Babies Are NOT Born Spiritually Dead
The wicked teachings of Calvinism never ceases to abound. One of its teaching is the first point of T.U.L.I.P., that says we are born with a dead spirit, which means that every infant is born with a dead spirit. This first point is known as “Total Depravity”. Nowhere in Scripture does it ever say anyone is born with a dead spirit or spiritually dead, and that this state has been passed down to Adam’s descendants because of his sin against the command of God.
Spiritual death simply means a “moral and relational separation from God” which comes about by sinning, and never has to do with infants. Infants do not come into this world morally and relationally separated from God. They are not capable of sinning! The Bible teaches that infants are born morally innocent (2 Kings 14:6; 21:16; 24:4; Joel 3:19), that children are born innocent with no knowledge of good or evil (Rom. 9:11, Ecc. 7:29, Duet. 1:39). Infants do not go to hell when they die (Matt. 19:14 Mark 10:14; Luke 18:16).
We are made in God’s image – body, soul, and spirit. The body depends on the presence of the human spirit for it to be living body (James 2:6). In Scripture there is a command to clean the FILTHY SPIRIT and FILTHY FLESH (2 Cor. 7:1). Clean it up!
Nowhere in Scripture does it say that man, and for that matter, a baby is born with a dead spirit. The witness of Scripture bears the fact that everyone has a spirit and his spirit is alive and operative whether saved or not.
Let’s look at some passages where it concerns man’s spirit.
And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom his spirit made willing, and they brought the LORD’S offering to the work of the tabernacle of the congregation, and for all his service, and for the holy garments. And they came, both men and women, as many as were willing hearted, and brought bracelets, and earrings, and rings, and tablets, all jewels of gold: and every man that offered an offering of gold unto the LORD.
In this instance, it does not say God was stirring their spirit. It had to do with individuals who made a choice which led them to participate in contributing to the building of the tabernacle.
Note the two things found in this passage:
- These unregenerate sinners could be made willing by the stirring of their own heart and spirit.
- Their own spirit was alive and active, not dead. Many came as were willing.
1 Chron. 5:26:
And the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul king of Assyria, and the spirit of Tilgathpilneser king of Assyria, and he carried them away, even the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh, and brought them unto Halah, and Habor, and Hara, and to the river Gozan, unto this day.
Note their spirit isn’t dead. If there is a spirit there to be stirred, and if the spirit needed to be stirred to motivate them, then that spirit wasn’t dead. Their spirit was neither dead nor inoperative. It was functional. God interacted with that spirit.
2 Chron. 36:22:
Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying,…”
Again, God interacted with that spirit. If the spirit were dead, the Lord would have to bring it to life, not stir it. God stirred up the spirit of Cyrus and accomplished His will through a heathen King.
Then answered Zophar the Naamathite, and said, Therefore do my thoughts cause me to answer, and for this I make haste. I have heard the check of my reproach, and the spirit of my understanding causeth me to answer. Knowest thou not this of old, since man was placed upon earth, That the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment?
“…the spirit of my understanding causeth me to answer.” Dead spirit? How can this be if the spirit is dead?
But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.
Does God say the spirit is dead? That is not a spirit that is dead and only fixed on evil, that cannot choose, that cannot respond, and that is inoperative.
The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
A contrite spirit is a good thing to have.
And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God.
Dead spirit? The spirit is alive even though it was not steadfast with God.
A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.
Here it says a person can have a faithful spirit. Is that a dead spirit? Is that an inoperative spirit? It is a righteous thing to have a faithful spirit. God commends a man or woman who has a faithful spirit. Interesting that a Calvinist would have us believe that a spirit cannot choose righteousness and only chooses evil.
Thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing!
Here are foolish prophets that follow their own spirit which is leading them astray. Dead?
And the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and did work in the house of the LORD of hosts, their God,
God stirs up the spirit of Zurrable, Joshua, and of the remnant. Again, if there is a spirit there to be stirred, and if the spirit needed to be stirred to motivate them, then that spirit wasn’t dead.
And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.
How does one take heed to a dead spirit?
For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.
God expected these men to take action, to take control of their own spirit in regard to seeing that anything they did was not interpreted as treachery towards their own wives. Why would God say all these things if man were incapable of responding? Would God exhort and encourage unregenerate sinners to act properly towards their wives?
Let’s see what Jesus says.
Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
Here are disciples who have not been born again. They don’t have the spirit of God. Here Jesus knows their spirit is willing, it is committed to do the right thing that night, but the flesh is weak. They were tired and wanted to give in to sleep rather than pray as Jesus request they do. This shows that the flesh is in danger of overcoming that spirit that’s willing. Jesus did not say their spirit was incapable, that is was dead. He showed the spirit is willing. Jesus would not say “take heed” if their spirit were dead and inoperative.
God does not talk to sinners with a dead spirit. It would be useless. God expects obedience. He commands and encourages obedience. He commends men when they make the right response and condemns men when they don’t obey.
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
A dead spirit does not rejoice.
That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
Here the teachings of Calvinism would try to use this verse to prove man has a dead spirit and must be born again. The other thing they would say is that God’s Spirit borns the human spirit. This is actually true. We do need to be born again. However, the new birth is in reference of God becoming our Father and us becoming His children. It’s not something about a work over of the human spirit.
IN FACT that human spirit does not get changed or altered in any way at salvation. What happens is that the Holy Spirit of God seats with our spirit so the two spirits become one – just as a husband and wife become one flesh even though there are two separate bodies. We have God’s Spirit accompanying our spirit in fellowship. Thus is it said in Romans 8:16,
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
We have the Holy Spirit bearing witness with our human spirit. When we are born again, it’s not that we get a new human spirit, it is the addition of the Holy Spirit.
1 Cor. 2:9-15:
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.”
“save the spirit of man which is in him” In other words, no man knows the things of God except by God’s Spirit just as no man knows the things of a man except by the human spirit. We know things about each other through our human spirit that are active and mingling and touching in getting to know one another.
“Comparing spiritual things with spiritual” The Holy Spirit comes in and joins to our spirit and there is a comparison one spirit with the other.
1 Cor. 6:17:
But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
“one spirit.” That’s the same when man and wife become one flesh. It means there is a union there just as there between two spirits.
2 Cor. 7:1:
Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Cleanse ourselves of all filthiness of the flesh and spirit.
As Barnes says: “Purifying was dependent on their own efforts. While it is true that all purifying influence and all holiness proceeds from God, it is also true that the effect of all the influences of the Holy Spirit is to excite us to diligence to purify our own hearts, and to urge us to make strenuous efforts to overcome our own sins.”
Remember what James 2:26 says,
For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
If the spirit was not there, the body would die. The body depends on the presence of the human spirit for it to be living body.
Now Calvinism teaching will take such passages as Eph 2:3 because of the word “by nature” and claim that means we were born dead in sins. Let’s read in context.
“And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.”
It is clear from reading the verses that before we were saved, we were “dead in trespasses and sins.” People like to misquote the verse by saying we are all “born dead in trespasses and sins.” That it NOT what the Bible says.
Trespasses and sins are in the plural form. Now some will say it refers back to Adam. How does that refer to Adam’s trespass (singular)? Where in the passage does that refer us back to the time of Adam’s sin? You say, “Well, it refers to spiritual death, because when Adam sinned, he died spiritually and we have all inherited his sinful nature; therefore, we are all born in trespasses and sins.” Well, where in Ephesians 2:1 does it tell you all that?
Simply put: They were dead because of sins in which they once walked” (v2), and conducted themselves in the lusts of the flesh (v3).
This passage contradicts the man-made teachings of inherited depravity. People are in sin because of their own conduct, not Adam’s conduct.
“Nature” here refers to a person’s character which comes as a result of repeated practice, not by inheritance. What do you do with Rom. 2:14 where it says some people by nature obey God’s will? The false doctrine of total depravity says that is impossible.
Can a spirit die?
Now, can a spirit die? Jesus said it could. But REMEMBER, to be spiritually dead simply means to be morally and relationally separated from God. Sin is what separates us from God.
“…for this my son was dead [morally and spiritually] and is alive [relationally] again.” (Lk.15:24; 32)
“…He that…believeth…is passed from [moral and spiritual] death unto life [relationship].” (Jn.5:24)
” Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead [moral and spiritual], and Christ shall give thee light.” (Eph.5:14)
“…yield yourselves unto God, as those that are [relationally] alive from the dead [moral and spiritual].” (Rom. 6:13)
“And you being [morally and spiritually] dead in your sins…hath he made [relationally] alive together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses.” (Col. 2:13)
“We know that we have passed from [moral and spiritual] death unto life [relationship].” (1Jn. 3:14)
Spiritual death means being out of touch with God and righteousness, which means that a person who is out of touch with God has no righteousness (Rom.6:20) and therefore must reinforce only unrighteousness. And since all unrighteousness is sin (1Jn. 5:17) the unrighteous are sinners (1Jn. 3:7-10), and must by necessity be separated from God (Heb.7:26) due to their wicked works (Col.2:13), not birth!
To die spiritually because of sin does not mean it is a permanent state. Like David, or as in the New Testament with the prodigal son where sin separated them from God (spiritual death) and became lost, we can be reconciled to God (restored in a right relationship) by forsaking sin. They become alive again (Luke 15:24).
“Spiritual death” comes ONLY by sinning, it it not the state of one’s birth. Since sin is a moral issue which is a transgression is of the law and conscience, and babies are not able to make moral decisions, they are morally neutral! (2Kings 14:6; Deu. 24:16; 2Chr. 25:4; Eze. 18:2-4; Eze. 18:19-20) Babies and young children are innocent. Their souls do NOT come from their parents, but rather from God in its spiritual condition (Eze.18:4). Children are neither guilty of evil, nor worthy of praise until they are able to make their own decisions (Rom.9:11). They have to come to the age of maturity (accountability) where they know to do right and do wrong….thus sin (Jas. 4:17). This sin is not by necessity, but rather by choice. (Jas.1:13-15). This is why every human is responsible for the “things done in the body” and is judged “according to what he/she has done, whether it be good or bad.”
First and foremost, I am thankful for God’s word and I wish to thank the brothers and sisters whom I have gleaned and compiled this study. You may take this material and freely distribute to those whom you think will benefit from this study in God’s word.