The first Foundation Truth contains the arresting phrase "Dead works," which is aptly illustrated by our Lord's words, "Let the dead bury their dead," or St. Paul's phrase, "... is dead while she liveth." Fully to understand these words we need to consider the birth and constitution of a "man born of woman." (Luke 9:60, I Timothy 5:6.)
He is tripartite; body, soul and spirit. His body comes from his parents, his spirit comes from God, and his soul, i.e., himself, is the result of this union of body and spirit, a new individual without experience of any kind, but good because made by God Himself. Man is a soul, he possesses a spirit and a body, the former whereby he can contact the spirit world, and the latter with which to enter and appreciate the material world. The soul, if it loses its body, is dead to this world; if it loses its spirit, it is dead to God and the Heavenly world. If it loses both, it is dead to both worlds, conscious only of the isolation and hopeless darkness of death. Gen. 2:7—margin "lives," Num. 16:22, Is. 57:16, Eccl. 12:7, I Thes. 5:23, Mt. 11:11, Heb. 4:12, John 3:6, I Cor. 2:10-16, Job 10:21-22, Heb. 2:15, Lk. 12:5.
Every child therefore that is born into this world is alive to God through the spirit which He has given it, and alive to this world through the body which it has inherited through its parents. Its spirit is, of course, perfect like all God's works; but its flesh, coming down ultimately from Adam, is imperfect, and liable in varying degrees to desires which are sinful.
These desires, however, are not in the soul of the baby but in its flesh, and therefore this "sin in the flesh" is in the Bible phrase "Dead," i.e., harmless, and the child itself is alive to God through its spirit with which He has endowed it. So that looking at young children, our Lord said that of such was the Kingdom of Heaven; and exhorted us to become like them; which He could hardly have done if their souls had been as a matter of fact incapable of goodness, totally depraved, and fit only for