What is Spiritual Death?

But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. (Genesis 2:17, KJV)

Understanding spiritual death is crucial to comprehending life on earth and our victory in Christ. The Bible presents three types of death: physical, spiritual, and eternal. In this article, we will examine spiritual death in three dimensions: as a process, a state, and a power.

Let’s briefly revisit Genesis. In Genesis 2:17, God warned Adam and Eve that they would die on the day they ate from the tree. When they consumed the fruit in Genesis 3:7, they indeed died spiritually. This spiritual death manifested in their spirit, soul, and body, though it took many years for their physical demise.

Spiritual death signifies a separation from God, the essence of life. This separation is akin to physical death, where the spirit parts from the body. Such a process of detachment is termed death.

Post this separation from God, the individual continues to live. It’s vital to grasp this: spiritual death doesn’t imply destruction or an end of existence. Upon Adam’s spiritual death, he persisted in a state detached from God and aligned with the devil (Hebrews 2:14). This state, with its consequential experiences, is also termed ‘death’. For instance, post their sin, Adam and Eve began experiencing death in their hearts( shame, fear, guilt, self-condemnation), in their bodies(disease and aging), circumstances ( poverty, suffering, evil in society), and more. Such afflictions were absent before death’s introduction.

Furthermore, the Bible depicts spiritual death as a formidable spiritual power, even surpassing Satan’s might (Hebrews 2:14). Since Adam’s fall, death has dominated humanity like an evil king (Romans 5:14), inflicting emotional trauma, mental distress, societal malevolence, familial discord, diseases, and culminating in physical death.

However, there’s a beacon of hope: Jesus has conquered death in its entirety—covering separation, state, and power (2 Timothy 1:10). All that distanced us from God has been eradicated, and we’ve been reconciled to Him. No longer are we in a state of death; we’ve transitioned from death to life (John 5:24), from anguish to joy, and from Satan’s clutches to God’s embrace (Isaiah 61:3, Acts 26:18). Christ has extricated you from the clutches of death, inviting you to revel in His eternal life, a life teeming with abundance(John 10:10).


Reflect on the three facets of spiritual death elucidated above.

Apply the Word  

Christ’s sacrifice obliterated death (Hebrews 4:16). Any semblance of spiritual death is unwelcome in your life. Let grace and life reign in your world! ( Romans 5:21).


Seek the Spirit’s guidance in repelling the influences of spiritual death in your daily existence.

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