Jonathan Edwards on Original Sin (Part 18)
I. “Death,” in addition to “loss of life,” indicates “perfect, perpetual, and hopeless misery, as well as “total, confirmed wickedness.”
II. “[T]he death which was to come on Adam, as the punishment of his disobedience, was opposed to that life, which he would have had as the reward of his obedience in case he had not sinned.” Therefore, just as the life promised to Adam for obedience was an eternal life, the death promised to Adam for disobedience is an eternal death.
III. The Bible says that the righteous, those who believe in Jesus, shall never die (see Eze 18:21, John 11:26 to give but two of the many examples Edwards cites to prove his point), yet we all die; therefore, death as a punishment for unrighteousness and unbelief must signify something beyond cessation of physical life.
IV. The same word “death” can be used for both physical and spiritual death, as seen by the Hebrew words for “heart,” “breath/spirit/soul,” and “peace,” which all clearly have physical, as well as spiritual, signification.
Labels: Reformation Theology