The Spirit and Soul of Man

Scripture Study:  3 John 1:2

I’ve been reading lately through the Apostle John’s three letters and this brings me to the scripture passage in this post:  3 John 1:2.

I believe by and large that Christians don’t have a total understanding of what it means “our soul to prosper.” (AMP)  In my meditations of God’s Word, I believe it would be enlightening to understand what the SOUL is first before going on.

Many people say the SPIRIT and the SOUL are the same things, however, the Word of God differentiates them.

Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)

[12] For the word of God is alive and active.  Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

If the soul and spirit were the same things then why would there be a need to divide them as the Word of God is saying here?

The meaning, the thoughts, and intentions of the HEART are not the same as the thoughts and intentions of the soul.  Since they are different and need to be divided,  it would be beneficial to understand this and know why this needs to be so.

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES?

Why is it so important to know the differences to have a prosperous soul?

I believe it’s critical for us to understand the difference.  I believe it’s vital in order to know when we are receiving something from God and something that’s just flesh.

I know God is Spirit and that He always communicates with our born again spirit, not with our flesh, or mind or soul.  I believe it begins with the Word of God, as the writer of Hebrews says.  We have to start here.  The Word of God is a divider of spirit and soul.

The word HEART is often synonymous with spirit in the Bible.  It’s not talking about the physical beating heart but our spirit.

Jesus said this…

We know He wasn’t talking about physical birth.  He specifically said, “born of the spirit.”

It’s the SPIRIT of man that’s born again.  We know this because He goes on to explain in verses 6-7:

“Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.  [7] You should not be surprised at my saying,  ‘You must be born again.'”

God’s Word tells us…Proverbs 20:27 (NIV)

[27] The human spirit is the lamp of the LORD that sheds light on one’s inmost being.

It is man’s spirit that communicates with God, and also where God communicates with us, not our intellect or emotions.

BORN AGAIN OF GOD

God’s life has been imparted to the one who acknowledges Jesus as LORD.  So, if the spirit of man is “born of God”, then what is the SOUL?

Well, we know it’s not the spirit and we know that it’s not the flesh, so what’s left?

EVERYTHING ELSE is left!

  • Our emotions,
  • Our intellect,
  • Our thought processes, and…
  • Our Minds

All are things that are NOT born again.

Now that brings up an interesting question:  “If we are born again…” then isn’t our SOUL born again too, isn’t our SOUL saved too?  At least I’ve asked that same question and it gets to the heart of this study.

The writer of Hebrews says this…Hebrews 10:39 (AMP)

“But our way is not that of those who draw back to eternal misery (perdition) and are utterly destroyed, but we are of those who believe [who cleave to and trust in and rely on God through Jesus Christ, the Messiah] and by faith persevere the soul.”  

The literal translation says “preservation of the soul.”  (Strong’s Greek 4047)

James said this– James 1:21 (NLT)

James was writing to BELIEVERS and not to the lost.  He didn’t mean to save your spirit.  Their spirits were already born again.  He said the engrafted (rooted) word, which is able to save your soul and is able to save your mind.

Our minds or souls are not born again, they have to be RENEWED by the Word of God.  This is a process that takes time while being born again happens instantly; the moment you confess Jesus as LORD.

James goes on to say…

This is about hearing and putting the Word of God into practice, or action.  This is part of the renewing process.

Paul said in Romans 12:1-2 

[1] I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you to view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and facilities] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.

[2] Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].  (AMP)

Paul here is talking about the presenting of your bodies and minds to God.  He said, BE TRANSFORMED by the renewing of your mind.

James said receive with meekness the engrafted Word which is able to save your soul.

The engrafted Word…Renew your minds…Save your soul.

They both said a similar thing about renewing, restoring and saving the mind or soul.

The 23rd Psalm said a similar thing (Psalm 23:3).

[3]  He refreshes my soul.  He guides me along the right paths for His name’s sake.

He Restores My Soul.

We are BORN AGAIN of the spirit but our soul must be renewed with the Word of God.

The mind will be dominated by the body if it’s not first RENEWED by the Word of God.

We will be dominated by the flesh and not the spiritual without this receiving process.

In order for your soul to prosper,  it must be dominated by your spirit!

In order for your spirit to dominate your soul or mind, you must receive the engrafted Word of God.  This will SAVE your soul!

You might be saying, I just don’t see this.  All you do is have to look at any mental health institution and you will see people who have lost their soul.  The world is full of people who no longer have control over their mind and have given it over to forces that now control them.  Maybe this wasn’t their original intention but it’s the end state, none of the less.

Our MINDS must be RENEWED by the Word of God.

SPIRITUAL MATURITY.

In order to grow up to spiritual adulthood, we must allow our spirit to dominate our mind and begin to walk the walk of FAITH.  It can’t happen any other way and there are no shortcuts in this process, only diligence in God’s Word.

As the Apostle Paul said, this is our reasonable service (Rom. 12:1).

Only the RENEWED MIND can dominate the body.  The mind or soul will take sides with our spirit because we have renewed it with God’s Word.

Your spirit by the power of the Holy Spirit will then and only then be able to have control of the CARNAL mind.

The Renewed Mind Is The Beginning Of The Process, Which Is The Salvation Of Our Soul  [Romans 12:1-2]

I have to ask the following questions at the end of this post: 

Do you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior?

Do you want to be a joint heir with Christ?

If so, I urge you to earnestly pray this prayer.

Heavenly Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus, Your Son.  Your word says, “…the one who comes to Me, I will most certainly not cast out” (John 6:37).  So I know You won’t cast me out, but you take me in.  And I thank you for it.

You said in your Word, the “whoever” (that’s mecalls upon the name of the LORD shall be saved.”  (Rom. 10:13)  

So I am calling on Your name.

So I know You have saved me now.

You also said, “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and is justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”  (Rom. 10:9, 10)

I believe in my heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  I believe He was raised from the dead for me to be righteous.  And I confess Him now as my Lord, because your Word says, “…so that we might become the righteousness of God.”  (2 Cor. 5:21)

And I am SAVED!  Thank You, Lord!

I can now truthfully say, I see myself as a born again child of God!!

I give Glory to God!!!

AMEN

If you prayed this prayer, be sure to share your new faith in Christ Jesus in the comment, reply section at the bottom of this page.

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CREDITS:

Photo/Images:  Google Image Search.

Bible Translations:  New International Version (NIV); Amplified Bible (AMP); or where noted in images or in the text.

 

My Spiritual “Rabbit Hole” and Taking the “Redpill”

Preview of the Coming Attractions:

Going Down the Rabbit Hole!
Going Down the Rabbit Hole!

In 1999, there was a movie entitled, “The Matrix”.  A hacker named Morpheus offers a choice to the films protagonist, Neo, to take the BLUE PILL, where “the story ends, you wake up in bed and believe whatever you want to believe,” or take the RED PILL, where “you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.”  The “Redpill” appears to have seen “glitches” within the Matrix. The choice between the blissful ignorance of illusion (blue) and embracing the sometimes painful truth of reality (red).

Thus I begin my personal story dating back over five years ago, when I overcame the Religious Matrix.  Yes, I took the “Redpill” and ventured down My Spiritual “Rabbit Hole”.

My “born-again” moment in life began in 1972, at the age of 30.  You can read the story on how I came to that moment in the “about” section of “The WORD Detective”.  During the next thirty-two years, my developing experience by spiritual maturity grew.

It’s Good to Be Comfortable–

Courses in “Discipleship Training”, “Evangelism Explosion”, Gospel Music men’s trio, choirs, Christian Drama, deacon, Adult Sunday School Teacher, and so on and so on.  I was comfortable in my Religious Clothing.

Then in the spring of 2005, something began to change in my spirit; it was a mystery at first then it became clear.  God’s Spirit was tugging at me from every direction; soul and spirit.

Every morning, I would read from my Bible, then pray and then read from a Christian author’s book.  In the afternoons, at exactly 3:30 PM, Monday thru Friday, I would turn the television on and watch Dr. Creflo Dollar’s World Changers Ministry;  I took hand written notes almost everyday, soaking up the Word of God like I had never done before.  His God-Based teaching was so simple and practical, why hadn’t ever heard Scripture made this clear before?  The more I listened, the more I studied the Word, the more I understood.

Now my wife Dianne, also every morning would read from her Bible, pray and read from Christian Fiction while in a different room of the house (at the time, I read only non-fiction books).

The “Me too’s” in Life…

In 2006, after we had both  finished reading, I went where she was sitting and said, “I am tired of the same-old, same-old ‘stuff from the church pulpit every Sunday.”   Surprisingly, her reply to my statement of “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired…” (Paraphrased) was simply, “Me too!” 

The Holy Spirit had been speaking to us separately, in different rooms, about the same thing, at the same time.  I have found that after 46 years of marriage, God’s Spirit speaks loudly sometimes to husbands through their wives.

Dianne quietly said,  “One of my favorite smells in the whole world is freshly baked bread coming from a bakery. I am tired of picking up old, stale bread crumbs in the church aisles and pews.” You could have knocked me over with a ‘turkey feather’ when I heard her make that statement.  My quest was the same, and I replied with two words;  “Me too!” 

Unbeknownst to both of us, God had been speaking the thing, but in different ways.  Because of my inpatient spirit, He spoke more directly to my inner ear.  Now to Dianne, who has a more artistic personality, more visual, He spoke to her much differently.  In any case, our previous ways of thinking were going to change.

God was giving us a choice:

Take the “Red Pill” and the Holy Spirit would show us both… how deep the spiritual rabbit hole would go.  Or, take the “Blue Pill” where the story would end and we would wake-up in bed and believe whatever we wanted to believe.

By taking the “Bluepill” didn’t mean we would lose our salvation, not at all.  It meant that we would continue to miss out on what God wanted to expose us to in His Spiritual “Wonderland”.

The “REDPILL EXPERIENCE”:

After taking the “Redpill”, the Spiritual journey began.  I was saved through a Baptist preacher, in a Baptist church and had been exposed to Baptist doctrine and teaching for over 34 years.  After the “Redpill” experience, things were going to significantly change.  I could plainly smell the fresh bread baking for the first time in my Christian life.  With the help of Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, I needed to head towards the kitchen instead of looking in the windows from the outside.  Hebrews, Chapter 6 came to mind as I looked down the “Rabbit Hole”.

Hebrews 6:1-3; verse 1 [Paraphrased]:

“THEREFORE LET us go on”  down the “Rabbit Hole”,  “and get past the elementary stage in the teaching and doctrine of Christ, advancing steadily toward the completeness and perfection that belong to spiritual maturity…”  verse 1b.-2,  “Let us not again be laying the foundation of … [These are all matters of which you should have been fully aware of, long, long ago.]”  verse 3,  “If indeed God permits, we will [now] proceed [to advanced teaching.]”

I like how the Amplified version of Hebrew 6:4 says it in regards to what follows… after taking the “Redpill”. 

For it is impossible [to restore and bring again to repentance] those who have been once and for all ENLIGHTENED, WHO HAVE CONSCIOUSLY TASTED the heavenly gift and have become sharers of the Holy Spirit.”

Once you swallow the “Redpill”, its impossible to go back to where you were spiritually. You become ENLIGHTENED after tasting the freshly baked bread.  One day, you too, may make the same choice.  “The Redpill”, or “The Bluepill.”