Definition Of Soul Care
The term soul care is not found anywhere in the Bible. However, in Greek, the word for soul is psyche, which has to do with the mind, emotions, and will of a person.
Your soul is a reflection of the image of God, as He has thoughts, emotions, and a will. Your soul can also relate, interact, and connect with other souls. Thus, you are to take care of what God has given you. Without a healthy soul, you cannot function well.
Here is the definition of soul care:
Soul care is the daily process of cultivating healthy thought patterns and taking inventory of emotions so that you can walk in obedience and live freely before God while also healthily forming meaningful relationships with other people.
Soul care also has to do with the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit in your soul to produce holinessyour sanctificationso that you live a holistic and healthy lifestyle that brings glory to God.
Our soul is like an inner stream of water, which gives strength, direction, and harmony to every other element of our life. When that stream is as it should be, we are constantly refreshed and exuberant in all we do, because our soul itself is then profusely rooted in the vastness of God and his Kingdom, including nature and all else within us is enlivened and directed by that stream.
Dallas Willard, Renovation of the Heart
What Is The Difference Between A Soul And A Spirit
Soul definition: the soul is our humanity that makes us feel emotions The spirit is our deeper connection with the Lord when we believe in God and receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Let’s dig deeper into the difference.
- Glory DyChristianity.com Contributing Writer
- 202011 Jun
This is a question that is not easy to point out in our everyday Christian lives. While it is not so difficult to distinguish the body from the spirit and the soul, it is particularly difficult to distinguish the soul from the spirit. What exactly are their differences? Let us consult the Bible once again to give us light about these confusing concepts.
There are a few places in the Bible where the body, soul, and spirit are mentioned. One of these is in 1 Thessalonians 5:23, as written, Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
If we delve into this verse, it clearly states that we are composed of three parts: The body, the soul, and the spirit. The verse also uses the word and, which in the original Greek language means to differ from each other. Thus, this clearly states that each part is different and plays a different role in us.
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
What Is The Meaning Of Soul Ties
A soul tie is a spiritual connection or a strong bond on an emotional level between two people.
There are godly soul ties as well as ungodly soul ties, which oftentimes stem from past relationships. Married couples for example share a godly soul tie, while people in an ungodly relationship often create an ungodly soul tie.
You will usually create spiritual soul ties with a partner that played a significant role in your life. Sometimes his influence is positive and helps you heal and grow and other times his influence is bad and adds pain and trauma. Either way, you shared a deep emotional bond, even if it was just for a short time.
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We Can Feel Things That Arent Emotions Or Thoughts
Many trichotomists say that they have a spiritual perception or awareness of Gods presence that affects them differently than their ordinary thinking processes and emotional experiences.
They ask, If I do not have a spirit that is distinct from my thoughts and my emotions, then what is it that I feel that is different from my thoughts and my emotions, something that I can only describe as worshiping God in my spirit and sensing his presence in my spirit? Isnt there something in me that is more than just my intellect and my emotions and my will, and shouldnt this be called my spirit?
Why this doesnt support trichotomy:
Christians have a spiritual perception or inner awareness of the presence of God experienced in worship and in prayer. At this deep inward level we can also at times feel spiritually troubled, or depressed, or perhaps have a sense of the presence of hostile demonic forces. Often this perception is distinct from our conscious, rational thought processes. As we discussed above, Paul realizes that at times his spirit prays but his mind does not understand .
Scripture Uses Soul And Spirit Interchangeably
When we look at the usage of the biblical words translated soul and spirit , it appears that they are sometimes used interchangeably.
In John 12:27, Jesus says, Now is my soul troubled, whereas in a very similar context in the next chapter John says that Jesus was troubled in spirit . Similarly, we read Marys words in Luke 1:4647: My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. This seems to be an example of Hebrew parallelisma poetic device that repeats the same idea using synonymous words.
Additionally, people who have died and gone to heaven or hell are referred to as either spirits or souls .
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What Is The Difference Between A Soul And Spirit
If the word soul refers to the deep, personal, unity of a persons self, to what does spirit refer? The history of Christian thought includes much debate over this. How are we to understand the relation between body and spirit? Are we spiritual beings encased in physical bodies? Or, are we bodily beings with a spiritual dimension to us?
Scripture refers in length to the spiritual side of our existence. Furthermore, the Bible employs many different words to describe this dimension of human life. One image that is frequently used is the image of breath. The Hebrew word used is ruach. This word, however, has a dual meaning breath can also mean spirit. Scripture constantly plays with this image. God breathes life into humanity at the start of creation. In Ezekiels vision of the dry bones, the bones do not possess life until the spirit is breathed within them. After his resurrection, Jesus breathed on the disciples, saying receive the Holy Spirit. In Greek, the word used is pneuma, again conveying a fundamental connection between spirit, breath, and life.
Your Soul Will Experience Everlasting Joy Or Misery
The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abrahams side. The rich man also died and was buried, and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. Luke 16:22-23
Our Lord tells the story of two men who died. One of them was carried by the angels to Abrahams side. What was carried to Abrahams side? Certainly not the poor mans body. That would have remained on the earth.
Since he was a poor man, he may not even have received a proper burial. Nobody cared for him in life, so it may well be that nobody knew where his remains were after he died.
So what was carried to Abrahams side? Not the poor mans bodyhis soul!
Then we read: The rich man also died and was buried, so everyone knew where his grave was. His body was placed in a rich mans tomb, with words and dates carved into it. Then Jesus says, in hades he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off. What was in hades? Not the rich mans body. It was in the tomb. It was the rich mans soul!
The point here is very simple. Death takes life from the body, but not from the soul. When you die, your soul goes on to one of two places: One is a place of great joy. The other, according to Jesus, is a place of great torment. And there is a great gulf fixed between them . You cant get from the one to the other in either direction.
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The Soul Can Do Everything The Spirit Can And The Spirit Can Do Everything The Soul Can
Those who advocate trichotomy face a difficult problem defining exactly what the difference is between the soul and the spirit. If Scripture clearly supported the idea that our spirit is the part of us that directly relates to God in worship and prayer, while our soul includes our intellect , our emotions , and our will , then trichotomists would have a strong case. But Scripture doesnt appear to allow such a distinction.
The activities of thinking, feeling, and deciding things arent only said to be done by our souls. Our spirits can also experience emotions. Pauls spirit was provoked within him , and Jesus was troubled in spirit . Its also possible to have a downcast spirit, which is the opposite of a cheerful heart .
The functions of knowing, perceiving, and thinking are also said to be done by our spirits. For instance, Mark speaks of Jesus perceiving in his spirit . When the Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God , our spirits receive and understand that witness, which is certainly a function of knowing something. In fact, our spirits seem to know our thoughts quite deeply, for Paul asks, What person knows a mans thoughts except the spirit of the man which is in him? .
Soul and spirit are both general terms to describe the immaterial side of people, and its difficult to see any real distinction between their use in Scripture.
Learn more in Wayne Grudems Systematic Theology online course.
Is The Soul Immortal
No, the soul can die. Dozens of Bible verses refer to the soul as being mortal. Here are some examples:
In ancient Israel, the punishment for the most serious offenses was that the soul shall be cut off. The person would be put to death.Exodus 31:14, King James Version.
After a person dies, the literal term dead soul is used for the corpse in some Bible verses. Although many Bible translations use the terms dead body or dead person in those verses, the original Hebrew uses the word nephesh, or soul.
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Your Soul Is The Source Of All Your Achievement
The body apart from the spirit is dead. James 2:26
Think about everything that is important in your life, and you will say, Yes, that came from my soul. Think about this in relation to the world.
Think about music: The symphony, classic rockwhere did these things come from? They came from the soul of the composer who wrote it.
Think about art: The ability to depict beauty came through the hands of the artist, but where did it come from? It came from the soul of the artist.
Think about science: Why have women and men pursued science? Where did that come from? It comes from a desire in the soul to know, to explore, to discover, and to understand.
Think about business: If you were to pick up and read one of the many books today about the great companies of the world, you would discover that they were all born out of some kind of vision. Where did that vision come from? It arose from the soul of a leader.
Then think about sports: You may say, Surely sports depends on the body. But James says, the body without the spirit is dead . Every great sports achievement has come through relentless commitment, disciplined desire, and the determination of the athlete, which is of course in the soul.
Your soul is what gives direction to your body. All that you achieve in life, everything that is achieved in the world, will arise from the life of the soul.
Do Animals Have Souls What The Bible Says
The soul is a concept used primarily by people of faith. It is the part of us that continues to live eternally after death. It animates the body and is the seat of consciousness and willpower. A body cannot live without a soul. It can also be described as energy which, according to modern physics, cannot be destroyed but can only change form.
The belief in a soul separates believers from atheists who deny its existence and consequently life after death. For them, life is solely related to the physical body even though that does not explain consciousness, why or how life, much less anything at all, exists. An illustration of this is when a new human being comes into existence at conception. Scientists can only observe and describe the process. The deeper questions lie outside the realm of scientific knowledge because humans cannot create life. We are only conduits for it. God is the Author of life and the eternal Creator of everything including physical laws.
The Bible speaks about the soul right away in Genesis. There are two creation accounts that some think are different stories while others believe that the second story is an elaboration of the first. Here I will focus on the second story in Genesis 2:7. It says, And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul.
Animals are also part of the coming kingdom of God. Isaiah 11:6-9 says,
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What Can You Do
Bishop Ryle said, The first step towards heaven is to find out the worth of your soul.
Thank God if you feel that today.
The soul that is saved is the soul that is given to Jesus Christ. If you see the value of your soul, this is how you will respond to Jesus Christ today.
You will come to Jesus Christ and say to him, You have called me to love God with all my heart and soul, and I havent done that. Without you, Im going to starve my soul, strangle my soul, and surrender my soul.
I need you to be the Lord, Savior, and Captain of this soul. I need you to feed my soul.
I need you to guard my soul. I need you to save my soul. I need to turn my entire life, all that I am, over to you and place myself wholly in your hands.
Have mercy on me, Lord! Give me a new heart. Take away this stony heart and give me a heart that loves you, and desires you, and submits to you. What advantage would it be to you, if you were to gain the whole world and lose your soul?
Paul Appears To Make A Distinction Between His Spirit And His Mind
When Paul says, If I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unfruitful , isnt he implying that his mind does something different from his spirit? And doesnt this support the trichotomists argument that our mind and our thinking are part of our souls, not our spirit?
Why this doesnt support trichotomy:
When Paul says, My spirit prays but my mind is unfruitful, he means he does not understand the what he is praying. He implies that there is a nonphysical component to his being, a spirit within him that can pray to God. But nothing in this verse suggests that he regards his spirit as different from his soul. This misunderstanding only makes sense if we assume that mind is part of the soula trichotomist claim that, as we noted above, is very difficult to substantiate from Scripture. Paul probably could have just as easily said, My soul prays but my mind is unfruitful. Theres a nonphysical element to our existence that can function apart from our conscious awareness of it, but that doesnt mean we can distinguish between soul and spirit.
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Quick History Of The Problem
There are many ways to go about defining these capacities, and I think it wise not to over-philosophize the text here. We are free to speculate, but not impose a scheme onto the text as a method of interpretation. Thats not to harp on anyone because its not self-evident either. In academia, this is called the constitution of man it breaks down the human form into two parts: material and immaterial. Perplexed theologians have spent a long while trying to untie all the cultural, hermeneutical and theological knots to better understand how this immaterial stuff works is the soul different from spirit, or is it the same thing? Is the heart the seat of emotions, or is it the soul? Is the Bible referring to these immaterial things in the sense of function or substance? Needless to say, its not easy. It is also not quite clear if these are cultural or ontological distinctions, especially in regard to the semantic juggling between soul and spirit since both words mean breath and seem interchangeable , it really tightens the knots. This eventually led to three different views on the unity of the human composition, that is the immaterial nature or parts that make us human:
Monism 1 part: body-soul-spirit Dichotomy 2 parts: body + soul-spirit Trichotomy 3 parts: body + soul + spirit
Based on the Biblical data alone, and my understanding of the text so far, a variation of the trichotomy view is sound, given the distinctions made in the New Testament.