“We know that we have crossed over from death to life because we love our fellow Christians. The one who does not love remains in death” 1 John 3:14
Death does not always equal mortality in the NT. You cannot substitute death and mortality at will. That’s one reason why the words are different. Clearly in this instance death refers to the fate or spiritual condition of the individual rather than their pulse rate or them being mortal.
“Then when desire conceives, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is full grown, it gives birth to death.” James 1:15 NET
James describes from verse 14 onwards that we are personally responsible for our sins. While God might try us, His objective is not to see us fail. We are tempted and fail due to our own lusts – and the inability to control them. When our lusts go too far, when we do not control them they lead to sin. James says this then leads to death.
The Lampstand Magazine and many conservative Christadelphians insist on a reading of Romans 5:12 that replaces the word death with mortality (claiming the words are equivalent). Clearly such an approach is nonsense – the word mortal cannot fit in James 1.
Furthermore the passage simply shows that death can be used as the fate of the wicked. All humans sin but some will never die 1 Cor 15:51. James is not talking about the forgiven saints whose death is elsewhere styled sleep. They do not die because of sin. It is those who allow sin to reign in their mortal bodies who will reap the reward of death. For those saved by grace it is an altogether happier story as Paul says:
“we were dead in transgressions, [but God has] made us alive together with Christ—by grace you are saved.” Eph 2:5 NET
Once again the Lampstand Magazine has produced an unfortunate article which doesn’t fairly reflect the facts on the ground in an article called “Death the Last Enemy (Part 2)” in Volume 23. The article notably fails (as did the last one) to deal with any of the arguments/rationale advanced by those who accept EC. Continue reading
For more detail on this subject see this post.
Paul moves on from discussing the implications of the law in his members which dragged him into sin to then discuss Romans 8 – and the triumph of the faithful in God’s love despite their personal failures (as considered in Rom7). Critically he continues the dualistic approach he commenced in Rom 5:12, we are either in Adam/servants of sin/dead/carnal or we are in Christ/servants of God/spiritually minded. Continue reading
Paul describes his natural as carnal/fleshly in Rom7:14 and goes on to with the most pertinent discussion of our nature and our inevitable inability to do what is right in Rom7:17-23 Continue reading