Our bodies are replaced, except for our skeletal structure, every five years through the replacement of our cells. About every seven years new bone structure completes the body's replacement. Thought replacement is even more important than cell replacement. Life and death are the alternatives to our choosing thoughts.
Adam and Eve started with life surging through them as well as around them. They chose death. Death occurred when they took the essence of themselves, their spirits, from God.
One of the attributes of death is separation. Spiritual separation occurred immediately. Death would follow eventually in their bodies. The choice to take their spirits from God was reversed in the choice of Jesus. On the cross He commended, or entrusted, His spirit to the Father (Luke 23:46). Through His choice, our spirit is joined to God again – if we join ourselves to Christ in faith.
The immediacy of death in their spirits resulted in the loss of their consciousness of God's presence. God's omnipresence was at first fully enjoyed. There is no indication there was ever a sense of God's absence until they chose to disobey. They practiced the presence of God without a cognitive awareness they were doing it – it was part of their spiritual likeness.
Oneness with God contained no awareness of anything other than being who they were. Their lost consciousness of God became a crescendo when they "heard the voice of God in the garden." Instead of rushing to embrace the one they had loved as part of His nature in their spirit, they ran from Him in fear and shame. Their death spiritually was now evident. They had distanced themselves from God, and that is spiritual death.
When we know who God is, we can learn who we are.
When we know where God is, we can learn where we are.
When we know God is love's truth, we can learn to believe God.
Their souls experienced death's advance as well. They dreaded God instead of delighting in God. Love no longer resonated in their thoughts. Instead, fear gripped their soul's engagement of thought. Death in the soul was destroying the healthy experience of enjoying God's unchanging nature: love.
Death in their bodies was also activated, and now necessary. Without death physically, though they lived for years, they would never have returned from death's shadow to the full power of the light. All of life would have been seen through a cloudy glass that obscured much of the exquisite beauty of God and all of life.
Being born spiritually, as Jesus explained to Nicodemus, reverses this order of death. Life returns in our spirit immediately. Life grows in our soul and in our mind progressively. Life ultimately occurs in our bodies in resurrected likeness.
Two minds are disclosed many times in Scripture. Paul knew these two minds as few others. He also knew that in one mind there was life and in the other was death. Initially his mind fiercely fought against life as found in Christ. When he experienced the renewing of his mind, he became a strong advocate for the mind of Christ as he had been strong in his hostility toward Him.
For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God (Romans 8:6, 7, NASU).
The settings of two minds are contrasted. One is the mind set on the flesh, which is self-ruled. The other is set on the Spirit, which is Christ-ruled. Self-rule is death. Christ-rule is life and peace.
Watch Jim Hylton this Tuesday on LIFE TODAY. This is an excerpt from Being At Ease by Jim Hylton. Copyright ©2016 by Jim Hylton. Published by Carpenter’s Son Publishing, Franklin, Tennessee. Used by permission.