By Allen Brooks
Several years ago, I began a furious pursuit of trying to understand the Bible from its historical and covenantal (testament) perspective. I spent thousands of hours studying the Bible, studying older theologians, and analyzing several hundred commentaries. I also began to study many of the words in the Bible in their original Hebrew or Greek language.
What is salvation? Today Christians and Pastors may say that salvation is being saved from hell to go to heaven. They also may say that salvation means believing in Jesus as one’s personal Savior in order to receive eternal (everlasting) life. These definitions come from the westernization or the neo-plutonian reading of the scriptures rather than a Hebraic first century church biblical rendering. But is that really how the Bible defines salvation? In Webster’s Dictionary salvation is defined as “deliverance from the power and effects of sin”.
In the New Testament, the word salvation in the Greek language is soteria or soterion which is translated: rescue, deliver, or save. [Strong’s Concordance #4991 and #4992]. Therefore, the word deliverance in Webster’s Dictionary is correct. The question then becomes “delivered or saved from what?” Salvation is deliverance from the power and effects of sin.
The scriptures states in 1 Corinthians 15:56; “The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.” Secondly, the Bible states in Romans 6:23; “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
To restate these passages, the power (strength) of sin is the law and the effect (wages) of sin is death.
We must try and determine from scriptures what this “death” is and what is the law?
I think that most Christians think this death is biological death and that when Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, they produced physical death. This is incorrect.
Adam and Eve’s act of obtaining the knowledge of good and evil brought forth ‘sin death” or separation from God. This separation was the whole issue, not biological death.
Let us take a look at the story in Genesis.
I will paraphrase except where it is necessary to quote the scriptures. God created the world and created Adam and Eve. He placed them in the Garden of Eden and gave them one commandment. Genesis 2:16-17; “And the Lord God commanded the man saying, Of every tree of this garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die”.
Genesis 3:1-7,22 “Now the serpent was more subtile than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the Garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, ye shall be as gods [like God, see verse 22,ab], knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.”
Genesis 3:22-24 “And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever. Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.”
We must pose a few questions at this point.
Did Adam and Eve eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil? Yes, they did!
When Adam and Eve ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, did they die?
Why did God remove them from the garden before they could eat of the tree of life and live forever?
Why did God not want Adam and Eve to eat of the tree of the knowledge of Good?
Why did God not want Adam and Eve to eat of the tree of the knowledge of Evil?
What are the implications of Adam and Eve eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil?
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