Beware of the “grace” view on “Jesus died spiritually”

As resurrection Sunday is upon us, I would like us to consider the perfect sacrifice that is Jesus Christ. I am reminded again of the importance of not placing a spot on our Savior. Unfortunately, the grace community of believers is not a stranger to allowing teaching that in some way has Christ dying spiritually on the cross. Some, like R.B Thieme, went so far as to say the blood is basically unimportant but that His supposed spiritual death atoned for sin. As many know, my Pastor and I have written a book explaining the reasons why the Bible simply does not teach that Jesus died spiritually. We also state why it is such an important topic. This isn’t a trifle of an issue because doctrine of the atonement matters.

Part of the big impetus for the book was coming into contact with those in our midst that teach JDS. I would like to review (blog style) an article that we deal with quite a bit in the book. Hopefully this can be supplemental to the book.

Tom Stegall, a preacher who I have no issue with personally, in 2017 published an article on Grace Gospel Press titled “Did Christ Die Spiritually and Physically”. Here is my reaction section by section. I will put his words in quotes and mine in ( ).

Stegall starts off by talking about a Catholic error that has people believe that their members can add their suffering to Christ’s work. This is supposed to somehow gain them completed forgiveness. It boils down to helping God pay for one’s sins. Obviously, this is incorrect but be careful always about how you correct an error. It does not help to correct an error with your own error.

Tom Stegall rightly sees that the aforementioned Catholic teaching is a problem. That is good but look at what his resolution is.

“Having been raised Roman Catholic, I can attest to having missed the spiritual significance of Jesus’ death on the cross. Although I was moved with emotional sympathy for the great injustice and physical agony Christ endured, I never understood that He was paying the penalty for my sins completely because I was too occupied with my own attempts to tip the scales of God’s favor by my own good works. Without faith in Christ alone, I could see only His external, physical suffering and was blind to the spiritual aspect of His death.”

(I bolded the last words of his quote for emphasis. Stegall makes it sound as though the thing that makes Christ’s atonement complete is the spiritual aspect of His death.)

Tom says there are difficult questions to answer and that,

“…not every aspect of the Lord’s death is addressed in Scripture (Deut. 29:29); but enough has been revealed for us to study (Ps. 111:2)…”

(I find this a curious statement as Deut. 29:29 appears to be used out of context. Though there is enough to study indeed. As with anything, use the clearest passages to interpret the less clear or confusing passages. I simply do not see that being done by JDS advocates.)

One must understand the rationale behind a view. Stegall on the outset attempts to define death. This is a fine thing to do but be careful of application. Careful attention to detail will have to be given to this section.

“In order to understand why Christ died in our place and what it means to die spiritually, it is necessary first to understand the Bible’s teaching on death.”

(An understanding of kinds of death is fine but it is key not to miss is what was required of Christ in order to be the propitiation.)

“Scripture states that the penalty for sin is death: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 6:23).”

(Yes this is true for mankind. For them there is an eternal separation from God forever.)

“Death in the Bible does not mean cessation of existence, but separation.”

(It could be said that the body is separated from the spirit at death. It could be said that spiritual separation occurs for men in God’s sight.)

“When Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden, he did not cease to exist. But something changed immediately in his relationship with God. Adam died spiritually.”

(Yes, this is what has happened for mankind.)

“Adam died spiritually in the sense of being separated in his relationship with God. Obviously, Adam did not die physically that day since Genesis 5:5 states that he went on to live for hundreds of years before dying at the age of 930.”

(Yes, that much is true.)

Now here is the misstep.

“The example of Adam helps us to see how it was possible for Christ to be physically alive on the cross, while at the same time undergoing a spiritual death or judicial separation from God the Father.”

(This is a critical error to make. Adam’s spiritual death and eventual physical death is no help to understand Christ why Christ would have died spiritually. Christ came not to be punished with what man was punished with. He came to do what man could not as in dying as the pure sacrifice without sin. He came to fulfill what the Father wanted in that of a perfect sacrifice for sin. Hebrews goes into great detail on this. In order to be pure and accepted as the proper sacrifice, Christ needed to be without sin all the way through. Dying spiritually is not being without sin on his account. Taking sins upon his body, however, leaves his spirit intact. Christ came to shed His spotless blood and lay down His life for us physically. It needed to be the sacrifice of himself.)

See this table for and illustration of the difference:


Stegall mentions other verses about the concept for men and spiritual separation, but they are irrelevant to the question on whether or not Christ died spiritually.

“In reference to Christ’s physical death, Scripture states that He bore our sins “in His own body on the tree” (1 Peter 2:24) and was “put to death in the flesh” (1 Peter 2:24; 3:18). In addition, we have been set apart to God (positional sanctification) by “the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Heb. 10:10).”

(Stegall should have stopped there.)

But he went on to say,

“This article, along with extensive quotations from leading Bible teachers to show that the spiritual aspect of Christ’s death, far from being a novel view, is in fact the normal view.”

(Let’s get this straight. As for the Bible, this is not a normal view. As for people, it wouldn’t be easy to quantify normal. There is disagreement and variances of opinion across the board on this through every possible group and stripe of person that remotely calls themselves Christian. I’ve talked to many that reject this flat out right away. Some don’t know. Some tolerate it a bit and toy with it like a cat that found a mole. Some heartily defend JDS. I take what Tom is saying as meaning that, as far as he is concerned, the people he cares about agree with him. Now that may be true, but are they correct? The same thing could be said for Calvinism. Grace is not the majority view on salvation. It is the common view to add something to Christ’s work.)

“Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

“Some who deny the spiritual aspect of Christ’s death claim that He only intended this statement as a figurative expression of His physical agony and that He was simply reciting this verse to the crowd assembled at Calvary, not crying out directly and personally to God. But this interpretation seems hollow in light of the particular verse Jesus chose to quote and when He spoke it.”

(It is important to understand the context of Psalm 22. David describes his predicament. Remember that David had not died spiritually after salvation. Rather he was facing physical and emotional distress. He wondered how long it would take for the Lord to answer him but yet he had faith in that the Lord did hear him and would help. The passage also goes into a foreshadowing of Christ’s physical and great emotional suffering. It is possible that Christ both prayed to God and pointed to this verse as a way of identifying himself as the promised lamb of God. Note also that “forsaken” is not spiritual in context here. It is a physical leaving of Christ to suffer and die alone on the cross.)

“Christ’s choice to quote Psalm 22:1a was significant. Out of 23,145 verses in the Old Testament, He chose just one that precisely conveyed what He was experiencing at that moment in His personal relationship with God the Father.”

(This is misleading since nothing happened to the relationship between the Son and the Father. There was no rupture in the Trinity as at least one grace pastor has said. Further than that, Christ was and is always pleasing to the Father. There is no statement in scripture to say otherwise. Remember back to the old testament sacrifices. The Lord was greatly pleased by the proper sacrifice. That thing offered was considered most holy and the people were not to defile it. Christ was not defiled in any way while bearing our sin in His body on the tree. 1 Pet 2:24)

“Furthermore, no other verse in Psalm 22 uses the word “forsaken” or conveys as strongly the idea that the Son of God was separated from God the Father on the cross.”

(This loses apparent significance for the JDS advocate if the context is physical suffering as opposed to spiritual death. Really it just bolsters the fact that Christ physically suffered for us as foretold.)

“Christ did not quote Psalm 22:1a during the first three hours of His crucifixion, but yelled it out during the hours of darkness, when God the Father was pouring out His wrath in judgment on His own Son. Why? Because at that time our sins were judicially imputed to Christ (2 Cor. 5:21) and He was punished in our place, bearing the wages of sin that we deserved—death—even spiritual death.”

(The JDS advocate, like Stegall, tends to presume that part of God’s wrath is separating Christ spiritually. They even go to lengths to say that what Christ really wanted to avoid in the garden prayer was the coming “spiritual” separation.)

(Notice another problem here. The Bible does not say that our sins were judicially imputed to Christ as in making it so that He dies spiritually. He doesn’t become an actual sinner. But you would have to be if you are spiritually dead. It would be the same difference. Nor did Christ become sin itself. (More on that later.) He was sentenced to die physically for us. The Bible says cursed is every man that hangeth upon a tree. He bore that reproach for us as an innocent.)

Stegall then proceeds to based his argument on the opinions of others.

“J. Vernon McGee ex-plains the unique nature of this death:

He did not die as martyrs who in their death sang praises of joy and confessed that Christ was standing by them. . . . Our Lord didn’t die like that. He was forsaken of God. He said, ‘My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ (Matt. 27:46). His death was different. He died alone—alone with the sins of the world upon Him.2”

(This statement would be fine if he means physically forsaken.)

“But in those last three hours He made His soul an offering for sin, and it pleased the Father to bruise Him (see Isa. 53:10). Forsaken. My friend, you do not know what that is; and I do not know what it is to be forsaken of God. The vilest man on this earth today is not forsaken of God. Anyone can turn to Him. But when Christ takes my sin upon Himself, He is forsaken of God. “Why hast thou forsaken me?” It is not the why of impatience. It is not the why of despair; it is not the why of doubt.”

(Christ had no doubt in the Father. That is an absurd statement.)

“McGee’s interpretation of Christ’s cry of abandonment is shared by other sound Bible teachers and theologians, such as John Walvoord:”

(It is not sound to get the atonement wrong. That HAS to be correct or what basis do you have for anything theologically?)

“The cry of Jesus has been variously interpreted, but it seems clear that God had judicially forsaken Jesus on the cross in contrast to the fact that He had strengthened Him in the garden of Gethsemane. Here Jesus was bearing the sins of the whole world, and even God the Father had to turn away as Jesus bore the curse and identified Himself with the sins of the whole world. When Jesus actually died, He commended Himself back into the Father’s hands.4″

(First, there is no such thing as “judicially forsaken”. It sounds like a philosophical construct conjured up by some seminary professor. While one could play around with this term in regard to being sentenced to die physically, it would be incorrect to say Christ was judicially spiritually forsaken.)

“Saying that Jesus was “judicially forsaken” is a vital qualification regarding the spiritual aspect of Christ’s substitutionary death.”

(I am sure it is for the JDS advocate, but again, what is the context?)

“The Son of God was not spatially or ontologically separated from God the Father and God the Holy Spirit since it is impossible for God in His essence or being to be separated. Christ’s separation from the Father was a judicial and relational act of judgment, not a metaphysical or spatial separation, as if God the Son ceased to be a member of the Triune Godhead for the finite period in which He died in our place.”

(Here you have some philosophical wrangling. The judicial act was that of the sentence of physical death. There was no stated relational act ever mentioned as being required. Nor did any occur. Oddly, some grace guys apparently are ok with going as far as to say there was a rupture in the Trinity. They chalk it up to some great mystery. The real mystery to me is why they think they need to read between the lines.)

Stegall quotes Erwin Lutzer who said, “This was a break in fellowship, not a breach of the fundamental unity of the Father and the Son.5″

(That might sound impressive except for the fact that the Bible mentions no break in fellowship.)

“Of course, God cannot die, if by death we mean some form of annihilation. But if death is defined as separation (for us the separation of the spirit and the body), then God died in the sense that the Son was separated from the Father.6

(This is still theologically impossible seeing that there are a multitude of verses tying the Father to the Son to the Holy Spirit. You cannot simply say the Son of God is separated from the Father. What of the person of the Holy Spirit? What about verses like I and my Father are one. Or Jesus Christ the same today and forever…?)

Charles Ryrie reiterates the same point:

“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46; Mark 15:34). The first three sayings were probably all spoken before noon. This one, which is in every way central, was uttered about 3 P.M., after three hours of darkness and silence during which the Son of God bore the sin of the world. In that work He had to be forsaken by God, and yet at the same time there was no splitting up of the Trinity. All that is involved is inscrutable, but He gave Himself, He was made sin, He bore our sins, and His soul was made an offering for sin.7

(Understand that “soul” does not mean a spiritual death. It means life and can carry with it mental and emotional aspects. This becomes an important distinction in the upcoming section.)

Stegall directs the discussion to Isaiah 53 where supposedly the word nephesh means spirit or some immaterial part of man. Also in this section, notice the context of Isaiah 53. It is all about physical and emotional suffering of Christ and not spiritual death.

“10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul [nephesh] an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand. 11 He shall see the labor of His soul [nephesh], and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong, because He poured out His soul [nephesh] unto death, and He was numbered with the transgressors, and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”

(Replace the word nephesh for “life” and it is clear. Also, notice the physical and emotional context words such as bruise and grief.)

“Some who hold that Christ died only physically interpret “soul” (nephesh) in these verses as referring only to Christ’s body or physical life that He offered on the cross.”

(Yes, this view is the most consistent with scripture.)

“They say the word “soul” in verses 10‒12 is limited in meaning to just Christ’s body rather than the immaterial part of Him.”

(Look up the definition of the word.)

“The interpretation that “soul” in Isaiah 53:10‒12 refers only to Christ’s body appears to be theologically driven based on a preconceived doctrinal conclusion, for there is nothing in the context, grammar, or parallel usage of nephesh within Isaiah to limit its meaning to the physical body alone.”

(I would say the whole JDS view is driven based on a philosophical construct read back into certain less clear texts while ignoring much of the rest of the Bible. There is nothing in the context of Isaiah 53 that indicates spiritual death or loss of fellowship. You would only think so if you are doing eisegesis to try to fit your preconceived notion. Here are the other uses of “nephesh” in Isaiah: herself, fish, themselves, man, life, and greedy dogs.)

Strong’s gives this definition: נֶפֶשׁ nephesh, neh’-fesh; from H5314; properly, a breathing creature, i.e. animal of (abstractly) vitality; used very widely in a literal, accommodated or figurative sense (bodily or mental):—any, appetite, beast, body, breath, creature, × dead(-ly), desire, × (dis-) contented, × fish, ghost, greedy, he, heart(-y), (hath, × jeopardy of) life (× in jeopardy), lust, man, me, mind, mortally, one, own, person, pleasure, (her-, him-, my-, thy-) self, them (your) -selves, slay, soul, tablet, they, thing, (× she) will, × would have it.

So you see it can be used as body or mental. Isaiah 53 talks about physical and emotional suffering. That seems to fit.  Spirit is different. Try Isaiah 42:1. It uses “nephesh” as “soul”, but notice also the word “spirit”. Isa 42:1  Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. They are not the same.

“Isaiah 26:9 also uses Hebrew poetry’s standard form of synonymous parallelism to speak of the “soul” (nephesh) and “spirit” (ruach) as the immaterial, inner part of man (ruach cf. Dan. 7:15). Therefore, Isaiah’s use of nephesh permits the meaning of the word in 53:10-12 as being either (a) the immaterial part of man, or (b) the body plus the immaterial part of man (the whole person), but not (c) the body alone.8 Since nephesh never means the body alone everywhere else it occurs in Isaiah, to interpret the word this way in 53:10 would be an example of forcing one’s theological views onto the verse, which would be eisegesis rather than exegesis.”

(This is still misleading and incorrect. Spiritual death is different than simply the mind or the will or emotions or those things unseen by sight. Also consider again that soul and spirit are not necessarily the same:

1 Cor. 15:45  And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.

1 Th 5:23  And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Heb_4:12  For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.)

Stegall quotes Ironside who says,

“Let me remind you that it was not simply the physical suffering which our blessed Lord endured upon the cross that made expiation for iniquity. It was what He suffered in His holy, spotless soul, in His sinless being, when the judgment that our sins deserved fell on Him.9″

(What!? You’d better have scripture to back up that whopper of a statement. Sadly there are none. There are a multitude of ones that refute this.)

“Another crucial clarification about Christ’s sacrificial death in Isaiah 53 is that He died only one death, not two.” Some who speak of Christ’s “two deaths” appeal to the plural use of “death” in Isaiah 53:9, which says He was “with the rich in His death,” where the Hebrew word for “death” is plural. However, the plural here for “deaths” is simply an instance of the intensive plural,10 which is a well-recognized category of usage.11

(That is correct. But note that Robert Dean teaches the two death view.)

“Technically, there were two aspects to Christ’s one death—a spiritual and a physical aspect—not two separate deaths.”

(Technically there was no such thing for Christ. For Adam yes, but not Christ. This is compound death of Christ mentioned earlier.)

“From Christ’s perspective, His work was so certain to be finished that He could speak of it beforehand as already finished.”

(I don’t have a problem with that but then comes the issue.)

“Theologically, this is significant, for it shows that when Christ said “It is finished” He clearly meant to encompass both aspects of His death—His spiritual separation from God the Father on the cross and the moment that His spirit separated from His body at physical death.”

(Clearly? Not hardly.)

“While on the cross, Christ trusted God His Father to receive His spirit and have their fellowship restored immediately upon physical death since at that point the debt of sin would be fully paid and God the Father would be fully propitiated or satisfied (Isa. 53:11; Rom. 3:25). For this reason, Christ could not have gone to Hell after His death.”

(So Christ is spiritually separated / dead on the cross yet is somehow going to be restored upon giving up His physical life?? Talk about eisegesis. That is totally reading something in. Nothing corroborates this. It is only there out of necessity to complete the previous missteps without having to have the big misstep of sending Christ also to hell itself. Dennis Rokser and Stegall seem content to have Christ suffering a type of hell on the cross but don’t want to go as far as the Joyce Meyer’s of the world and send Jesus to hell itself. But why was there a need to even go that far?? It boggles the mind.)

Stegall mentions Hebrews 5:7 and quotes Dwight Pentecost who said, ”

“Another explanation is that Christ was praying not concerning physical death, but spiritual death. The penalty for disobedience to God was death (Gen. 2:17). This death was the separation of the sinner from God—that is, spiritual death—and physical death was the result of prior spiritual death. Therefore if Jesus Christ was to satisfy the demands of God’s holiness, righteousness, and justice to provide salvation for people who are dead, He would have to experience the same death that separated them from God. He must enter into spiritual death, as anticipated in the prophetic 22nd Psalm where the sufferer cried, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” (22:1). Here is a mystery deeper than any human mind can comprehend: How could God the Father and God the Son—who are one—be separated one from the other? Yet Christ realized such separation was involved in providing salvation for sinners. Since only that kind of separation or spiritual death could satisfy the demands of a holy, just God, Christ could not have been praying that He would be spared that which was essential.14″

(So Pentecost got it wrong to. He didn’t understand the requirement as illustrated earlier. He though as some do that more than a perfect sacrifice was required. He thought that Christ had to suffer the same spiritual death man suffers in order for expiation of sin to occur. The Bible never says this. The Old testament types don’t show this. The new testament verses do not say it.)

“Robert Gromacki also interprets Hebrews 5:7 as a reference to Christ’s spiritual death:

The most plausible position is that He prayed to be delivered from the realm of eternal death, the second death of separation from God. The punishment for sin is both physical and spiritual death (Rom. 6:23). At the cross Christ experienced this double death in order to provide both physical and spiritual redemption for lost humanity.15″

(So another guy gets this flat wrong. The punishment for man is Rom 6:23. Christ wasn’t punished that way because He was innocent. Period. Double death nullifies the spotless lamb.)

Concerning 1 Peter 3:18 Stegall says, “The New American Standard Bible and English Standard Version translate the end of the verse to say that Christ was “put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit” rather than “made alive in the Spirit.””

(The KJV says, “1 Pet 3:18  For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:” Jesus was simply made alive again by the Spirit. This is not talking about being restored to fellowship or regeneration. I find it odd that Stegall talks about spiritual death so freely on one hand for Christ but dances away from Him needing to be regenerated. In that regard, he couches it in softer terms of restoration of fellowship. No guiltless sinless person needs restoration of any fellowship. If it is just like men then yes, He would have also had to have been regenerated! See why it doesn’t follow?)

“The Lord did not need to be born again because He never became a sinner like the rest of humanity. Even when He took our sins upon Himself and died as our substitute, our sins did not become part of His nature but were legally imputed to Him.”

(This is contradictory to earlier statements. If he lost fellowship and was separated spiritually, then he is spiritually dead like humans and, as others have said, in line to suffer their fate. Some say as seen above that He supposedly had to do this to atone for sin. The sins were not legal imputed to Him spiritually. Remember, his physical life was forfeited for us.)

“When 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “He made Him who knew no sin to be made sin for us,” it does not mean that Christ metaphysically became sin itself, but only that He became a sin-offering for us.”

(This is true. Some with JDS views do say he became sin itself.)

“Ironside says in reference to this verse, “In both the original languages in which the two Testaments were written, the same words were used for sin and sin offering; so we may understand this expression to mean, ‘He was made the sin offering.’”16″

(Yes this makes my point. Christ was a sin offering that was spotless all the way through.)

“Christ never became unregenerate or a sinner when our sins were placed upon Him and He was judicially condemned in our place. Therefore, He did not need, as we do, the “washing of regeneration” (Titus 3:5) or to have the old man put off through the new birth (Col. 2:11; 3:9).”

(Again, this is contradictory. They want one side to be right but force the other side to stick. It doesn’t jive. It is actually really bad theology. What spiritually dead or separated person was not unregenerate? The uniqueness of Christ was not that He was the only spiritually separated person to not be unregenerate but rather He was the only person to live a sinless life and be able to be the propitiation for sin.)

“John Whitcomb joins Gromacki, Pentecost, Ironside, Ryrie, Lutzer, Walvoord, McGee, and a host of other sound Bible teachers in accurately summa-rizing the biblical view of Christ’s death:”

(So far it has proven to be a bad list. Maybe everyone should take notes and be wary of things these guys taught. It is problematic that they got the atonement wrong.)

Whitcomb says, “The last three hours that Jesus was on the cross He was physically alive, right? But He was spiritually dead. Why? The Father turned away from Him.”

(People might not be aware but no verse says that the Father turned away. Yet Whitcomb says so.)

“But the minute He died physically He became alive spiritually. Why? Because He said, “Into Thy hands I commend My spirit.” ”

(Now I have heard everything. This should make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. The Bible says no such thing. This is all eisegesis and speculation. It may sound logical in isolation but fall straight apart upon even a rudimentary comparison of other scriptures.)

“To say that Christ died both spiritually and physically on the cross does not contradict the unity of the Trinity or the sinlessness of Christ but is simply the teaching of Scripture.”

(It does indeed contradict a huge swath of scriptures. Yes, it does damage the Trinity. IT spots the Savior. It destroys the concept of the object of our faith. How can you say a spiritually dead person is sinless at the same time. And if He is sinless then He need restoration of fellowship for what exactly??)

“As man is material and immaterial, having body, soul, and spirit (1 Thess. 5:23; Heb. 4:12), so Christ died both physically and spiritually as our perfect substitute in body (1 Peter 2:24), soul (Isa. 53:10), and spirit (1 Peter 3:18). ■”

(No, this does not square with the concept of the sacrifice that please God the Father.)

In summary, here are the verses for JDS that were given: Isa 53:10-12, Psalm 22, Forsaken me, I Pet, Heb 5:7 and 2 Cor 5:21. Some also try to use the garden passage the night before the crucifixion. That is pretty much it. But all of these are easily shown to have better interpretations in their given contexts. Please see my book for those. Here are some verses that say otherwise.

John 10:17  Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
John 10:18  No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father. (Christ took it again because He was always righteous. He had the power over sin and death.)

Lev 6:17  It shall not be baken with leaven. I have given it unto them for their portion of my offerings made by fire; it is most holy, as is the sin offering, and as the trespass offering.

Lev 6:25  Speak unto Aaron and to his sons, saying, This is the law of the sin offering: In the place where the burnt offering is killed shall the sin offering be killed before the LORD: it is most holy. (Over and over again the thing offered was seen as most holy. So was Christ. He was always pure and seen as most Holy in God’s sight. He is the object that the sacrifices pointed to.

1 Pet 2:24  Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
(A JDS advocate would have to reword this as Who his own self bare our sins in his own spirit on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness, by whose spiritual separation ye were healed.)

Eph 1:7  In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Eph 2:13  But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. Eph 2:14  For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
Eph 2:15  Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
Eph 2:16  And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

Eph 5:2  And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. (Christ was not separated but rather a sweet smelling savour similar to the drink offering.)

Mat 27:24  When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.

Mar 14:24  And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.

John 6:54  Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

Act 20:28  Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

Rom 3:25  Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

Rom 5:9  Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. (you see blood over and over yet never justified by his spiritual death)

1 Cor 11:25  After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.

1 Cor 10:16  The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?

1 Cor 11:27  Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. (body and blood, not spiritual death of the Lord)

Col 1:14  In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

Col 1:20  And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

Col 1:22  In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:

Heb_2:14  Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

Heb 9:12  Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
Heb 9:13  For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
Heb 9:14  How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Heb 9:22  And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. (the guys above would have one to believe that without the spiritual separation of Christ there is no remission)

Heb 9:25  Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;

Heb 10:5  Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:

Heb 10:19  Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,

Heb 10:29  Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

Heb 13:12  Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.

Heb 13:20  Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,

1 Pet 1:2  Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

1 Pet 1:19  But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

Rev 1:5  And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

Rev 5:9  And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; Rev 7:14

Please see many more verse mentioned in my book The Perfect Sacrifice. I pray that you all will embrace the miraculous spotless Savior and rejoice in the great deliverance that Christ provided us by virtue of His broken body and shed blood. He laid down His life, was buried, and rose again. Praise the Lord for our Savior. Don’t let anyone tarnish Him.

Please see also:

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5 Responses to Beware of the “grace” view on “Jesus died spiritually”

  1. jimfloyd12 says:


    Thanks. I have corrected it.

  2. chas says:

    Jim, I just spotted something (a typo?) in the section just above the comments on Gromacki.
    Your comment reads (in part):

    “He thought that Christ had to suffer the same spiritual death man suffers in order for expiation of sin to occur. The Bible never says this. The Old testament types don’t show this. The new testament verses do say it.” (Bold, mine.)

    Shouldn’t that read “The new testament verses do not say it.” That would be consistent with what you had already said.

  3. chas says:

    Sorry to take so long with this reply.

    Re: Vicarious Law Keeping
    I’ve seen it currently in a teaching by Richard Bennett (ex-Catholic priest), and also on a blog by Daniel Needes. Both are ardent “reformed theology” proponents. I first learned of it in a 1938 commentary on Romans by William R. Newell, who refuted it. Like Calvinism, it seems to be a staple of reformed theology.

  4. jimfloyd12 says:

    Chas, thanks for coming by. Sorry I couldn’t get back to you till now. I am glad some of this could help. I knows I was taken back by just how little sense some of this teaching made and by how many accepted at least parts of it. Yeah, I don’t understand how more are not alarmed by denigrating something as precious as the blood of Christ.

    Now I have heard of the vicarious law keeping thing before but not much recently. Do you know of a current person teaching it?

    Also please check out our book on JDS if you have not already.

  5. chas says:

    Many thanks for this and other posts on the JDS heresy. These have clarified the issue which had come to my attention most recently when it was mentioned off-handedly during a message by Dennis Rokser on another subject. It sounded strange, yet vaguely familiar. Also just… wrong. I haven’t followed Dean or Stegall, but it is very disturbing that people such as Ironside, Ryrie, Walvoord and McGee would teach such ideas.

    It seems that the sufficiency of Christ’s blood sacrifice is a central target of the enemy’s attacks. There’s also the “vicarious law-keeping” heresy: that Jesus not only had to die, but also keep the Law in our place for His sacrifice to be complete. That idea seems to be more prevalent among “Reformation Theology” people but it has the same effect as JDS; rendering the blood of Christ insufficient in some way.

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