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I think that the Bible (specifically, Ephesians 2) clearly indicates that, until we are saved and receive eternal life by faith in Christ, we are spiritually dead from God's perspective because of the sin that we all commit. That is why Paul says in Ephesians 2:8-9 that even the faith that saves us is not of ourselves, but is an unmerited gift from God. However, it is a gift that (even in a state of spiritual death) people have the free will to either accept or reject. Also, the fact that unsaved people are spiritually dead does not imply that they will not be accountable and face eternal consequences for their actions in this life. They will still be judged, but, because they will be depending only on their own imperfect righteousness, they will not meet God's requirement for absolute holiness that can be attained only by the imputation of Christ's perfect righteousness to them through faith in Christ, and they will thus be eternally separated from God.
Ephesians 2:1-2 says "And you were dead in the transgressions and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience". The change from death to life happens by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ as explained in verses Eph 2: 4-9.
The spirit is the breath of life given by God: "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." Genesis 2:7 At death, the body turns to dust and the spirit goes back to God, who gave it. Whether righteous or wicked, the spirit of every person returns to God at death. Ecclesiastes 12:7; James 2:26 The spirit that returns to God at death is the breath of life. The spirit is the "breath of life" and nothing more. Job 27:3; Psalm 115:17; Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6, 10. As long as we have the breath of life in us we have the spirit.
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