The Difference Between Spirit, Soul & Body
Your spirit can be likened to when you drive your car. Within the car is the power to get you to where you are wanting to go but in and of itself the car cannot do anything without you at its controls.
The same can be said of your physical mind. It is all powerful in controlling your body but without your spirit it is useless and will decay with the rest of your body without your spirit bringing it life. When the spirit and the flesh, your mind, are joined together you become a living soul. Your soul is what defines you as what we call a human being. Your soul is what natures you. In other words your soul can be liken to an animal or birds soul. We know that when a dog is born it will have the instincts of a dog and not a car. The same is true of the birds. For example, geese; they do not have to be told to fly in a V formation and to occasionally take turns of leading. They do it by what we call nature. In like manner you act like a man or woman because it is your nature to do so. What natures us is our soul. Your soul is made up of your mind, your will and your emotions. This mind is not to be confused with our physical mind, which is used to control our body. Our physical mind can be likened to a computer which must be programmed and have constant oversight by a programmer. Not only that it must have some form of power applied to it.
The same is true of our flesh and blood body. Even though our physical mind is capable of great things, it cannot function without the spirit. Jesus said in Jn. 6:63,
“It is the spirit that quickeneth, or gives life; the flesh profiteth nothing:”
When our spirits leave our bodies and go back to our Father all life is gone from our bodies and our physical mind no longer functions and we bury them. That which allowed our bodies to function has been taken away much like when we unplug our computer. It cannot any longer function.
It is very difficult to make a difference between the spirit and the soul. However, it can be done. Heb. 4:12 says,
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
So here we see the spirit the soul and the heart spoken of separately as three different things. Paul said in 1 Thess. 5:23,
“And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Paul makes a difference between the spirit, the soul and the body.
Here are some things we know
about each of them. It is said in Num.
“Let the LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh,”
From this scripture
we see that the Lord is the Father of all spirits. This is further confirmed by
Jesus in Jn. 3:6,
“That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”
Also in Mt. 23:9,
“Call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.”
It becomes obvious that our spirits was given birth to by Father God.
Is our spirit and our soul the same thing? Not if they can be separated! It is obvious from the preceding scriptures that they can be separated by the word of God. What, then, is the difference between the two?
I am spirit, I have a soul and I live in a body. My spirit was given birth to me by my heavenly Father, El Elion before time ever begin and when my earthly fleshly father planted his seed in my earthly mother’s womb my flesh was given life when the Lord put my spirit in my mother’s womb and this brought life to the flesh my earthly father gave birth to. Jesus said that flesh gives birth to flesh and spirit gives birth to spirit.
When my spirit joined with my flesh I became a living soul. My soul is made up of my mind, my will and my emotions. This mind is not to be as I said earlier confused with my fleshly mind. My fleshly mind is as I said earlier just like a computer and is used to control this fleshly body that I live in.
The mind, will and emotions of my soul that came alive when my spirit and soul joined is feminine in nature and was designed to be in subjection to me. Or to my spirit, which is who I am because that is who my Father is, spirit.
My soul has a mind of it’s own and is how I contact the fleshly side of my body. My soul can think on it’s own and can allow itself to be controlled by the bodies five senses. When this happens it becomes carnal. Carnal means according to Strong’s, From G4561; pertaining to flesh, that is, (by Extension) bodily, temporal, or (by implication) animal, unregenerate:—carnal, fleshly.
You might think at this point that I have gone off the deep end but consider these things. James said in James 1:5-8,
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”
You see, it is possible to have two minds; The mind of the soul and the mind of the spirit. These two should be one mind but there are times when the soul wants to go off on her own and side with the flesh and gang up on the spirit and overrule the wisdom of the spirit and we end up doing what we know we should not do and not what we want to do. The soul, being the feminine and weaker part of our being, is subject to being influenced by what the flesh wants and desires and sees. It is my soul that can sin or miss the high calling of my Father and as such must be delivered and be renewed by the word of my Father.
Jesus made a very strange statement in Matt 18:3,
“Very I say unto you, Except you be converted and become as little children, you shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.”
Why would Jesus make a statement like that? I was taught that a child was born a sinner but sin was not imputed to the child until they reached the age of accountability and nobody could really tell you exactly when that occurred. The scripture use to base this teaching on was Psalm 51:5 which says,
“Behold, I was shapen in inquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.”
A closer look at this, however, reveals that it was my mother that was in sin when I was conceived. Also, David wrote this while under the Law and sin had not yet been dealt with on the cross.
When a child is born into this world their spirit and soul are one and they have not committed any sin. As they grow and learn right from wrong they have choices to make as to how they are going to respond to truth. At this stage in their lives their soul becomes active.
Let us now turn our attention to another part of our make up that is mention frequently in the bible; the heart. Most of the time when the bible speaks of the heart it is not talking about the physical organ that pumps blood through our veins and keeps us alive. It is, however, talking about that area of our being where we do our thinking. It is the throne room and the very core of our being where the Kingdom of God resides provided that we allow our spirit to be the center of our life. God dwells in the very center of our spirit because it is our spirits that are born of God who is our Father. As He is so are we. This part of our composition can be separated from our spirit, soul and body. Jesus referred to this area many times. In Matt. 5:8 Jesus said,
“Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.”
And in Matt. 6:21,
“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
And in Matt 11:28-30,
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Jesus here makes a difference between the heart and the soul. He also said in 12:34-35,
“O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.”
We learn from this passage that what we say comes from our heart for it is out of the things stored in the heart that we speak.
He said in Matt. 15:8-9,
“This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”
It is possible for the soul to speak flattering words of truth without the heart being open to the spirits to hear and speak the wisdom of God.
He said in Matt. 22:37,
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.”
Here Jesus makes a distinction between the heart, the soul, and the mind. He said we are to love the Lord our God with all that fills our heart; spirit, mind, will, and emotions. Everything that makes up our being is to love the Lord.
He said in Mark 6:52,
“For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.”
From this we learn that we can harden our hearts to prevent the truth from entering. In other words, we can become so set in our thinking that we will not listen to anything that disagrees with what we have come to believe as truth. Mark said in Mark 16:14,
“Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.”
Their hearts were hardened by what they had been taught. They had been taught that it was impossible to come back from the dead even though they had seen Lazarus brought back by Jesus.
So we see from these passages that the heart is where we do our thinking and what we say comes from our heart. Our heart can be hardened, it can be dull of seeing, it can be slow to believe, slow to see or discern.
Jesus said in Matt. 15:8 to the scribes and Pharisees,
“You hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”
The man made doctrine of an eternal hell’s fire where those who disobey God will be cast into to live forever in torment because they did not accept Jesus, causes many to serve the Lord because they don’t want to go to hell.
Are you serving the Lord because you have a personal relationship with Him and love Him or are you serving Him because you don’t want to go to hell? If there were no hell would you continue to serve Him? If Jesus really did settle the sin issue on the cross by His sacrifice and you no longer have to be concerned about being punished in hell’s fire if you sin, would you still serve him?
“But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.”
Peter here tells us what the hidden man of the heart is and what his nature is. The hidden man of the heart is the real you which is your spirit and your spirit is meek and quiet. Remember Jesus said in Matt.
“I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls”
There is only one spirit within us. 1 Sam. 16:7 says,
"Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature, for the Lord seeth NOT AS MAN SEETH; for man looketh on the OUTWARD appearance, but the Lord looketh ON THE HEART".
After the dealings of God in our lives, and the foundation of Jesus Christ has been laid in our inner being, then the TEMPLE is OPENED IN HEAVEN which is within us. Because of our religious teaching, whenever we hear the word HEAVEN mentioned, we activate our I-magination and call up a picture of some ethereal place up in the sky. Beloved, it is time to grow up and put away childish thinking, for the Lord is at hand. The "HEAVEN" where the Temple of God was OPENED, IS WITHIN US, in the REALITY OF OUR INNER BEING. Paul had already declared, "Your body is the Temple of God", so therefore we must see that there is an analogy between the TEMPLE and our BODY. The "outer court" relates to our BODY, with the Holy Place indicating the area of SOUL, while the Most Holy Place represents the area of SPIRIT within us. It is here WITHIN US, where God dwells, and if this is so, then we MUST BE HIS TEMPLE.
The DUALITY OF OUR MIND has prevented us from knowing who we really are, for we have retained the concept of… God up in heaven, but we are on the earth. We often speak of the Spirit of God, and also and OUR SPIRIT, or as we express it, the Spirit of MAN. However I want you to know, beloved, that YOUR SPIRIT is THE LORD. There are not two spirits, totally distinct and separate dwelling within you. That is what MAN has taught us. YOU are the "LIVING NAOS" or the INNER SANCTUARY of God. He dwells within you bringing His refining process to bear upon our lives, until Christ is all. Our concept of "DUALITY" denies the purpose of God in making us ONE WITH HIMSELF. John 17:21.
This is not some "theory" or doctrine I am sharing with you, but a glorious reality, which I want YOU to enter into. You may know the Jesus of Nazareth, who went about doing good, and performed miracles, who died and was raised from the dead, and now ascended into the glory, but that knowledge will not change you, or bring the reality of God into your life. It is not until you KNOW by the SPIRIT, THAT SAME ONE who IS CHRIST, RISEN AND GLORIFIED, and who dwells WITHIN YOU, living His life and functioning as an integral part of YOUR VERY BEING, that God can become the reality of your life. Religion cannot help you to find this reality; this is the sovereign work of the Spirit of the Lord.
Paul said in 1 Cor. 2:16,
“For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.”