Spiritual death is the separation from the life of God, which means the loss of eternal life. Before sin, man had a living connection with His Creator. But God gave a test to man, “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:17). This means that upon the day of disobedience a judgement would be given. After sin, this connection was severed and man became estranged from the life of God.
God asked man to make a choice. He was to do the will of God knowing that he would be blessed as a result, or he would do his own will and cut his relationship with God and become independent of Him (Isaiah 59:2). Separation from the Source of life would bring only death (Romans 6:23). The Bible calls this the “second death” or the final eternal separation for disobedient (Revelation 2:11; 21:8).
The same principle applies today. The apostle Paul wrote that sinners experience this detachment due to their evil choices, “having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart” (Ephesians 4:18).
The state of the unconverted has a close analogy to physical death (Ephesians 2:1). In the latter, there is missing the life element that is essential to growth and vitality, and this is exactly the state of spiritual death (Ephesians 5:14; John 6:53; 1 John 3:14; 5:12; Revelation 3:1).
God’s Good News
Jesus declared, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live” (John 11:25). Jesus is the Life-giver (1 John 5:11). He, who accepts Him as Lord, receives life (1 John 5:11, 12) and is affirmed of a future resurrection and eternal life (1 Corinthians 15:51–55; 1 Thessalonians 4:16).
Only those who have faith in Him, as their personal Savior from sin and walk in His path, can expect to receive everlasting life. Christ promised, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand” (John 10:28). The saved will be delivered from the bondage of sin and its deadly consequences (Revelation 20:6).
Christ not only justifies the sinner by forgiving all of his past sin (Ephesians 2:8) but He also delivers him from its bondage through the process of sanctification. This process is obtained by daily surrender to God’s will (Romans 12:1-2), study of His Word (Psalm 119:11,105), prayer (1 Thessalonians 1:17) and witnessing (Romans 10:9).
As the Father resurrected Jesus Christ, even so all Christians can be raised up as newborn children. This is the experience of conversion. “And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses” (Colossians 2:13). Within the realm of man’s soul, the same divine power will work through the fully surrendered human heart, to resurrect repentant sinners into the amazing new life of victory over sin. The apostle Paul praised the Lord saying, “thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).
The great object of the plan of salvation is the restoration of man to living connection with God, to his original condition of perfection, and to a freedom from all the effects of sin. This work is done by the Holy Spirit (Romans 7:25). For this victory over all the power of the enemy and spiritual death, the saved will give glory and honor to God through the eternal ages (Revelation 5:11–13; 15:3, 4; 19:5, 6).
In His service,