus said it is “that which proceeds out of the man that defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.’” (Mark 7:20-23)  King David said that he was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin his mother conceived him (Psalm 51:5).

Adam did far more than just influence me to become a sinner.  In the very beginning, God planted a garden in a place called Eden and in that Garden He placed the first man, Adam. God planted many beautiful fruit trees and He also placed there a tree that He called “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” God told Adam to freely eat from all the trees with the exception of this one tree. The fruit from this tree was verboten (forbidden).  The reason was made clear. God said, in effect, “Adam, if you disobey Me, you shall surely, most positively, without a doubt, die” (Genesis 2:17).

Adam ate from the tree, and true to God’s word he died.  His physical heart did not instantly stop beating, nor did he stop breathing and fall over lifeless.  That would have ended the episode right there.But Adam died.  Death in the Bible means separation. Adam immediately became separated from God. Adam’s sin did not take God by surprise. In fact, God had a sacrifice already prepared from before He even made the world (1 Peter 1:19-20).  That tells me that God’s creation, the fall, redemption and restoration of man, is all about God’s glory, not man’s.

Remarkably, Adam was not alone in his sin. Oh yeah, you might say, Eve was involved also.  She is not the one I had in mind. Paul’s words “in Adam all die” (1 Corinthians 15:22a) drift into my mind. Every member of the human race was there in Adam when he sinned.  How is that possible?  Adam sinned and died thousands of years ago.

If I believe the Bible, then I trust that Adam and Eve were our first human parents. The entire human race came from them. So it is obvious that the genetic makeup for us all – our DNA – was in our original human parents. So we were there in the Garden in Adam when he sinned and died. In like manner, I was in my great-grandfather Greenberry Hill, when he was fighting in the Civil War.  Had my grandfather been killed in that war, having no children, then I would not be here. I would have died in Him.  All of his future children would have died in him.

Likewise, we were all there in that garden when Adam sinned and died.  When he sinned, all sinned!  When he died, all died!

“By one man sin entered into the world and death by sin and so death passed on all men for all sinned” (Romans 5:12).  Human sin and death entered into the world through Adam. How did Adam’s transgression pass from him to all men? Adam’s physical seed from which the human race was to be regenerated became corrupt when he disobeyed God. Adam died physically at the ripe old age of 930 years.  All of his offspring, his children and grandchildren – his seed – also died.

Genesis chapter five is one gigantic list of tombstones marking the fact that Adam’s death seed was moving out full speed ahead. Since we all were regenerated from Adam’s fallen seed, father to child, generation after generation, Adam’s sin and death finds its way to all and as a result we will all die physically, assuming that Jesus Christ does not return first. Like the smell of perfume opened in one part of the house eventually spreads throughout the entire house, Adam’s death passed from him throughout all of the generations of man. This is what makes the virgin birth of Jesus Christ so very important!

When Adam sinned, the plants and animals also began to die because the seed that regenerates them was attached to his fall. Like Adam’s seed it became corrupt.  Paul writes that all of creation was subjected to futility (Romans 8:20-21).  Every member of Adam’s fallen race is born physically alive but spiritually dead. Every animal and plant will die because they have all been regenerated with fallen corrupt seed.

For all sinned.  All sinned when Adam sinned. I was born a chip off the old Adamic block. I did not become a sinner with time and evil influence.

For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God means that I sinned and died in Adam and that sin passed down to me and through me on to my children and grandchildren.  Jesus was speaking to a wanna-be disciple who desired to follow Him but asked first to go home and take care of his family responsibilities. Jesus must have stunned him with these scorching words, “Follow Me and let the dead bury their own dead” (Matthew 8:22; Luke 9:60). How do dead people bury dead people?  He was obviously speaking of spiritual death.  I am not a sinner because I sinned. I was not innocent before God until I sinned. I was born guilty before God and separated from Him.  I sin because I am a sinner. The implications of this truth are extremely important.  If I was simply influenced by Adam’s sin then I have the power within myself upon hearing the gospel to scurry to the cross work of Jesus Christ and find life.  However, if I was born dead in Adam then God had to bring the gospel of grace to me and then give me the ability to understand it and the faith to believe in Christ and receive life.  Lazarus remained dead until he heard a familiar voice calling his name and so it is with all men.

For more on this subject, read our article “The Fall of Man.”