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Thursday, July 16, 2015

(88) The difference between Spirit, Soul, and Body

Why is the world the way it is?  Why is there war?  Why is there so much drug usage?  Why are crime rates on the rise?  Why is sexual immorality of all types becoming a societal norm?  Why do we lie?  Why do we hate?  Why do we hurt?  Why do we feel alone?  Why are we depressed?

The answer to all of this and questions similar to these is because we do not live in the right realm.  We operate with the wrong part of our beings.  In simple terms, we act like animals.  Most of us think, respond, and reason as though an animal would.  This is why "religious" thought or faith is difficult for some to understand. And even sounds wrong to them.  

Isaiah 5:20 says, 
  • "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter."
The prophet Isaiah 2700 years ago gave warnings of this train of thought.  Just as an example though from the world we live in today, someone said on Twitter because of the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage, "over 1500 species on earth have homosexual activity, but only 1 has a problem with it".   They were thinking that this argument actually helped their views and were trying to show how irrational Christians can be.  When in reality it actually shows that we are separated from the animals by something.  And that something is a spirit within us. This is why some think Christianity is their enemy.  Non-believers do not accept the spirit.  And many who may accept a spirit sometimes distort it into spirituality or spiritualness. And then there are those Christians who may wear the banner of the spirit but do not live by the spirit.  These are what the world call the hypocrites.  In other words they call themselves Christians but they act like everyone else.  Jesus warned us not to be like them.  He calls them lukewarm in Revelation.  By the way these people may really think they are correct and may be sincere in what they try and do but they fail like everyone else. No one is perfect.  So calling someone a hypocrite makes one a hypocrite.

When God created the universe, He did so in threes.  He created time, matter, and space.  When He created the earth He created land, sea, and air.  When He created light He made the sun, moon, and stars. When God created life He created three types.  Plants, animals, and humans.  They all have similar characteristics such as reproduction, the need for minerals, and adaptation to environments.  But humans are different.  They are created as a three fold being. If you read Genesis you read in the first part of creation He made people in His image, which means spirit, for God is spirit. Then He formed out of the dust a physical body and He proceeded to breath life into the human and man became a living soul, one who could think for himself and make decisions; something we call a free-will, something the world calls individuality.  Man is tripartite being.  A shadow of the Trinity.

1 Thessalonians 5:23 says, 
  • "May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."
and Hebrews 4:12 says,
  • "For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart."
But how are these parts different from each other and how does this make us different from the rest of the world? The world thinks the soul and spirit are the same thing. And that is why they can not understand that having a spirit is not from nature. The only way we can comprehend the world and how we are is to understand that the Word of God can enable us to discern the difference. That means we can understand the purpose of the spirit within us and how we are made in His image. This is where scripture comes in. We read and learn from it. It draws us closer to whom God is. But, again, the world does not understand this because they only use their intellect to find answers, leaving them far short of what right and wrong is. Below is a break down of how are beings are divided and how they work.

Plants only have bodies. They reproduce. They adapt to their environment.  But they can not reason. They use the sun and rain to grow and interact with the world.  But they do not desire relationships. They have no dreams or know right from wrong. This is what separates them from the animal world. Animals, from fish to mammals, all varying with their responses and reactions to this world. But they are higher than the plant world for they can reason. They show personality. They can show emotion. But they do not show conviction. They can not comprehend wrong from right unless they have been trained to know. They can revert back to fight or flight easily because they are only bipartite and their bodies are only half of their existence and they have no spirit to lead them. Then we have humans. First and foremost we are spiritual beings.  We are made in His image.  Now we have sensuality and we have emotion. But our most important relationship that we can develop is through our spirit and that is our worship. We look for purpose beyond just the feeling of belonging. Animals run in packs. Humans want that as well. But they long for purpose within their "pack".

Now comes the main scripture.  Romans 8
  • 9 However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.
  • 10 If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.
  • 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
Now we can start to understand the first paragraph.  Why is there war?  Because man in acting no better than an animal.  We fight over our beliefs and ideas.  We try to reason and rationalize how we are more right than others.  Why are drugs being used and abused?  Because man is acting no better than plants can.  We think the way our body feels is most important.  We act like animals because when one of our peers does something we want to fit in and do it as well.  We want to feel better either physically or mentally.   Why is sexual immorality of all types being accepted so easily?  Because man is acting no better than a plant or animal by combining sensuality and emotions and calling it love.   Now acting this was is normal.  We all have instincts.  We all have emotions.  We have all been in situations where we fought or flew.  We all have been in situations where we want to fulfill our sensual desires.  We all have been in situations where we relied upon our own thoughts and our own strength.  It is 100% completely normal.  But normal does not always mean correct.  Is it wrong to have sensuality?  NO!  Is it wrong to have emotions?  NO!  Is it wrong to use your own individuality and thoughts?  No!  But it becomes wrong when we rely upon those things over the things that our spirit entails.  When our reasoning becomes more important than our faith, it becomes wrong.  This is why the intellectual has a hard time dealing with "religion".  People in the field of science think they are correct, about everything, because they rely upon their intellect as the only authority.  They attack the Word of God and its followers by claiming Christians don't think and are blindly led and are zombies.  When we respond based only on what we see or feel instead of our dreams or discernment then it becomes wrong. This is a reason why drugs, used in the wrong way, are wrong.  They impair our discernment and allow us to make wrong decisions.  We respond on impulse and that creates a place for hatred, prejudice, and over reacting.  If it makes you feel good then do it. Uh...NO!  2 Peter chapter 2 hints about these topics:
  • 10 This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the flesh and despise authority.  Bold and arrogant, they are not afraid to heap abuse on celestial beings
  • 11 yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not heap abuse on such beings when bringing judgment on them from the Lord.
  • 12 But these people blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like unreasoning animals, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like animals they too will perish.
When we only act on the level of a plant or an animal we leave out very important aspects of who we are. When we only go for physical or emotional desires, we do not feel complete and we still hurt.  We can't find our purpose in life.  We may go to doctors and try medicine or therapy.  We may get mental help we need but the wounds that we have perhaps go deeper than what the best medicine can offer to heal.  We still feel lost and hurt.  People are only living through their body and mind. They deny the spirit.  They only care about how they feel and what makes them feel good.  When you only live by 2/3 of your being you are going to feel empty.

The person who lives by their soul only can not feel the presence of God.  The spirit inside them is metaphorically dead.  Jesus though said we must be born again.  Nicodemus, a religious leader of Jewish people, could not understand this because he was only using his mind.  "How can a man be born when he is old?  He can't enter the womb a second time."  But Jesus was not referring to the body.  He was referring to the wakening of our spirit.  Intellectuals and the like of Nicodemus can not comprehend this simple teaching because they can't get past their own thoughts.  To them it is foolish. (1 Cor 1:18)  This is why Paul tells us we need to renew our minds as well but by the spirit (Eph 4:23).

None of this is to say that there are any sins or actions worse or better than any other.  None of this is to say they we should not have emotions or express our sensuality.  None of this is to say that we should forget our ideas or our senses.  None of this is to say that we should not use doctors or medicines that the world supplies.  But all of this is saying that we should rely upon a higher being.  We are more important than plants and animals.  We have deeper relationships than animals have.   The reason why many people feel lost and insecure is because they do not live by the spirit.  And if you deny the power of the spirit you will never feel complete in life.  You may be happy but not filled with joy.  You may find sex but you many never feel loved. You may be able to think about right and wrong but you may never be able to make a full discernment.  You may find alleviation but you will never find the cure.  Unless, you start to live through the spirit and not so much on our selfish and soulish lives.

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