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MYSTERY OF THE AGES
Since I had to research the Sabbath question
anyway, and already I had delved into Genesis, I
decided to continue my study in the Bible.
A Doctrine at a Time
I came across, early, the passage in Romans 6:23: "The
wages of sin is death." I stopped, amazed. "Wages" is
what one is paid for what one has done. Here I was
staring at a statement diametrically opposite
to
my
Sunday school teaching (prior to age 18).
"Why," I exclaimed, "how can that be? I was taught
in church that the wages of sin is
EVERLASTING LIFE
in an
eternally burning hell."
Another shock came on reading the last part of the
same verse: "but the gift of God is eternal life through
Jesus Christ our Lord."
"But," I questioned in disillusionment, "I thought I
already had eternallife-1 am, or I have-an immortal
soul. Why should I need it as a gift?"
I researched the word
soul
by means of a Bible
concordance. Twice I found the expression, "The soul
that sinneth, it shall die" (Ezek. 18:4 and 18:20).
Then I remembered I had read in Genesis 2 how
God said to the first humans, who were souls, "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."
In Genesis 2:7 I read how God formed man of the
dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the
breath of life, and man (dust-matter) "became a living
soul." This stated plainly that a soul is physical–
formed from matter. I found that the English word
soul
is translated from the Hebrew
nephesh
and that in
Genesis 1 fowl, fish and animals-all three-were
nephesh,
as Moses was inspired to write.
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