An Account of Christianity
An account of Christianity
In fact, Christianity not a religion. Religion is manmade systems that have certain do’s and don’ts. In other words, religion is a set of rules about how to conduct a good life on this earth. Christianity is not a religion because it does not impose a certain set of rules on anyone.
How to re-establish once lost the friendly and loving relationship with God is the crux of Christianity.
Christianity’s roots are Old Testament Jewish Bible where hundreds and hundreds of prophecies were given in advance, regarding the promised Messiah (the Savior) who would redeem, deliver or save people from all nations and tribes and reconcile them to a holy God. This promise of the savior is reiterated to Abraham in Genesis 12:3. It said, “and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” The promised seed, the Savior of the world, would make them righteous (in right standing before God). People who come to the Savior, Jesus Christ, believing in His death, burial and resurrection on their behalf, for the forgiveness of their sins would be made and declared blameless, spotless with no condemnation of their sins when they stand in front of God. People of all the earth will be blessed through this promised seed, who is Christ Jesus. In short, Christianity finds its origin and fulfillment in the Old Testament Scripture of Moses and prophets. Right in the beginning, immediately after the sin and consequent fall of Adam and Eve, God gave the promise of the promised seed in Genesis 3:15 (which later fulfilled in Christ) who will crush the head of the serpent who is the devil who tempted and deceived them to sin against the commandment of the loving God. In fact, Genesis 3:15 is the first place in the Bible where the promise of a seed who would crush the head of the devil and thereby bring salvation to the people of the world is given.
The rest of the Bible informs or guides us how to get back into this lost and loving relationship with God. Therefore, as the fulfillment of the prophecies in the Old Testament Scriptures, Christianity shows how to get back into a personal relationship with the living and one God which was lost due to the original sin of our first parents – Adam and Eve.
God is the Creator of all
God is one whose throne is in heaven who is holy, righteous, loving, gracious, merciful, all powerful, all knowledgeable and all present. Bible makes it crystally clear that the God is the creator God. God created all that we see and He controls and sustains all that is created- all on the face of the earth, above the earth in the heavens and under the earth. Bible affirms in Genesis 1:1 (the first verse of the first book in the Bible), “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” This is the what happened at the beginning of creation. Chapter 1 and 2 of the book of Genesis gives us detailed accounts of creation explaining how God created all things around, beneath and above us.
God created man and woman in His own image.
Finally, at the epitome or climax of all His creation, God created man and woman in His own image. The account of the creation of man and woman is given in the Bible. God created man from the dust of the earth and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and he became a living being (Genesis 2:7). His name is Adam. He was the first man who was created by God Himself from the dust. God planted a garden called the garden of Eden and placed Adam in His garden to take care the garden (Genesis 2:8-15). Even though God created all the animals, birds and fishes and all that is there, there was not a suitable helper for Adam (Genesis 2:18). Man is clearly distinguished from the other creatures in the sense that man and woman were created in the image of God. No other creatures are said to be created in the image of God. The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” God created a helper for him. The LORD God caused Adam to fall into a deep sleep and while he was sleeping, he took one of his ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib He had taken out of the man. The LORD brought her to the man. Adam immediately fell in love with her. He said in Marvel, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of the man.” (Genesis 2:22-23). You see the similarity of their names –man and woman. This similarity is because the woman was taken out of the man. This was the beginning of the love relationship between husband and wife.
Bible says in Genesis 1:27, “So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.”
Both man and woman are created by God in His own image. Bible says in Genesis 1:28 God gave all creations on this earth into the hands of man and woman to take care. They are asked to rule over all other earthly creation. God created man and woman in His own image doesn’t mean God physically looks like people with flesh and body. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24). According to this verse, God definitely does not look like us with a physical body. He is Spirit. But God made man in his own image because we also have spirit inside us. Man has body, soul, and spirit. God gave His Spirt in us when He breathed the breath of life into the nostrils of Adam (Genesis 2:7). This is unique about human beings. Bible says in Job 32:8, “But it is the spirit in a person, the breadth of the Almighty, that gives them understanding.” We have spirit and It is the breath of the Almighty God. It is through our spirit we know and understand, praise and worships God. In another sense, people have intellectual, spiritual and understanding capacities that the animal world doesn’t have. Look at the development people achieved over the years – science, technology, medical technology, astronomy and the list goes on and on. Truly men and women are created by God in His own image, right? However, this does not in any way mean we are gods or equal to the one and only one God who is the creator of all. God is omnipotent (all-powerful), we are not. God is Omnicious (all knowledgeable), we are not. God is omnipresent (all present everywhere), we are not. God is perfectly holy and different, we are not, God is perfect in love, we are not. God is 100% righteous, we are not. God is the only right Judge who judges every human being, we are not. We are not gods and we will never become God. We are His creations and we will learn how much God loves each one of us as His creation as we progress in this lesson.
God is one and yet three persons exist in one Godhead.
Bible also declares God is one God but yet in three persons- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. You can study more about ‘trinity’ under the ‘study Bible’ menu on this website. This is the truth about God that He revealed in the pages of the Bible. He is one and yet three in persons. This is very hard to understand to our feeble minds at this present time. One day we will understand what does he mean by One God and three persons within the one Godhead. Several things about God are revealed to us in the Bible. There are things that are also told about God that are not comprehensible for our human minds now. How do we understand omnipresent nature of God- meaning God can be everywhere at the same time? Trinity of God is a truth Bible consistently teach and consequently, we know this is true about God. When Bible says, God made us in His own image this also means the man is one but he is three (triune). The man has body, soul, and spirit. Flesh is the body of the man, the soul is the intellectual, emotional and thinking part we have and spirit is the internal section of us where we can have fellowship and friendship with God. In essence, God created men in His own image of Trinity.
Adam and Eve had perfect peace, provision, and protection in the garden of Eden.
Originally Adam and Eve lived in a perfect place. No sin and no evil. After the fall of our first parents, all people cherish peace, provision, and protection that they lost. Adam and Eve had perfect harmony with God because of the perfect fellowship and friendship with the creator God. What else can one dream for? This condition or stage of man must have been true and this is the condition we lost and that is the reason why we all now long for this once lost peace and protection. Don’t we all long for perfect peace, provision, and protection? What wonderful life they had because there was no crime, death, sufferings, sickness, fatigue and need for protection and provisions. Until sin entered into this world through our first parents, Bible informs us our first parents – Adam and Eve- enjoyed shalom (peace) and God’s presence and provisions.
Adam and Eve are made to have a relationship with God but there occurred a problem.
When God created our first parents- Adam and Eve, there was perfect peace, harmony, and protection. Genesis 2 says, God created a garden and placed Adam there to work and take care of it. God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground. These trees were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden, there were two trees- the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. There was a river watering the garden from Eden and this river branched out into four rivers. The names and details of these trees are also explained in Genesis 2. The man had the freedom to eat from any trees except one tree- the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God gave a commandment to Adam –“You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” Mark God’s word, “when you eat from it, you will certainly die.” As we read the next few chapters of the book of Genesis, we will figure out death is exactly what resulted out of their sin. Sin always results in death and this horrible consequence of human death happened right there due to the sin of Adam and Eve.
Genesis 3 explains the problem. Many verses below are from Genesis 3. The serpent was more crafty than other animals The LORD God made. He appeared to Eve and started a conversation. The serpent was much more beautiful and talking at that time. Keep in mind the serpent did not go to Adam but went and started a conversation with the women. The Lord gave the commandment to Adam and apparently, Eve heard about God’s command from Adam and hence had only second-hand knowledge about the commandment. In fact, the last book of the Bible refers this serpent as ‘that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray.” So we know that the devil appeared in the form of a serpent to Eve. Serpent asked Eve “did God really say, ‘you must not eat from any tree in the garden?” (Genesis 3:1-7). That question itself was not based on the truth, because God sure did not say not to eat from any tree in the garden. He started the conversation with an apparent curious question but not based on the truth. The woman replied, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, “you must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.” This statement was also not fully true because God never commanded not to touch it or you will die. He commanded, “you are free to eat from any tree in the garden (there were lot many choices of trees to eat from); but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
Serpent replied back to the woman and said: “you will not certainly die, for God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” See the serpent was influencing her by pronouncing lie to her when he said “you will not certainly die’ when God clearly said, “when you eat from it you will certainly die.” Then the serpent arousing doubt in the heart of Eve about the good intention of God by saying if you eat from the forbidden tree, you will become like God and God does not like you becoming like Him and that is why He said do not eat it from it. The truth is far from this flat lie of the serpent who is the devil. This is true all the time -Satan always questions the Word of God and try to misinterpret or manipulate it. Please be careful! Jesus said this true statement about Devil in the Bible in Matthew 8:44, He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
In fact, the first sin recorded in the Bible was the sin of Lucifer who became a devil because he wanted to be like God. He was proud in his heart and wanted to become like God. Bible records this original sin in Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28. Lucifer was the son of the morning. He was very wise and beautiful and was above the angels. He became prideful and he wanted to become like the Most High God. The was the first occurrence of sin in the universe. Lucifer was rightly judged by God. Lucifer was cast down to the earth and a large number of angels chose to join his group. Lucifer became the devil and the angels followed him became the demons. Now the devil is in the garden pulling the same trick – desire to become like God – on Eve. This desire to become like God and the statements like we all are gods or we can become like God are all lies of the Satan.
Based on the deception of the serpent, when the woman saw the fruit was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and she thought it is desirable for gaining wisdom, she took and ate it. Then she also gave to her husband, who was with her, and he also ate it. Now Bible says their eyes were opened and with the new awareness they figured out they were naked and they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. (Genesis 3:7-8). It appears something happened immediately – may be the glory or light (the image or likeness of God tarnished at the time of their sin against God) that covered them disappeared and they needed fig leaves coverings to cover their nakedness. We need to be careful because the passages do not describe what is left of them that caused nakedness is the glory or light of God. However, it is also true that they recognized immediately that they are naked after their sin. There are other passages that talk about the glory of God especially the glory (Shekinah) on the face of Moses when he spent time with God and spoke to God. (Exodus 34:29-35). John 1:4 says, “ In Him (Jesus) was life and the life was the light of men.”
Capacity to choose is a God-given privilege.
God could have but did not want to create Adam and Eve as His robots. Aren’t we glad He did not? He gave our first parents the freedom and capacity to choose. The freedom to make a choice is the most beautiful right from God. If there is nothing there to exercise the power of choice then there is no real freedom. Robots just follow what they programmed to do. Do we want our children to be robots just follow us and do like a robot does? No, sure, we want them to exercise the capacity of choice and freedom and we hope and desire that they make right choices that would please and bring joy to us, don’t we? God in his perfect love toward our first parents did not want to program them as robots. Satan binds people. He enslaves people. He is a cruel master who wants people under the bondage of different types. He manipulates the eternal truth of the Word of God and consequently, people are deceived ti believe in his lies. But only the truth – the word of God in the Bible- that gives freedom. Jesus said and it is quoted in the Bible in John 8:32, “and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Adam and Eve had so many other fruits of the trees to eat from. A simple restriction and that is all God made for their ongoing blessings and goodness. God still gives us the truth of His Word in the pages of the Bible and grants us the freedom to choose Him or believe a lie. God still reminds us in the Bible in Deuteronomy, 30:19, “I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.” It appears Adam and Eve lost the glory of God (Shekinah) when they sinned and they and all their descendants from that point onward entered into the knowledge of evil and became sinners.
Adam and Eve’s original sin and fall was not a surprise to God. In His omniscience, God knew all about it.
Nothing surprises God. Why? Because God is Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent (all powerful, all knowledgeable and all present). God who knew about the fall of man even before the creation of man and woman and had already a plan and solution in place for our rescue and redemption. No schemes of the devil can thwart God’s eternal plan of salvation. This plan is called the eternal covenant mentioned in the Bible in Hebrews 13:20. The eternal covenant of redemption was made between the Father and the Son even before the creation and the beginning of time, in which the Son of God, Jesus Christ agreed to come down to this earth, live in this sinful world, die for all of our sins to rescue us from the bondage of Satan. In return, Father God promised He will rise Christ again from the dead which He did and Christ now is the only savior of the world for people’s sin. Bible affirms in 1 Timothy 2:5, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” In the name of Christ there is forgiveness of sins. In and only through the name of Christ Jesus, we can enter into a personal, loving and friendly relationship back with God. “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12). This, in fact, is the basic tenant of Christianity.
The consequences of the original sin.
Bible continues to say in Genesis 3 that they both (Adam and Eve) hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. They knew they disobeyed God and all the false promises they received from the serpent became worthless. Serpents (Devil’s) promises were just false and lie. When the LORD God called Adam and asked him,
where are you”? Not because God did not know where he was. God is all knowledgeable. But God wants Adam to understand his lost place and condition. God called Adam because He was made first and it was with Him God originally made the first covenant called the Edenic Covenant. The Edenic covenant was made between God and Adam which governed man’s creation and regulated the expectation of God regarding man’s dominion over God’s creation. In addition, it also gave a test of obedience in which man had the freedom to eat from all trees except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The penalty was death. Much more freedom and only one small restriction. When God called him, Adam answered and said I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid. Sin causes people to hide from God. But God wants you to admit what happened not to condemn you but to help you in your lost condition. Are you hiding from God because of sin in your life? God personally calling you- Where are you? Tell God what happened in our own words. God will never condemn you – many people around you would condemn you- but not God. You can share your inmost feeling to God in heaven. He understands the problem you inherited from Adam and Eve and He is there to help you to restore you back to a loving relationship with Him. He knows all about you and all about what happened as He knew well what happened to Adam and Eve. Then why hiding? But come forth and tell God about it. In Him, there is the solution. God questioned Adam and then Eve. God asked Adam, “Who told that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from.” The man passed the blame to his wife Eve. He said, “the woman you put here with me- she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” Have you heard the phrase, “Passing the buck”? This is where it all started- attributing the blame or responsibility to another. The LORD God asked the woman, “What is this you have done?” She said, “the serpent deceived me, and I ate.” Yes, it is true – serpent deceived her by misquoting/misrepresenting the truth of the Word of God. You see how serious deception is? Bible warns us in James 1:16, “Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters.” It says in verse 15, “Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”
God judged sin but there is a beautiful rainbow of hope in the midst of His judgments.
God cursed the serpent and said to him, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and will eat dust all the days of your life.” Apparently, before this incident, the serpent was standing upright. After this deception, serpent became crawling and eating dust as a result of the curse of the LORD God.
Then the ‘rainbow of hope’ from God. God said to the serpent, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between our offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”
The promised seed of the woman (Messiah) and the miraculous conception by the overshadowing power of the Holy Spirit
There are two sets of seeds or offspring comes out from this point – the offspring of the serpent and the offspring of the woman. The ultimate and the promised seed of the woman (the promise of Messiah or savior of the world) will crush serpent’s (or devil’s) head while the offspring of the serpent (or devil) will strike Messiah or savior’s heel. This prophecy is ultimately fulfilled on the cross of Calvary when Jesus Christ – the seed of the woman- completely disarmed the devil and his authorities and principalities. Devil crushed Christ’s feet only but He was raised from the dead on the third day defeating and conquering devil and granted forgiveness of sins, redemption and eternal life to all who would call upon His name. You see the promise is about the ‘seed of the woman’. It does not say seed of the woman and man. Jesus Christ was the seed of the woman. This predicts the virgin birth of the Messiah or Savior of the world. Mary a virgin gave birth to Jesus Christ. The father of Jesus Christ is not Joseph but His father was eternal God. Bible describes how the virgin birth of Jesus happened in Luke 1:26-34, “Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was very perplexed at this statement and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; 33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.” Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?”
Mary knew she was a virgin and knew no man very intimately at that point to get pregnant. That is why she asked angel Gabriel, “How can this be?” Gabriel answered this question in this way- read slowly and carefully. “The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.”
This is how the conception of Jesus happened in Mary’s womb. The Holy Spirit of God came upon her. The power of the Most High overshadowed her. And consequently a holy child was in Mary’s womb without a man by the overshadowing power of the Hol Spirit of God and He would be called the Son of God. Jesus is the Son of God and ‘seed or offspring’ of the woman as promised back in Genesis 3:15.
Now The LORD God judged cursed woman and man as well. He said to the woman, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor, you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” The childbearing and giving birth pain became severe. Her desire (theologians say based on the word studies that this desire is not fully a good desire but this is a conquering or rivalry desire – to take control over the husband). And the husband will respond to that desire of her with a harsh rulership style which is often unwelcome to the wives. You see the original sin and fall of our first parents affected us in a big way. By disobeying God’s commandment, instead of becoming wise and become like God, it opened the door to very bad and evil consequences.
The LORD God cursed the man and said, “because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘you must not eat from it, “the ground is cursed because of you; you will eat from it through painful toil all the days of your life. The earth will produce thorns and thistles for you, you will eat your food by the sweat of your brow until you return to the ground, because you were taken from it; you are dust and you will return to dust.” (Genesis 3:17-19).
Death and returning to dust is the result of the sin of Adam and Eve. Bible says in Romans 5:12 sin entered the world through one man (Adam), and death entered the world through the original sin. This way death came to all people because all sinned. Bible says in 1 Corinthians 15:22 says, “Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life.” All men die because of the original sin and death entered into the world through that original sin because God said ‘on the day you shall eat from it, you will certainly die’. But the good news is this- everyone who belongs to Jesus Christ will be given a new life- will have eternal life.
Only two representations of humanity- Either in Adam or in Christ. There is no third representation.
My friend, Bible says in Romans 5:12-20 says this truth- either you are still in Adam or you are in Christ because you have accepted Jesus Christ as your savior, as your new representative. In fact, there are only two representations in this world, period! People belong to either one of these two groups. Until you come under the lordship and headship of Christ by praying to him to save you, you are in the lordship and headship of old Adam. The moment you come to Christ, repent of your sins and accept Him as your savior and Lord, your headship or representation automatically changes from Adam to Jesus Christ. The transaction from one headship or representation to other happens suddenly at the moment of your trust and believe in Christ as your savior.
Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your savior yet? If not you are still in Adam’s representation. May today be the day of your salvation. It does not matter how long away you are now from God. Bible assures that those who are far away from God because of their sins can be brought near to the holy, loving and gracious God by the blood of Jesus Christ. It says, “But now in Christ Jesus, you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” (Ephesians 2:13).
The consequences of original sin continued..
Now the original sin of Adam and Even had far-reaching consequences for humanity. Sin always results in harsh consequences. The serpent said to the woman that “You will not certainly die for God knows that their eyes will be opened and they will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:4). This was a straight lie that is communicated to her but there was a partial truth because their eyes were opened but they now realized they were naked and try to cover their shame with fig leaves. When their eyes were opened they did not become like God as serpent promised, instead they felt shame in their nakedness in contrary to their experience before in Genesis 2:25 where it said, “Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.” The serpent also said they will be like, knowing good and evil. But they never became like God. God is the creator and He is the sovereign and supreme God and there is no way people or angels can become like God. This was the desire of the Lucifer as we have seen already and he injected the same desire to Adam and Eve. As we discovered before, the serpent is not just a serpent because the serpent talks and expresses the same evil desires of Lucifer who became the devil because God rightly judged his evil desire to become like God. We are God’s creatures created in His image by God Himself. We will never become like God. God is God and we are not and we will never be. I understand some of the new age philosophies also teach this possibility of a man to become like God. This is just the old lie of the serpent. Nothing new. Be careful, the old lies of the serpent still floats around in this earth in new wineskins and fashions. Regarding knowing good and evil, from this point onwards, we understand the evil is going to dominate this earth. All evil originated from this first sin of our first parents. Right in the next chapter (Genesis 4), we see how evil abounded immediately. Adam and Eve had two children initially. Cain because of his jealousy and consequent severe anger and wrath against his own brother, Abel murdered him shedding his blood. Genesis 4:8 says, “Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.”
Do you see the contrast between Genesis chapters 1-2 and chapter 3 and thereafter?
The perfect peace and protection in chapter 1-2 are no more to experience from chapter 3 onwards, after the sin of Adam and Eve. Not only such peace and protection is absent but also we notice evil, wickedness, murder, and lawlessness abounded from chapter 3 where Adam and Eve disobeyed God by listening to the Serpent who is the Devil. Not only there was a big change in human history happened by which all people in the generation of Adam became sinners by hating one another, indulging in evil and wicked things, but also as God said in the very beginning the death entered into the human race. Immediately we see the total depravity and evil tendency in Cain who killed his own brother Abel. Bible says death into this world by one man and through his disobedience and death spread to all from that point onwards. This is the true explanation why we all die eventually.
The next chapter, Genesis 5, underlines this reality. He lived 930 years and he had many sons and daughters. Chapter 5 traces the genealogy of Adam by listing Adam’s line through his son God granted him in place of Abel. His name was Seth. This genealogy is important because remember in Genesis 3:15, God promised a future seed who would come out of Adam and Eve who will crush the head of Serpent (Devil). This would eventually be fulfilled in the promised Messiah who is the savior of the World – Jesus Christ. Now the Bible traces this seed line through their son, Seth, who was born in place of the righteous Abel. Chapter 5 picks up Adam and his tenure on this earth and the line is traced through Seth. But one important point the readers won’t forget is this- Chapter 5 repeatedly gives this message of death that happened as a result of the original sin in the garden of Eden. The chapter says he lived and then he died, he lived and then he died and it goes on. Bible wants us to see the death of humanity originated because of the original sin of Adam and Even by which they disobeyed God because God said, the day you will eat, you will die. Of course, the day they ate, they did not die literally as far as the physical death was concerned but they all eventually died. But another thing happened on the day they ate from the tree that was forbidden. That is called the spiritual death. You see, Adam and Eve were in a perfect spiritual relationship with God prior to their disobedience and sin. Perfect peace with God and all perfections were there with God. They walked with God, they communicated to God, they heard from God. No fear, no death, no shame, nothing wanted, all good. Now they are hiding behind the bushes and afraid to face God. They lost the intimate relationship and fellowship with God. This is called the spiritual death. This was what immediately happened. They were dead spiritually means they are lost from God, hiding from God, fearing God. The sweet fellowship once they had, they lost it.
Bible says this is a direct result of the original sin of Adam and Eve. Each person who is born into this world is born in a condition of lost relationship with God. All humans are born with a spiritual death condition. You and I know the fact that nobody needs to teach children how to say lie to their siblings or parents. The children are born naturally with selfishness. As they grow old disobedience and rebelliousness is already in their nature. Where are all these come from? That is called the condition of spiritual death. Not able to communicate and fellowship with God who is the source of the light and the truth. People need outside help to know God. In them, there is no capacity to know and love God. This is lost early in the garden of Eden when our first parents sinned. Spiritual death is a horrible reality resulted from the original sin. The day you will eat, you will die, God said. Spiritual death happened immediately when their eyes were opened and the physical death followed. Chapter 4 and subsequent chapters in the Bible reiterates this fact that both spiritual and physical death came out of the original sin of Adam and Eve.
Spiritual death condition of all human beings is described in the Bible in Romans 3:11-18:
“There is no one righteous, not even one;
11 there is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.”
13 “Their throats are open graves;
their tongues practice deceit.”
“The poison of vipers is on their lips.”
14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 ruin and misery mark their ways,
17 and the way of peace they do not know.”
18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
Bible also gives a glimpse of the spiritual death condition of all people in Ephesians 2:1-3.
“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.”
As we have seen before not only all people are spiritually dead, on top of that, physical death also happens to all due to the original sin and the direct consequence of God’s statement in Genesis 3:19, “By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
since from it, you were taken;
for dust you are
and to dust, you will return.” All will return to dust one day, God said. Each time you and I stand in front of a dead body, let us remember this truth in our mind about where the death originated. Each time we watch darkness, crime, rebelliousness, immorality, selfishness, and all the evil things happenings on this earth, let us remember where all this originated from and what caused it. Humanity became depraved and they are totally helpless and lost because of the original sin of our first parents. In addition to that, we all do sin because the knowledge of evil that resulted from the first rebellion of our first parents tarnished the condition of all humanity. We naturally do sin because we are sinners and there is nothing we can do about it apart from a solution from the hand of God. Apple begets apple. Orange begets orange. Adam’s race begets little Adams. Sin begets sin. “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people because all sinned.” (Romans 5:12).
When the problem occurred, God had a solution for the problem and what was it?
The immediate and temporary solution for the problem of sin was not Adam and Eve covering their nakedness with the fig tree leaves. But God made garments of skin for Adam and Eve and clothed them (Genesis 3:21). How did a skin become available to make cloth for Adam and Eve? Apparently, an animal had to be killed to take the skin out. You see, God prepared a way for the first sinners to cloth themselves through the killing of an animal and shedding its blood for their sins. There is the beginning point of all animal sacrifices for the solution of sin. Sin has severe consequences. Pain, suffering, and death are the consequences of sin was a big lesson God taught them.
When we come to chapter 4, understanding the requirement of an animal sacrifice for his sin and upon faith in God’s temporary provision for the forgiveness of sins, Abel obeyed God and brought an animal as an offering to God. His brother, even though he understood the requirement God showed his parents, brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. Read the verses here. “Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time, Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering, he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.”
Even today, there are people like Cain, who do not want to approach God in God’s way. Many are trying to approach God in their own way though God prescribed there is only one way to come to Him. The only way to come and please Him is the way of the blood. Abel’s sacrifice showed his faith in God by bringing what God prescribed, while Cain’s sacrifice shows the world system that says we can go to God in any way we choose. Instead of obeying God’s way, he made his own way to approach God. Also, Cain’s way shows the way of the work. He brought the fruits of his toil that showed his best work or effort to please God. Even today, there are many people who think they can come to God, please God and get salvation by ‘karma’ or their own’ good works’ like Cain. But God’s only way is the way of blood. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering to Him. The LORD did not even look with favor on Cain’s offering. Consequently, Cain became very angry and his face was down. God in His kindness gave a second chance to Cain. This is what God said to Cain. “Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” God gave a second chance to do it right. God was saying to Cain, Cain if you do what I asked you to do, will you not be accepted by Me? Yes, He will be accepted. If he hardens his heart and does not do what God wants him to do- the right way to come to God- then he is opening up chances for more hardening of hearts and severe problems. Cain hardened his heart and did not want to take God’s way. He wanted His way to approach God. As a result due to severe jealousy toward his own brother, he murdered Abel out in the field. This is the problem we have in USA and all around the world. God has given only one way to approach Him. But people do not want to come that one-way God ordered but want to come to their own ways. This simply won’t work. There is only one way and that way is the way of the blood of Christ, who was the fulfillment of all the old testament sacrificial systems and prophecies. Bible says in Acts 4:10-12 that Salvation is only by the name of Jesus Christ, who was crucified as a sacrificial lamb for all of our sins and whom God raised from the dead. Then verse 12 says, “ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” You see, our sin and the consequent estrangement from God is so severe that only blood can atone for our sins. Either the sinner should die for his or her sins or another one should die for in place of him or her. This is the rule of God. In other words, the temporary arrangement God prescribed until the problem of sin is fully and completely taken care of by the death, burial, and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ, was through the blood of an animal.
Listen what Bible said in Leviticus 17:11,
“For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for
your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement.” (Leviticus 17:11). In fact, the whole book of Leviticus in the Bible shows different types of animal sacrifices for the atonement or forgiveness of people’s sins. In this book, God prescribed a short-term arrangement or a way for the forgiveness of sins until the sin problem will be fully and completely dealt with in and through His Son, Christ Jesus. All these animal sacrifices and shedding of the blood were shadows or the types of the future savior of the world (Christ Jesus) who would die and rise again for humanity’s sin problem once and for all so that the animal sacrifices do not need to be continued indefinitely.
Shadows or types Real substance or fulfillment
Animal sacrifices Jesus Christ’s sacrifice – His death and resurrection
Temporary and repetitious Permanent-Once for all and non-repetitive.
The temporary arrangement, shadow or type of the old testament animal sacrifices commanded by God could not take away sins permanently. That is why they had to bring lambs or prescribed animals or birds again and again when sins happen. The priest used to offer these sacrifices for people on an ongoing basis around the clock and several times on the same day and 365 days. But still, these animal sacrifices could not take away permanently the sin problem. Bible says in Hebrews 10:3 and 4 that those sacrifices were a constant reminder of sins and was looking forward to a perfect one time sacrifice of the promised Messiah. Then it says in verse 4, “It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.” But the priests stood and performed these religious rituals again and again by offering sacrifices that can never take away sins permanently. But when Jesus Christ, the fulfillment of these sacrifices, had offered one sacrifice of His body and blood on the cross, His one sacrifice has made perfect all those who would come to Him for the forgiveness of sins. Nothing else is needed now for the salvation -no self-efforts, hard works or visiting holy places. The same way, no other religious gurus like Buddha, Krishna or trees will save you. But the holy, innocent, divine, sinless blood of Christ, the Son of God, that is poured out for your sins will get you saved. Salvation is not by best works or self-efforts but is by faith in the Son of God who paid for all your sins on the cross. Anyone can get saved by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ- white, black, Asian, youth, adult, old aged, poor, wealthy, strong, weak, Jews, Gentiles, educated or uneducated. Salvation by the grace of God by faith in the accomplished and completed work of Christ for our sins. It is that simple. Bible says by one sacrifice Jesus Christ made them, who believe in Him, perfect forever. Christ carried all your sins on the cross- past, present and your future sins.
Will be continued.