The Personal spirit of Man.

The Personal spirit of Man.

The spirit of man is the Lamp of the Lord, searching all the innermost parts of his being. Proverbs 20:27. This lamp was darkened by the fall. This fall has distorted the soul’s functions as well. Man’s whole being is corrupted—his spirit is darkened (Eph. 4:17,18; 1 Cor. 2:14); his soul is debased (Jer. 17:9; Eph.4:19); his body is diseased and death -ridden (Rom. 7:24).

Man became other than God intended him to be… instead of allowing his spirit to bring God in (at the moment of original temptation) man acted independently… Then the spirit of man, being so seriously violated, ceased to be the link between himself and God. Fellowship with God, which is always spiritual, was destroyed and the spirit sank down into subjection to man’s soul. These observations of the fall confirm the value of distinguishing spirit from soul.

I have often used the analogy of the soul as a 900-pound gorilla, driving a bus (body) and way in the back of the bus is a skinny scared 90-pound spirit hiding under a seat. That is not God’s plan after conversion.

Words and usage

A clear understanding of the meaning of words is very important for New Testament believers. I will give some basic definitions of words with explanations where appropriate.

Spirit: references the person of the Holy Spirit.

spirit: references the spirit of man.

The distinction is made clear in usage. The root word pneu has the idea of dynamic movement of air. The verb form is always used of blowing wind in the N.T. (Matt.7:25,27), unless John 3:8 is interpreted as referring to the Holy Spirit’s activity.

The noun pneuma can retain the literal idea of wind (Heb. 1:7), it usually refers to spiritual beings, entities, or qualities. F. Foulkes observed,” Many things can be said to describe the action of man’s spirit as his functioning in his essential being.”

In a conceptual sense, pneuma can refer to one’s purpose (2 Cor.12:18; Phil. 1:27) or character (Luke 1:17; Rom. 1:4). Moral qualities are spoken of in terms of spirit.  Bad qualities include a spirit of bondage (Rom.8:15), Stupor (Rom.11:8), or timidity (2 Tim.1:7); good qualities of spirit include faith (2 Cor. 4:13), meekness (1 Cor.4:21), liberty (Rom. 8:15), and quietness (1 Pet.3:4). Context determines when spirit is used in these ways.

Since the spirit of man can be influenced by good or evil spiritual beings, believers are warned to exercise discernment: “Beloved do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God…” (1 John 4:1).

In 1 Thessalonians 5:22,23 and Hebrews 4:12, they do not merely refer to different functions or roles; they are identified as distinct parts of man.

Spirit (spirit) is pneuma, “that part of man that knows” (1 Cor.2:11). “Soul” is psuche, “the seat of the affections, desires, emotions, the will, therefore self” (Matt. 26:38; John 12:27). “Body” is soma, the tabernacle, the house of the spirit and soul. The Bible makes a distinction between man’s spirit, soul, and body (Gen.2:7; Heb. 4:12). Man’s spirit gives him God consciousness. His soul him self-consciousness. His body gives him world or sense-consciousness.

Tune in tomorrow: What is the human soul as revealed in the Bible?

 

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Nickel Boy Graphics
    Apr 11, 2017 @ 23:09:43

    The 900-pound gorilla is a great analogy, and the diagram was really helpful for a visual learner like me. Really enjoying this series of posts!

    Reply

  2. Mannyr
    Apr 12, 2017 @ 02:43:02

    i am also a visual learner. Glad you are enjoying it.

    Reply

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