Death: Cut Off
July 27, 2008
Many people misunderstand the meaning of the word death. They seem to think that it means an end of all things, while it really means cut off, or separated from. This study deals with death from several perspectives, such as dead to sin, dead to Christ, dead to fellow humans, and eternal death.
Death: Cut Off
by Bernie Parsons
Presented to the Globe Church of Christ on 07-27-2008, Load 08-31-2008
Death is a subject that concerns us all. As sure as we are born into this life, we know that death is inevitable, for we all die.
Hebrews 9:27: "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:"
Many avoid thinking or talking about death. But, since it is a sure thing, we must contemplate this loathsome subject. What does it mean to die, what does death mean?
Death means to be cut off, or separated from. In the beginning, the promise that disobedience would be met with death helps us to understand this truth.
Genesis 2:17: "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 3:4: "And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:"
When Adam and Eve ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, did they drop dead?
Genesis 3:9: "And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?
10: And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
11: And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?
12: And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat."
Genesis 3:22: "And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
23: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
24: 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."
Adam and Eve were driven from the garden, from the presence of God. He also cut them off from the tree of life, so that they would not be eternal on the earth. We see two deaths here. The first was the departure from the presence of God in the garden, and the second was the cutting off from the tree of life. By this, death came to all mankind.
1 Corinthians 15:21: "For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
22: For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."
In Adam, we were cut off from the tree of life, and from God.
Romans 8:5: "For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
6: For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
7: Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
8: So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God."
Romans 6:20: "For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.
21: What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.
22: But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
23: For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
All that the works of the flesh earn us is eternal death, or cutting off, from God. In Christ, we can be alive to God, and have access to eternal life once more.
Ephesians 2:1: "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
2: Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
3: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
4: But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
5: Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
6: And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
7: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
8: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
10: For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."
By the grace of God, He sent Jesus to die for us. Not only do we walk in the presence of God in this life, but we have access to eternal life with God when this life is behind us.
Romans 6:6: "Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
7: For he that is dead is freed from sin.
8: Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:
9: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
10: For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
11: Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
12: Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
13: Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God."
Romans 8:9: "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
10: And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
11: But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
12: Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
13: For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live."
Jesus prunes the dead wood from the vine.
John 15:5: "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
6: If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned."
Those who are dead in their sins"that is, are cut off from God"are of little use to God. Those dead in sin are like so much dead wood. What is done to dead wood?
Matthew 3:10: "And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
11: I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
12: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."
Hebrews 6:8: "But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned."
That which is unprofitable is like dead wood or thorns and briars, fit only to be burned.
However, by believing in Christ and doing the works of righteous, we live again. That is, we are brought back to God, to live in His presence on the earth, and in eternal life.
Romans 5:8: "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
9: Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
10: For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
11: And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement."
We are made at one with God through our faith in Christ Jesus. We are brought back to God, rather than being cut off from Him.
2 Corinthians 5:17: "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
18: And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
19: To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
20: Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
21: For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."
We do not want to hear the Lord say
Matthew 7:21: "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22: Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23: And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."
How do we leave our sins and come to God once more?
Romans 6:1: "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
2: God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
3: Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
4: Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
5: For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
6: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin."