Monday: Sin and Death

In Genesis 3:19, Adam was told that, at death, he would return to the dust from which he was made.

Image © Jeff Preston from

Image © Jeff Preston from

The same thing happens to us. Notice—we do not return to being apes, because we were not made from apes. We were made from dust, and it’s to the dust, at death, that we return.

Read Genesis 2:7; Psalm 104:29-30; John 1:4; Acts 17:24-25. What is the ultimate significance of these texts for us? How should this truth impact the way in which we live?

Life is a marvelous phenomenon. We are all familiar with life, but there is still something mysterious about it. We can take apart a living organism, but in the end we find nothing there except various kinds of atoms and molecules. We can collect the molecules in a container and heat it or pass an electric spark through it or try any number of other experiments, but we do not get life again. There is no entity called “life” that exists within a living body or a living cell. Life is a property of the entire living system, not an entity that can be separated from the cells.

On the other hand, we know much about how to produce death. We have devised many ways of killing living things. Some of these methods reveal in astonishing detail the violence and cruelty of our sinful hearts. Death we can produce, but the creation of life is beyond our grasp. God alone has the ability to create living organisms. Scientists have tried to create life, thinking that if they could do so they would have an excuse for why they do not believe in God. So far, all such efforts have failed.

Read Isaiah 59:2. How does sin affect our relationship to the Life-Giver?

If life comes only from God, then separation from God cuts us off from the source of life. The inevitable result of separation from God is death. Even if one lives 969 years, as did Methuselah, the story still ends with “and he died.” Sin, by its very nature, causes separation from life, and the result is death.

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