For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. —1 Corinthians 15:21
Death came upon mankind both spiritually and physically because of Adam’s sin; but praise God, through Jesus Christ, death was conquered. Mortality came by Adam, but immortality came by Christ. Sin and death no longer have power over mankind because the curse was broken through the death and resurrection of our Lord.
The Gospel Truth this quarter deals with the theology of the first and second death and the first and second resurrection. I have prayed, studied, and researched much into these topics. There are many doctrines relating to these subjects that are clearly false, as they contradict the simple teachings of Christ. Even in researching past writings from Church of God brethren on the subject, I found a diversity of thought on some of the precise definitions and meanings. Some of the brethren purported that the first death was the physical death while others taught that it was the spiritual death that occurred in the Garden of Eden. Both of these teachings are compatible with the general tenor and teaching of the scripture.
I have come to the conclusion and am at peace spiritually and intellectually through the Word that the “First Death” is a result of the singular pronouncement of God as the penalty for disobedience. The nature of that ONE pronouncement was BOTH physical and spiritual. Christ rectified that one curse, which was in two parts, by the first and second resurrection.
I am inspired and enlightened by the scriptures shared in this issue. My prayer is that every reader will be challenged to be spiritually resurrected through Christ and to be warned of the final and second pronouncement of death yet to come for the unbeliever at the judgement. Thank God that hell hath no power over those who have been spiritually resurrected.
Michael W. Smith