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The Death of Adam- The Life of Christ

• It is axiomatic that Adam introduced sin and


death: “Wherefore as by one man sin entered
into the world, and death by sin, so then death
passed on all men, because all men sin.”
(Romans 5:12)
• It is axiomatic also that the story of eschatology
is the story of the restoration of the life that was
lost in Adam: “As in Adam all men die, even so
in Christ, so all men be made alive.” (1 Cor.
15:22).
• The resurrection to occur at Christ coming
was the goal of God’s Scheme of
Redemption! 1
The Death of Adam- The Life of Christ
• “As in Adam all men die, even so in Christ, so
all men be made alive.” (1 Cor. 15:22)
• The pressing question is, what life was lost in
Adam, through sin?
• The huge majority of evangelical Christianity
affirms that it was a dualistic death.
• Adam and Eve died spiritually—They were
separated from the fellowship of YHVH-- the
day they ate the fruit.
• They died physically– their spirit left their
body-- hundreds of years after they died
spiritually. 2
Death of Adam– or Abel?
• Adam was the first to die– the First fruit of Death
• Christ- the Second Adam-- was the first fruit from the
death of Adam- He was the first fruit of life.
• If Adam was not the first to die – then the relationship
between the “Two Adams” is broken (If we posit
Christ’s physical death as the counterpart of Adam)
• But!
• Adam was not the first to die physically!
• Abel was the first to die physically!
• Jesus did not come to redeem man from the death
of Abel– but the death of Adam!
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In the Day You Eat, You Will Surely Die
• God’s words were emphatic: “In the day you
eat thereof, you will surely die.”
• It is an interesting commentary on Christianity
to realize that the huge majority of believers
say that Adam and Eve did not die that day!
• Fact: God said, “in the day you eat you shall
surely die.”
• Fact: Satan told Eve, you will not surely die!
• The dilemma: Who Told the Truth?
• God cannot lie; Satan is the Father of lies!
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In the Day You Eat, You Will Surely Die
• What did “in the day you eat you will surely die”
really mean?
• Some say that Adam and Eve would become
mortal, subject to physical death at some
indeterminate point of time, i.e. they would
begin to die.
• Some say that “in the day” simply means “the
day you eat will be sentenced to death,” but,
you will die sometime later, when the sentence
is finally carried out.
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Defining “In the Day”
• It will be admitted by virtually everyone, that “in
the day you eat” seems to indicate that Adam
and Eve would die within the day on which they
ate the fruit.
• To say that “in the day” is being used in a non-
literal manner, places the burden of proof on
the one making that claim.
• However, the context helps us clearly define
what God meant by “in the day.”
• Genesis 3:5-7: “In the day that you eat, your
eyes shall be opened, and you shall be like
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God, knowing good and evil…”
Defining the Day
• Genesis 3:5-7: “In the day that you eat, then your eyes
shall be opened, and you shall be like God, knowing
good and evil…”
• Question: Since the identical language of “in the day”
is used to say that Adam and Eve would know good
and evil, the question is: When did Adam and Eve
come to know good and evil?
• Genesis 3:7– “Then the eyes of both were opened…”
• The Day you eat, then you will know. They ate,
then they knew!
• Was that 900 years later? Was that days, weeks,
months or years later?
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What About the Curse of the Land?
• An oft given objection is that God cursed the
ground, and thus, the curse must be lifted at
the “end of time.”
• Response: How does destroying the earth,
remove the curse from the earth? If God’s
purpose was / is the “restoration of what was
lost”, how do you restore the earth, by
annihilating the earth?
• Genesis 8:21– Noah offered a sweet smelling
sacrifice, and YHVH promised: “I will never
again curse the ground, even though the
thought of man is to do evil continually…”
• The Curse of the Earth (eretz) Was Removed! 8
What About the Tree of Life?
• The Argument is given that because man was cut off
from the tree of life, this is why man dies today.
• This would mean that today- man dies, not because
he sins, but, because he does not eat a physical fruit!
(Romans 5:12 denies this)
• Consider the tree of life in the Garden restored:
Revelation 22:1f: The tree of life is there, for the
healing of the nations.
• Is this a physical tree, with physical fruit, for physical
life– as it is argued that the tree in the Garden was?
• What then of a resurrected body? What need of a
physical fruit, for an immortal, incorruptible body?
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One Death…Or Two
• One of the most popular explanations is that Adam
and Eve did die spiritually that very day, because
they were indeed separated from YHVH by being cast
out of the Garden (Genesis 3:24)
• However, they were only sentenced to physical death,
i.e. they became mortal, and did not experience
physical death for hundreds of years.
• But the text does not say that they would die twice,
two deaths!
• The divine text speaks of one death, to be
experienced the day they sinned!
• This suggestion creates two contradictory definitions
of “in the day” in the identical verse!
• Can the same term, in the same verse, mean two
totally different things? 10
Defining Death
• The Hebrew and Greek words translated as
death, both indicate separation.
separation
• The Biblical definition of physical death: “As the
body without the spirit is dead…” (James 2:26)
• The definition of physical death is the departure
/ separation of the spirit from the body.
• Question: Did Adam and Eve experience the
departure of the spirit from their body, the day
they ate the fruit?
• Clearly, Adam and Eve did not experience
physical death– as Biblically defined- the day
they ate. 11
Romans 5:12
• “Wherefore as by one man sin entered the
world, and death by sin, so that death passed
on all men, because all men sin.”
• What the text does not say:
• That I inherit, through no sin of my own, the sin
and death of Adam.
• What it does say:
• All men die, because all men sin.
• Adam introduced sin and death, but, all men sin
and die, because they make the same
choices as Adam! (Rom 7:7f) 12
Romans 5:12
• Adam introduced sin and death, but, all men sin and
die, because they make the same choices as Adam!
• But what death is this?
• Theologians struggle with Romans 5 because of the
death of infants!
• Calvin solved the problem through hereditary total
depravity.
• Could it be that because of the misunderstanding of
the nature of the death of Adam, that Calvin saw no
other solution to Romans 5? (You sin- you die. i.e.
physical death– Infants Die, Thus infants inherit sin!)
• To properly identify the death of Adam as sin-
death- not physical death- solves the problem.
• Physical death is a natural part of our world
• Sin death however, fits because: “death passed on13all
men, because all men sin.”
Sin and Death
Forgiveness and Life
• “The wages of sin is death; The gift of God is eternal
life” (Romans 6:23)
• Question: Does the child of God, cleansed by the
blood of Christ, truly, have the forgiveness of sin?
• If physical death is the wages of sin, then does not the
physical death of any person, regardless of their faith
in Christ, demonstrate that they are not truly forgiven?
• How can you be forgiven– your sin wiped away– not
remembered, not imputed, and yet still receive the
wages of sin?
• To say that one will be raised from that death does14not
solve the dilemma! Death is still exacted!
The Substitutionary Death of Christ
• The Bible is emphatic that the death of Christ
was substitutionary: He died in our place, so
that we would not have to die!
• Isaiah 53: Wounded for our transgressions…
• Romans 5:6– Christ died for us…
• Galatians 3:13– He became a curse for us, to
redeem us from the curse!
• Hebrews 2:10f- He died for every man- to
deliver us from death!
• 1 Peter 3:18f- The just for the unjust
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The Substitutionary Death of Christ
• If the death of Christ was substitutionary- in the place
of man– so that man – those in Christ and the power
of his death-- would not have to die, and…
• If the physical death of Christ was the focus of his
substitutionary death that he died- so that those in
him- in the power of his death– would not have to die,
then…
• It must be true that either Christ’s substitutionary
death is not efficacious, or, no man has ever truly
entered into the power of his substitutionary death,
since it is irrefutably true that all men since Christ have
and do die physically.
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The Atoning Work of Christ
• Christ died to make the atonement, to satisfy
the demands of justice i.e. “the wages of sin is
death”.
• Yet, all men– even those in Christ– still die
physically.
• Therefore, if physical death is the focus of
Christ’s atoning work, then…
• Either no man has ever entered into the power
and benefit of Christ’s atoning work, or, …
• Christ’s atoning death was ineffective.
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Christ’s Atoning Death #2
• Christ died to make the atonement, to satisfy the
demands of justice i.e. “the wages of sin is death”.
• Yet, all men– even those in Christ– still die
physically.
• Therefore, if physical death is the focus of Christ’s
atoning work, then…
• It must be true that all men make atonement for
their own sin!– i.e. when they die physically!
• The physical death of every man is therefore, either a
demonstration of the failure of Christ’s atonement, the
failure of every human to take advantage of Christ’s
atonement, the satisfaction (atonement) of every man
for his own sin, or, it is …
• The definitive demonstration that Christ’s physical
death– and man’s physical death-- is not the focus 18of
Christ’s atoning work.
1 Cor. 15 Sin and Resurrection
• Resurrection when “the law” that was the
strength of sin” removed (55-56).
• Resurrection when sin, the sting of death,
subjected (katargeo, hupotasso).
• What is the law that was / is the strength of sin?
• If “the law” gave sin it’s strength, then, if sin had
no strength– to condemn and bring death-
there would be no death, i.e. resurrection!
• This is the same law-sin-death triad of the
Garden– and of Romans!
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WHAT IS “THE LAW” THE “STRENGTH OF SIN”?
• The Resurrection When “The Law”- The
Strength Of Sin Removed.
• Debate Opponents: “Whatever Divine Law A
Man Is Under That He Personally Violates …
All Men Today Under The Law Of Christ .” Or,
“The Law, any Law, that could not forgive sin.”
• Is The Gospel The Strength Of Sin?
• Romans 7:9-10--commandment Came-I Died!;
Thus, When The Gospel Comes, We Die!?!?
• 2 Cor. 3:6-9--Letter Kills/ Ministry Of Death/
Ministration Of Condemnation
• © 2007 DON K. PRESTON
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The Gospel- The Strength of Sin?
• If The Gospel Is The Strength Of Sin- Then We Can
Describe The Gospel In The Identical Terms As
Torah– The Strength Of Sin!
• The Gospel Came, Sin Revived, I Died! (Rom. 7.7)
• Who Shall deliver me from the Body Of This Death?
(Rom 7:24).
• No Deliverance From The Law Of Sin And Death (8:1-
3)
• MINISTRATION OF DEATH! (2 COR. 3)
• GAL. 3:20-21- NO LIFE, NO RIGTHEOUSNESS
• If The Gospel Is The Strength Of Sin, As Some Argue,
Then It Is No Better Than Torah– And Brings
Death!
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© 2007 DON K. PRESTON
REDEEMED FROM THE LAW?
• Curse Of The Law– No Life– No Forgiveness- No
Righteousness (Gal. 3:20).
• Torah Was The Strength Of Sin (Rom. 7).
• Torah Condemned (Rom. 7)!
• Torah Could Not Deliver From The Law Of Sin And Death (Rom
8)
• Torah Was The Ministration Of Death (2 Cor. 3)
• Paul: Christ Has Redeemed Us From The Curse Of The Law
(Gal. 3:10)
• Yet, Some Say That The Gospel Is Now The Strength Of Sin,
The Gospel Does Not Truly Give Eternal Life, The Gospel Has
Not Delivered Us From The Law Of Sin And Death!
• The Gospel Has Replaced Torah As The Law That Condemns!
• What Kind Of Redemption Is That?
• DO WE NOW NEED TO BE REDEEMED FROM THE
GOSPEL?
• © 2008 Don K. Preston
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THE LAW IN PAUL
• "THE LAW”- PAUL USES THE TERM 117 TIMES IN
100 VERSES.

• 110 TIMES IT REFERS TO THE TORAH

• Anytime Paul Uses The Term “The Law” With The


Definite Article, And Does Not Specify What Law
He Is Speaking Of, It Is Invariably The LAW OF
MOSES!

• When Not TORAH, It Identifies The Law!


• © 2008 DON K. PRESTON
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THE LAW- MY ARGUMENT
• The Resurrection Would Be When “The
Law” That Was “The Strength Of Sin”
Removed.

• “The Law” That Was “The Strength Of


Sin” Was The Law Of Moses (Torah)

• Therefore The Resurrection Would Be


(Was) When The Law Of Moses (Torah)
Law Removed!
• © 2008 DON K. PRESTON 24
Job 19 And the Death of Adam
• 25 But as for me I know that my Redeemer
liveth, And at last he will stand up upon the
earth: 26 And after my skin, even this body ,
is destroyed, Then without my flesh shall I
see God; (ASV)
• Tradition, the creeds, the commentaries, all say
that the resurrection is concerned with physical
bodies coming out of the grave.
• Job emphatically says this is not true!

• Who will you choose? 25


TRANSLATION ISSUES (3-1)
• KEIL AND DELITSCH, VOL. 4, 356F “WE CANNOT FIND IN
THIS SPEECH THAT THE HOPE OF A BODILY RECOVERY
IS EXPRESSED.” CHRYSOSTOM THE FIRST TO TAKE
JOB THIS WAY.

• JEWISH TRANSLATION ACCORDING TO MT, (1917)


“WHEN AFTER MY SKIN THIS IS DESTROYED, THEN
WITHOUT MY FLESH I SHALL SEE GOD.”

• BARNES, VOL. 1, 327FF: “THE LITERAL MEANING IS


‘FROM, OR OUT OF, MY FLESH SHALL I SEE GOD. IT
DOES NOT MEAN IN HIS FLESH, BUT THERE IS THE
NOTION THAT FROM, OR OUT OF HIS FLESH HE WOULD
SEE HIM; THAT IS CLEARLY, AS ROSENMULLER HAS
EXPRESSED IT, THOUGH MY BODY IS CONSUMED, AND I
HAVE NO FLESH, I SHALL SEE HIM....WITHOUT A
BODY...”
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Summary and Conclusion
• We have shown that the death of Adam was
sin-death, alienation from the fellowship of God.
• We have shown that the Two Adam doctrine
demands that the death of the Garden, and
eschatology, is spiritual death.
• We have shown that “in the day that you eat”
cannot be extrapolated into hundreds of years.
• We have shown that God removed the curse
from the earth, after the Flood
• We have shown that the substitutionary death
of Christ precludes a focus on physical death.27
Summary and Conclusion #2
• We have shown that the atoning work of Christ
precludes a focus on physical death
• We have shown that Paul’s discussion of law-sin-
death in 1 Corinthians is posited within the framework
of the end of Torah, as the strength of sin, and not
the end of the Gospel.
• We have shown that Job said that he resurrection
would be “out from, not in my flesh”
• Thus, with a wide array of evidence, we have
shown that the death of Adam and the Life of
Christ is focused on spiritual life– fellowship with
God– and not the end of physical death.
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