Friday, May 17, 2024
HomeNewsWhat Is Our Soul According To The Bible

What Is Our Soul According To The Bible

Our Heart Is The Gateway Of Our Being

What does the Bible say about the Soul?

Besides being the center of our relationship with God, our heart is also the gateway, or doorway, of our whole being.

In the book The Economy of God, author Witness Lee explains this role. On page 75, Lee says:

Our relationship with the Lord is always begun and maintained by the heart. Of course, to contact the Lord is a matter of the spirit, but this must be initiated and maintained by the heart, for our heart is the gateway of our whole being.

For our heart to be the gateway of our entire being means what we allow in and out is determined by our heart. For example, we can close our heart to certain people and open it to others.

Continuing on page 75, Lee says:

In other words, the heart becomes both the entrance and the exit of our being. Whatever enters into us must enter through the heart. Whatever comes out from us must proceed through the heart.

When we consider our experience of salvation, this point becomes clear to us. As we heard how the Lord Jesus died on the cross for our sins, we were convicted of our sinfulness at the same time, we began to appreciate Jesus and what He did for us. We sensed the depth and sweetness of His love for us. So we opened the doors of our heart to believe in Him and accept Him as our Savior. At that time, we received Him in our spirit and were born again with His divine life. But it was our heart that was first touched and opened to let Him in.

What Truly Anchors Our Soul

The anchor is firm, steady, and unbreakable because it is Christ. Christ is our anchor to eternal life with himself. Once there was a veil in the temple to separate the priests from the Mercy Seat, but now Christ can take us into that once-forbidden space.

I like metaphors and word pictures. In my mind, we are like sailing boats adrift at sea, and Christ is our anchor. That part of Hebrews 6:19 I can instantly see in my mind. “We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain” . Our anchoring hope is Christ. I want to deconstruct this verse and then put it back together again.

Relation To Greek Psyche

The only Hebrew word traditionally translated “soul” in English-language Bibles refers to a living, breathing conscious body, rather than to an immortal soul. In the New Testament, the Greek word traditionally translated “soul” “psyche”, has substantially the same meaning as the Hebrew, without reference to an immortal soul. In the Greek Septuagent psyche is used to translate each instance of nephesh.

Number of times Nephesh and Pschê are translated into certain English words.
Translated as
Number of miscellaneous words & phrasesappearing > 10 to 1 times 301
Number of times Hebrew and Greek words are translated into certain English words.
Translated as:
Number of miscellaneous words & phrasesappearing > 4 to 1 times 69

Read Also: Does The Bible Say Fear Not 365 Times

What Is The Soul Bible Verses To Care For Your Soul

What is the soul? I get asked this question a lot. Its hard for most people to describe the soul.

Your soul cant be seen on an MRI, biopsied in surgery, or proved to exist in traditional scientific experiments. But over a century ago a doctor did an experiment claiming he had weight a patients soul and found it weighed 21 grams. But later that was proved false.

Right from the start the Bible has a lot to say about the soul. We read at the beginning that when God created Adam and Eve he formed them from dust and then breathed his life into them and they each became a living soul .

A word study on soul in the Bible shows the word is used 520 times! The Psalms especially deal with the soul theyre the soul book of Gods Word. Our soul is essential to life so understanding the Bibles teaching on the soul assists us in soul care for ourselves and others.

This blog features key Bible verses and insights on understanding your soul, how it gets split or broken, and how to care for our restore your soul. At the end is a list of verses on the soul.

If you want to go deep into understanding and caring for your soul pick up a copy of our book, Journey of the Soul: A Practical Guide to Emotional and Spiritual Growth.

What is the Soul? A Definition

The ancient Hebrews used the word nefesh for soul, which literally means throat. What is the soul? Its your throat! Let me explain.

Where Does the Soul Go After Death?

The Functions of Your Soul

Living With Soul


The Bible Says Our Spirits Are Alive In Christ

Pin on The Bible Verses

Trichotomists also argue that when we become Christians our spirits come alive: But if Christ is in you, although your bodies are dead because of sin, your spirits are alive because of righteousness . If all people have souls, but only Christians have spirits that are alive, doesnt this imply a distinction between soul and spirit?

Why this doesnt support trichotomy:

The Bible talks about unbelievers having a spirit that is obviously alive but is in rebellion against Godwhether Sihon, King of Heshbon , or Nebuchadnezzar , or the unfaithful people of Israel . Clearly, Christians arent the only ones who have spirits.

When Paul says, Your spirits are alive because of righteousness , he apparently means alive to God, but he doesnt imply that our spirits were completely dead before, only that they were living out of fellowship with God and were dead in that sense. In the same way, we as whole persons were dead in trespasses and sins , but we were made alive to God, and we now must consider ourselves dead to sin and alive to God .

Its not just one part of us that has been made alive in Christ. We are a new creation .

Read Also: What Does God Say About Being Lonely

Do Not Return To Sinning Be Ready For The Judgment Day

For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, Vengeance is mine I will repay. And again, The Lord will judge his people. Hebrews 10:26-30 ESV

NOTE: All verses used above are based on the King James Version unless stated otherwise.

Related Articles:

Love The Lord Deut : 5

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

Deuteronomy 6:5 ESV

The greatest commandment includes the three aspects of a person: heart , the soul, , and might . This shows you how important it is to take care of your soul so that you can love the Lord with your whole being.

Read Also: Emotional Abuse Bible

The Emotion Being A Part Of The Soul

The emotion comprises many things, including love, hatred, joy, and grief. Song of Songs 1:7 and Psalm 42:1 show us that to love is a function of the soul. This proves that within the soul there is the organ, the function, of the emotion. Second Samuel 5:8, Psalm 107:18, and Ezekiel 36:5 show us that hating, loathing, and despising are also in the soul. Despising in the soul is the hatred of the soul. Since these are emotions, this also proves that the emotion must be a part of the soul.

Joy is a great part of the emotion. Isaiah 61:10 and Psalm 86:4 tell us that joy is in the soul. This again proves that the emotion is a part of the soul. Deuteronomy 14:26 and Jeremiah 22:27 tell us that the soul desires. According to the better translations and Strongs or Youngs concordances, desire in Jeremiah 44:14 and set their heart in Ezekiel 24:25 are literally lift up the soul. These verses tell us that the desire of the emotion is something in our soul. In addition, 1 Samuel 30:6, Judges 10:16, and Job 30:25 speak of bitterness, misery, and grief in the soul.

The verses of the Scriptures above are the ground to say that within the soul there are three partsthe mind as the leading part with the will and the emotion. These are the best verses to prove this, but they are not the only ones. If we study the entire Scriptures, it is hard to find anything other than these three parts in the soul. These three parts comprise all the functions of the soul.

What Does The Bible Teach About The Nature Of The Soul

What Is the Soul? Is it Different from the Spirit?

The Biblical authors used two words currently translated as soul: nephesh in the Old Testament and psuche in the New Testament. These Hebrew and Greek words are used to describe many characteristics of animals and humans other than their soulish nature, so for the most part, they typically dont tell us much about the nature of the soul. There are, however, two places in the New Testament where the word psuche does seem to be describing our dual nature as soulish creatures:

Matthew 10:28And do not fear those who kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

In these two passages, a clear distinction is drawn between the body and the soul. In the Matthew passage, although the word for soul can be translated in a number of ways, the most reasonable inference here is Pauls use of the word to describe our dual nature as physical beings with immaterial, everlasting, souls. These souls cannot be destroyed by the death of the body. Paul calls the soul our house made by God as soon as we are away from the body we are at home with the Lord. We can learn a lot from these passages describing the clear disembodied life of the soul . Here is a quick summary of what the Bible teaches about the nature of our souls:

Souls Are Active

You May Like: What The Bible Says About Loneliness

What Happens To Our Souls When We Die

The Bible teaches that people go to sleep when they die. Their consciousness ends.

For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished nevermore will they have a share in anything that happens under the sun (Ecclesiastes 9:5,

Quite the sobering message, right?

That isnt the end of the whole story, though.

The Bible teaches that eternal life is a gift Christ offers us. Without this gift, we simply do not continue to live in any way after we die .

Our souls go to sleep when we die. And if we accept Christs sacrifice, we can have the hope that well wake up again at His Second Coming.

Why We Have A Spirit

Our spirit was created by God so that we can contact and receive Him. Our body and our soul have their own specific functions only our spirit has the ability to contact God. We can see this from numerous verses, including John 4:24:

God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truthfulness.

In order to contactor worshipGod, who is Spirit, we must use our spirit.

The way a radio functions is a good illustration of our spirits unique ability to contact and receive God. When a radio is turned on and properly tuned, it can receive the invisible radio waves in the air and interpret them.

Our human spirit is like a radio, and God is like the radio waves. Our spirit is the part of our being that corresponds to what God is, so we have to use our spirit in order to contact Him.

Recommended Reading: How Many Times Is Fear Not In The Bible

The Word Of God Divides Soul And Spirit

Hebrews 4:12 says, The word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. If the sword of Scripture divides soul and spirit, doesnt that make them two separate things?

Why this doesnt support trichotomy:

Similar to the argument about 1 Thessalonians 5:23, the author isnt saying that the Word of God can divide soul from spirit, but he is using a number of terms that speak of the deep inward parts of our being that are not hidden from the penetrating power of the Word of God. If we call this our soul, then Scripture pierces into it, divides it, and discovers our inmost intentions and thoughts. If we call this our spirit, then Scripture penetrates into it, divides it, and discovers our inmost intentions and thoughts.

Or if we wish to think metaphorically of our inmost being as hidden in our joints and marrow, then we can think of Scripture being like a sword that divides our joints or that pierces deeply into our bones and even divides the marrow in the midst of the bones. In all of these cases the Word of God is so powerful that it searches out and exposes all disobedience to God. In any case, soul and spirit are not treated as separate parts here, they are simply additional terms for our inmost being.

Immortal Soul Or Spirit

An anchor for the soul book

Regarding the nature of the soul, we would have to look at such Scriptures as Matthew 10:28, in which Jesus said the soul could be destroyed. Reflecting on such passages, it can hardly be said that the soul is immortal, unless one were to argue that destroyed in biblical usage meant something different from our normal conception of this word.

Immortality, of course, suggests infinite existence not only into the future but also throughout the past. Nothing in Scripture suggests that the soul has such a quality. Some early church fathers, such as Origen, taught the preexistence of the human soul, but this is not sustainable by Scripture.

As we have seen, the soul in Scripture is really the person as human being, who has been created by God. That which is created does not have eternal preexistence. As far as the spirit is concerned, this is something that is breathed into the human, and which creates the life of the person, as it were. Again, no idea of preexistence of the person as soul or spirit is implied in Scripture.

In some ways, from the biblical perspective, it seems that the phrase immortal soul may be an oxymoron, or contradiction in terms. The Bible tends to see human beings as mortal creatures, subject to death as persons, that is, as souls in whom the spirit resides. Immortality is something that humans must put on in the resurrection . It is not said to be a quality inherent in the soul or spirit of a person.

Don’t Miss: Does The Bible Say It Is Inerrant

We Love With Our Heart

Jesus said in Mark 12:30:

And you shall love the Lord your God from your whole heart.

If we didnt have a heart, we couldnt sense love or love in return. God created us with a heart so we could have a loving relationship with Him. So in a very real sense, our heart is at the center of our relationship with God.

The Formula For A Living Soul

Body + Breath of Life = Living Soul

If you have a look at the original languages the Bible was written in, terms sometimes translated as soul actually meant life or person. Two examples come to mind:

In Hebrew, the term nephesh and in Greek, psuche are both translated as soul in the Bible. However, they can also be translated as life or person.

Looking at the original Hebrew and Greek as well as the various uses of these terms helps us get to a more comprehensive view of who we are as humans.

It turns out soul may not even be the best-fitting modern translation of the original language because of the connotations of immortality and mysticism linked to the word soul.

In Hebrew, the way to say Let me live is Let my soul live. See how the use of soul here ties into a persons overall existence?

Now take a look at the more drawn-out phrase, that my soul may bless you before I die. It actually means that I may bless you.

The use of the word soul is speaking to someones complete identity. The Bible uses these terms as a way of closely identifying with an individualits not referring to a separate entity, life force, or energy.

Another way to look at this is that humans do not have a soul but are a soul .

You May Like: How Many Psalms Are There In The Bible

Do Not Quench The Holy Spirit Who Preserved You For Salvation

And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christs sake hath forgiven you. Ephesians 4:30-32


Most Popular