From David B:

…death is not defined in the Bible as “Biological”   but is a separation from God and that separation is destroyed by Jesus Christ’s Sacrifice and Resurrection  (and His earlier Transfiguration) to reveal our true nature that is restored by Christ..   Therefore…..the mechanism of “Natural Selection”   that results in the great diversity of life on a planet has nothing to do with separation from God. Sin is what caused spiritual death …separation from God.   AND in the Book of Genesis in the original Hebrew…the sequence of Creation of life is “phylogenetic” and verifies the Heterotroph Hypothesis.    The so called ‘Scientific “evidence that supposedly proves Evolution is wrong is pure man made conjecture and is incompatible with the ABSOLUTE TRUTH of the Bible.   The Bible is NOT wrong nor is “The Finger of God” ….Natural Selection. The apparent contradiction is an illusion caused by two complete definitions of “death.”   The Circle of life…..Producer/Consumer   nutrition cycle  (Heterotrophic/Autotrophic nutrition) is a flow of energy within the ecosystem and has NOTHING to do with death and separation from God. That is the consequence of SIN…

 Please explain how Natural Selection undermines the Gospel of Jesus Christ.   I really would like to know because I desire to God’s Will. If you say because “man evolved from apes over millions of years”  I would agree with you 100%….BECAUSE……MAN DID NOT EVOLVE FROM APES…..he was created by God in His IMAGE. The Bible is TRUTH….

 REMEMBER……2 Timothy 3:16 says……

 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,

 THE KEY WORD IN THIS SCRIPTURE IS ALL…….If we take Scripture out of context….we can make it support just about ANY apostasy we can think of and the over 500 denominations of Christianity is a pretty good indicator this has happened way too many times! 

 RESPONSE:

First of all David, if Adam’s sin only resulted in spiritual death and not a physical death, then the entire message of the Old Testament and the need for a blood sacrifice leading the PHYSICAL death of Jesus on the Cross.  Much of your response sounds similar to the errant arguments raised by Dr. Hugh Ross of Reasons to Believe.  Dr. Jonathan Sarfati wrote a response to Dr. Ross (Compromisers and Hebrew Eisegesis) and I am borrowing part of Dr. Sarfati’s response below: 

Adam’s sin just brought spiritual death?

However, Ross dismisses the above argument by claiming that the death referred to was ‘spiritual death’, not physical (Creation and Time pp. 60–61):

 ‘“Death through sin” is not equivalent to physical death. Romans 5:12 addresses neither physical nor soulish death. It addresses spiritual death. … He died spiritually. He broke his harmonious fellowship with God and introduced the inclination to place one’s way above God’s.

 ‘In the same manner, it has been established that 1 Corinthians 15:21 (“since death came through a man”) also must refer to spiritual death rather than to physical death. As the following two verses explain, “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then when he comes, those who belong to him” (verses 22–23).’

But this is amazing, since the whole of 1 Corinthians 15 is about the bodily (physical) Resurrection of Christ, who was physically dead. In fact, Ross, in the quote above, neglected to quote the second half of 1 Corinthians 15:21. This makes it very clear that the death Adam brought was contrasted with the bodily Resurrection brought by the Last Adam, ‘For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.’ If Adam died only spiritually, then, logically, Jesus must only have needed to rise spiritually. This goes against the whole tenor of Paul’s chapter, and a non-bodily resurrection would have been nonsense to Jews.

The actual Curse

Even Genesis itself shows that Adam’s punishment could not just have been spiritual death. In Genesis 3:19, God pronounces judgment on Adam:

‘In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return.’

Returning to the dust can mean only physical death, and there would be no point to this punishment unless there was no physical death before.  Otherwise, Adam could have said,

‘So what?  That was gonna happen to me, anyway!’

Actually, in one sense, the Curse of physical death has a benefit to man, in that it prevents an even worse evil: living forever in a state of sin. And it provides the means of redemption, via the physical death of the God-man Jesus Christ on the Cross.

Was immortality part of Adam’s original state?

God prevented Adam from eating from the Tree of Life after the Fall, lest he live forever in sin (Genesis 3:22). From this, some argue that Adam was not created immortal.  However, this does not follow, because God ordains both the means and the end. RTB theologian Kenneth Samples is a Calvinist, so would argue that God predestines who will be saved (the end) as well as the means (preaching the gospel). Similarly, in the original creation, the end is that Adam would be without death, and part of the means could have been the Tree of Life. I won’t argue for or against Calvinism because it’s outside the scope of this book, but it shows that an RTB staffer can have no problems in principle with my explanation. In the Eternal State, where death and Curse will be no more, the Tree of Life will once more flourish (Revelation 22:2).

In this view, God had ordained the Tree of Life as providing eternal continuance of life. Since God’s will cannot be thwarted, even by the Fall (which He foreknew), the tree’s property would need to be true even after the Fall. Since Adam and Eve would not be allowed to live forever in sin, they could not be allowed to eat any of this fruit. If they had, God would have been forced by his own perfect truthfulness to keep them alive forever. So the Tree of Life was not to become accessible till the Eternal State, when we will no longer have even the possibility of sin.

Another argument is made in 1 Timothy 6:16, quoted as God ‘who alone has immortality’. But here the Greek text is saying that God alone possesses (Greek έχω echō) everlasting undyingness (Greek αθανασία athanasia). So in God’s case, immortality is part of His essence, while creaturely immortality is based on God’s moment-by-moment sustaining power (Col. 1:16–17). This passage has nothing to do with teaching that Adam would have died without sin

Commentators on sin-death causality

That death was not part of the original creation is hardly a novel view of the Bible, as shown by commentators before the rise of long-age ‘science’:

Calvin agreed that physical human death is the result of sin:

‘And therefore some understand what was before said, “Thou shalt die”, in a spiritual sense; thinking that, even if Adam had not sinned, his body must still have been separated from his soul. But since the declaration of Paul is clear, that “all die in Adam, as they shall rise again in Christ” (1 Corinthians xv. 22), this wound was inflicted by sin. …Truly the first man would have passed to a better life, had he remained upright; but there would have been no separation of the soul from the body, no corruption, no kind of destruction, and, in short, no violent change.’

Wesley answered the ‘problem of pain’ explicitly by man’s sin, in particular the Fall of Genesis 3:

‘Why is there pain in the world; seeing God is ‘loving to every man, and his mercy is over all his works?’ Because there is sin: Had there been no sin, there would have been no pain. But pain (supposing God to be just) is the necessary effect of sin. But why is there sin in the world? Because man was created in the image of God: Because he is not mere matter, a clod of earth, a lump of clay, without sense or understanding; but a spirit like his Creator, a being endued not only with sense and understanding, but also with a will exerting itself in various affections. To crown all the rest, he was endued with liberty; a power of directing his own affections and actions; a capacity of determining himself, or of choosing good or evil. Indeed, had not man been endued with this, all the rest would have been of no use: Had he not been a free as well as an intelligent being, his understanding would have been as incapable of holiness, or any kind of virtue, as a tree or a block of marble. And having this power, a power of choosing good or evil, he chose the latter: He chose evil. Thus “sin entered into the world”, and pain of every kind, preparatory to death.’

Secondly, I am not sure why you believe that natural selection has any to so with the issue of physical or spiritual death or undermines the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I devoted an entire article to natural selection (Natural Selection Slays Evolution!).  In this article, I demonstrate how natural selection best fits the Biblical Creation model and in reality is opposite of what evolution really needs if it were to be true. 

Lastly, I totally agree with you concerning 2 Timothy 3:16 and that ALL scripture is God breathed.  That is one of the main reasons why we should never bring outside concepts such as millions and billions of years and try to fit them into what God breathed and gave to us in His Word.  There is nothing in the literal reading of the Bible that allows for any extensive time period prior to Adam and Eve nor is there any room for trying insert physical death before the Fall.  These concepts are NOT God breathed and inspired, but rather man made ideas that completely conflict with the Bible.

In conclusion, I trust you see the importance and significance of understanding that when Adam sinned, he brought BOTH a spiritual and physical death into all of creation.  Adam’s sin separated us from God both spiritually and physically.  Natural selection supports biblical creation and the ever downward trend of all living organisms.  God’s Word is true from the first verse to the very last verse and we should never try to take man’s ideas and fit them into the Bible.  Instead, we need to start with what God breathed and use that as the basis for our interpretation of the world and universe around us.

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