The Bible talks about man being dead because of sin (Romans 7:9 – “I was once alive apart from the Law ; but when the commandment came, sin became alive, and I died”). This death obviously does not mean the death of the physical body, since it’s plain to see that there are still plenty of sinners running around out there. Rather, it speaks of spiritual death. My point is this: even when a person’s spirit is dead, his body, mind and soul continue to function normally, though not healthfully.
It’s extremely important to understand the significance of body, mind and soul being able to function devoid of the life of the spirit, because living without the support of the spirit has tremendous implications for both our behavior and our experience of life.
Let’s not forget that body, soul and spirit are inseparable in man—these elements of our nature simply cannot function independently of one another, whether or not our spirit is dead. I think back to what it was like trying to negotiate life with the weight of a dead spirit around my neck. I didn’t have a chance at a fulfilling life!