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Text Sermons : Watchman Nee : THE SOUL-LIFE

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The soul is man's self-consciousness. We are conscious of our own existence. This consciousness is the soul. The soul is the organ of our personality. All of our personality is part of the soul. All of the elements that constitute us as human beings, our intellect, mind, ideas, love, sensations, judgments, will, and so forth, are all part of the soul. Everything that man's personality encompasses belongs to the soul. The Bible often uses the word heart when referring to our true self. It may be that in the Bible the heart and the soul mean the same thing. The soul is our heart, our true self. The Bible often calls man a soul, as if man is nothing but a soul. For example, Genesis 12:5 uses the word ``souls,'' and there are numerous other scriptural passages that use soul for man. This means that the soul is the personality, including all the elements of the personality. To understand a man, we have to understand his personality. The existence, characteristics, and life of a man issue from his soul. This is why the Bible calls a man a soul.

However, in addition to the intellect, love, will, and sensations in the soul, there is also the life of the soul. This life is man's life, the natural life of man. In the Bible, many places use the word soul interchangeably with the word life; many passages translate soul as life. For example, the word translated life in both Leviticus 17:11 and Revelation 12:11 is soul in the corresponding original languages. This is because in the original languages there is no difference between the words soul and soul-life. Hence, the various elements contained in the soul are the elements contained in the soul-life. This soul-life is man's natural life, which includes the intellect, love, sensations, and so forth.





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