What does it really mean to be “dead in trespasses and sins”?

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Colossians 2:12-20
(12) Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
(13) And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him [Christ], having forgiven you all trespasses
(20) …therefore…ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world…

Ephesians 2:1-6
(1) And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins
(5) Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
(6) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

Romans 6:3-4 
Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Romans 6:5
For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

The goal of this essay is to determine what it means to be “dead in trespasses and sins.” I am concerned that the popular spiritual death explanation ascribed to this phrase by many Christian leaders is misleading. From Romans 6:5 emerges a rule which tethers the words death and resurrection to each other in such a way that both words must be taken in the same sense—they are both either literal or figurative. No mixing of a figurative death (e.g. spiritual death) and a literal resurrection is therefore permitted. This point is important because in the passages of Ephesians 2:1-6 and Colossians 2:13-20, both the Romans 6:5 rule and the force of logic compel us to conclude that the Author is using the terms dead and quickened symmetrically.

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Will God Ensure that Everyone gets a Chance to Hear the Gospel—Even the Aborted Baby?

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Unless otherwise noted, all verses below are taken from the King James Version of the bible.


Election According to Foreknowledge is the Key!

Was the Gospel, as the Bible claims, really preached to every creature which is under heaven? Or should we, like many other Bible teachers, conclude that these words spoken by Paul are merely hyperbole? Curiously, one way to confirm the seriousness of this claim lies in one’s understanding of the doctrine of election. According to the Bible, before Christ created the world, He wrote down the names of several people in His [i.e. the Lamb’s] Book of Life (Revelation 13:8; 3:5; 17:8, 20:15; Luke 10:20, Ephesians 1:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14). It turns out that this book contains the names of all those who are considered ‘elect.’ Elect is a term which refers to those persons whom God has chosen ahead of time to inherit salvation. In Bible verses such as 1 Peter 1:2 and Romans 8:29, the Bible tells us that God’s choices about who to elect were based upon His foreknowledge or His knowledge-known-ahead-of-time. This is what is known as the doctrine of election.
(Also see What Does The Bible Mean By Election?Elect according to the foreknowledge of God & Fore knowledge is a Condition)

Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied. (1 Peter 1:2)

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate [i.e. elect] to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (Romans 8:29)

But what exactly did God know ahead of time and how does this foreknowledge fit into God’s rationale for choosing one person but not another? The Bible tells us that God is not a respecter of persons (Deuteronomy 10:17; Romans 2:11, Acts 10:34) so we know that God’s foreknowledge has nothing to do with one’s physical appearance, nationality or one’s efforts of any sort. If Hebrews 11:6 is right regarding the claim that God rewards those who diligently seek Him, then the only logical and biblical conclusion regarding the criteria which God used when choosing His elect is faith (i.e. whether a person, if given the chance, would obey the gospel). Continue reading

Examining the Calvinist’s Fallacy of Equivocation/Amphibology in Romans 5:18

Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. (Romans 5:18)

Romans 5:18 is the conclusion of an argument that begins back in verse 12. In the King James Version of the Bible, verses 13-17 are placed in parenthesis presumably to indicate that they form the exposition of verses 12 and 18. So, verse 12 contains four premises that form a Sorites (i.e. a cumulative chain of syllogisms), verses 13 through 17 are the details and development of these premises, and verse 18 is the conclusion of the argument.

In Romans 5:12, Paul reveals four premises/propositions:

  1. By one man sin entered into the world
  2. and death (entered into the world ) by sin
  3. so death passed upon all men,
  4. for that all (men) have sinned

All propositions come in one of four categories: All, None, Some and Some not. Putting the four Romans 5:12 propositions into categorical form, one comes up with the following: Continue reading