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Daniel of Doulogos Name:Daniel
Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
About Me: I used to believe that evolution was reasonable, that homosexuality was genetic, and that people became Christians because they couldn't deal with the 'reality' that this life was all there was. I used to believe, that if there was a heaven - I could get there by being good - and I used to think I was more or less a good person. I was wrong on all counts. One day I finally had my eyes opened and I saw that I was not going to go to heaven, but that I was certainly going to suffer the wrath of God for all my sin. I saw myself as a treasonous rebel at heart - I hated God for creating me just to send me to Hell - and I was wretched beyond my own comprehension. Into this spiritual vacuum Jesus Christ came and he opened my understanding - delivering me from God's wrath into God's grace. I was "saved" as an adult, and now my life is hid in Christ. I am by no means sinless, but by God's grace I am a repenting believer - a born again Christian.
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Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Ephesians 2:1
καὶ ὑμᾶς ὄντας νεκροὺς τοῖς παραπτώμασιν καὶ ταῖς ἁμαρτίαις ὑμῶν - Ephesians 2:1 [N-A 26]

I translate that this way:

and all of you, being dead in your offenses and sins

When God told Adam the he would die on the day that he ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil - it was no empty threat. It wasn't as if they ate the fruit and God changed his mind and "let them live" - rather, God had meant that they would die "spiritually" - which is exactly what happened.

Since the flesh cannot give birth to anything spiritual, when Adam and Eve began to procreate, their children were born physically alive, but spiritually "still born" - that is, spiritually dead.

When we read Ephesians 2:1 that all of these were born dead, we understand that this is a spiritual truth that reflects the fall - we are born spiritually dead on account of Adam's sin.

A Brief Expositional Tangent
We want to be careful therefore not to impose meaning into the word "dead" by virtue of the way the word is typically used in English...

By that I mean, that we all recognize that nothing can be "truly dead" unless it once had life. A dead frog was once a live frog, and even a still born child was once a live fetus. Nothing that is dead today was always dead, but had at one time preceded out of a state of life and into a state of death. This is self evident.

The problem comes when we take something that is self evident on a physical plane (such as to be dead something must first have been alive), and impose this rule as though it governed both the physical realm and the spiritual realm indiscriminately. Frankly, we have no grounds to presume such an imposition.

I don't doubt that life must precede death - even spiritually speaking - but because the spiritual life that precedes our spiritual death was never actually possessed by us personally, but was only ever possessed by our original ancestors (Adam and Eve only) - we are born alive physically but dead spiritually.

I pause here to mention that it isn't as though we are born without a spirit, that we somehow are born with just a body and no spirit - that isn't spiritual death, that is a spiritual vacuum. Just as some babes are born lifeless, so too every child of Adam's is born spiritually lifeless - being present but corrupted in this way - the spirit does not possess life.

On judgment day I expect that the corrupted spirit of unbelievers will be "raised to life" and united with the raised but corrupt body of the unbeliever becoming one again and thereafter judged then condemned.

Those who are "born of the Spirit" however, begin their eternal life the moment they are saved - that is, their spirit will not die when their body dies, but will live on until judgment day where the formerly corrupt body of the believer will be raised incorruptible and be united with their spirit.

The Point
The point is that in scripture, when we speak of the unbeliever as being spiritually dead we are not suggesting that the unbeliever previously was alive spiritually and suddenly died spiritually at a later time - as though they had once possessed life and had lost it - we are not suggesting that unbelievers "have died" spiritually, but rather that they are, and have always been void of anything spiritual. It isn't that they don't have a spirit, it is that the spirit that they do have is dead, and by definition unable to respond to "things of the Spirit."

Not that their spirit was once alive then later died, but rather that they never had a live spirit in the first place. Unbelievers are dead, and remain dead spiritually unless they turn to Christ at which point Christ gives them life.
posted by Daniel @ 9:36 AM  
5 Comments:
  • At 12:59 PM, April 10, 2007, Blogger Gayla said…

    Daniel...........

    You've been twice nominated for the highly coveted Thinking Blogger Award....


    By moi

    and

    By Even so

    Now run check it out. :)

     
  • At 1:00 PM, April 10, 2007, Blogger Jim said…

    Good points Daniel, very clear and concise.

     
  • At 2:47 PM, April 10, 2007, Blogger Even So... said…

    Thanks for showing right off the bat what a good choice I made. with that thinking thingy...

    Blessings to you and prayers for you...

     
  • At 3:48 PM, April 10, 2007, Blogger jazzycat said…

    Daniel,
    I do not understand your last sentence considering your other writings. Could you explain.
    Wayne

     
  • At 5:05 PM, April 10, 2007, Blogger Daniel said…

    Unbelievers are dead, and remain dead spiritually unless they turn to Christ at which point Christ gives them life.

    More precisely stated:

    Unbelievers are spiritually dead, and remain dead (spiritually) until Christ gives them life and in the response to that new life the unbelievers are drawn inevitably, and irresistably to Christ, turning from their sin to their Lord in faith.

    But I was in a hurry I suppose, and was feebly paraphrasing the thought found in Ephesians 5:13 - awake you who sleep, arise from the dead and Christ will give you life; the thought there being, of course, that the Spirit commands the spiritually dead to awaken and receive Christ.

    Sorry about the confusion - I was sloppy. Let me know if that clears it up.

     
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