Monday, December 8, 2008

Soul and Spirit

These two words are vital, literally. That is the word vital is a part of the Greek definitions of both words. These two words are at the core of what we know as life beyond are biological existence.

I accept these words as distinct but inseparable by human understanding. I base this on the word of the Lord Jesus. We must be born a second time of spirit, hence the phrase "born again." I think that being born of the spirit marks the beginning of our intimate relationship in spirit with God. I cannot argue effectively from the scripture there was no spirit in a person before being born of the spirit, but I think that is the case. Even if that is not true, being born of the spirit must mark the start of something new based on spirit. This event marks the divide between soul and spirit.

I accept the soul is the vital force that is our eternal being. It is known by us as we experience our thoughts and feelings. These two, mind and heart, are a function of the soul. The soul is tied to the body. The body holds the soul temporarily during this life. The soul embraces spirit to draw upon the life therein.

The Holy Spirit is a like a wind. The soul is so structured that it needs "spirit" to be full of life. The soul is born of the Spirit of God or it remains attached to the only other spirit-like entity that exists, the spirit of the anti-Christ. These two opposed spirits are all there is to animate the soul fully.

Your thoughts?


Carey said...

Your last paragraph sums it up best.

David said...

Hi, I'm Jim Anderson's Uncle. I enjoyed your exploration of 'soul and spirit'. I have done a little exploration on the subject as well. Thessalonians says the essence of man is body, soul, and spirit. Jesus gives a hint to the dilemma of how these parts participate within us, when he says in John 4 to the woman at the well, "God is Spirit, and those who worship him must worship him in Spirit and truth." Your assessment that the soul is where the intellect, emotions and will reside, I believe is accurate. The spirit is that part of us which was intended to work in sync with the soul to connect us with God. Unfortunately, when Adam sinned the spirit within him died and his only effort at connection was the soul trying to remember how the spirit did it. Tragically, that effort came out as religion rather than a relationship. The 'New Birth', makes the spirit within us alive again. The spirit knows exactly how to connect with our Lord, who is Spirit. PROBLEM! Though we are forgiven at our salvation the spirit must educate(not the best word) the soul that the soul may be renewed in Christ day-by-day. Some might call this sanctification. This occurs by our being immersed in Christ, his word, and in fellowship with him and his people.
These are just some thoughts I've had on the subject. I honor you in Christ for digging into His depths.
Dave Anderson, Louisville, Ky

ded said...

Carey, it is almost a week since your comment, and I have never responded. What is it about December that gets like this?

I went to a two day conference for school two weeks ago and have yet to catch up!

Thanks for commenting. I appreciate your cyber-fellowship.


Welcome. I have noticed an uncle at Jim's blog commenting as "UB" --
that must be you?

Thanks for stopping by here. Your insight is appreciated, as well! I think you describe a problem we face accurately. Attempting to reach God through our souls, when He directs to do so in spirit, leaves a believer feeling as if God doesn't hear sometimes. Or maybe the least we might say is that it leaves the believer out of step.

I am exploring some of the applications of the concept in the post I am writing next.