Reputation Points: 67
Are Soul and Spirit the Same?
There is an idea also that prevails largely today that man consists of only two component parts: namely, body and spirit. In the thinking of the writer this view appears to be one that might create confusion in the minds of any Christians. While soul and spirit are so closely related that it is sometimes difficult to distinguish accurately between them, there seems to be only one logical conclusion: namely, that “soul” and “spirit” are not the same. The Bible does make a distinction.
The soul belongs to the realm of the natural man, and the spirit belongs to the realm of the Spirit. Anyone who cannot distinguish the difference between these two categories is in darkness. It means he cannot tell what is of God and what is not of God. He may pose as an expert on the Bible, but in fact he cannot know the Bible because the Bible can be interpreted only by men who know the spirit.
The Composition of Man
It is clear from the Bible that man is composed of three distinct parts: spirit, soul, and body. It is true that the ordinary concept, even among Christians, is that human beings are composed of two parts—soul and body. According to this concept, the body is the part of man which can be seen, and the soul is the part which is unseen.
Functions of Soul and Spirit
A careful study of the Bible will show that man has a spirit (Job 32:8), that his spirit has a definite function (Rom. 1:9), and that the function of the spirit is different from the function of the soul (Luke 1:46-47).
Is it a matter of any consequence to divide the spirit and soul? It is an issue of supreme importance for it affects tremendously the spiritual life of a believer. How can a believer understand spiritual life if he does not know what is the extent of the realm of the spirit? Without such understanding how can he grow spiritually? To fail to distinguish between spirit and soul is fatal to spiritual maturity. Christians often account what is soulical as spiritual, and thus they remain in a soulish state and seek not what is really spiritual. How can we escape loss if we confuse what God has divided? (The Spiritual Man, vol. 1, p. 22).
Vital to Christian Experience
This matter of distinguishing the spirit from the soul is not just something of academic or doctrinal interests. It is vital to our Christian experience. If we do not know our human spirit, how shall God communicate with us (Job 32:8); how shall we worship Him (John 4:24); how shall we receive revelation from God (Eph. 1:17); and how shall we pray properly (Eph. 6:18, praying…in spirit)? These vital experiences are a matter of knowing our spirit. Even serving the Lord must be done in and with our spirit (Rom. 1:9). Many today are satisfied simply to find an open door to serve the Lord, but Paul was regulated rather by the rest in his spirit (2 Cor. 2:12-13).
If you are a Christian, your spirit has been made alive by the Spirit (John 3:6), and today Jesus Christ is with your spirit (2 Tim. 4:22). There is not one verse in the whole Bible which says that your soul was born again or that Christ today is in your soul. Neither is there a single verse which says that we should worship God with our soul (although many Christians try it). But there is a verse which says that if we are going to worship God, we must worship Him in spirit (John 4:24).
May all who read these words be exercised to discern between their soul and their spirit and to walk before God in spirit.
Blessings > free mind