God alone has immortality (1 Timothy 6:16).
The Redeemed are to receive immortality at the glorious coming of our Lord (1 Corinthians 15:52-53).
What then is mankind’s condition before the time of this glorious event? At this very moment, are we mortal or immortal?
Creation of Life
Let us start at the beginning. At creation the Lord God created man. Here is the account.
And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
In the process of creating man, God first formed him of the dust of the ground, secondly he gave him breath (life), the result was that man became a living soul.
The Lord God
1) formed man of the dust of the ground
2) breathed into his nostrils the breath of life
3) and man became a living soul.
God created man, He gave him life — everything was good. In fact God declared that it was very good. Very good in God’s eyes would have to be absolutely perfect when seen through my eyes!
And God observed everything he had made, and he saw it was very good.
Yet trouble was coming.
In everything that mankind did, nothing could go wrong, and man could do no wrong — except that God gave a single test in which man could step out of loyalty to Him!
In this test mankind was forbidden to eat from one tree. To eat of this tree would separate him from God and result in his death. God stated very clearly, “You shalt not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die.”
16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat:
17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die.
Death is the reversal of life. God created man as a living soul. Disobedience brought a separation between God and man. A living soul becomes a dead soul.
Adam a living soul was to die.
Behold, all souls are mine… the soul that sins, it shall die.
As man has no innate life in himself, separation from the source of life brings death. Without the life which God gave, a lifeless body will simply return to the earth from where it came. Dust to dust, ash to ashes!
In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground; for out of it you were taken: for dust you are, and unto dust you shall return.
Ecclesiastes 12:7 describes the process of death. At death the spirit (breath, life) returns to God who gave it. This is the reverse process of creation as described in Genesis 2:7.
Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
This describes the natural human condition. Cut off from the source of life there is no life.
God’s Plan to Save Man
God is not cruel to His creation. He is gracious. He has a plan to save man.
Romans 5:12, 19, 21
12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
21 … as sin has reigned unto death, even so grace will reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
Simply stated —
1) through Adam’s disobedience, many (that is – Adam’s offspring) were made sinners
2) through Christ’s obedience, many (that is – Christ’s Redeemed) shall be made righteous
3) and these shall receive eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord
For further information regarding salvation and eternal life go to the previous sections of this article and see for example ‘The Gift of Immortality.’
This part of the book deals essentially with man’s mortality and to this we shall return.