by Richfield A. Cudal
Sin is a transgression against God. It has warped the soul’s desires and passions, producing all kinds of unrighteousness. Sin is unrighteousness, and sinners live a life of unholiness before God.
Sin is separation. It is death. Adam, as the head of the human race, disobeyed the explicit command of God who said, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die’” (Genesis 2:16-17). Adam understood the prohibition and his disobedience plunged mankind into a tragic condition of death. Scripture declares, “Therefore, just as through one man (Adam) sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12).
Spiritual death is a condition that describes the severed relationship between God and man. This became manifest when “they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself” (Genesis 3:8).
Prior to sin, God and Man fellowshipped. Now, Adam and Eve fled from the presence of God and hid themselves among the trees of the garden. Adam and Eve feared in their hearts. They had become shameful before God.
Spiritual separation is alienation from God and has deprived the human spirit of the ability to understand the things of the Spirit of God. Scripture says, “… the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1Corinthians 2:14).
Man’s soul is warped by a sinful nature that comes with a “foolish heart, darkened mind, and debased mind” otherwise called “the old man.” (Romans 1:21, 28; 6:6)
“As it is written:
‘There is none righteous, no, not one;
There is none who understands;
There is none who seeks after God.
They have all turned aside;
They have together become unprofitable;
There is none who does good, no, not one.’
‘Their throat is an open tomb;
With their tongues they have practiced deceit;’
‘The poison of asps is under their lips;
Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.’
‘Their feet are swift to shed blood;
Destruction and misery are in their ways;
And the way of peace they have not known.’
‘There is no fear of God before their eyes.’” (Romans 3:10-18)
The Lord Jesus himself describes sinners “… out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies” (Matthew 15:19).
A consequence of sin is physical death. All will die. The Lord assured Adam, “In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19).
James writes, “…the body without the spirit is dead” (James 2:26).
Adam died 930 years later (Genesis 5:5). Physical death is the result of the separation of the soul and spirit of man from his body. (1 Kings 17:22; Luke 8:53-55; James 2:26)
A sinner ends his earthly life in an irreversible state of eternal separation from God which is the second death. “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8).
Physical death is tragic to a sinner who does not avail of the gift of eternal life through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. (John 3:1-6; Romans 3:23) For such, an unregenerate sinner will find himself in the fires of Hades. (Luke 16:22-24)
The Lord Jesus describes Hades as a dreadful place. In Hades, in the midst of flaming fire in unquenchable thirst, is where he will be confined until he is cast into the lake of fire after the judgment at the Great White Throne. (Revelation 20:11-15; 21:8)
The consequence of sin must be remedied if a sinner is to be saved from eternal separation from God. He must be restored to spiritual life, and into fellowship with God in the Lord Jesus Christ. John says, “that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:3).
A spiritual reunion with God transfers the sinner from the realm of death into the realm of everlasting life in Christ Jesus. (John 5:24; Colossians 1:13) In Christ, the believer becomes a partaker of the spiritual blessings of life. (Ephesians 1:3-14)
Spiritual reunion with God is accomplished by the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit of God who recreates in man a renewed spirit responsive to God as His child. (John 3:3-7; Titus 3:5,6)
For the sinner restored to fellowship with God, physical death is nothing to be feared. Paul said, “…according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better” (Philippians 1:20-23).
For the believer, to be physically dead is to be absent from the body and present with the Lord. Paul writes, “For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:2-8).
The gift of God is eternal life. The Lord Jesus came into the world to save sinners that they may enjoy eternal fellowship with God in His glorious home in the new heavens and the new earth forever and ever. (Revelation 21-22)
John declared, “And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:34).
“The wages of sin is death, BUT the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” What a stark contrast is this gift of eternal life. God from His heart of love and grace freely offered to all sinners this gift who would receive it.
The gift of eternal life comes at the cost of the life of God the Father’s beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus paid the extreme sacrifice on the cross by bearing in His own body the sins of all mankind. For it is written, “For He (God) made Him to be sin for us who knew no sin that we that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Thus, sin and death were laid upon Him who is the life. And in His resurrection, Jesus Christ conquered sin and death. “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:22). John writes, “And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God” (1 John 5:11-13).
The Lord Jesus is the only means to eternal life and fellowship with God as He declared, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me (John 14:6).
Being freed from sin, we manifest a life that reflects Christ’s character of holiness and righteousness. For we have been created new creatures in Him to do the good works which the Father has ordained for us to do.
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2: 10).