What is the relationship between physical death and spiritual death? from Compelling Truth
The Bible speaks clearly about both the physical and spiritual deaths humans face. Death began in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve sinned, and God’s judgment involved death (Genesis 3). Physical death occurs when a person’s body and soul separate. Physical life then ends, while the soul continues.
Spiritual death is a different, less visible matter. All people have sinned and fall short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23). This sin separates us from God and eternal life with Him. The only sufficient way to provide spiritual life is found in the perfect Son of God, Jesus Christ. When a person trusts in Him by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9), a person receives salvation or is saved from the consequences of spiritual death that would otherwise result.
To put it another way, physical death looks similar for all people. When there is no longer breath, a heartbeat, or brain activity, the person’s physical life has ceased to exist. There are visible signs to indicate life has ended. Spiritual death is the result of sin. We are already sinners and spiritually dead. Ephesians 2:1-2 shares, “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience.”
To overcome spiritual death, a person must be born again. Jesus taught, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). In order to be born again, a person must believe in Jesus: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).