The Empty Tomb.

The Empty Tomb

We have before us today the open sepulcher, the bewildered alarm it caused, and the faith it both elicited and excited. John’s Gospel comes to a conclusion in chapter 20 with a proclamation of Jesus’ victory over death and then is followed in chapter 21 by an epilogue.

Each Gospel writer stresses certain aspects of the discovery of the empty tomb. John began his resurrection story with a testimony of how he came to personal faith in the Resurrection by considering the evidence found in the open tomb. The empty tomb bore witness to a physical or bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Contrary to cult heresy our Lord was raised in the same body He was crucified in. He is risen.

“For in Him we live and move and have our being…”

What is the Human Soul?

What is the human soul as revealed in the Bible?

The soul is your psychological part composed of your mind, will, and emotion. It’s the part of your inner being created by God for the purpose of reflecting and expressing Him. 1 Thessalonians 5:23,24 ——-Hebrews 4:12

Listen to what Mary the mother Jesus said after she became pregnant with Jesus,

My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has exulted in God my Savior.” (Luke 1:46-47)

First, her spirit exulted in God her Savior. That indicates that she contacted God with her spirit. Then, her soul magnified the Lord, that is, she expressed Him.

So you can see from this verse that there is a  difference between the soul and spirit of man. They are two different parts, each possessing their God-created purpose.

However, due to man’s fall, both parts–spirit and soul–were severely damaged, losing their God-created function. Our spirit became deadened, unable to contact and receive God and our soul was ruined unable to reflect and express God.

This inherited defect of soul, left us with a soul sickness that needs God’s healing through our cooperation.

I will describe three parts of your soul from the Bible along with three practical points for healing Soul sickness. By such a dealing your soul can become useful in fulfilling its God-created function of reflecting and expressing Christ.

Your soul is composed of three parts—mind, will and emotion

If we’re going to reflect and express Christ through our soul, it first helps to see how God made our soul with three parts–mind, will and emotion.

First, your mind is the part of your soul that knows, considers, and remembers.

Psalm 139:14 says, “Your works are wonderful, and my soul knows it well.” Also, in Lamentations 3:20 it says,My soul remembers them well…”  This indicates our mind is part of our soul because knowing and remembering are both functions of the mind.  God gave us a mind to know Him, consider His works, and to understand and remember His Word.

Second, your will is the part of your soul that makes decisions, chooses, refuses, and seeks.

Job 7:15 says So that my soul would choose…”  and Job 6:7 My soul refuses…”  Since choosing and refusing are functions of our will, it’s clear that our will is also a part of our soul. God gave us a free will so that we could choose Him and the divine will and refuse Satan and the satanic will. This is why the Bible can end by saying in Revelation 22:17“Let him who wills take the water of life freely.”

Third, your emotion is the part of your soul that expresses love, hatred, joy, grief, and desire.

In 1 Samuel 30:6 it says that “the soul of all the people was bitter…” and in Song of Songs 1:7 it says, “you whom my soul loves.”  Since bitterness and love are both emotions, this proves that emotions are part of the soul. God gave us emotions so that we can love Him and rejoice in Him and hate sin, Satan and all that issues from the satanic source.

God’s remedy for your soul sickness and how to apply it

Now that you’ve seen the parts of your soul from the Bible you might be asking, “How can my soul be healed of its sickness and restored to its God-created function of reflecting and expressing the Lord?”

Remember what I said before about the damage to your soul through the fall of man. In its fallen, natural state, your soul can not reflect or express the Lord, rather it is a hindrance to Him.

In Matthew 16 there is a case of Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples, rebuking Him for mentioning that He would soon go to the cross and die. Peter said, “Lord! This shall by no means happen to You!”  He blurted out a rebuke to frustrate the Lord from going to the cross. This was against God’s plan that Christ should die on the cross to accomplish redemption for us.

Jesus turned and said to Peter, Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me, for you are not setting your mind on the things of God but on the things of men. Then Jesus said to His disciples, if anyone wants to come after Me, let him deny himself…” Matt. 16:24

So we should never think that our soul–our natural mind, will and emotion are suitable for God’s purpose.

Rather, we need to take three basic steps in order for our soul to be healed so that it can fulfill its God-created function:

  1. Deny your soul

First, we need to learn to deny our self, our fallen soul–our natural mind, emotion and will.  This is like the Lord telling Peter, “You are not setting your mind on the things of God…”  Then He told His disciples, “If anyone wants to come after Me let him deny himself...”  

We need to stop ourselves, reject our natural reactions with our natural thought, choice and feeling and turn deeply to the Lord in our spirit by calling on His name.

  1. Purify your soul

Second, we need to allow the Lord to purify our soul. After denying our natural soul, or self, we still need our soul to be purified by the Word of God.  In 1 Pet 1:22 it says,

“Since you have purified your souls by your obedience to the truth…”

This purifying is like the cleansing by the washing of the water in the Word in Ephesians 5:26. If we want our natural soul to be purified, we need to spend more time in God’s Word to be washed. This is a real healing to our soul sickness.

  1. Be transformed in your soul

Third, we need to cooperate with Lord so that He can transform our soul. Not only do we need to read the Bible, but we need to spend adequate time in the Lord’s presence, beholding Him and having fellowship with Him in prayer, so that He can renew our mind and transform our soul into His image. Paul said,

“But we all with unveiled face, beholding and reflecting like a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord Spirit.” 

In this way, our soul can be healed to reflect the Lord, expressing Him as God originally planned. “Lord, thank you for creating me with a spirit to receive You and a soul to reflect and express You.  Lord teach me to deny my self–my natural mind, will and emotion. Purify my soul daily by the washing of the water in Your Word. That He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word…Ephesian 5:26. May each part of my soul–my mind, my emotion and my will–be transformed by Your Spirit so that I can reflect You and You can be expressed through me.”

 

Tomorrow: Your soul is the bridge between the spirit world and the Physical world.

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?

 

Why is the distinction between Soul and Spirit so blurred?

The Difference Between the Soul and Spirit in the Bible.”

First, I’ll give four reasons why knowing the difference between our soul and our spirit is so important to our Christian life. Second, I’ll show how God created us with three parts—spirit, soul, and body and how the soul and the spirit are different. Third, I’ll mention a couple of ways we can practice to discern our spirit from our soul in our daily lives.

Four reasons why it is important to know the difference between the soul and the spirit

  1. To be born of God or born again is matter that takes place in our spirit; so our spirit is the residence of the Holy Spirit–John 3:6.
  2. To be assured of our salvation depends not only on faith in the Scriptures but also on the Spirit’s witnessing with our spirit that we are children of God– 8:16.
  3. To have a living contact with God, who is Spirit, we must use our spirit–John 4:24.
  4. To receive life from our Bible reading and study we must use our spirit by means of prayer to touch the Spirit as the essence of God’s word–John 6:63;2 Tim. 3:16.

These four reasons should impress us with our need to learn to discern the difference between the soul and the spirit. But to grasp this difference, we need to see from the Bible how God made us with three parts.

God made us with three parts–spirit, soul, and body

First Thessalonians 5:23 tells us that we’re made of three parts–spirit, soul and body. This verse says,

“The God of peace Himself sanctify you wholly, and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

We can illustrate our three parts with a bull’s-eye diagram of three circles:

 

  1. The outer circle refers to our body. Our body is our outer part containing our five senses with which we contact all the things of the physical, material realm.   1 Cor. 3:13.
  2. The middle circle refers to our soul. Our soul is our inner part containing our mind, emotion and will with which we contact all the things of the psychological realm. 1 Cor. 2:14.
  3. The inner circle refers to our spirit. Our spirit is our innermost part with which we contact God and substantiate all the things of the spiritual realm. 1 Cor. 2:15.

Our soul and spirit can be divided or discerned

Hebrews 4:12 says,

“For the word of God is living and operative and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit and of joints and marrow…”

From this verse, we can pick up at least three points:

  1. We’re made of three parts: our body of “joints and marrow,” plus our soul and our spirit.
  2. Our soul and spirit are different because they can be divided.
  3. There is a practical way to divide, or discern, our spirit from our soul–God’s living Word.

Two ways we can apply to discern our spirit from our soul

Contact God’s living Word with prayer 

Hebrews 4:12 tells us that God’s living word is able to cut through our soul to divide it from our spirit. We should practice this every day by coming to the Bible in a prayerful way.

By reading a few verses or a chapter with prayer or pray-reading, God’s word will slay our troublesome thoughts and feelings enabling us to get to our spirit where we can enjoy fellowship with God. Try it every morning and evening.

Since the Spirit is the essence of God’s word, we should practice to connect the Scriptures with our spirit by means of prayer so that we touch its essence and receive the divine life contained in it.

Call on the name of the Lord Jesus 

First Corinthians 12:3 says, “No one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit. Since the Holy Spirit is now in our spirit, when we call on the Lord’s name we’re both in the Holy Spirit and in our spirit in which He dwells.

Whenever we feel inwardly dry or empty it’s good to call on His name– “Lord Jesus! Calling on the Lord will usher you into your spirit to enjoy fellowship with the Lord who lives there (2 Tim. 4:22).

“Lord Jesus, thank you for showing us that we were made with three parts–spirit, soul and body. Lord, teach us how to discern our spirit from our soul by praying with Your word and calling on Your name. Remind us to contact You in our spirit every day so that we enjoy You as our life and life supply and grow in our Christian life.”

Part three tomorrow: The Personal spirit of Man.

 

Does your Overstuffed Soul Rule Over Your Puny Spirit?

I will be posting a series on the soul being a 900 pound gorilla in our daily lives.

The Apostle Paul informs us that we are in fact tri-part beings as given to us in 1 Thessalonians 5:23. Our Father’s proper ranking teaches us that one’s personal spirit is to rule over ones soul and body. The Scripture says, “Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down, without walls” (Proverbs 25:28 NKJV).  Walls represent clear and distinct boundaries, which serve to protect the dwelling place.   

Therefore, someone controlled by his soul (mind, will, and emotions) will not have clear and solid boundaries that will protect the entire person. God has designed our spirit to be dominant and the soul to be subordinate to the spirit, but our current culture feeds the soul and ignores the spirit. This produces a 900 hundred pound soul that largely ignores our 122-pound spirit.

The Bible says, that spirit speaks to spirit so we must learn to speak words to our spirit and also to others while asking God to bring into our lives a large amount of challenges, nurture, stimulation, and direction for the spirit.

A person’s spirit should rule the soul, but it does not get there automatically or buy just assuming it is there. A very accurate picture of this is in the New Testament word “self-control.” This portrays a spirit ruling over a soul. It is very noteworthy to understand that this is the ninth fruit of the Holy Spirit. A person must have all of the previous eight built into his spirit before that awesome ninth fruit of the spirit can subdue the 900 hundred pound soul and be in proper place within a believer.

Being filled with the Spirit means that God’s Spirit in you infuses and controls your spirit, soul, and body. When your spirit is controlled by His Spirit and is dominant over your soul, your whole person is conformed to God’s truth and His intention for you.

Seed picking with Philosophers

 

Then certain Epicurean and Stoic philosophers encountered him. And some said, “What does this babbler want to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign gods,” because he preached to them Jesus and the resurrection. Acts 17:18 NKJV.

Babbler, spermologos, Strong’s #4691: Athenian slang for:

  1. A bird that picks up seeds;
  2. Men lounging around the marketplace, making a living by picking up whatever falls from the loads of merchandise;
  3. A babbler, chatterer, or gossip retailing bits and pieces of misinformation;
  4. A pseudo-intellectual who insists on spouting off.

Tragically, the super-intellectuals on Mars Hill failed to see in Paul all the necessary ingredients for being a truth bringer.

Epicureanism (seeking tranquility as the highest good) and Stoicism (being free passion and passively accepting everything in life as inevitable, impersonal fate) were popular philosophies.

 

 

The Nickel Boy Graphics and its cartoons highly recommended.  

This is #009 of “The Lloyd Servant Show” and it features the front page of today’s newspaper! But for some of you, this may generate more questions than answers! Perhaps you might be asking, “Why is the face of Betty Mae Butler covered in the large featured photograph?” (The answer is given in a separate […]

via “Truck of Death? Pie of Life?” — Nickel Boy Graphics

I appreciate this site and the format presented. There is a link.

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