Etikettarkiv | spiritual

Bible verses about eternal LIFE or DEATH for the souls

death2What the Bible says about spiritual DEATH

Our choice when it comes to our permanent future seems to be a) eternal life, or b) eternal death. If the first realm is eternal (staying alive for ever in the kingdom of God) it makes sense to assume that also the latter realm is equally eternal (staying dead and non-existent for ever). Note that I do not believe that the process of dying will last for ever but rather the duration of being dead – as in a permanent irrevocable death and complete non-existence. If the whole process of dying would last for ever, then this too could be labelled ”eternal life”, albeit in agony and torture. The Bible, however, explains that our choice is either life or death. Not life or life.

There is no doubt, however, that unbelievers risk being burned in the fire that we call hell (see verses below) unless they repent. Nevertheless, the exact duration (and degrees) of this suffering is unknown and up for debate. We do know that books will be opened and proper judgments will be made, and also that the place called Hades will finally be thrown in the lake of fire (often called Gehenna). The lake of fire is the second death. Hades appears to have two sections (and good and one bad) and this is where Lazarus ended up, as per Luke 16:20-25.

The Greek adjective αἰώνιος (aiónios, Strong’s 166) derives from the noun aiṓn (Strong’s 165), and even though it is often translated ”eternal” it does not always refer to something that will last non-stop. Even God’s covenant with Israel was ”eternal”, and yet it no longer applies.

Bible verses where everlasting life is contrasted with death and corruption

The Bible contrasts ”everlasting life” with corruption and death. If you live in shameful sin you will end up with death, and if you are the servant of God you will end up with the opposite, which is everlasting life.

Gal. 6:8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap CORRUPTION; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap LIFE EVERLASTING.9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

Rom. 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of SIN UNTO DEATH, OR OF OBEDIENCE UNTO RIGHTEOUSNESS? — 21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is DEATH.22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and THE END EVERLASTING LIFE.23 For THE WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH; but the gift of God is ETERNAL LIFE through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Rom. 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.— 6 For TO BE CARNALLY MINDED IS DEATH; but to be spiritually minded is LIFE and peace. — 9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. — 13 For IF YE LIVE AFTER THE FLESH, YE SHALL DIE: BUT IF YE THROUGH THE SPIRIT DO MORTIFY THE DEEDS OF THE BODY, YE SHALL LIVE.  

John 6:21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will. —  24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. — 28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, UNTO THE RESURRECTION OF LIFE; and they that have done evil, UNTO THE RESURRECTION OF DAMNATION. 

Matt. 22:2 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,  — 7 But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.8 Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.9 Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.10 So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

Matt. 25:30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:—41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:—46 And these shall go away into EVERLASTING PUNISHMENT: but the righteous into LIFE ETERNAL.

John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. — 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. — 36 He that believeth on the Son hath EVERLASTING LIFE: and he that believeth not the Son SHALL NOT SEE LIFE; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

Matt. 18:6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.7 Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!8 Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into LIFE halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into EVERLASTING FIRE.9 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.

John 6:27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto EVERLASTING LIFE, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.

John 6:39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. — 44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. — 47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. — 49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are DEAD.50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, HE SHALL LIVE FOR EVER: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. — 53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. — 56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. — 58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever. — 63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.  

Acts 13:46 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves UNWORTHY OF EVERLASTING LIFE, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.

Matt. 18:18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. –—  26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.31 So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

John 15:6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

Matt. 13:30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn. — 38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Matt. 23:33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

Matt. 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell (Gehenna).

Luke 12:4 And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.

Rev. 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Rev. 21:He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Clues from the old testamentdove 2

Gen. 2:1 But 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.

Job 14:14 If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.

Below are two long sections from Ezekiel which are key to understanding the issue of life and death, particularly from the perspective of the old testament before Jesus’s entrance on earth. All souls are God’s souls and everyone must give an account before God in the future, but the soul that sins – and that does not repent before it is too late – shall apparently die. This is naturally not about a physical death since ALL human beings will eventually die one day (sinners or not), but the below verses have a focus on a spiritual death.

Ez. 18:4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.5 But if a man be just, and do that which is lawful and right,— Hath walked in my statutes, and hath kept my judgments, to deal truly; he is just, he shall surely live, saith the Lord God.10 If he beget a son that is a robber, a shedder of blood, and that doeth the like to any one of these things,—13 Hath given forth upon usury, and hath taken increase: shall he then live? he shall not live: he hath done all these abominations; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon him.14 Now, lo, if he beget a son, that seeth all his father’s sins which he hath done, and considereth, and doeth not such like,—17 That hath taken off his hand from the poor, that hath not received usury nor increase, hath executed my judgments, hath walked in my statutes; he shall not die for the iniquity of his father, he shall surely live.18 As for his father, because he cruelly oppressed, spoiled his brother by violence, and did that which is not good among his people, lo, even he shall die in his iniquity.19 Yet say ye, Why? doth not the son bear the iniquity of the father? When the son hath done that which is lawful and right, and hath kept all my statutes, and hath done them, he shall surely live.20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.21 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.22 All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live.23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?24 But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.25 Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal?26 When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die.27 Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.28 Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.29 Yet saith the house of Israel, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, are not my ways equal? are not your ways unequal?30 Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord God. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.31 Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.

Ez. 33:5 He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.6 But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.7 So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.8 When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.9 Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.10 Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live?11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?12 Therefore, thou son of man, say unto the children of thy people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression: as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sinneth.13 When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it.14 Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right;15 If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die.16 None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live.17 Yet the children of thy people say, The way of the Lord is not equal: but as for them, their way is not equal.18 When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, he shall even die thereby.19 But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby

Contempt” below is a translation from the Hebrews noun deraon, which can also be translated aversion or abhorrence (Strong’s 1860). It is also used in Is. 66:24.

Dan. 12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

Is. 66:21 And I will also take of them for priests and for Levites, saith the Lord.22 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain.23 And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord.24 And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.

Eccl. 9:5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.

heavenThe kingdom of God is only for those who repent

You will only enter the kingdom of God if you repent and become born again.

Matt. 18:3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Matt. 19:29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.

Luke 18:29 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake,30 Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.

Matt. 25:10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.

John 11:26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

Gal 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Rom. 6:8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Rom. 8:27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. — 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

John 4:14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. — 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.

John 12:25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.

John 12:48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. —  48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

1 Tim. 1:16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.

The NATURAL MAN receives not the things of the Spirit of God? – 1 Cor. 2:14

flesh

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned (1 Cor. 2:14) 

It is a choice to be a ”natural man” as no one is born a sinner. It is rather an adopted nature just as the context indicates. An alcoholic might suggest that he has inherited genes that makes him an alcoholic out of necessity just like his parents, but even though genetics can partly explain certain similar weaknesses/attitudes/traits we still cannot blame our actions – like repeatedly pouring liquor into a glass and drink – on our parents. ”Natural” in 1 Cor. 2:14 is a translation from the Greek adjective psychikos (Strong’s 5591) and can be translated as natural or sensual. The word is used 6 times in the New Testament. In 1 Cor. 15 we have a slightly different perspective of the word, because the passage talks about the resurrection when we will get rid of our fleshly bodies to get new spiritual bodies prior to entering the kingdom of God:

1 Cor. 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.—44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.

James makes it clear that we should not mix righteous deeds with unrighteous deeds. Just like Paul he urges his readers to stop sinning:

Ja. 3:10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?—14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

We can see that those who are ”natural” are those who choose to walk after their own lusts instead of having an interest to be led by the Spirit. It usually concerns those who have no desire to seek God (as per Rom. 1:18-32) and who are therefore atheists/agnostics, but it could also apply to anyone (also Christians) who chooses to walk after his/her own lusts. They separate themselves from God by following their ungodly lusts:

Jude 1:16 These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.17 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;18 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.22 And of some have compassion, making a difference:23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

A natural man is again someone who chooses to live after the flesh and not after the Spirit. The context below shows that Paul speaks highly of the power of the holy Spirit which is given to Christians (after repentance), and through this magnificent power it is certainly easier to come closer to God and know all the details of his will. We are able to be victorious over sin if we choose to be led by the Spirit, but it takes a will of our own. Also agnostics are able to avoid sin, but if they decide to repent and start living with Jesus Christ they will get a new power thanks to the new Helper – the holy Spirit. The holy Spirit does not force a person to obey him:

1 Cor. 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.

The promise given to us in Gal. 5 is that if we decide to walk in the Spirit, we are automatically not fulfilling the lust of the flesh because of our righteous lives. If we instead live after the flesh, we automatically do not walk in the Spirit since the flesh is contrary to the Spirit. It is one or the other. The Spirit would never lead us unto the road of destruction. Paul assures us that if we do live after the flesh (and he gives examples of what that means) we can forget about inheriting the kingdom of God. He does not say that Christians are exempted from this danger. He also says ”If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit”, showing that this is nothing that happens automatically without our participation. It is the responsibility of each individual to live a holy life, and we cannot blame God for preventing us from obeying his commandments:

Gal. 5:16 This I say then, WALK IN THE SPIRIT, AND YE SHALL NOT FULFIL THE LUST OF THE FLESH.17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Below we can more clearly see what happens to someone who God gives up to a reprobate mind due to the individual’s decision to walk after his own lusts (and become a natural man). Such a person is without excuse because he could have reached out to God and live according to his will, but chose not to. THAT is the reason for deserving a spot in hell. Not because God chose someone to be a wicked non-elect before he was even born, but because the person had all the chances in the world to seek and believe in God (the very purpose for God to create us in the first place as per Acts 17:26-30) but instead turned his back on him and lived a rebellious life.

Rom. 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.26 FOR THIS CAUSE God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God GAVE THEM OVER TO A REPROBATE MIND, to do those things which are not convenient;29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

If we live according to the flesh, we CANNOT please Godglorified

It is not a good idea to be a natural man with a carnal mind, because then we simply cannot please God. A person who has his mind set on maintaining his sins cannot at the same time live according to God’s commandments.

Rom. 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

We can learn from Paul who those are who ”are after the flesh”. They are the ones who walk not after the Spirit but after the flesh. This means that their wicked actions cause them to be carnally minded/natural men. Fortunately there is a solution provided by Paul in that same chapter, and that is to walk after the Spirit which is a much better choice.

Rom. 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, WHO WALK NOT AFTER THE FLESH, BUT AFTER THE SPIRIT.—4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, WHO WALK NOT AFTER THE FLESH, BUT AFTER THE SPIRIT.5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Paul explains this also in Rom. 6, where he assures us that we can successfully start living according to the Spirit instead of obeying sin. Note that we are slaves to the one we choose to obey, so if we choose to obey sin we are slaves to sin and not free. Paul is writing to the Christians in Rome, so Christians are clearly not freed from the risk of landing in spiritual death – which would happen to anyone who decides to obey sin and who does not repent:

Rom. 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Paul refers to a passage in Isaiah 29 when it talks about hidden wisdom. The reason for people living in darkness is due to their decision to remove their hearts from him:

1 Cor. 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.*) 

*) Isaiah 29:13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:14 Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.15 Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the Lord, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us?

God loves us and wishes that we all would come to the knowledge of the truth:

1 Tim. 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

You can read about Eph. 2 here, where you will see that it is a choice to be ”children of wrath” (individuals who are subject to God’s wrath due to their sins) and that the chapter nowhere suggests that anyone is born that way. It is rather, yet again, about people who choose to walk after their own lusts.

”For as in Adam all die” concerns physical death and the RESURRECTION -1 Cor. 15:22

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1 Cor. 15:22 For as in Adam ALL die, even so in Christ shall ALL be made alive.23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

The context of 1 Cor. 15:22 makes it clear that the subject is the RESURRECTION. If ALL die in Adam, then the very same ALL will be made alive in Christ. However, ALL people will naturally not be saved as in universalism, and that’s why some people prefer to read this verse as though it says ”As in Adam ALL die, even so in Christ SOME shall be made alive”. In reality we shouldn’t change the wordings in this verse but keep it just as it is – but instead understand it right. We die physically due to Adam because he brought the very first sin into this world which resulted in the severe consequence that we can’t reach the tree of life due to him. We are related to Adam, we choose to sin like him (but certainly not of necessity) and we are heading for physical death whether we want to or not – and that actually includes Jesus who is also related to Adam. Jesus has the power of the whole Universe, and we will all one day be resurrected and judged before his throne. All people will therefore have to go through physical death due to Adam, regardless of how they have lived their lives, and the same ALL people will have to go through the resurrection and stand before the judgment seat, regardless how they have lived their lives. Only those who have endured to the end, by living in the light of Jesus, will thereafter inherit the kingdom of God and live eternally with the Lamb. The verse says that we die due to Adam, but it certainly doesn’t say that we have inherited his sin or that we are born in sin. I still believe that all who can sin have chosen to sin – just like Adam. That’s why we die spiritually and physically.

Hebr. 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him

1 Corinthians concerns the resurrection of the BODY, and Paul gives particular details concerning the fate of the believers – because he wants to give them hope and confirmation about what is going to happen in the future.

1 Cor. 15:15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.

The resurrection applies to both good and evil. We shall ALL be resurrected, but the question is if it’s going to be to eternal life or eternal damnation.

2 Cor. 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Acts 24:15 And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. Acts 4:2 Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead.

The tree that could have sustained us – if we could reach it tree2We don’t have access to the tree of life, and that’s actually something to be pleased about now when Adam opened up the can of worms, because who would like to live eternally on this particular planet which is so much affected by decay and much pain?

Gen. 3:22 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 for ever:23 Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

Rev. 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

Rev. 22:1 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.—14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.—19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

If Adam was created immortal, which means ”not subject to death”, there wouldn’t be a need for the tree of life because Adam would have been kept alive anyway – regardless of if he ate from this tree or not. Nevertheless, God created Adam with the idea and hope that he would never be disobedient. If Adam would have walked on the right path at all times, God would have made sure to always give him access to the tree of life and he would have been able to live forever. There wouldn’t be a need to die physically as long as the world is pure and like a paradise, and one day in the future we can experience a true paradise, as long as we make sure to remain children of God. Adam died spiritually when he sinned by eating of the forbidden fruit, and his cells started to go through an aging process. He died physically many years later, and all in all he lived 930 years.

Is. 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

Eph. 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;2 Wherein in time past ye WALKED according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

Col. 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses

Rom. 5:12 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: Rom. 7:9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.

God says that he who sins shall die, and he refers to a spiritual death. It’s certain that we are all going to die physically whether we sin or not, so if God would have wanted to express that ALL people will die spiritually (or that they are born spiritually dead), he wouldn’t have to single out the sinners. Those who choose to sin will die (spiritually) but not the others, and not those who repent for their sins and continue to keep themselves spiritually clean. Note that the salvation hinges on our own righteousness and what we DO. Not as though we can earn salvation by anything we do (or believe), and not as though we don’t need to be cleansed for our previous sins by God (later on in the blood of Jesus), but the fact of the matter is still that our behavior shows if we are children of God or not.

Ez.18:20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.21 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.22 All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in HIS righteousness that HE hath DONE he shall live.

Read more about Romans 5 here

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil (Isaiah 5:20)

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Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Isaiah 5:20

Something in this world that is considered evil must surely be SIN, and sins are committed by individuals. SINS are related to darkness, and darkness is the opposite of light. If we try to teach others that sinners are still considered righteous in the eyes of God – as long as they are born again believers – because he can only see the blood of Jesus and not their sins, then the woe above is actually addressed to us. Then we are in fact saying that sin is not evil enough to make us lose our salvation over it and that we are still labeled righteous (because ”Jesus paid for our sins and we are already forgiven” or ”once saved always saved” – or some other unbiblical terms).

The best example of someone calling evil ”good” is when Satan managed to fool Eve into believing that eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil would be a GOOD and wise thing to do even though GOD had declared that it was BAD to eat of this tree and against his commandment.  Satan suggested that Eve could be as GOD if she ate of this tree and Eve decided to give it a try thanks to the assurance from Satan that she would NOT DIE if she DISOBEYED GOD! So what God declared wrong – and therefore EVIL – Satan declared GOOD. God prohibited Adam and Eve from eating of this tree and this means that acting to the contrary of his command would be a SIN. God assured Adam and Eve that they would DIE if they ate from it and Satan said the exact opposite. Isn’t it rather common today that pastors and evangelists repeat Satan’s lie and teach others that sins will NOT separate us from God (as long as we are christians)? Satan’s lie can be presented in many forms so be on your guard!

Genesis 2:17 [God says] But 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.

Genesis 3:4 [Satan says] —YE SHALL NOT SURELY DIE: 5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

It was of course not the fruit in itself that was bad. The reason why eating of this fruit was bad was because God forbade it, likely because this rule would actually force Adam and Eve to make a stance on whether or not trust and obey God each time they passed this tree – just like a simple test which wasn’t difficult to obey at all. This means that the sin they ended up being guilty of was that they DISOBEYED GOD and by doing so REBELLED against him. So it was DISOBEDIENCE that was the SIN, and God said that SIN leads to DEATH. In Adam and Eve’s case it was both a physical death (no longer access to the tree of life) as well as a spiritual death, and we will all die spiritually if we sin. Teaching the opposite (for instance trying to exempt christians from this rule) is to repeat Satan’s lie.

Perhaps you have been in a church where the pastor in a similar way assures you that you shall NOT DIE if you SIN because you are eternally and unconditionally secure in your salvation once you’ve become a child of God (+ if you sin ”habitually” it shows that you’re ”not saved to begin with”). Have you ever heard someone declaring to you that ”sinning will only make a true christian lose his RELATIONSHIP with God but will never risk his soul” and ”God will not see a true christian’s sins but only the blood of Jesus”? Then this pastor is deceived and at risk for being a person who calls evil ”good”. Malachi 2:17 tells us that we can dissatisfy our Lord by suggesting that a person who sins is still GOOD in the sight of God and that God still delights in him and that he will not judge him for his sins. The opposite is true:

Malachi 2:17 Ye have wearied the Lord with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?

It’s actually rather common for pastors to declare that a christian is fine and off the hook (from the risk of being judged and punished) as long as he is a born again christian. There is of course FORGIVENESS to get for a person with a truly repentant heart – because our Lord is mighty and always ready to take us back into his arms – but it’s dangerous for the soul to be told that sins will not separate us from God. Instead we should encourage each other to not give into temptations, and to not stray from the road to Heaven by sinning. Temptations can be hard enough as they are and we don’t need anyone patting us on our backs, assuring us that everything is well with our soul despite our sins:

James 5:20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way SHALL SAVE A SOUL FROM DEATH, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

I’m aware of that pastors could have been fooled about this (major) issue just like Eve was, and just because a pastor is wrong about this he could still be right in many other areas and even lead many people to God (praise God for that), BUT the fact remains that this pastor needs to be taught about the true ways of God so that he can repent from his false teachings and be an even more useful tool to spread the gospel. Many of us (like myself) have incorrectly believed all kinds of false teachings and even taught them to others, but we have also chosen to stay corrected by scripture and amended our ways. Unfortunately, there are pastors who are not willing to listen and learn but they prefer to close their ears and continue to deceive people into believing that we can have our sins and our salvation too, because this is what people out there would like to hear.

Example of a person who teaches that evil is good

If someone claims that what Satan did to Eve (fooling her to sin by assuring her that she would not die) was actually something GOOD and even predestined by God, then this person is definitely a person who calls evil ”good”. To claim that an activity that God calls wrong and evil for something ”good” is simply dangerous. John Calvin taught that Adam and Eve were predestined BY GOD to fall and that means that in order to be consistent with his own teaching he must call EVIL for ”GOOD” since God’s own actions couldn’t be evil. I’m sorry if you dislike that I bring him up, but we are told to expose false teachers now when souls are at stake.

“God NOT ONLY foresaw the FALL of the first man, and in him the RUIN of his posterity; but also at his own pleasure ARRANGED it” .(John Calvin (Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, XXIII)

“The first man fell because the Lord deemed it meet that he should.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 23, Paragraph 8)

“Creatures are so governed by the secret counsel of God, that nothing happens but what he has knowingly and willingly DECREED” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 1, Chapter 16, Paragraph 3)

“We hold that God is the disposer and ruler of all things, –that from the remotest eternity, according to his own wisdom, He decreed what he was to do, and now by his power executes what he decreed. Hence we maintain, that by His providence, not heaven and earth and inanimate creatures only, but also THE COUNSELS AND WILLS OF MEN are so governed as to move exactly in the course which he has destined.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 1, Chapter 16, Paragraph 8)

thieves and murderers, and other evildoers, are instruments of divine providence, being employed by the Lord himself to execute judgments which HE has resolved to inflict.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 1, Chapter 17, Paragraph 5)

The devil, and the whole train of the ungodly, are in all directions, held in by the hand of God as with a bridle, so that they can neither conceive any mischief, nor plan what they have conceived, nor how muchsoever they may have planned, move a single finger to perpetrate, unless in so far as he permits, nay unless in so far as HE COMMANDS, that they are not only bound by his fetters but are even forced to do him service (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 1, Chapter 17, Paragraph 11)

“But since he foresees future events only by reason of the fact that he decreed that they take place, they vainly raise a quarrel over foreknowledge, then it is clear that all things take place rather by his determination and bidding.“ (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 23, Paragraph 6)

King David says:

Psalm 38:18 For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin.19 But mine enemies are lively, and they are strong: and they that hate me wrongfully are multiplied.20 They also that render evil for GOOD are mine adversaries; because I follow the thing that good is. 

Who will be greatest in heaven?

Those who say that it’s impossible to obey the ten commandments and that we have no option but to sin once in a while until we die? Those who say that a person can only be righteous if God declares him righteous in the midst of his unrighteousness? Those who claim that too much obedience to Jesus is legalism, pharisaism and salvation by deeds and something to flee from? Those who teach that we are saved by faith ALONE? Those who teach that we should not expose false doctrines but compromise with the scriptures in order to not cause division? No, those who DO (obey) the commandments and who also teach others to do the same will be called GREAT in the kingdom of heaven.

Matt. 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Those who do the opposite – teach men that it’s hard or impossible to obey God’s commandments – will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. Note that Jesus doesn’t teach here that sinners will at least GET IN to God’s kingdom despite their sins. He continues to say that our righteousness must EXCEED the righteousness of the scribes and the pharisees in order to get into the kingdom of heaven. So why does it appear as though we can enter the kingdom of heaven in v. 19 (albeit being called LEAST) despite acting in the wrong way? There might be evangelists who are deceived and who teach the wrong doctrines once in a while without being aware of it, and they might NOT live as they teach. A deceived pastor might for instance teach that we are born with a sinful nature and ”once saved always saved” without being a filthy sinner himself, and he might do a lot of good deeds for the kingdom of God through evangelism and hard work. The question is how interested he will be to change his doctrines once being shown from the Bible that he is in error? Will he be open for correction or will he close his ears and continue to spread errors? God can see our hearts and our intentions. Just pray that God will show you the truth and that you live your life so that you won’t risk to be called LEAST in the kingdom of God, or even worse; that you won’t enter the kingdom at all due to sin.

I can add that it’s just as bad (or worse) to know the right doctrines and still be very lazy when it comes to sharing the gospel to others and rather sit at home and complain about the failures of other christians.

Being carnally minded is DEATH but we can attain moral perfection NOW

Romans 7 is often used as support for that we can have our sins and our salvation too, but we must consider ALL of Romans 7 and particularly Romans 6 and 8.  Paul ends chapter 7 by telling us about the SOLUTION to his problem:

Rom. 7:224O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

He also says:

Rom. 6:18Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.19I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.20For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. 21What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is DEATH. 22But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life

Rom. 8:1There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who WALK not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

1 Cor. 3:3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? 4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?

We can all see a distinction between these two claims coming from the same man – PAUL:

Rom. 7:14 but I am carnal, sold under sin.

Rom. 8:For to be carnally minded is death; (but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.)

Clearly Paul couldn’t be both carnal and NOT carnal at the same time. If we are sold under sin we are NOT spiritually alive but spiritually dead. Paul said that as a converted man he lived with a good  conscience void of offense

Acts 23:1And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.

Acts 24: 16And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void to offence toward God, and toward men.

2 Tim. 1:3I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day;

The description in Romans 7 is not of the converted life of  Paul, but a narration describing what happens when an unconverted sinner’s mind encounters the law of God and is convicted by it.

What does Paul mean with ”perfection?

Php. 3:12Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.

Paul was talking about being free from physical corruption and attaining physical perfection, so not the same as MORAL perfection.The verses right before make it clear that he is talking about the resurrection and our new glorified bodies which will not be corrupted:

Php. 3: 10That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; 11If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

Paul was certainly not saying that moral perfection is unattainable in this life since he continues to say that many have already attained perfection:

Phil. 3:14I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 15Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. 16Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing. 17Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.). 

Read also:

Rom. 8:12Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh13For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

1 Cor. 9:27But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

Not even Jesus was ”perfected” until he was resurrected:

Luke 13:32 And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.

Romans 5 does not teach that man is born with a sinful nature – Rom. 5:12

Romans 5 does not teach that man is born sinful, nor that we have inherited Adam’s sin

If man is born with a sinful nature (original sin) one would assume this would be indicated somewhere in the Bible, and preferably in a clear way since this is a MAJOR teaching about the constitution of man that we would not want to miss. If man is born with a sinful nature, that would make us sin whether we want to or not and we would have great excuses on judgment day when we are being asked why we have sinned. ”Because of our sinful nature, of course!” we could reply. If Romans 5 is the best place to look for this doctrine, then it is not a very good one because this teaching is nowhere to be found. The fact is that 1) the Bible nowhere teaches that man has inherited Adam’s sin, and 2) none of the old church fathers taught this doctrine the first 300 years AD. Only the gnostics taught it.

Romans 5:12 tells us the reason why death (not sin) spread – because we sinned

The wages of sin is death – not just in our past but this is still a reality today. Spiritual death spread to all men because each and every man sinned himself. If a man would not have sinned, he would not need to die spiritually but he would still die physically just like innocent babies do and just like Jesus Christ did. Physical death is not the result of our sin because physical death was decreed when Adam sinned, and physical death also applies to innocent people like Jesus who have never sinned.

Rom 5:12 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

SIN entered the WORLD through Adam because he was the first to sin. No one sinned before him. DEATH (not sin) passed upon all men and why? FOR (because) ALL HAVE SINNED! There you have the reason! If death spread to all men because Adam sinned and because sin is something that can be inherited in the DNA, then Paul had a chance to clarify this but he did not. What Adam did still caused a great stir on all mankind because we all die physically due to him (even little babies) because  we cannot reach the tree of life due to him, and the ground is cursed due to him. Romans 5:12 could also have been translated like this:

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, also in this manner death passed (traversed) into all men, since all have sinned

James says that ”sin, when it is finished, brings forth death” (1:15). The specific effect of death James is talking about is a separation from God. We know that the condemnation spoken about in Rom. 5 concerns spiritual death, for those who are justified still die physically. Rom. 5:14 makes the point that even while sin was not imputed because there was no law, death reigned.

What about the ”all” have sinned?

Who are included in ”all”? Animals? Angels? Jesus? We have to look at the context in order to discern who ”all” are. ”All” does not always include little babies. ”All men” is a translation from the Greek word ἄνθρωπος (anthrópos, Strong’s 444) and could mean  1) men, 2) men and women, or 3) mankind, people, human beings. It may or may not include babies depending on context, just like the usage of the English words. The Bible provides many examples where ”all men” could not possibly include babies, and we should therefore not do cherry-picking when it comes to this word but carefully check the context. (There are two words in Greek which mean ”man”: anēr, which refers to a specific male individual, and anthrōpos which is the racial/generic term and which has the general idea of mankind.)

Romans 5:18-19 must be read together

If Adam’s sin automatically and universally causes all mankind to receive condemnation for something they did not do or had any choice in, then Christ’s dying on the cross also automatically and universally causes all mankind to be saved – Rom 5:18-19. Clearly this is not the way to understand Rom. 5:18-19. The truth is that all are condemned when they commit sin (V.12) and all are saved when they obey Jesus.

Rom 5:18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon ALL men to condemnation; EVEN SO by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon ALL men unto justification of life. 19For as by one man’s disobedience MANY were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall MANY be made righteous.

If ALL are automatically condemned through Adam, then ALL are automatically justified and righteous through Jesus. We all know this could not be the case and it is not proper hermeneutics to read ”all” in two different ways in the same sentence – when reading ”even so” indicating a valid comparison. Adam’s disobedience does not make everyone born lost anymore than Christ’s death automatically makes everyone being found. If we were all born separated from God because Adam sinned, then we would all be spiritually alive (saved) because Jesus obeyed until death. But we cannot be saved unless we choose to follow Christ. Likewise, we do not die spiritually until we choose to disobey God.

Again, if all die in Adam, then all are saved in Christ. We cannot make one absolute and the other conditional. In other words, IF Romans 5 says SIN (and not death) is passed down from Adam in the unconditional sense, then the same chapter also teaches that the very same entire race of humans are ALL saved unconditionally, because of what Christ did. This would be universalism!

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; BUT the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Also this sentence must be read in the same way on both sides of the word ”but”. If an individual sins, the wages of that sin is (spiritual) death, BUT for the same individual he is promised eternal life though Jesus IF he repents and believes in him. So IF he sins = death, and if he believes = life.

It says ”The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life…” To determine which ”death” Paul is referring to we can check what he compares it with and see that he opposes it with eternal life. Even if we will get eternal life, we will still die physically. Jesus says in John 11:25 ”He who believes in me will live, even though he dies.”

The prodigal son went from life, to death, to life again. He was first alive, dead and alive again.

 What is sin? Transgressing the law!

1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law

The Bible tells us that sinning is transgressing the law of God. If that is so, it follows that we must first be able to distinguish right from wrong before we can be condemned for our actions. We must first have a brain and other body parts before we can choose to break the law of God. If we are sinners by conception (or by birth), then we would be sinners before we even had a heart, but the Bible says that it is our heart which might condemn us:

Matt. 15:18-19 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:

Hosea 4:8 They eat up the sin of my people, and they set their heart on their iniquity.

Ps. 41:6 And if he come to see me, he speaketh vanity: his heart gathereth iniquity to itself; when he goeth abroad, he telleth it.

Ps. 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me

Is. 32:6 For the vile person will speak villany, and his heart will work iniquity, to practise hypocrisy, and to utter error against the Lord, to make empty the soul of the hungry, and he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail.

We do not sin by being born or being conceived. Why would being conceived offend God to such a great extent, and even cause him to separate himself from us? Does he not know that we have no choice in the matter and should not be condemned for something our parents did? And what did our parents really do that caused God’s wrath?

Many verses show that man is not born with original sin

Rom. 2:12For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; 13(For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. 14For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: 15Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) 16In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

Matthew 5:19 Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Ezekiel 18:20The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.

John 15:22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin

Isaiah 59:2But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

Psalm 5:4For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee. 5The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity. 6Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.

Isaiah 7:15 He will be eating curds and honey when he knows enough to reject the
wrong and choose the right,

Romans 9:11 For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil

Romans 7:8But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. 9For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died10And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.

Deut 1:39 Moreover your little ones and your children, who you say will be victims,
who today have no knowledge of good and evil, they shall go in there; to
them I will give it, and they shall possess it.

Job 31:15 Did not he that made me in the womb make him? and did not one fashion us in the womb?

Ecclesiastes 7:29 Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright, but they have sought out many inventions. 

Deut. 31:29 For I know that after my death ye will utterly corrupt yourselves, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you.