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Spiritual Death

“We know that the true tragedy is not physical death but rather spiritual death. Spiritual death is separation from God…we can be physically alive but spiritually dead. In Colossians, Paul says, “And you being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He had made alive together with him” (Colossians 2:13)…Thus, spiritual death is like the condition of a dead body. It is unresponsive to the Spirit. It can neither hear the truth of God nor do His will…Our heart dies spiritually every day. Only ardent, tearful prayer can restore it to breath and life. If we do not pray fervently every day we may easily and speedily be overtaken by spiritual death.” (Fr. Joshua Makoul, Fr. Basil, St. John of Kronstadt )

“…our understanding of “dying with Christ” has been grievously complicated in the modern world. We no longer understand death as a spiritual reality, “of which one can partake while being alive, from which one can be free while lying in the grave…” Death is reduced to a mere biological event. We have lost sight of the reality that death means separation from God, with attendant physical, psychological, and spiritual corruption…Christ Jesus longs to free us from spiritual death. The Lord Jesus embraced death and overcame it so that He might end that creeping death in our hearts. (Dynamis 12/20/2021)

“With the fall of Adam, both humanity and the entire cosmos were affected. Illness, therefore, is not the root problem, but only a symptom. The far more significant consequence of the fall was the rupture of the communion between God and humanity, between humans among themselves, and between humanity and the rest of creation. For Christians, sickness and death are not the real problem: rather, it is alienation from God, and the resulting spiritual death, which are the real tragedy.” (Paul Meyendorff)

“Whence comes the ubiquity of sickness? When Adam and Eve eat the forbidden fruit in paradise, the result is death. Spiritual separation from God is followed, in due time, by physical death (Gn 3:8-14,17-20). Spiritual death causes Adam, Eve, and their descendants to become subject to physical death (1 Cor. 15:22). As a result, disease, pain, and suffering are now part of the human condition. Because of man’s fall from paradise, we all become ill and our bodies eventually die. Christ comes to reverse the effects of sin: “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (Jn 10:10). This life He offers includes health. Indeed, healing physical ailments plays a prominent part of Christ’s ministry. His ability to heal reveals His absolute power over our health.” (Dynamis 7/18/2020)

“…those who believe in Christ are already transferred from the sphere of spiritual death into the realm of eternal life. As those alive in Christ, they are not subject to God’s condemnation but abide in Him and live in His grace.” (Fr. Basil)


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