God did not originally create human beings to be subject to death, but “sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned” (Rom. 5:12). This refers to the sin of Adam recorded in Genesis 3.
God had previously instructed Adam, “of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Gen. 2:17). Therefore when Adam and Eve sinned, they immediately experienced spiritual “death,” that is, a separation from God. In addition, the just sentence of physical death began to be gradually imposed on them in that they experienced aging, leading eventually to death. God told Adam, “By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return” (Gen. 3:19). Since the time of Adam, all human beings have been subject to aging and inevitable physical death (except Enoch in Gen. 5:24; cf. Heb. 11:5; and Elijah in 2 Kings 2:11–12).
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