How to know if you are Dead? (spiritual life)
By David Cox v1 © 2011 2014
This tract can be freely copied and distributed.
What a strange topic! Why or in what case would this question be valid? Very simply this is a question that every person should reflect on, and see if truthfully you are to be considered spiritually alive or not. There are many walking around in the world thinking that they are saved and that they are Christians when actually according to the Bible, they are totally dead in the spirit, unsaved. While so many presume to be spiritually alive, it is very important to understand that according to the Bible, they are dead.
We should have abundant evidence that we are saved and alive spiritually, because we see spiritual life within us, and not the traces of death.
The Bible identifies “what we once were” as in 1Cor 6:11, Rom 13:13, Tit 3:13 and 1Pet 4:3, so if you do not clearly see a “BEFORE” salvation versus an “AFTER” salvation, you probably are not spiritually alive (saved, going to heaven). In other words if there is no spiritual change in your life, there is no desire for spiritual things, you do not have a blessed comunion with God, you are probably not saved. Evalute your life and see.
What marks the difference?
2Cor 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
The Bible says that a saved person is “born again” (Jn 3:3), which causes a spiritual change in their life, which is contrasted with the carnal, sinful previous life before being saved. This contrast consists in (1) (before rebirth) your life is without God and without a real deep concern for the things of God, and you have problems even wanting to please God. (2) (after rebirth) you naturally have a life that focuses on God, God’s will, and pleasing God by how you live your own life.
Spiritual baptism (which is really salvation according to Rom 6:4) symbolizes a “dying” or burying with Christ (which is death to sin) and a resurrection from that death (which is the new life). Spiritual life is marked by a voluntary desire and will to live your life centered on pleasing God (doing His will), and a death to old life, to your carnal and unspiritual desires. Rom 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
When there is no real spiritual change in the life of the person, you are still totally dead. There is ALWAYS (100% of the time) this spiritual change (of disposition and attitude) in a spiritually alive person. There is no other option. Perhaps you are fighting with sin in your life, and this is part of that change, but there is no other option, you must show real desire and energy towards living a new life in Jesus Christ. If you have no desire towards Christ, you are spiritually dead.
Salvation comes by acknowledging your sins before God, then repenting of them, and believing that the death and resurrection of Jesus on the cross was personally for you. You recieve Jesus into your heart as your Savior from your sins. This is a package deal, and you turn from sin to righteousness (doing what is right in Jesus’ eyes), and this produces spiritual life in you 1Cor 6:9-10.
Col 3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. 5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6 For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: 7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. 8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 10 And have put on the new man…
Live in the Likeness of Christ
1John 2:6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
1John 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
The evidence that we have spiritual life (through Jesus Christ) is that we walk as Jesus our Savior walked. The receiving of Christ includes receiving his person, his character, his morality as the moral pattern for our own lives. The very simple test to measure if you have this spiritual life is if you are striving to be like Jesus. Do you dedicate your life to accomplish the will of God the Father, and to promote his work on earth? Can you honestly say that you energy and goals are to be like Him (Christ)?
Bearing Spiritual Fruit
Rom 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
The bottom line is that you must have the indwelling Holy Spirit in you, causing holiness and a desire and interest in spiritual things. This “seal of God” is seen in holiness (not sinning, and doing the righteousness that God desires in us). Whatever your religious experience or background is, if you do not have a personal relationship with Jesus, where you are trusting (have faith) in Him as your Savior, then you are not saved, and you will not go to heaven. If you do have this relationship, IT WILL ALWAYS 100% of the time be seen by the indwelling Holy Spirit causing you to be interested in the things of God, and causing you to not sin, but do God’s righteousness instead. The Holy Spirit is seen in the way we think, what we think about, our attitude, our speech and our actions. The saved person is evidenced by a profound and sincere desire for the spiritual of God. The spiritually dead doesn’t have this relationship with Jesus, even though they may be very religious. We may see “good works” in a religous dead man, but we must have Christ to be saved and alive spiritually. If we have Christ, our life will reflect it. The Jews of the Old Testament were a very religious people, but without Christ, Jesus called them the sons of the devil. John 15:2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. This “spiritual life” in Chriist is independent of “being a Jew” or not. Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance… To be spiritually alive, you must have this spiritual fruit growing within your life, and with time, it should be in abundance. To presume that you are saved and going to heaven without this personal relationship with Jesus that will transform your life is folly, and you are at risk of going to hell.
Do you have the Stink of Death?
2Cor 2:15 For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: 16 To the one we are the savour (smell) of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?
You see every person has a smell about them, some the sweet smell pleasing to God, and others the stink of death. The concept here is simply that what the essence of the thing is gives off a way of identifying it to others. Your life speaks of spiritual life or spiritual death. Which is it? Seek God today! Spiritual death is rotten, and this is seen in the growing abundance of sins, and these lead to spiritual death.
Gal 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
When these things mark your life, you are definitely unsaved, going to hell. These “carnal fleshly desires” (Rom 13:13) indicate your unsaved condition. There is constant conflict, sin, and confrontation with others. There is no real peace and calmness in your life. You need to seek Christ, repent of these sins, and believe in Jesus for your salvation. Some other marks are “disobedient to parents, unfaithful, without natural affection, and without mercy” Rom 1:31, and in 1Cor 6:9 effeminate men, or “abusers of themselves with mankind” (homosexuals).
Humility versus Pride
Real spiritual life causes the person to be humble and reasonable (Rom 1:31 says the opposite, implacable are without hope of heaven).
Subject to the Commandments of God
1John 2:4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 29 If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him. God qualifies a person as saved or spiritually alive based on his disposition towards the will of God.
Titus 3:3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.
Rebellion. The unsaved have the mark of a tendency towards rebellion, to go out of the way of God, and to be slaves to carnal desires and pleasures. They also have a tremendous amount of issues in interpersonal relationships. Unbridled sex and excesses show a person without Christ nor the Holy Spirit controling their minds, actions, spirit, or life.
Love for their brothers in Christ
1John 2:9 He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.
1John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
People who truly love others, sacrificing their own life for the benefit of others, show Christ in their heart. This is the opposite of Titus 3:3 “hateful and hating one another.” So a good relationship with the brethren is a good indicator of spiritual life. In Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus made it very clear that the true Christian serves his fellow brethren in Christ because he wants to do it. The lack of a loving attitude towards the brethren in Christ is a sure “stink” of a spiritually dead man. A good encounter, various times each week with your brethren indicates spiritual life. The spiritually alive person seeks exhortation from his brethren and communion with them (Heb 10:23-27). This is vital for spiritual life and the person who is ignorant or despises this is simply dead.
The Controlled Tongue
They say that the tongue is a window to the soul. We show our love by what we say and how we say it. Spiritual death is revealed by filthy speech and scandalous talk 2Co 12:20; Eph 4:31, murmurings 2Co 12:20; foolish vane talk, and joking Eph 5:3-5; dishonest words Col 3:8; lying and a false witness 1Ti 1:9-10; Col 3:9; blaspheming and worthless attacking of others (despising others Rom 1:30) 2Tim 3:2; foolishness Mar 7:22; and inventing evil Rom 1:30.
Not being the World’s Friend
Rom 12:9… Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
Jas 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
The disposition of a person reveals whether he is spiritual dead or alive. As we have seen, the true Christian is totally involved in knowing God and pleasing God with his life, but the spiritually dead person is simply seeking friendship, integration into and approval with the world. He is very involved in fashion, taking the world’s viewpoint on things, and what they think of him, and he imitates the world as much as he can.
Follow the good, not the Bad
The character of Christ is seen very clearly by his actions and attitudes in Scripture. His state of death or spiritual life is seen in that he rejected evil, and followed what was good, just, and basically his character is our example. Death follows bad desires Col 3:5, wickedness and evil Mar 7:22; Rom 1:29, wrath, anger, malice, Col 3:8; stealing Mat 15:19; perversity Rom 1:29; invention of evil Rom 1:30. So what are you, dead or alive?