Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What is Death?

Genesis 2:7 – the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being

Humankind was created physically from the dust of the ground and spiritually from the breath of God. We are the union of body and spirit.

Matthew 10:28-31 – Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Ecclesiastes 12:7 – and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

James 2:26 – As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

These verses teach us that physical death is the separation of the spirit from the body. The body returns to the ground from which it was made, and the spirit returns to God. The death of the body, therefore, is not the death of the spirit. People can kill the body, as Jesus says, but only God has power over the soul.

God, however, remains sovereign over our physical deaths, even if He does not cause them directly. He knows when and how we will die and, in His wisdom, He allows it to occur. He wills it in the sense that He does not prevent it.

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