Soul and Spirit; Why is The Difference Foggy?
June 19, 2018Faith-based
Throughout history, people have believed humans were comprised of a visible outer body and an inner, unseen self. There is obviously an inner something that influences our body’s function. This unseen influence has been called the inner man, our spirit, and at times it is spoken of as our soul.
Scripture however, declares we all have not one but two unseen (non-physical) parts.
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete… (1 Thessalonians 5:23).
The Word of God is living…sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit (Hebrews 2:12).
These New Testament verses make it obvious that our spirit and soul are not the same. But the actual difference remains a bit foggy to most of us. Can we understand the difference?
Our Personal Consciousness
Our body and spirit are clearly two profoundly different sides of our make-up as beings. They link us to two realms of reality—the natural and spiritual or the temporal and eternal.
The word, “soul” speaks of our ability to register into a personal consciousness what our body and spirit sense and experience. The soul is a blend of the function of our mind, will and emotion that registers our awareness of self, of others, of the world around us. Our soul is always observing, absorbing, and reacting to what our body and spirit experience.
Our soul is always observing, absorbing, and reacting to what our body and spirit experience.
We gather, evaluate, accept and refuse the information flowing to us. Swaying how we further think and feel about life, our relationships, and additional experiences; our actions then illustrate what we accept and believe to be true.
Chapters 1-3 of Created To Relate elaborate on these insights. We illustrate and describe in detail what our soul is, how it develops, how it functions, and what factors influence the decisions we make.
How limited is our function if our soul understands and believes inappropriately? What our soul thinks, feels, and believes in turn, influences all our actions.
Then at death, our spirit returns to God and our body to the earth. The obvious question is what happens to our soul consciousness? Are we, or have we become, afraid of God, or close to His heart?
God is after the salvation of our soul –
…in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls (James 1:21).
Welfare of our Entire Being
As our soul responds and matures under God’s guidance, we become more than the love of His heart. As developing children, we become the delight of His heart (Psalms 16:3) and the apple of His eye (Zechariah 2:8).
Our body, soul, and spirit can only be partially understood by examining them separately. When we see how our make-up is a combination of these interacting tri-fold components, we can begin to appreciate the need, value, and function of each part as contributors to the welfare of our whole being.
Our soul plays a major factor in who we are.
Our soul plays a major factor in who we are. In conjunction with both our spirit and body, taking good care of our soul (what we think, believe and feel) is truly important and necessary, so we do not short-change the fullness of life God intends for us.
Created To Relate provides fresh insight and unlocks the mystery behind what we are as a being, who we are as a person, how we are designed to function, and why we exist. Get your copy and delve into an easy-to-read description of the purpose of our existence and understand it as never before. We’ve prepared a Guide to facilitate group discussions.
Sign up to receive an email notification of our latest blog so you won’t miss these fresh insights!
Keith Carroll, “The Relationship Guy”
Relational Gospel Founder