When God spoke to Adam at the first He said, “in the day that you eat of it (the fruit of the tree of good and evil) you shall die” (Gen. 2.17). Adam and Eve nevertheless continued on for hundreds of years after eating the forbidden fruit. This obviously indicates that the death God foretold was not physical. Adam’s death began in his spirit.
What really is death? According to its scientific definition death is “the cessation of communication with environment.” Death of the spirit is the cessation of its communication with God.
we simply mean the spirit has lost its sensitivity towards God and thus is dead to Him. The exact situation is that the spirit is incapacitated, unable to commune with God. To illustrate. A dumb person has a mouth and lungs but something is wrong with his vocal cords and he is powerless to speak. So far as human language is concerned his mouth may be considered dead. Similarly Adam’s spirit died because of his disobedience to God. He still had his spirit, yet it was dead to God for it had lost its spiritual instinct.
It is still so; sin has destroyed the spirit’s keen intuitive knowledge of God and rendered man spiritually dead. He may be religious, moral, learned, capable, strong and wise, but he is dead to God. He may even talk about God, reason about God and preach God, but he is still dead to Him. Man is not able to hear or to sense the voice of God’s Spirit. Consequently in the New Testament God often refers to those who are living in the flesh as dead.
God’s first argument with man is not that you are bad, it’s that you are dead
And that’s is not very flattering.