Spiritual Death

Q. Can a Christian die spiritually? Romans 8:5 says if anyone lives according to the flesh, they will die, and James 1:15 says that when sin is matured, it brings forth death.

A. The Bible speaks of two deaths where humanity is concerned. The first is the physical death, which is the death of our body, and the second is the spiritual death, which is eternal separation from God. Becoming born again does not protect us from physical death, but does protect us from spiritual death.

In Romans 8:5 Paul said those who live according to the sin nature (flesh) have their minds set on what the sin nature desires, while those who live according to the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. Notice it doesn’t say those who live according to the Spirit no longer sin. It says our intention is to do what the Spirit desires. That means even though we often fail, our intention is to please Him.

James 1:15 says when sin is matured it brings forth death. Since we all have a sin nature, we all sin. Unbelievers have no choice but to go the way of their sin nature, and their sins will mature to bring forth death. But believers have the Holy Spirit who was given to us as a deposit guaranteeing our salvation (Ephes. 1:13-14). Our sins cannot mature to bring forth death because we’ve been forgiven for all of them and have eternal life.

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