Our bodies are animated clumps of dead flesh. The second we are conceived we begin the dying process.
However, the spirit within us which is also dead can be made alive through salvation in Jesus Christ (Romans 8:10-11). This is the very concept that we find in John 3:5 when Jesus says “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”
Being born of water is a reference to physical birth, when the water breaks. Being born of the Spirit is a second birth through salvation.
There is an interesting phenomena throughout the Bible. Evil spirits are often found around death. The infamous group of devils called “Legion” were inside a madman who emerged from the tombs. This is how we know that evil spirits can possess only the unsaved. They are drawn to the dead spirit within our dead flesh. They cannot co-exist with the Holy Spirit inside a Christian.
There is a conflict within us as our living spirit battles against our dead flesh, as well as an external conflict in which we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12).
For non-Christians, there is a congruence, rather than conflict. There is no battle between the dead flesh and dead spirit. There is no battle against spiritual wickedness, because it is already within you. You are on the Devil’s team, whether you want to be or not.
This is why we are not to be unequally yoked. This is why there seems to be such a ferocious battle between atheists and Christians. There can be no ideological common ground, because our spirits are not a part of the same army.
I think we see this playing out in our day to day interactions. As fewer and fewer in our society turn to Christianity, the rift widens more. It transcends political ideology and religious affiliation. We are talking about the most primary and longest lasting conflict of all time – good vs. evil; God vs. Satan.
This differentiation is at the basis of most of our political battles. One side believe that people are inherently good. The other that we are inherently evil. I believe the latter, which is why I am convinced that no amount of federal laws will curb crime. People are inherently evil, therefore, they will find a way to commit evil acts regardless of social norms, rules, or law enforcement.
The Bible tells us as much. Adam and Eve were born sinless, but still sinned because their free will allowed for them the possibility to disobey God. The rest of us were born sinners. There is none righteous, no, not one (Romans 3:10). Until we all understand that we are imperfect sinners who are spiritually and physically dead already, we will not look to Jesus Christ to make us spiritually alive.
He can grant us eternal life. Only He can save us from perpetual death in this life and the next.