Man's Original Sin Brings A Curse From God
Dr. Joe Temple

Review

Open your Bibles, please, to the book of Genesis, chapter 3. We have been speaking about the effect of Adam's sin upon the human race, upon the world, down to the present hour. We are not going to review everything that we have said related to Adam's sin, the temptation which Eve underwent, and Adam's deliberate disobedience of God, but we do want to re-read the passage of Scripture that has to do with what is commonly referred to as the curse so that we will be able to see exactly how it affects us down to this present day. Notice chapter 3, verse 13:

Genesis 3:

13And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.

That is the last part of the conversation that was carried on between God, Adam, Eve, and the serpent because of their sin. The pronouncement of the curse begins in verse 14:

Genesis 3:

14And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
15And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
16Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
17And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
18Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
19In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

The Serpent to Eat the Dust of the Earth

We stop our reading there because that is the full description of the so-called curse which resulted because of sin. Going back over the paragraph and refreshing our minds a little, we notice the curse that was placed upon the serpent. We told you that when the serpent was first occupied by the Devil for the temptation of Eve, he was the most beauatiful of all of God's creatures. He was upright, and he had a strange power that enabled him to communicate with men. But because of the curse, he is to be cursed above all cattle…that is, above all of the animal kingdom. He is to crawl upon his belly all the days of his life, and dust shall he eat all the days of his life.

We pointed out to you by examining Isaiah, chapter 65, that this is one curse that will not be lifted. After this present age is over, and the Lord Jesus Christ returns to this earth, and the millennial reign of Christ is established, the serpent will still be eating the dust of the earth. It was a lasting curse.

Defeat of Satan at the Cross Is Prophesied

In verse 15, we have an additional portion of the curse that was placed upon the serpent, Satan, because Satan occupied the body of this animal and was actually the real reason for everything that was done. God said to the Devil:

Genesis 3:

15And I will put enmity between thee and the woman,…

We examined passages of Scripture such as chapter 12 of the book of Revelation and noticed that the enmity described here is lasting to this day. It is the unusual hatred that the Devil has for the Jewish nation and includes the persecution which the Jewish nation is suffering down to this present hour and will suffer even beyond this present hour.

Looking again at verse 15, notice that He said, “I will put enmity between thy seed and her seed”…that is, the seed of the woman. We discovered that literally the seed of the woman is the Lord Jesus Christ. Symbolically, the seed of the woman is the Lord Jesus Christ. The seed of the Devil is the Antichrist, and we examined passages of Scripture to show that there will be intense enmity between the Antichrist and the Lord Jesus Christ which will culminate in the last great battle to be fought upon this earth, the Battle of Armageddon.

Then you will notice in verse 15 as the curse continues, “It shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” That is, the seed of the woman, which is the Lord Jesus Christ, shall bruise the head of the Devil, and the Devil shall bruise the heel of the Lord Jesus Christ. As we examined the Scripture, we found that the Devil did just that when the Lord Jesus Christ was crucified on the Cross. He wounded Him in the heel, which means, of course, that he took His life. Then we read that the Lord Jesus Christ will bruise the head of the Devil ultimately when He returns to this earth. He has, technically. You remember that a group of people came to the disciples and said, “We would see Jesus.” The Lord Jesus Christ said, “When the Son of Man is lifted up, then shall all the world be drawn to Him.” He was speaking of the death that He was to die. In regard to that death, He said, “Now is the prince of this world judged.” The prince of this world is the Devil. And what the Lord Jesus Christ said was, “I am defeating the Devil right now.” And He did. So the Devil has no more power today than is permitted him, and ultimately he will be defeated when he is cast into the lake of fire.

Woman to Suffer Childbirth and Be Subject to Her Husband

We have thought also about verse 16…the curse that was placed upon the woman because of her part in this sin:

Genesis 3:

16Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow…

We examined Scripture which indicated that that means exactly what it says…that women would know a great deal of heartache and a great deal of sorrow because of original sin, and there can be no doubt about that.

God also said that that sorrow would be related to conception. He said, “I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception.” We pointed out that in the original text it is, “I will greatly multiply the sorrow of thy conception.” We are all familiar with the pain and suffering that is related to bringing children into the world.

The second thing that was said to her was, “Thy desire shall be to thy husband,” a yearning in the heart of woman for a husband. And then we pointed out to you the last thing that He said as part of the curse on woman, “He shall rule over you.” We showed you from the Scripture how woman was to take a place subservient to man and be subject unto him. If you were not here when I made that statement, you might assume what many people assume, that we are talking about the slavery of women. We showed you from the Word of God that if woman occupies the place that God gave her…not the place that man gives her sometimes, but the place that God gave her…it is truly a highly exalted place. The place of subjection is part of God's curse on woman.

We are ready now to examine what we find in verse 17, the curse that was placed upon Adam because of his disobedience to God and how that curse affects the whole human race even down to the present hour. Notice again verse 17:

Genesis 3:

17And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake;…

That is the first curse on Adam, and we are going to stop and meditate upon it for a few moments to see exactly what is involved here. Because Adam disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden, God cursed the ground. What did that involve? Well, right here there are a few things suggested. He said, “In sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life.” As we pointed out to you, this word sorrow is not related exclusively to tears, but is related to work and toil. It is related to labor. It is related to pain. It is related to suffering. So what He is saying is, “I am going to curse the ground, Adam, and because I have cursed the ground, anything you eat from the ground you will have to wrest from the ground. It is not going to come easy. It is going to be one continuous battle.”

All of you who are familiar with life know that that is true. Anything that is wrested from the ground entails one continuous battle. Before the days of modern scientific achievement, it was a matter of sweat and labor. Yet the battle still goes on even with all our modern scientific achievement. That is the reason there are companies in the million-dollar class today dealing in chemicals and insecticides and various preventatives, because the battle is still going on. We may not be as conscious of it when we open our freezers and take out some vegetables, but we may as well face the fact that the battle is still going on. Things do not come easy. God emphasizes that in verse 19 when He says:

Genesis 3:

19In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground;…

“In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread…” In verse 18, He said:

Genesis 3:

18Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;

The ground is cursed because of Adam's sin. What effect does Adam's sin have on us today? All the weariness and toil that is related to living is related to Adam's sin. “Thorns and thistles shall the ground bring forth.” Every time you prick your thumb on one of the roses that you pluck from your rose bush, you have an eternal reminder that Adam sinned. God cursed the ground because of Adam's sin.

To my mind, one of the most expressive passages of Scripture that speaks of the curse of the ground with regard to Adam's sin, one that is still expressive today, is found in chapter 8 of the book of Romans. Turn there with me and notice this very significant passage of Scripture describing what is meant when God said, “I will curse the ground for thy sake.” In verse 17, we read:

Romans 8:

17And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

Notice the last phrase of that verse, “we also may be glorified together.” This is the assurance of a glorious fact which is the key to this passage of Scripture. The Apostle Paul said, “no matter how much I suffer on this earth, I am looking forward to the day of my glorification, and as I keep that before me, it becomes bearable.” In verse 18, he said,

Romans 8:

18For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Notice that last phrase. It is related to the key, “The glory which shall be revealed in us.” The Apostle Paul is saying that no matter how much suffering there is today, there will be glory by and by. The Apostle Paul was not an impractical individual. He did not say that there is no such thing as suffering. He was very conscious of it. But he did say that when he compared the sufferings now with the glory of hereafter, the sufferings now seem insignificant in the light of the glory that is to follow.

God's Curse On the Earth Included the Whole Creation

He speaks in the next few verses of how not only God's creatures (This is what I want you to get.) but God's creation looks forward to that day of glory. We will read the rest of the paragraph with which this is associated and then go back and comment on it. Notice verse 19:

Romans 8:

19For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
20For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
21Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
22For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
23And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

We will stop our reading there and go back over the paragraph to suggest a few things that we trust will amplify and make it more clear. The first thing I would like for you to notice is the word creation in verse 22:

Romans 8:

22For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

The reason I call your attention to the word creation is that that is the word that should be used in these verses whenever the word creature is used, for it is the word used in the original. Why the translators put creature in one place and creation in another is one of those unknown riddles. But they did, and if you read this, putting the word creation where the word creature is, it will be more clear. So you will notice in verse 19:

Romans 8:

19For the earnest expectation of the [creation] waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

What is this verse saying? It is saying that all of God's creation is waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God. The manifestation of the sons of God is just another way of saying the glorification of the sons of God. Verse 20:

Romans 8:

20For the [creation] was made subject to vanity…

Vanity is a word that has been variously translated as emptiness, uselessness, things without purpose, folly . It is a word that God uses here to describe the curse that was placed upon all of creation. It was made subject to vanity, not willingly. That has nothing to do with its curse. The ground did not sin. The roses did not sin. The lilies in the field did not sin. The animal creation did not sin. They were subject to vanity, not because of anything they did, but for reasons of God. God subjected them in hope. That is, He did not intend to leave the ground under the curse. He did not intend to leave animal creation under the curse. He did it only for a time and for a purpose. And how do we know that? Look at verse 21:

Romans 8:

21Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption…

It was placed in the bondage of corruption when Adam sinned, but it is to be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. Our bodies are in bondage now. We recognize that. Even if we are born again, our bodies are still held in the bondage of corruption. That is the reason we get sick, and we die. We are still held in the bondage of corruption, but someday we are going to be delivered into the glorious liberty of the children of God. And after we are delivered, creation will be delivered, too. Will you notice verse 22, for this is so expressive. Speaking poetically of the curse under which the earth is resting:

Romans 8:

22For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

The whole creation groaneth…groans in the bondage in which it is. Have you ever noticed how many of the elements of nature are in a minor key? Have you ever noticed how the poets speak in a sad tone when expressing various things related to nature? For example, the wind sighs ande moans in the trees. You see the curse is felt throughout all of God's creation. Creation is waiting for the day when the curse will be lifted. The Apostle Paul said in verse 23:

Romans 8:

23And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption,…

What does Paul mean by the adoption ? “Well,” he says, “the redemption of our bodies.” You see, our souls are saved now. Our souls were saved the very moment we received the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour. Practically, we are born again. We are saved. We are enjoying the experience of salvation. Though our bodies were redeemed when the Lord Jesus Christ died on the Cross, we are not practically enjoying the redemption of our bodies. But one of these days, we will be saved bodily, physically, and we will be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. Someone has said, “We have been saved. That is what happened when we received the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior. We are being saved. That is what happens through the continual application of the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ to our lives. We are going to be saved. That is what will happen when the Lord Jesus Christ comes for us.”

The Curse of the Earth Lifted

That is described in this chapter as the manifestation of the sons of God, the glorious liberty of the children of God. You say, “What effect is it going to have? What will it be like when the curse is lifted? What will it be like when the whole creation is delivered into the glorious liberty of the sons of God?” Someone else says, “What would it have been like if Adam had not sinned? What would it have been like if Adam had not disobeyed God?” We can answer those questions with the same answer. Turn with me to a passage of Scripture or two. Certainly these are not the only passages that deal with this subject. We would not have time to examine all of them. But let us look at an illustration or two. Turn, please, to Isaiah, chapter 11. You will notice here an illustration of what it would have been like if Adam had not sinned and what it will be like when the curse is lifted. We read from verse 1:

Isaiah 11:

1And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:
2And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord;
3And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:
4But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.
5And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.

These verses are speaking of the Lord Jesus Christ when He returns to this earth, does final battle with sin, delivers the children of God into the glorious liberty of the children of God, and lifts the curse from the earth. What will it be like? Look at verse 6:

Isaiah 11:

6The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.

This last phrase, “a little child shall lead them,” has proved to be the text of a great many sermons when some little child has had a great deal of influence on someone. None of us would deny the influence that children can have on older people. There are many fathers, I am sure, who are in the kingdom of God today because a little child slipped his arms around his neck and said, “Daddy, go to church with me.” We do not question that at all, but we would like to suggest to you that this passage of Scripture does not have any reference to that. It refers to the day when little children are going to have wolves and leopards and lions for their pets in their backyard. This refers to the day when farmers will not have to build fences to keep the wolves away from the lambs and the leopards away from the young kids, and will not have to have watch dogs to keep off wild beasts. Why? Because when the curse is lifted, the wolf will not be wild and ferocious any longer. The lion will not be a ravenous beast any longer. In verse 7, we read:

Isaiah 11:

7And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.

Instead of wanting wild flesh, the lion will be quite content to eat straw or hay. Why? Because the curse is lifted. In verse 8:

Isaiah 11:

8And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp,…

That is a child from two to three years of age. We are in the habit of interpreting the Scripture in the light of our habits and customs, and that is not always a wise thing to do. In the day in which this was written, children nursed at their mothers' breasts until they were three years of age. So you can picture a little child two or three playing on the hole of an asp…that is, a hole where the asp is about to come out. That asp would mean sudden death today. If a mother saw her little child playing on the hole of an asp, she would scream, run and grab the child up into her arms, and hurry away because death is right there. But when the curse is lifted, that will not be true.

Isaiah 11:

8And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child…

That is, the older child shall be able to put his hands in the nest where cockatrices are. Mother will not have to say, “Get your hand out of there, or you will die.” Mother will look and smile at his getting a little pet to play with, because the curse has been lifted. In verse 9:

Isaiah 11:

9They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.

What would it have been like if Adam had not sinned? There would not be all the wild, ravenous beasts that there are today. How is it going to be when it is changed, when the curse is lifted?

Kingdom Blessings

Will you turn with me to Isaiah, chapter 55. You will have to take by faith that these passages of Scripture refer to this that I am speaking about. You will be able to verify it if you will take the time to read the passages in context. Notice verse 12:

Isaiah 55:

12For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

This is poetic language, of course, but so was what the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans, chapter 8. What did he say in Romans, chapter 8? He said that all creation is groaning and weeping, waiting for the redemption, but when the curse is lifted, there will be no more groaning and weeping on the part of creation. There will be singing, and the trees will clap their hands. In verse 13:

Isaiah 55:

13Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

No more thorns. No more briers. There will not be any brier patches when the curse is lifted. There will be myrtle trees, and there will be fir trees, and everything that is beautiful and right. Turn, please, to Isaiah, chapter 65, and read the paragraph which begins with verse 17:

Isaiah 65:

17For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.

That is just another way of saying that God is going to lift the curse.

Isaiah 65:

18But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.
19And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.

Because He is dealing primarily with the Jews, He talks about the city of Jerusalem, beloved to every Jew, the place to which the Lord Jesus Christ Himself shall return some day. What is He saying? “I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people.” Then speaking further:

Isaiah 65:

20There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.

Notice the first part of that: “There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days.” We talk about people today not living out their allotted span of life. Why? Death lays its hand on them, and they die. But when the curse is lifted, things will be different. Men will be able to live their allotted span of life. Notice verse 21:

Isaiah 65:

21And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.
22They shall not build, and another inhabit;…

That happens quite often today, you know.

Isaiah 65:

22…they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
23They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble;…

Because of the curse, people labor in vain, and they bring forth for trouble. How often has a farmer labored to the breaking point expecting to harvest a crop, and one little freak of nature dashes all his hopes to the ground, and he has to borrow money to get along until the next harvest time? What is all that? Because God placed a curse on the ground. He said:

Isaiah 65:

23They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them.
24And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.

It is a wonderful prayer promise that we can claim even today because, as I have said to you any number of times, every passage of Scripture has one interpretation and many applications…as many applications as are consistent with the Word of God. Many of us have rested upon this promise, and we have seen it come true:

Isaiah 65:

24And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.

We had a very concrete illustration of that just recently. You remember we got a special long distance call from one of our missionaries regarding some papers that were needed for him to get back to the land where he was going. Those papers had been held up, and it looked to be hopeless. He asked us to have special prayer, and we did. He came to the prayer meeting on Wednesday night, and gave testimony to the fact that he called me on Sunday night, and on Monday morning, those papers were in his hand. That is an illustration of how “While they are yet speaking, I will hear.” It does not trouble me, and I say this as an aside, but it does not trouble me at all that some person who is not spiritually minded would say, “Oh, that was just a coincidence. God did not have anything to do with that. He would have gotten those papers anyway.” If you want to rob yourself of the blessing of trusting God by assuming coincidences, you go right ahead. I am perfectly happy in believing that God means what He says in His Word, and I give Him the glory. He said, “While you are still talking to Me about it, I will set the wheels in motion, and you will have the thing that you need.” That is a real prayer promise, and we thank God for it.

You know that it does not work all the time, though. I mean, not everyone has that experience. How many people go through life on their own? How many people go through life fighting their own battles? They have not learned to talk to the Lord about them. When the curse is lifted, and the Lord Jesus Christ is here on this earth, it is going to be an everyday thing. It will be as natural as breathing. Continuing in Isaiah, chapter 65:

Isaiah 65:

24And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.
25The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the Lord.

We could go on, but I do not think there is any real need for us to do so. We could go on looking at passages of Scripture along this line, and all it would do would be to add more weight to the scales. You would see that it would have been wonderful if Adam had not sinned. But in God's mercy and in God's grace, He is going to lift the curse that has been placed upon the ground. He is going to lift the curse that has been placed upon all of creation, and some day groaning creation is going to rejoice in the glorious liberty of the children of God. As the Apostle Paul said, “We wait for that day.”

Man Given the Divine Death Penalty, Both Physically and Spiritually

Turn back with me to chapter 3 of the book of Genesis, as I point out to you the remaining portion of this curse for our next discussion, so you can be meditating upon it. Notice again verse 17:

Genesis 3:

17And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
18Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
19In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread,…

All of that we have been thinking about. The second thing He said was:

Genesis 3:

19…till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

The second thing God said to Adam because he sinned was that death would immediately begin for him in fulfillment of what God said with regard to the tree of the garden which He commanded him was forbidden. Will you turn back to Genesis, chapter 2, verse 15:

Genesis 2:

15And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
16And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
17But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

That was what God said. This phrase, “thou shalt surely die,” if we examine it in the original language, should be translated “dying thou shalt die.” Read it that way, and it will become more clear to you:

Genesis 2:

17But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof [dying thou shalt die.]

Why am I making that distinction? Because Adam did not drop dead when he ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and God did not intend that he should drop dead. However, God did intend that the process of death should begin. Adam began a march to the grave the very moment he ate of that fruit.

This is the thing I would like for you to keep in mind. What is death? If we do not understand what death is, we will not understand the meaning of this verse. Death is merely separation. That is all it is. It is separation. We think of it, of course, as dying physically, and that is death because of what happens. When one of our loved ones dies physically, the soul and the spirit leave the body. The soul and the spirit are separated from the body. We call that death. That is included in the verse. Every time you attend a funeral service, remember that sin is the cause of it.

I do not mean that some individual sin caused the death of the person who dies. I do not mean that, though sometimes it is true. If Adam had not disobeyed God, there would be no death, but “dying thou shalt die” is what God said. Death, remember, means separation, so it not only refers to physical death, but it refers to spiritual death.

The very moment Adam ate of the forbidden fruit, he died spiritually. What do I mean by that? He was separated from God spiritually. When God came down into the garden in the cool of the day, as He had done for a long, long time, to walk and to talk with Adam, where was Adam? He was hiding behind a tree. He was separated from God.

So men who are born into this world today are separated from God spiritually. That is the reason the Bible says that men go astray as soon as they are born speaking lies. That is the reason the Bible says that there are none righteous, no not one. There is none that doeth good. There is none that seeketh after God. That is the reason David said, “Behold I was shapen in iniquity and in sin did my mother conceive me.” Man is separated from God from the very moment that he is born. That is the reason the Bible says that one time ye were dead in trespasses and sin, but now are made alive through the Lord Jesus Christ.

I would like to remind you that if you are trying to live right without being born again, you are trying to do what it is impossible for a dead man to do. It is impossible for a dead man to live until he has been brought to life. You can dress him up, and you can give him an electric charge with a battery, and all the rest of it, to try to get some life into him. But he is not going to live until he is brought to life. You can take an unsaved man, and you can dress him up, and you can make him go to church, and you can get him to sign pledge cards to do this and that and not do something else, and you can get him to do everything in the world to try to be good. But he is dead, and he cannot do it. He has to be born again.

Eternal Death

The third kind of death I want you to notice is eternal death. When I speak of eternal death, I am not speaking about the cessation of consciousness. Because I speak of eternal death, you might get the idea that when you come to the end of this life, that is all there is to it. But keep in mind that death is separation, and when I speak of eternal death, I am speaking of being eternally separated from God. If you leave this life without Jesus Christ, you will not cease to exist. You will not fall into a forgetful sleep. You are very much alive, but you are dead in the sense that we are talking about, because you are eternally separated from God.

Many people, until they become convicted of their sins, do not particularly care whether they are separated from God. They can go on, it seems, for their whole lives and leave God out. But we who know the Lord and enjoy fellowship with Him, look at them and say, “Looks as if sometime they would think about God. Looks as if sometime they would have a hunger for fellowship with God.” But as far as we can tell…of course, we cannot always tell what is on the inside…but as far as we can tell, there is no interest at all. They do not seem to care that they are separated from God. But when they are eternally separated from God, suddenly they will have a longing, a yearning, and a desire to be with God. Then they will realize what eternal death is. It is sepaaration from God by a great gulf…all of that because Adam sinned.

The passage of Scripture that we will consider in our next lesson in detail in verification of this is chapter 5 of the book of Romans. I would like for you to read it very carefully. It is an intriguing passage of Scripture. It will settle once and for all the question of whether or not Adam's sin has anything to do with our present state.


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