What does “spiritual death” or “being born spiritually dead” mean?
Suggested Daily Reading: Psalm 14:2-3; Isaiah 64:6-7 and Jeremiah 13:23
The Bible speaks of three types of death: corporal (or physical), eternal and spiritual death. What does each mean?
1. Corporal death refers to a person’s physical death; when a person’s soul departs and his or her body dies.
2. Eternal death means hell; when a person’s soul enters hell, and after the resurrection, when soul and body are in hell.
3. What is spiritual death? Spiritual death is the condition of being separated from God’s saving grace and from a loving relation with Him. Since our deep fall in Adam, the representative of the entire human race, we are born separated from God. Our sinful nature wants to be its own “god.” We do not love and live for the true God, but for ourselves. Because spiritual life can only be found in God our Creator and in a living connection with Him, we are spiritually dead without a living and loving relationship with God.
Being spiritually dead, however, does not mean, that a person’s will is dead or his freedom to choose and act is lost. No, every day we all make choices. The problem is that so long as we are spiritually dead, we will not make choices to love and serve the true God. We only choose to serve ourselves. We therefore need a “new heart.” We need new spiritual life to be implanted in our hearts, a new principle that loves the true God above all and others as ourselves. We need to be ‘born again” and to show the fruits of this new spiritual life in us.
Spiritual life fights against the old previous life. It fights against living life selfishly for myself. It tries to kill the desires to put self above God and before others. Instead, spiritual life prays and works to love God above all and to genuinely care for others. It strives to deny self to love God and others more and more.
Do you know and experience that you once were spiritually dead, and now by God’s wonderful grace, you are spiritually alive? Once you lived to serve yourself, please yourself and honor yourself. These things were most important. But now, you hate what you once loved. You hate it when you live for self as number 1. Your love now is that God and His Word are number 1. You love it, when you love God above all and others as yourself. Can you identify with this? Does this describe your life? This describes a person who is no longer spiritually dead, but by God’s grace, who is spiritually alive.