Paul taught Christians can die spiritually:
Comparing Scripture With Scripture
To Ascertain The Meaning of Spiritual DeathFor if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live (Rom. 8:13).Some say that death is physical death, while others say it is spiritual death, like the kind Adam and Eve experienced after they committed one sin. Is there a way we can know for certain what it means to die spiritually? By comparing Scripture with Scripture we can know what he is referring to.
Basic logic proves that if a = b and b = c, then a = c. Mathematically, that is the same as saying if 6 = 4+2, and 4+2 = 5+1, then 6 = 5+1. That is similar to the three different occasions Paul taught Christians what would happen to them if they would live according to the flesh (or sinful nature) -- the one just cited in Rom. 8:13 and the following two:
If A = B and B = C, then A = C (Spiritual Death)
Spiritual Death Scripture QuotesThe acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God (Gal. 5:19-21).By comparing these passages, we can see that Paul warns Christians they will "die" by living according to the sinful nature (Rom. 8:13); "not inherit the kingdom of God" if they live out the acts of the sinful nature (Gal. 5:19-21) and "reap destruction" in contrast to "eternal life" by sowing to please the sinful nature (Gal. 6:8). In other words, the "die" of Rom. 8:13 is the same as "not inherit[ing] the kingdom of God" in Gal. 5:19-21 and the "reap[ing of] destruction" of Gal. 6:8. That equals spiritual death for the righteous who turn to evil.
The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life (Gal. 6:8).
Hence, by comparing these Scriptures, we know Paul taught Christians they will die spiritually, that is, lose salvation, if they live according to the sinful nature. James also declared the exact same truth:
To Die Spiritually Equals LOSS OF SALVATIONBut each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. Don't be deceived, my dear brothers (James 1:14-16).This is also what God had informed mankind from the very beginning on down through the centuries:And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die" (Gen. 2:16,17).While sin leads to spiritual death, a faith in Jesus which produces holiness and obedience results in eternal life:
If a righteous man turns from his righteousness and does evil, he will die for it (Ezek. 33:18).
Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey - whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? (Rom. 6:16).But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom. 6:22,23).Though this is what the original Christians taught and believed themselves, in our day the aforementioned truths have been opposed and flatly denied by the eternal security teachers. Friends, as James wrote, "Don't be deceived, my dear brothers" (1:14-16). We can correctly apply that to eternal security doctrine and the biblical meaning of die spiritually.
To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. (Rom 2:7).
... the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life (Gal. 6:8).
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