(written in 2005, released in 2008)
may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your
whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of
our Lord Jesus Christ". (1 Thess. 5:23)
Lord often times reveals his purpose in threes. As one studies
Scripture they will begin to see there is a three dimension process to
God's Salvational work. Our spirit is automatically saved when we
receive Christ as our Savior, but our soul is progressively being
saved, and the body follows (3 John 2; 1 Thess.5:23; Heb.10:39; 1
Pet.1:9; James 1:21 - James is speaking to the church, not the world).
Tabernacle of Moses is an excellent example of our whole being (spirit,
soul and body) as it (our being) is the Tabernacle of God - 1 Cor.3:16;
2 Pet.1:13,14 okj). What God concealed in the Tabernacle of Moses would
be revealed in a Tabernacle not made with hands (Heb. 9:11). Christ,
who lives within those who have received Him is revealed as we grow
unto full stature in Him (Gal.2:20).
we really get into this teaching I would like to begin with the
difference between the spirit and soul. The first thing we must come to
realize is that our spirit is the real man. We are spirit beings with a
soul, and we dwell in a physical body (Numbers 16:22; Heb. 12:9).
is crucial for us to learn how to tell the difference between our
spirit and our soul, and to acknowledge that the two do exist.
the original Greek New Testament the difference between the spirit and
soul is extreme. The Spirit of God, and also our spirit is defined as a
"pneuma". The word "pneumatic" originated from "pneuma", and means "air" or "breath". The Webster Dictionary defines the word "pneumatic" as something that is "Moved by or worked by air pressure".
function of the human spirit is generally a passive or inactive one.
The soul however is always active. Our spirit operates as a protective
womb for the presence and the activities of the Spirit of God who
abides within us. Our spirit is connected with our heart and our
conscience. It is through our human spirit that we are able to discern
and reveal what Jesus does through the Holy Spirit.
"God is a Spirit (pheuma); and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth." (John 4:24)
The soul (Psu-kay - in the Greek) is where "psyche" comes
from, which consists of the mind (intellect), will and emotions. The
soul is the function of the rational and intellectual. This is why we
MUST NOT live from our soul, but from the spirit. Our soul will never
comprehend the wind of the Spirit (1 Cor. 2:14). This is why so many
within the Body of Christ are unable to discern God, because they often
times are living from their soul alone. What they think to be of the
Spirit is often times the soul, and what they think to be of the soul
is often times the Spirit.
soul as I pointed out is a combination of our mind, will and emotions.
Its function is to work and choose between the things of the spirit and
the things of the flesh (the body). The spirit reveals the truth, but
the soul has to choose whether to follow the spirit or the promptings
of the carnal flesh, the world, and the trickeries of satan. It is up
to the soul (our will) to allow our spirit (the real man) to manifest
enough to win the battle that we face from day to day.
most powerful source that man has is his will. God gave us the power to
choose. He didn't want a people who were like puppets on a string; He
wanted a people who would choose Him and His ways on their own. And
yes, there are consequences to the way that we choose. So, He advises
us to choose life, and not death. There is a way that seems right to a
man, but in the end it leads to death (Deut.30:19; Prov. 14:12).
responsibility of the soul is to submit itself to the Holy Spirit. When
we allow our soul to do this, it will take us in the ways of the Spirit
of the Living God. When we allow God to bring our will to a point where
it has no more fleshly desire than we can truly say we have submitted
to the ways of God. Our emotions will be healed and quieted before
Father so that we can hear that still small voice that abides within us.
who are bound by demonic oppression or past hurts are unable to discern
the quiet voice of God, because their emotions are screaming so loudly
that the presence of the Lord is overpowered by the presence of the
intellect must be renewed by the Word of God daily so that we can
better understand what the Holy Spirit is saying (Romans 12:2). Some
people would negatively call this brain washing, but that is exactly
what the spirit of God desires for us. There is a spiritual brain
washing that must take place in order for our whole being to come in
align with the Spirit of God (Eph.5:26).
though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach
you again the first principles of the oracles of God, and you have come
to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk
is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid
food belongs to those who are full age, that is, those who by reason of
use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil". (Heb. 5:12-14)
God's point of view, discernment is not something we should take for
granted. Discernment comes by exercising that gift. It is likened to a
muscle. Those who exercise that gift will grow in spiritual strength.
It comes by practice and it only comes as we take in the WHOLE counsel
of God through His Word. If we only drink the milk of the Word we will
not be able to discern correctly. There is both milk and solid food. We
use the milk of the Word to wash down the solid food of the Word that
God desires for us (1 Pet.2:2; Heb.5:12,13).
Word of God clearly states that we should practice discernment. God has
given ALL His people the ability to discern. We need to practice
discernment in every situation of our life, and when we discern it, we
should then follow it as it aligns with the Lord.
How then do we discern between the Spirit and soul?
Spirit ("Pneuma" ) means breath, wind, and spirit. Now the Greek word for soul is "Psuche" (Psyche came from the word "psyche" from which we get Psychological or psychiatrist or psychosomatic. A psychiatrist is a doctor of the soul.
is God's design that His people move on from the fall of the first
Adam, and on into the resurrection power of the second Adam (Jesus - 1
Cor. 15:45). Of course we know this is a process that we must allow in
our lives. If we continue living in the flesh by making excuses as to
why we are living in the flesh, by blaming it on the first Adam than
truly we do not know what Christ has done for us.
1 Cor. 15:44-46 Paul is pointing out that we are no longer a part of
the first Adam - we are now a part of the second Adam (Jesus). There is
a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. There is the soulish and
there is the spiritual.
is the receiving of the resurrection life that God is looking for in
His people. His desire for us is to bring our soul into subjection to
our spirit man, the real man, wherein we exercise our senses (our mind
(intellect) will and emotions). By doing this we are living and moving
in the Spirit.
Ezekiel saw this in the first chapter of his writing (Ezek. 1:12). When
we read about the cherubs we clearly understand that they have
spiritual bodies. They go wherever the spirit wants to go. Wherever the
spirit went, they went because the spirit went there. A spiritual body
is directly motivated by the spirit, not the soul. The natural man will
not receive this, but the spiritual man will grab hold of it because
they have, are, and will continue to exercise their spiritual senses (1
Cor.2:14,15). The soulish person cannot be in one accord with the
Spirit of God because they constantly must have ample reasoning to
every happening. He is unable to receive the things of the Spirit
because he cannot understand them (Mark 4:13-20).
you ever talked with a person of worldly intelligence? A spiritual
person can attempt to explain the things of the spirit, but the worldly
educated person will not understand because they are operating in the
realm of the soul. All the intelligence in the world cannot compare to
the wisdom and ingenuity of our God (1 Cor. 3:19; 2 Cor. 1:12).