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Thread: The spirit and the soul.

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    The spirit and the soul.

    Does anyone know the difference between the spirit and the soul, please? What role does each play? I've grappled with their meaning for years and don't seem any wiser today than I was 10 years ago.

    Please help..

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    Re: The spirit and the soul.

    I imagine this could balloon into a megathread, but I'll try to give a concise explanation!:

    • The "soul" is the person. If I'm speaking about you, Trivalee, I'm speaking about YOU the person. You the soul.
    • The "body" is the physical place where "the soul" is represented.
    • The "spirit" is the essence of [/I]life[/I]. What makes your body alive is your spirit. When your body loses its spirit, it dies.

    The LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground [body; physical] and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life [spirit; power of being alive], and the man became a living creature [soul; unique existence and essence of a living thing]. (Genesis 2:7)

    The dust [body] returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit [power of being alive] returns to God who gave it. (Ecclesiastes 12:7)

    In his hand is the life of every living thing [soul; "life" meaning one's experience on Earth], and the breath of all mankind [spirit; capacity of being alive]. (Job 12:10)

    All go to one place; all come from dust, and all return to dust [body]. Who knows whether the spirit of man [power of being alive] goes upward and the spirit of the beast [power of being alive] goes down into the earth? (Ecclesiastes 3:20-21)

    And here are some verses showing that the soul (the essence of a person, or personhood) remains after death of the body:

    And the LORD said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground. (Genesis 4:10)

    I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. They cried out with a loud voice, "O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" (Revelation 6:9-10)

    Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28)

    • So, we come into existence (become a soul) when God forms us from matter (body) and gives us life (spirit).
    • When God takes our spirit (power of life), our existence and personhood (the soul) remains, but our physical manifestation on Earth (body) decays.

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    Re: The spirit and the soul.

    Also very likely, IMO: Only the believer has a spirit.

    "And you*hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;" Eph 2:1

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    Re: The spirit and the soul.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trivalee View Post
    Does anyone know the difference between the spirit and the soul, please? What role does each play? I've grappled with their meaning for years and don't seem any wiser today than I was 10 years ago.

    Please help..
    Man is tripartite. He is made of three distinct organs. They are;
    1. The Body
    2. The Spirit
    3. The Soul

    The Body is the Tent or Tabernacle (2nd Cor.5:1) - the carrier, the physical part made of thousands of physical parts. It's physical vitality is the blood (Gen.9:4-5). It speaks for the Outer Court of the Temple. In the case of Jesus His Body was also the Veil that kept God hidden from men (Heb.10:20)

    The spirit of man is that organ made by God's breath. It is spirit in nature, and gives the man his vitality (Jas.2:26). It is that organ that God made to be His dwelling place in man (Jn.3:6, 20:22). It speaks for the Holy of Holies in the Temple. Its functions are fellowship (Jn.4:24; Rom.1:9), conscience (compare Rom.9:1 with Romans 8:16) and intuition (1st Cor.2:11).

    The soul of man is the man. After Genesis 3:7 man is always referred to as a "soul". When our Lord died His soul went to Hades. At the same time the scripture says that HE went to Hades. The man is the soul and the soul is the man. This makes him different to an angel which is "spirit" in being. The soul has three organs, mind - the thinking organ (Ps.13:2, 139:14; Lam.3:20), emotions - the feeling organ (1st Sam.18:1; 2nd Sam.5:8; Song.1:7; Isa.61:10; Ps.86:4), and the will - the deciding organ (Job.6:7, 7:15; 1st Chron.22:19). The Soul speaks for the Holy Place of the Temple. In it he receives divine nourishment (the showbread altar), divine light (the Candlestick or Menorah) and he formulates prayers to be carried up by Jesus as the altar of incense.

    These three organs of a man each have their own recovery or salvation.
    1. The spirit must be born again from above and have God and His divine life come into it and stay. This is achieved by FAITH
    2. The soul must be transformed by a combination of God adding divine elements and purging discipline while the man denies himself, adds Godly attributes and eats Christ. This is achieved by God's supply and man's effort
    3. The body must die and be resurrected anew body, or, if alive at Christ's coming, it must be changed. This is achieved solely by the Holy Spirit

    At death the man is torn apart.
    1. His spirit returns to God to await the resurrection. Since the soul is the man, it cannot be said that a man goes to God in heaven at death. Only his spirit does - and he is NOT a spirit.
    2. His body returns to the elements of the dust and mus wait for the Holy Spirit to gather together the elements for his new body
    3. His soul goes to Hades in the heart of the earth from which he RISES when the Holy Spirit causes his resurrection. A dead man is both naked and unclean in death and so cannot appear before God in this state. Rather, Christ's soul, which is omnipresent, will be with him in Hades (Ps.139:8)

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    Re: The spirit and the soul.

    Quote Originally Posted by IMINXTC View Post
    Also very likely, IMO: Only the believer has a spirit.

    "And you*hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;" Eph 2:1
    I agree too, but a believer has a reborn Spirit.
    ....So now, since the opportunity that we have in Jesus, a true-believer that dead-sprint that died in the garden with Adam and Eve can be reborn into a reborn-Spirit.
    Don't seek too much knowledge. You just may be putting more weight on your shoulders than you're able to bare.
    Let God be the one to decide how quickly you grow.

  6. #6

    Cool Re: The spirit and the soul.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trivalee View Post
    Does anyone know the difference between the spirit and the soul, please? What role does each play? I've grappled with their meaning for years and don't seem any wiser today than I was 10 years ago.

    Please help..
    Simply speaking a soul is an animal. We typically confuse soul with spirit = H7307

    רוּחַ
    rûach
    roo'-akh

    From H7306; wind; by resemblance breath, that is, a sensible (or even violent) exhalation; figuratively life, anger, unsubstantiality; by extension a region of the sky; by resemblance spirit, but only of a rational being (including its expression and functions): - air, anger, blast, breath, X cool, courage, mind, X quarter, X side, spirit ([-ual]), tempest, X vain, ([whirl-]) wind (-y).

    Wait one minute. The same Hebrew word for soul is defined as animal-creature elsewhere.

    In Genesis 2:7 the word soul = H5315

    נֶפֶשׁ
    nephesh
    neh'-fesh

    From H5314; properly a breathing creature, that is, animal or (abstractly) vitality; used very widely in a literal, accommodated or figurative sense (bodily or mental): - any, appetite, beast, body, breath, creature, X dead (-ly), desire, X [dis-] contented, X fish, ghost, + greedy, he, heart (-y), (hath, X jeopardy of) life (X in jeopardy), lust, man, me, mind, mortality, one, own, person, pleasure, (her-, him-, my-, thy-) self, them (your) -selves, + slay, soul, + tablet, they, thing, (X she) will, X would have it.

    Gen. 1:21: "And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good."

    creature = H5315 = nephesh

    We have been led astray by saying the soul is anything more than our body.
    Doctrines of men.
    From Phil36
    The soul of man can live without the body; the body cannot live without the soul. Jesus exhorted His hearers: “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both the soul and the body in hell” (Matthew 10:28).
    Matt. 10:28: And G2532 fear G5399 not G3361 (G575) them which kill G615 the G3588 body, G 4983 but G1161 are not G3361 able G1410 to kill G615 the G3588 soul: G5590 but G1161 rather G3123 fear G5399 him which is able G1410 to destroy G622 both G2532 soul G5590 and G2532 body G4983 in G1722 hell. G1067

    soul = G5590

    ψυχή
    psuchē
    psoo-khay'
    From G5594; breath, that is, (by implication) spirit, abstractly or concretely.


    body = G4983

    σῶμα
    sōma
    so'-mah
    From G4982; the body.

    Jesus was comparing destroying the spirit and body.

    1Th. 5:23: And G1161 the G3588 very G846 God G2316 of peace G1515 sanctify G37 you G5209 wholly; G3651 and G2532 I pray God your G5216 whole G3648 spirit G4151 and G2532 soul G5590 and G2532 body G4983 be preserved G5083 blameless G274 unto G1722 the G3588 coming G3952 of our G2257 Lord G2962 Jesus G2424 Christ. G5547

    spirit = G4151

    pneuma
    pnyoo'-mah
    From G4154; a current of air, that is, breath (blast) or a breeze; by analogy or figuratively a spirit, that is, (human) the rational soul, (by implication) vital principle, mental disposition, etc., or (superhuman) an angel, daemon, or (divine) God, Christ’s spirit, the Holy spirit: - ghost, life, spirit (-ual, -ually), mind. Compare G5590.

    soul = G5590

    psuchē
    psoo-khay'
    From G5594; breath, that is, (by implication) spirit, abstractly or concretely (the animal sentient principle only; thus distinguished on the one hand from G4151, which is the rational and immortal soul; and on the other from G2222, which is mere vitality, even of plants: these terms thus exactly correspond respectively to the Hebrew [H5315], [H7307] and [H2416]: - heart (+ -ily), life, mind, soul, + us, + you.

    body = G4983

    sōma
    so'-mah
    From G4982; the body (as a sound whole), used in a very wide application, literally or figuratively: - bodily, body, slave.

    So it is like saying spirit (immortal) other spirit (mortal-animal) and body. This is interesting: Matt. 10:28 just compared soul-5590 to body-4983. I think Thessalonians is reaching because we don't have an immortal spirit yet, just the promise of one. That is my take, anyway.
    John 15:17 "These things I command you, that ye love one another."

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    Re: The spirit and the soul.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trivalee View Post
    Does anyone know the difference between the spirit and the soul, please? What role does each play? I've grappled with their meaning for years and don't seem any wiser today than I was 10 years ago.

    Please help..
    Yeah, it's a tough one.

    dust+spirit=soul (Gen 2:7)

    That is the foundation, and anything anyone says that deviates from that foundation is false. You've seen plenty already in this thread.

    How many souls were lost? Ever see how many spirits were lost? Nope. Why is that? Spirit isn't lost. Spirit isn't dead. It can't be. Its God's.

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    Re: The spirit and the soul.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob's Ladder View Post
    I agree too, but a believer has a reborn Spirit.
    ....So now, since the opportunity that we have in Jesus, a true-believer that dead-sprint that died in the garden with Adam and Eve can be reborn into a reborn-Spirit.
    Absurd! No scripture implies only the spirit is reborn, or needs to be because it's dead, or can be.

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    Re: The spirit and the soul.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah View Post
    I imagine this could balloon into a megathread, but I'll try to give a concise explanation!:

    • The "soul" is the person. If I'm speaking about you, Trivalee, I'm speaking about YOU the person. You the soul.
    • The "body" is the physical place where "the soul" is represented.
    • The "spirit" is the essence of [/I]life[/I]. What makes your body alive is your spirit. When your body loses its spirit, it dies.

    The LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground [body; physical] and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life [spirit; power of being alive], and the man became a living creature [soul; unique existence and essence of a living thing]. (Genesis 2:7)

    The dust [body] returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit [power of being alive] returns to God who gave it. (Ecclesiastes 12:7)

    In his hand is the life of every living thing [soul; "life" meaning one's experience on Earth], and the breath of all mankind [spirit; capacity of being alive]. (Job 12:10)

    All go to one place; all come from dust, and all return to dust [body]. Who knows whether the spirit of man [power of being alive] goes upward and the spirit of the beast [power of being alive] goes down into the earth? (Ecclesiastes 3:20-21)

    And here are some verses showing that the soul (the essence of a person, or personhood) remains after death of the body:

    And the LORD said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground. (Genesis 4:10)

    I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. They cried out with a loud voice, "O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" (Revelation 6:9-10)

    Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28)

    • So, we come into existence (become a soul) when God forms us from matter (body) and gives us life (spirit).
    • When God takes our spirit (power of life), our existence and personhood (the soul) remains, but our physical manifestation on Earth (body) decays.
    Well said!
    .

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    Re: The spirit and the soul.

    Quote Originally Posted by Noeb View Post
    Yeah, it's a tough one.

    dust+spirit=soul (Gen 2:7)

    That is the foundation, and anything anyone says that deviates from that foundation is false. You've seen plenty already in this thread.

    How many souls were lost? Ever see how many spirits were lost? Nope. Why is that? Spirit isn't lost. Spirit isn't dead. It can't be. Its God's.
    Don't all souls represent creatures? Knowledge of God's spirit striving with man doesn't appear until Ge 6:3 this to me is what separates us from creatures. A soul is represented by all living creatures with the breath of life.

    Quote Originally Posted by Noeb View Post
    Yeah, it's a tough one.

    dust+spirit=soul (Gen 2:7)

    That is the foundation, and anything anyone says that deviates from that foundation is false. You've seen plenty already in this thread.

    How many souls were lost? Ever see how many spirits were lost? Nope. Why is that? Spirit isn't lost. Spirit isn't dead. It can't be. Its God's.
    Don't all souls represent creatures? Knowledge of God's spirit striving with man doesn't appear until Ge 6:3 this to me is what separates us from creatures. A soul is represented by all living creatures with the breath of life.

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    Re: The spirit and the soul.

    Quote Originally Posted by Noeb View Post
    Absurd! No scripture implies only the spirit is reborn, or needs to be because it's dead, or can be.
    All these scriptures to me point to new birth is of the spirit.

    Ezekiel 11:19 And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh:
    John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
    John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
    John 3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

    Just what to you gets born again? Please provide scriptures.

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    Re: The spirit and the soul.

    I spent my early Christian years reading Watchman Nee, who described something similar to how Walls described it, though not exactly. The spirit is the part of man that communes with God, with a conscience and intuition. We operate in the spiritual gifts here.

    The soul is the part of man that operates strictly as a human spirit, without a necessary connection to the Spirit of God. It has emotions, will, and thought. We can have thoughts and emotions completely separated from God's Spirit, or our thoughts and emotions can be informed by God's thoughts and emotions. It depends on the responsiveness of our spirit to God's Spirit.

    The body is our physical being. It is controlled by our soul, which in turn is either informed by God's Spirit or strictly by our own mind.

    I've never found my own formula for this, except that I've sort of held to Nee's views. Like you, I've never been completely satisfied by it. One thing we know for sure, the body received the life force, or spirit, and became a human soul, or individual personality.

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    Re: The spirit and the soul.

    The first mention of a "soul" in our bible's describes it as the sum of our two parts
    ie: spirit + dust-body = a soul

    If one begins reading from the front of a book, they'll not get lost inside it's content.
    Don't seek too much knowledge. You just may be putting more weight on your shoulders than you're able to bare.
    Let God be the one to decide how quickly you grow.

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    Re: The spirit and the soul.

    What I mean is our soul is not a "part" of us, it is the sum of our two part(s).

    And man became a living soul
    Don't seek too much knowledge. You just may be putting more weight on your shoulders than you're able to bare.
    Let God be the one to decide how quickly you grow.

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    Re: The spirit and the soul.

    In regard to the rebirth, it behooves us to be accurate. In John 3:3-6 our Lord's words are;

    3 "Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
    4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
    5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
    6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit."


    The first thing to be clear on is that the words "born again" are more accurately rendered "born anew". Darby has a footnote that helps much. It is that the meaning of this is, "... an entirely new birth from an entirely fresh point of departure from an entirely fresh source. It is translated 'origin' in Luke 1:3." The Greek also means that this birth is "from above". And our Lord's answer to Nicodemus is that this birth is CONTRASTED to that from the womb of a woman. So, it in no way implies that the MAN is dead and needs to be born again from the giver of human life - the womb (1st Cor.11:12). The notion that the man, or his spirit, is dead, is not the sense of the original.

    But then we have to answer why John 3:6 says that it is the human SPIRIT that is born anew. The reason for this is twofold.
    1. God is a Spirit and all His dealings proceed from His Spirit. God's plan, effecting this plan and applying this plan all proceed from His Spirit
    2. God has made His dwelling with man the same as Himself. God is a Spirit and He dwells most comfortably in a spirit. And it is from this human spirit that God achieves His goal

    Let us examine the only two possible scenarios that man is faced with when it comes to God dwelling in him:
    1. Adam was a perfect human. God saw that Adam, in his pristine state, was "very good". But what Adam lacked was God's nature. He had a perfect human nature but his duty, as given in Genesis 1:26-28, was to "be in the image and likeness of God". To do this Adam must not only partake of the human nature, but also be permeated with the divine nature. This is perfectly depicted by eating. Whatever we eat become us. After a short time the elements and goodness of what we eat become organically one with us and make us what we are. Eat wholesome food and one is a healthy human. Eat junk food and one soon exhibits symptoms of ill-health. Eat poison and we exhibit death. Adam's sin against God was not only that he ate from the forbidden and poisonous Tree, but he REFUSED to eat from the Tree that would have imparted the divine life into his human life. That he never ate from the Tree of Life is shown in Genesis 3:22, "And the LORD God said, ... and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life,... ." The grammar doubly proves that Adam had not YET eaten from this Tree by the time he ate from the forbidden Tree.
    2. Adam is fallen by sinning against God TWICE. He has eaten of the forbidden Tree which imparted DEATH to Adam's humanity. And this intrinsic "death quality" is passed on to all men by being an intrinsic part of Adam's changed nature (Rom.5:12). Adam has also FAILED to eat from the Tree that would have given him "life to live forever" - eternal life. And he thus cannot be in the image and likeness of God. SIN (singular) is now his intrinsic nature and the fruit of this is SINS (or trespasses). God could NEVER come to dwell in such a stinking swamp. So Adam, and his offspring, must either be consigned to the trash heap of the universe (Gehenna - the valley of burning trash south of Jerusalem), OR, they must be recovered.

    So God sets out, in the most intricate legal way, and the most expensive moral way, to recover man. And this recovery STARTS IN THE HUMAN SPIRIT by God's INDWELLING SPIRIT. After sin and sins are judicially and morally correctly set aside, the human spirit becomes the STARTING POINT of recovery. The recovery of man is effected by the human spirit experiencing the INDWELLING of the Holy Spirit (Jn.20:22). And this Holy Spirit then works on a man to TRANSFORM his SOUL (2nd Cor.3:18, etc.). And then by the same Holy Spirit the man's BODY is resurrected (Rom.8:11,23).

    The rebirth is not a reversal of a man killed by sin and sins. The rebirth is a fully new work of the Spirit of God that starts in the human spirit, continues in the soul, and ends with a new and heavenly and spiritual body*. Adam needed this process whether he sinned or not. The doctrine that to be saved means we believe in Jesus and go to heaven when we die is a pitiful one. What then is saved? Nothing! Not even God's honor! But if a man, and a fallen man to wit, is recovered in spirit, soul and body, to be in the image and likeness of Jesus Christ, to walk this earth displaying God by having His nature - WHAT GLORY to the God of the universe.

    "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren." (Romans 8:29)


    * Something is "spiritual" in only two cases. (1) It is spirit in content and nature. Example; John 4:24. God is Spirit in substance and nature. (2) It has its origin in the Holy Spirit. Example; 1st Corinthians Chapter 12 speaks of the "spiritual gifts". The gift is NOT spirit in nature, but it proceeds from, it has its ORIGIN in the Holy Spirit. And so 1st Corinthians 15:44 has the meaning of point (2). The resurrected body is NOT spirit in substance and nature (Lk.24:39). It is physical and of the elements of the earth. But the resurrected body has its ORIGIN in the Holy Spirit - not the womb.

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