Doctrine of Spiritual Death

July 23, 2010

1. Man was created body, soul and spirit. Gen. 2:7
A. Formed the body – nostrils: aph
B. Breathed in neshama: cf Gen. 7:22 (the ruach of lives) SPIRIT
C. He became a living soul: nephesh
2. Both the soul and the spirit are necessary to maintain the physical life of the body.
A. Spirit: Ec. 12:7; Job 34:14-15; James 2:26; Psalm. 146:4
B. Soul: 1 Kings 17:17-22; Acts 20:10; Gen. 35:18, and many more.
3. Both the soul and the spirit are involved the the function of the person. The “real” you.
Luke 1:46-47; Deut. 2:30; Job 7:11; Ps. 51:10; 77:6
4. When Adam sinned against God by disobeying His instructions, he died.
Gen. 2:17 says, “in the DAY that you eat from it you shall surely die.” But he did not die physically. Gen. 3:7
See Commentary on Genesis 3
5. He died in the realm of his relationship with God. In fact, he lost that relationship, that communion, that fellowship. Gen. 3:8-10
A. He was now afraid of God
B. He hid from God
C. This loss of relationship with God is the death that he died.
D. The “principle” is seen at Isaiah 59:2,
“But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God,
And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He doesn’t hear.”
6. When Adam sinned, he did not lose any part of his human makeup.
A. His body was still there.
B. His soul and spirit were still there. Gen. 7:22; Job 34:14; Is. 42:5; 57:16
C. Everything he received in Gen. 2:7 was still there and functioning.
7. The basis for this death of Adam was his disobedience to God. An act of negative volition that constituted an attempt at independence from God.
A. The act of negative volition caused a distortion of both the soul and the body which distortion became a major part of man’s makeup.
B. This distortion came about because when Adam sinned his “nature” changed. It became “evil.” It is a nature or “influence” within that consistently operates contrary (negative) to divine viewpoint.
C. This possession of a “sin nature” puts man in a place of perpetual resistance to God. Gen. 6:5; 8:21
D. This is the same thing that happened to Lucifer when he sinned against God (Ezek. 28:17). His splendor led him to pride, and pride was the expression of independence from God which then produced a “nature” within him that “distorted” his mentality (wisdom).
E. The sin nature which man received is not in the soul or the spirit. It is in the physical body but has a direct influence on the soul through the physical “wiring” in the brain (Romans 6 and 7). (Also cf. face to face with the Lord and no sin nature; and resurrection and no sin nature)
F. See Topic The Sin Nature, in this archive.
8. The loss of relationship with God was restored to Adam and Eve when they put their trust in the Messianic promise represented at Gen. 3:15 and taught to them through the teaching aid of the animal sacrifice (Gen. 3:21).
9. But the presence of the sin nature remained in Adam and Eve as part of their human structure. And it was passed down to their children through procreation producing in them the same character of resistance to God. Gen. 5:3; 8:21; Psalm 51:5.
It is the presence of the sin nature which causes spiritual death in all of Adam’s progeny.
10. So man is born totally separated from God and under God’s judgment. This is spiritual death.
A. Eph. 2:1 – dead in trespasses and sins
B. Eph. 2:3 – by “nature” children of wrath
C. Eph. 2:12 – separate from Christ
D. Eph. 2:12 – without God
E. Rom. 5:16-10 – helpless, ungodly, sinners, enemies.
F. John 3:18 – judged already
11. In addition to loss of relationship with God, Adam’s sin resulted in physical death being appointed to the human race (Gen. 3:19; Heb. 9:27).
A. Adam and Eve were placed under the process of physical death, but it could have been interrupted had they eaten from the tree of life. That is why they were removed from the garden (Gen. 3:22-23).
B. All must face physical death, but the resurrection of Christ removed the “sting” of physical death by providing the redemption of the body through sharing in His resurrection. Rom. 8:23; 1 Cor. 15:49-57.
C. And the new resurrection body, of course, will remove once and for all the presence and effects of the sin nature. Rom. 6:4-10; Philip. 3:21
12. The 2nd result of Adam’s sin was the cursing of the earth. Gen. 3:17-18; Rom. 8:20-22
13. The 3rd result of Adam’s sin was the loss of the rulership that God had given to him. Through Satan’s defeat of Adam in the garden he usurped that authority for himself and became the ruler of the world. Accordingly, all who are born into this world, are born under the authority of Satan’s kingdom of darkness. Eph. 2:2; Col. 1:13; 1 John 4:4; 5:19; John 8:38-44; Acts 26:18; 2 Cor. 4:4; Luke 4:5-6;
John 12:31; 14;30; 16:11; Eph. 6:12.
14. Summary:
A. The term spiritual death is man made. It gives the impression that man’s “spirit” is dead. This is not the case.
B. The Bible indicates that the penalty of sin is death which is indicated throughout as having no relationship or fellowship with God.
C. In other words, there is a loss of the “spiritual” relationship that man has with God. Thus the term, spiritual death.
D. Unless there is a “faith in Christ” decision, this spiritual death will be perpetuated for all eternity as the second death in the lake of fire. Rev. 20:11-15.
E. Spiritual death entered into the realm of the human race through Eve’s and Adam’s original act of sin. This is what caused their personal separation from God.
F. Other things resulted but these are not the cause of spiritual death, but rather indicate the fact of that original sin and the spiritual death that resulted.
(Sin nature; physical death; curse on the earth; Satan’s rule)
G. Spiritual death then is passed down to all members of the human race because Adam’s children all inherit from him the sin nature. It is the presence of the sin nature that causes spiritual death in each individual.
H. The commission of personal sins further demonstrates the reality of spiritual death and man’s separation from relationship and fellowship with God. Thus, the indictment found in the bible is that man is DEAD in trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1) and DEAD in transgressions (personal sins) and the uncircumcision of your flesh (sin nature). Col. 2:13