Salvation: The Origin of Death

Graves

Today, I’m getting back to the salvation series. We’re examining Scripture to answer the question of what it is we are saved from.

I recently looked at salvation in Job, and found that this oldest book of the Bible speaks of salvation from afflictions and salvation from death (both by preservation and by resurrection).

I promised that I would go back and examine the origin of death and afflictions from which salvation is needed.

Genesis

To do this, we must go to the beginning of the book of Genesis. Genesis means “origin,” and the book bearing such a name does in fact describe the origins of the world, humans, sin, and death.

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth … And God saw everything that he had made and, behold, it was very good.” (Genesis 1:1–31, LEB)

A Command

God created a “very good” world that did not include suffering and death. He placed man into this good world and gave him just one command.

And Yahweh God commanded the man, saying, “From every tree of the garden you may freely eat, but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:16–17, LEB)

The more literal rendering of that last phrase is “dying you shall die.” In other words, Adam’s sin would begin the process of death.

Sin Causes Death

This concept is found throughout the Scriptures. The punishment for sin is death.

“The person who sins will die.” (Ezekiel 18:20, NASB)

The wages of sin is death. (Romans 6:23, NASB)

The sting of death is sin. (1 Corinthians 15:56, NASB)

When sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. (James 1:15, NASB)

The Curse

But Adam failed to uphold the one condition God had given him. He sinned, breaking God’s command by eating the fruit. Because of this, the whole earth was placed under the curse of sin and death.

Then Yahweh God said …, “Because you listened to the voice of your wife and you ate from the tree from which I forbade you to eat, the ground shall be cursed on your account.

In pain you shall eat from it all the days of your life. And thorns and thistles shall sprout for you, and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you shall eat bread, until your return to the ground.

For from it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” (Genesis 3:14–19, LEB)

The New Testament confirms that this was the origin of sin and death in the world.

Through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin. (Romans 5:12, NASB)

By a man came death, … in Adam all die. (1 Corinthians 15:21–22, NASB)

All Men Sin

But Adam wasn’t the only one to sin. Every man (with one exception) has been guilty of sinning, creating his own personal debt, for which the payment is death.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23, NASB)

So death spread to all men, because all sinned. (Romans 5:12, NASB)

Thus we all need salvation from sin and death.