Body, Soul and Spirit

Many people have questions about the idea that we are made up of a body, a soul, and a spirit. Which is more important? Which will end up in heaven? Since Heaven (and Hell) is a spiritual place, will only our spirit reside there?

Let’s look at these three parts of a human being. Can they be separated? Will they last forever? Will we still have all three parts in heaven (or Hell)? First, let’s look at each one separately.

Body

Our body is a physical creation. In fact, God took material that He had already created and created our body from it. Look at Genesis 2:7 (NIV): “the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground.” Yes, our body is a physical creation, connected to the earth that we live on.

The Bible also tells us what happens to our earthly body when we die. Look at Eccles. 12:7 (NIV): “and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.” Of course, this is proven just by seeing what happens to a body after a person dies.

Does that mean that we will not have a body in heaven? Yes, we will, but it will be a spiritual body, not a physical body. Look at 1 Cor. 15:44 (NIV) where it tells us about our body: “it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, there is a spiritual body.”

Also, look at what I Cor. 15:49 (Living Bible) says: “Just as each of us now has a body like Adam’s, so we shall some day have a body like Christ’s.” Just look at what Jesus was able to do after His resurrection. He could appear and disappear and walk through walls. However, He could also eat. This is going to be a marvelous body.

Spirit

We also have a spirit. Look at what Genesis 2:7 says after God created Adam’s body from the dust of the earth. Genesis 2:7 (KJV): “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life”

This is the eternal part of us. This is the part of us that comes directly from God. This is the fulfilling of Genesis 1:26 (NIV): “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness.’”

Our spirit is that part of us that is made in the image of God. It is eternal. It will never cease to exist. If we do a study on the “spirit” in the Bible, we find that it is that part of us that connects us to the spiritual world. In fact, it is reaching out to God who created it.

However, since God created us as free creatures, we can ignore our spirit’s natural desire and go after other spiritual beings. This is what happens when people go after and worship other gods. We need to realize that the only other spiritual beings that will accept our worship are demons.

According to Genesis 2:7, it is our spirit that enables us to exist. We exist because God gave us an eternal spirit that will exist forever.

Soul

This is the part of us that is most misunderstood. In fact, some people even say that we are only a two part being, a body and a spirit. Others say that our soul is a third entity that is separate from our body and our spirit.

The truth is found in Genesis 2:7 (KJV): “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.” The NKJV says “and man became a living being.”

Look closely at what it says. It says that after God created our physical body and breathed our spirit into it, then we “became a living being” or “a living soul.”

The word translated “living being” or “living soul” is the Hebrew word “nephesh.” “nephesh” occurs 755 times in the Hebrew Bible and is translated in various ways such as: “soul, being, person, self,” etc. Thus, it refers to the totality of our being, that is, who we really are.

Who we are consists of how we think, how we act, what we look like, what we believe, etc. In other words, who we are consists of 2 parts that are bonded together. When the 2 parts are bonded together, we then become who we really are, a living being or a living soul.

1) Our physical body, with all of its limitations and disabilities. Much of who we are while we are on this earth depends on how our physical brain is functioning. This determines our physical abilities as well as our mental abilities.

2) Our spirit, and how much we allow it to influence our lives. Do we allow it to reach out and have fellowship with God? Do we even acknowledge that it exists? If we don’t, it cannot have much, if any influence on our lives. Do we allow it to reach out to other gods, that is, demons? If we do, our spirit will definitely influence how we think and what we do.

Our Soul Is Who We Really Are

So, is our soul a third entity? The answer is yes and no. It depends on how you look at it. Our soul is who we really are. If we are only a spirit, we are an eternal being with all the abilities that angels (and demons) have. We are only a thinking being with ties to the spiritual world.

If we are only a body, we are no more than an animal and will only behave as an animal does. We will be limited to only behaving and living according to the brain that was given to us. Many people do believe this and it is why they say that we are only a higher evolution of animals.

However, we do have a spirit given to us by God and this makes us a living soul. Being a living soul, who we are is determined by our physical body and brain that we have, as well as an eternal being connected to the spiritual world. Is our soul a third entity that makes us who we are? Yes, because it is different than only being spirit or only being a body.

On the other hand, no, because it can only exist because of our spirit and body. God only created two elements, a body and a spirit. We became a soul because of the union of the two. So it really doesn’t matter, we are who God created us to be.

Try to understand it this way. Our souls is a third entity in the same way that water is a third entity. Water is made up of hydrogen and oxygen, two elements. But when they are combined together, they become a completely new and different element, water. We are made up of a body and a spirit, but when they are combined together, they become a new and different entity, a living soul.

Will We Be Any Different In Heaven?

People who have deformities, limitations, etc. often wonder about this. There is one very important point to remember. Our physical body is a very important part of who we are. However, when we get to heaven, we will be given a new body, a spiritual body. And this spiritual body will be a perfect body. Yes, it will be a body that will be recognized by our friends and relatives, but it will be perfect. We will still be a living soul because we will still have both a spirit and a body.

When we are saved, it is our spirit that is born again, made into a new creature. Notice that when we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior, our body does not change. Thus, God must be referring to our spirit. Our body will change only when we arrive in heaven and God gives us a perfect spiritual body.

Since it is our spirit that is born again, it is our spirit that is saved. However, God created us as a living soul and we cannot exist as a living soul without a body. And since the physical cannot exist in heaven, God gives us a new body, a perfect spiritual body, and we remain the living soul He created us to be.

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