1Sa 3:1 “ … And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; …”
Throughout the ages mankind has been plagued by death. Every man who ever lived, regardless of social status, wealth, education, gender, nationality, or religious affiliation has died. The only exceptions to this are the few members of mankind alive today. In their case, apart from the Lord’s 2nd coming, they will certainly taste of death in the near future.
It is this universal death event for which men must be prepared. How can we prepare ourselves for the coming death if we do not understand our spiritual standing before God Almighty? It is only by honestly coming to a conclusion about our spiritual condition that will allow us to know what preparation is needed for the coming day of death.
The Bible is the only infallable source that will show us clearly, truthfully, and without compromise our condition before God. This is another reason why the Word is precious to us.
(KJV) (12) Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (13) (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. (14) Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
(ESV) (12) Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— (13) for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. (14) Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.
(KJV) (23) For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
(ECV) (23) For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(KJV) (4) But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, (5) Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
(ESV) (4) But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, (5) even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved—
To begin our search to find our true spiritual condition before Almighty God, let’s look at Rom 5:12-14 …
(12) Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
To help us to understand our condition, the Lord points us back to the Garden of Eden. He relates to us the actions of the first man Adam. How do the actions of Adam affect our spiritual condition? Adam is not only our physical ancestor but also, in a sense, our spiritual ancestor. The results of his actions have been passed down to all of us as members of mankind. In this passage several results of Adam’s sin are given to us:
- Sin (a condition falling short of perfection) has now became a part of the world in which we live. We now live in a fallen world in which we see the results of sin on every hand: imperfection, injustice, suffering, sickness, sorrow and death.
- Sinful mankind now possesses an imperfect nature that is predisposed to choose and commit acts of imperfection and disobedience. We now, as a part of our nature, will choose to rebel and sin against our Creator. Sin has now become a part of our very being.
- Sinful mankind is now sentenced to death. When the Bible speaks of fallen mankind experiencing death, it is speaking of two different types of death:
- Physical death – Due to mankind’s sinful condition, our bodies now suffer from pain and sickness. They will gradually become weak, grow old, and eventually die. This type of death involves the separation of the eternal spirit from physical the body.
- Spiritual death –While alive on earth fallen men is separated from God; they experience no communion, or fellowship with Him. At physical death, fallen mankind experiences permanent separation from Almighty God in the Lake of Fire. This type of death involves mankind’s spirit being separated from Almighty God.
(13) For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
Sin was in existence from the time of Adam throughout the history of mankind. The existence of sin before the 10 commandments proves that some type of “law” existed in Adam’s day. If no law existed during the times of Adam, then sin could not exist, because sin is “the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4). What was the law that Adam had broken? It was, at least, one of the commands that God initially gave to Adam (Gen 1:28-30).
(14) Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
The first Adam is a “figure” of Christ who is the second Adam. (1 Cor 15:45-47) Just as through Adam death came upon all, through Christ we can find life everlasting.
This principle is emphasized in Romans 6:23…
(23) For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Here we find that, although we are born spiritually dead, there is One through which we can receive eternal life… our Lord Jesus Christ.
The idea of being spiritually dead should not be overlooked or skimmed over lightly. It holds a very grim significance for all of us. To be truly dead implies that we are unable to restore ourselves to life.
For example, suppose that someone suffocates and dies. Rescue workers are called to the scene. They bring the oxygen tank and mask to the victim. They set it next to the victim and then stand back and wait. Can the one who is dead reach up, turn on the oxygen, and place the mask on their face? Of course not. What the victim needs is for the rescue workers to perform CPR, and place the oxygen mask upon their face. They are totally reliant on the rescue workers, if they are to be restored to life.
So, too the condition of a lost man. There is absolutely nothing they can do, apart from God’s gracious intervention, to restore themselves to spiritual life:
- They cannot perform good works to merit salvation, because their works are simply filthy rags in God’s sight (Isa 64:6)
- They cannot trust Christ of their own ability, because faith is a gift from God (Eph 2:8-9)
- They cannot turn from their sinful acts, because this can only be done by God’s power (Acts 11:18)
- They do not desire to come to the Lord, because there is none who naturally seek after God (Rom 3:9-12)
The list could go on and on…
This is the true condition of all mankind apart from the intervention of God.
To summarize a spiritually dead person’s condition and salvation experience we need to look
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, (5) Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
Notice that “even when we were dead in sins”…. The Lord intervened. Out of His great love, He has given us spiritual life even when we were still dead in our sins. This is salvation through Christ, not ourselves. This is salvation by grace, not our own works. This is the condition of mankind and the genuine salvation that God so graciously gives to us.
With an understanding of our spiritually dead condition comes an understanding of OUR NEED OF SALVATION and also OUR NEED TO TRUST IN CHRIST ALONE for that salvation.
When burdened to come to Christ, we must come with an attitude of total reliance on Him…. If He does not save us, we will not be saved. When we approach Him it must be with the spirit that says, “Dear Lord, I know I can do nothing to please you. I realize I can do nothing that will bring salvation to myself. If you do not intervene in my life, and grant me spiritual life, forgiveness and righteousness through the work of Christ, I will not be saved.”
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For a free copy of the Teacher/Student Handbook for this series doc version: please go to: http://settledinheaven.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/tpw-1-teacherstudentmanual1.docx
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