The body (dust) + breath (breath of life) = a living soul. The words soul and spirit occur in the Scripture approximately 900 times, and not once are they referred to as being immortal or undying. The inspired writers of the Scripture had at least 900 opportunities to inform us that the soul is immortal, but never did so. Surely this is a significant fact that must not be overlooked. The fact that man is mortal is affirmed throughout the Scripture. The word “immortality” is used only five times (“immortal” only once) and never coupled with the words “soul” or “spirit.”
Eternal life is not something that we just naturally have, but something for which we “seek for” (Romans 2:7), “hope” for (Titus 1:2; 3:7), “lay hold on” (1 Timothy 6:12,19), “put on” (1 Corinthians 15:53-54), and be willing to give up all for. Eternal life is not something we naturally possess but is something that we must qualify for by choosing Christ and living according to His will. If man had been created with a soul that couldn’t die; would it have done God any good to keep man from the “tree of life” (Genesis 3:22-24) and would God need to “give eternal life” to us (John 17:2)? God sending His Son was a condition to eternal life. If Christ had not come, died, and risen again, we would all perish in sin.
- Is eternal life a gift?
Answer: Yes (Romans 6:23, John 10:28; 17:2, 1 John 5:11).
- Is eternal life conditional?
Answer: Yes (1 John 3:14; 5:11-13, John 3:15,16,36; 5:24,40; 6:47,51,54,57; 10:10; 11:25-26; 14:19, Romans 2:6,7; 8:6, 1 Corinthians 15:3,17,18,21,22, Hebrews 5:9, Matthew 19:16-21, Mark 10:17-21, Luke 10:25-28; 18:18-22, Revelation 22:14, Titus 1:2; 3:7, 1 Timothy 6:12,19, Jude 1:21).