According to the Bible, “transgression” of God’s will is “bigger” than sin. By way of analogy, if transgression of God’s will is a large circle, the circle of sin fits inside it, and yet transgression is something other than sin as well. This is so because God’s will is the highest form of rule and the foundation of every individual written law and commandment related to the scripture. If we come to know “sin” is the breaking of that written law and/or commandment, e.g., such as breaking one of the Ten Commandments, we begin to understand “transgression” is disobedience to God’s unwritten will which we come to know through the Spirit. (Please note, the Bible sometimes refers to transgression of God’s will as sin, simply because of the overlap in meaning.)
As mentioned previously, God’s will is the pathway unto life. A refusal to know or do the will of God is an affirmative rejection of Him as a Father. Rejecting Him is a pathway to eternal death. By these premises, we start to prove the Word is the will of God.
For example, every written rule or obligation handed down by God is the law in the “letter” or writing, and yet “DOing” God’s will shall always be the underlying intent (spirit) of His rule in Word as expressed in the letter of it. “Living” to please God means living a lifestyle in accordance with His will in the doing of it, not just knowing it. For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified... Romans 2:13. In fact, we seek to do the will of God as the “supreme” law of God (1) as per the letter (e.g., the Word as a first love), and (2) that which He conveys to us personally by the Spirit, because His will determines how we come to know Him in the Spirit as a father, the Father. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Galatians 4:6. (Also, “Abba, Father” means “father, Father”!)
The “Spirit of His son” is the Word! It is the statement of His will. Consider: But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. James 1:22. Hence, we know God’s will makes Him the Almighty, and the Word is a statement of the Almighty. By it we avoid the penalty of sin according to the letter of the law automatically as a product of the Spirit in us when we receive His Word witnessed by the Holy Ghost making us His son. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. Romans 8:14. (Recall, the Father is the soul of God, the Word is the body of God as it lived in Jesus (a son of God for sure) and lives in us, and the Holy Ghost (Spirit of Truth) is the spirit/will of God in power and certainty of it.)
Hence, we cannot expect the Word to list every “do not” law, because the “do not” laws are unto death, but God is for the living. While the letter of the law may condemn, we seek life by the Word in the doing of God’s will through the Spirit. Stated another way, nobody should seek to know the letter of the law as a means to avoid the will of God, for example, by pursuing an undocumented “do not” activity. The Word does not specifically say, "Do not throw rocks through your neighbor's window," because we are told in the Word (as a commandment of God) to love your neighbor as yourself. Thus, breaking your neighbor's window with rocks is wrong.
All of this is better understood in the context of the first transgression of God’s will. The first transgression of His will was the first event in which mankind disregarded (disbelieved) His Word and mankind chose the will of the flesh over the will of God. In the depiction of the fall of man in Genesis 3, this biblical account of the first transgression of the Word of God reinforces the importance of God’s will and the Spirit. Therefore, even if we question the imagery or facts presented here with respect to the “forbidden fruit” as transgression depicted in the Bible, the underlying message and lesson is this: God reigns supreme, the spirit of His Word is His will, and His will is conveyed by His Word in the power of the truth of it, and we may live forever because of it!
At a time when there was no written “Law” and before the first transgression of God’s will, the Bible says the first man was named “Adam” and his wife was named “Eve” as discussed in Module 2. They both lived potentially forever so long as they obeyed God’s word, i.e., did what God said. Their home was a perfect environment having everything they needed for continual sustenance and perpetual survival. As residents in God’s garden, Adam and Eve were permitted by God the Father to partake of everything situated therein, except the fruit of a specific tree called the fruit of the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (i.e., the “forbidden fruit”). In fact, God told the first man and woman they would surely die if they ate the forbidden fruit. ...the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the 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 that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. Genesis 2:16-17. 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. Genesis 3:1-5.
Meanwhile, the god of this world (lower case “g” intended) (2 Corinthians 4:4) was roaming about the earth as the source of all antagonism of God’s will. (The enemy was exiled here on earth by God.) As the enemy (Matthew 13:37-43), or adversary, the devil seeks whomever he might destroy. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 1 Peter 5:8. The enemy is sometimes called the “tempter”. For example, And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. Matthew 4:3. The Bible says the devil/evil (the tempter) was on earth before Adam and Eve, because God banished him here. See, Matthew 4:1-10.
From above, there are two very important facts that demand emphasis. 1. The earth is that place the devil was exiled in punishment for rising up against God and challenging His Word (and His will). 2. Not surprisingly, this world is the place where the disobedient serve a rebellious god. The reference to “him” in Matthew 4:3 above is a reference to Jesus who was also tempted by the enemy, so please do not think anyone on earth is free from the temptation of the enemy.
As an inhabitant of the earth before Adam and Eve, the tempter entered the garden (home) and first tempted Eve to disobey God in unbelief of what He said (i.e., His Word). Now the serpent was more subtil 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, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. Genesis 3:1-5. (Please note, irrespective of whether or not the enemy “trespassed” into the garden as the domain of God, or if the enemy had the “right” to be in the garden as part of the roaming devil’s permissible real estate because the garden was a subset of the world at large into which the enemy was banished, the fact is: the antagonist of God’s will was in there!)
After having given in to the temptation of the devil and transgressing God’s will, Eve then did the work of the devil and made herself a worker of iniquity by tempting her husband Adam to also disobey the will of God. She used her own flesh, which as a couple was also part of him and from him, as her flesh was made from of Adam’s flesh (Genesis 2:23). She sought to have Adam also partake of the forbidden fruit and personally commit the same transgression, i.e., disobedience of God’s Word. Adam then gave in to the enemy's temptation through her by also partaking of the forbidden fruit. 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. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. Genesis 3:6-7.
In short, Adam and Eve exercised their God given right to choose their lifestyle as either, obedient to the will of God or obedient to the will of their flesh and the tempter of it. They both chose to satisfy their own flesh by what they wanted pleasing themselves instead of what God wanted according to His will and pleasing Him. In refusing to live a lifestyle in obedience to His Word as the statement of His will, Adam and Eve transgressed the will of God by following the will of their own flesh (i.e., themselves). As a result, the first man transgressed the supreme law of God (i.e., the will of God). (As discussed in detail later, anything or anyone that seeks to prevent the will of God from being done is doing the work of the enemy–the devil! Moreover, whatever God has one person do should not be the concern of another who disagrees. ...Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? John 21:23.)
As He said and because of the surety and truth of His Word, God the Father considered them “dead” and no longer capable of living forever with Him. Because God is a God of the living and not of the dead, (Matthew 22:32; See also, Luke 20:38 and Mark 12:27), Adam and Eve could no longer dwell in the garden (home) of eternal sustenance (life) with Him and were banished to the outside world and the domain of the enemy. They were expelled from the garden and barred from ever reentering it. Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. 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. Genesis 3:23-24.
“How” they died is discussed in detail below, but we can safely assume Adam and Eve would not have chosen to “die”, (or be expelled from the perfect garden residence), if they truly believed His Word, and more specifically, if they believed the promised outcome of their disobedience in unbelief would bring about their own death sentence. Unbelief of God’s Word is most definitely a transgression of His will–Adam and Eve proved it for all mankind. Please be aware, unbelief of His Word can manifest in: a refusal to accept it as-is, a desire to change His Word to better suit the flesh, an attempt to interpret His Word to escape the truth or hardness of it, or a desire to replace the Word with a doctrine or teaching of man’s religion, etc.
Still, Adam and his wife lived in the flesh a long time after they were banished from the garden. In fact, the Bible says Adam was 930 years old when his flesh body finally died. And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died. Genesis 5:5. Considering human procreation, the first man and woman could have been surrounded by thousands of descendants at the time of Adam’s death. Some scholars say tens of thousands, and others say 120,000 which is possible if we consider there was no time or aging in the eternal garden of life, and Adam’s 930 year lifespan is measured from the day he was banished. (The fact should also be noted, by comparison to eternity even 930 years is a brief time and yet one day for the Lord. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 2 Peter 3:8. Coincidence? I think not.)
In an attempt to answer the "lest ye die" “in that day” question associated with their death, many people say Adam (and Eve) “died spiritually”. But how can there be a “spiritual death” if Adam was not “spiritual”, but carnal? Suggesting Adam (and Eve) “died spiritually” as passing from eternal life to death directs the question to the context of “spiritual death” and the need for a better understanding of the Spirit of God. Could “spiritual death” mean Adam (and Eve) were born of the Spirit of God in the beginning? Simply stated, for anyone to say Adam “died spiritually”, or to say people today are born “spiritually dead” in the context of passing from a God given eternal life in the Spirit to death as a result of Adam’s transgression at some time prior to his alleged death or death sentence, Adam must have been born “of the Spirit” of God which is eternal. Because the enemy being a spirit is killed in the end, and the end has not yet come, we can at least say the death of Adam was a “death sentence”.
While the entire Bible, particularly the difference between the Old Testament and New Testament, proves Adam was not born of the Spirit of God, could the first man have been of the Spirit of God? Could the first man, or at least part of him, have been part of the Spirit of God and still die, in order for every descendant of humankind to be spiritually dead at birth as some people claim? God never dies—He is supreme or He is not God. Moreover, His Word is true in the context of guaranteed as His will. Otherwise, His Word is optional and the death sentence on Adam was arbitrary. Therefore, we must consider Adam as a trinity of parts in man to find out what part of him “died”.
We know man was created as a trinity in the image of God, so what part of man must have been of the Spirit of God for Him to die spiritually? Adam had a body, soul and spirit like every person. Was the first man’s body of flesh and bones a “glorified” spiritual body? No. The Bible clearly says the first man “is of the earth” and earthy. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. 1 Corinthians 15:47. See also, Genesis 2:7. Setting aside man’s carnal practice of embalming (preserving) a dead body as an advanced wet form of mummification, the human body returns to the earth when the body dies. …till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. Genesis 3:19.
Was the soul of the first man of the Spirit of God? No. Even though all mankind was made a living soul (Genesis 2:7), our natural “bloodline” is human. If man’s soul were of the Spirit of God, Adam would be of the Father who is the soul of God, or he would at least be part of the eternal God in some way (Matthew 12:18 and Isaiah 42:1), and thus interminable as being of the Father’s “bloodline” of the Spirit. Recall, the spirit/will of man governs the eternal disposition of his own soul as mentioned previously. Therefore, was Adam’s spirit/will of man of the Spirit of God and Adam’s spirit/will of man is the piece that allegedly died spiritually? No, but not surprisingly, this one gets the “closest”.
The spirit/will of man governs the eternal disposition of the soul as explained previously, but if Adam’s own spirit were of the Spirit of God, Adam would have had the Father, the Word and/or the Holy Ghost as his spirit of man. As explained in detail below in the context of the Word, only Jesus had/has the Spirit of God in Him from birth. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. 1 Corinthians 15:45. (As to Jesus, the “last Adam” referenced in the preceding verse and explained in later modules, we know: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God....And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John 1:1 and 1:14. The “flesh” that “dwelt among us” in the preceding verse is the flesh of Jesus the Christ.)
Okay, so what happened when mankind died “in that day” of the transgression? “In that day” mankind lost his connectivity to the Father which we come to know by His will. Stated another way, our Father in heaven reveals Himself to us according to His will, not ours. His will and the revelation of Himself is given to us by and through His Word as the Spirit. God gave man his life by breathing life into Him. That breath was without words, but the Father’s breath and power of His Word give eternal life to those that receive it, obey it, and therefore live by it. When the first man disobeyed (rejected) His Word, man chose another way to live. Any way other than the Word of God leads to death, because the Word of God is eternal life! Jesus said: It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. John 6:63.
Stated another way, when Adam transgressed God’s will by the exercise of his (Adam’s) own spirit/will of man, Adam chose the will of his flesh and proved that which he loved most in his heart by his actions. Instead of living by the will of God (literal), Adam chose the path of the temporal flesh and the certain death thereof. Adam chose to give up the eternal sustenance God provided by the knowledge of His will communicated by His Word. As a result, Adam and Eve were sentenced to die and so too were all of their offspring to follow including each of us.
Therefore, if anyone says Adam was the representative of mankind and he “died spiritually”, be sure they know the context of their own statement. Obedience to God’s will is the means by which we come to know the Father as “God”, because God is a spirit comprised of the Father, the Word and the Holy Ghost. The Father’s will is in Him as His purpose for being God! Stated another way, God the Father is God as He reveals Himself to us according to His will.
Further, Adam’s disobedience to the Father’s will was in unbelief as disobedience of His Word. Even if Adam chose what he thought or mistakenly believed was “okay”, or if he claimed he was lied to by the devil, Adam cannot be excused from the penalty of his transgression because of the unbendable truth of God’s Word. Again, if Adam truly believed he would die as God had said, then Adam probably would not have disobeyed. Today, we must believe His Word to live (and not die)! In the context of disobedience, 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. John 3:18. 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. Revelation 21:8. The first man and woman proved God’s Word is truly a double-edged sword as it cuts both ways... protecting life or taking it.
LIFE IN CHRIST MATTERS and the LORD'S PORTER are trademarks of Life in Christ Matters. Life in Christ Matters is a 501(c)(3) non-profit entity. Your contributions are very much appreciated and completely tax deductible, but please consult your tax advisor.
©2020 Life in Christ Matters, All Rights Reserved.