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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Spirit, Soul, Body?

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Joined: 2003/7/31
Posts: 2711
Phoenix, Arizona USA


Paul also wrote in 1 Corinthians that there are different types of life and each has it's own glory. Each created being has the breath "ruach" of life but not all the same type (or glory) of life.

So Moses wrote; And they fell upon their faces, and said, O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and wilt thou be wroth with all the congregation? (Numbers 16:22)

And in Job we find; In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath[Ruach] of all mankind. (Job 12:10)

Mankind is created in the image of God and this is what makes him so unique on our universe of created beings. This is what gives human life such great value and why each person deserves respect and love, regardless of the many differences. Take this away and then mankind is on the same level as the beasts and we are on the same level as the evolutionist concerning the value of human life.

In Christ,

Ron Halverson

 2018/12/24 10:47Profile

Joined: 2006/11/26
Posts: 3326


I have found that it is good to read after men of God to get help with our questions concerning scripture, but it is better to go to God with our questions and allow the Holy Spirit to teach us, and give us revelation and light on any biblical topic.


 2018/12/24 11:17Profile

 Re: Spirit, Soul, Body?

Perhaps this may help:

water – born – flesh – spirit – Spirit

The Greek says for water in John chapter 3: 5-8, υδατος, which comes from the root hudor (ὕδωρ). It is used in a number of ways, but it is always literally representative of the elemental substance, water. The English word hydro comes from the Greek root. Contextually it may be used to denote the fact that whilst still in the womb we were sustained by water. In a similar sense, the physical heart is surrounded by amniotic fluid, so we see that when the Lord was pierced, blood and water (John 19:34) flowed through the wound, speaking that His amniotic sack had been pierced in order to pierce His heart for our sakes. It is also used in the context of the Lord’s baptism with water, by John. It is the same elemental water which was used when we were baptised with water after we believed.

There are five references to being born in this passage from John chapter 3: 5-8. The 1st (v5) γεννηθη, comes from the root gennao (γεννάω), and means is born. The 2nd (v6 i) γεγεννημενον, is what is born. The 3rd (v6 ii) is also γεγεννημενον. The 4th (v7) is γεννηθηναι, and means to be born. Finally, the 5th (v8) is γεγεννημενος, translated, who is born. Clearly, all of these usages are derived from the root with morphological variants, which being semantically implicit in English usage, are not necessarily carried in the English translation. The root, however, is gennao (γεννάω) and means to beget. In this passage, the semantic domain is carried in the term, genesis, and alludes to the beginning of something as well as something after the likeness of its beginning. This does, of course, apply to individuals, but its contextual and semantic emphasis means that we could say, all humanity is of the flesh of Adam, but to enter the kingdom of God a man also needs to be born of the Spirit of God.

There are two references to the word flesh in verse six. The first usage (v6 i) is σαρκος, which comes from the root word sarx (σάρξ). The second usage (v6 ii) is the root σάρξ itself. Although the word sarx (σάρξ) is used to denote the physical body, it is also used morphologically (v6 i) to denote the likeness of flesh. This is the first usage here and semantically carries not only an implication of the substance or physiology of the body (v6 ii) but the very nature of a man (v6 i). So that a literal translation of this verse would be “that which is of fleshy Adam is flesh after Adam’s flesh”.

Just as the word flesh is used flesh begotten of flesh, so the word spirit is used in this same way. There are four references to the word Spirit/spirit. The first is πνευματος, and comes from the word pneuma (πνευμ̂α). This first reference (v6 i) speaks of the Holy Spirit. The second usage is πνευμα, which in English would simply read spirit (v6 ii). In a prepositional form, this would be written: to be spirit. The Greek says, πνευματος πνευμα εστιν and would literally be translated Spirit, spirit to be. To make rational sense of this one would have to give the literal transliteration as follows: το γεγεννημενον εκ της σαρκος σαρξ εστιν και το γεγεννημενον εκ του πνευματος πνευμα εστιν (v6) “what is born of the flesh, flesh is, and what is born of the Spirit, spirit is” (v6 i & ii). The third (v6 iii) reference, to spirit, is πνευματος. This is the same as (v6 i) in meaning and speaks of the Holy Spirit. The fourth usage is also πνευματος (v8), and that too speaks of the Holy Spirit.

In examining John 3:5-8 in this way, one thing becomes immediately apparent. Nowhere in this passage is the Greek word psuche used (soul). What is being alluded to has to do with the condition of all mankind needing to be saved. At a personal level, it speaks of an individual needing to have their spirit made alive by the regeneration of the Holy Spirit. Therefore when the Apostle Paul wrote, “And the God of peace himself sanctify you wholly; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved entire, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ”, he is expressing an irrefutable fact of salvation, extending beyond that which Jesus Himself spoke to Nicodemus. This is not to say that Paul contradicted the Lord Jesus, it simply means that Jesus specifically highlighted the need for all men to be born again in spirit. Hence, the Greek says, το γεγεννημενον εκ της σαρκος σαρξ εστιν και το γεγεννημενον εκ του πνευματος πνευμα εστιν (v6) “what is born of the flesh, flesh is, and what is born of the Spirit, spirit is.” Flesh and spirit are separated in meaning by the Lord. Therefore when we are speaking about the newness of life, we must hold that distinction in mind.

Jesus separated spiritual regeneration, from the personal experience of salvation, by the need for the believer to take up their own cross and follow Him. In speaking to Nicodemus in terms of needing to be born again, Jesus is speaking to the condition of humanity, as well as Nicodemus himself. Though personal regeneration would need to become a personal experience in one’s own life, essentially, new birth does not lay down the full meaning of personal salvation. We could say that being born again is the spiritual minimum for a man or else represents the beginning of salvation.


 2018/12/24 18:46

Joined: 2017/2/12
Posts: 292


That which is born of the Spirit is spirit. That which i is born of the flesh, is flesh. Fleshly, earthly. Not spirit. Thanks Rhomphaem. Since we need new birth of spirit according to Jesus, it seems like something that did not exist spiritually must be born of the Spirit so in some real meaningful sense we lacked “spirit” prior to conversion.


 2018/12/24 20:39Profile


No brother. We did not lack spirit prior to conversion. We were dead in sins after the fall, wherein God spoke that in the day Adam disobeyed Him, he would die. Yet Adam lived into his 930th year. So what died then? Death is not annihilation, it is separation from God. If you press for a meaning that leads to a sense of regeneration as though it were another spirit, then you are but a few breaths away from a heresy. We do have a new spirit, but it is renewed and not newly created after we believed. Even so Adam did not possess the life of God before his fall. Yet had he not sinned his relationship with God would have been forever, just as sin made for a separation from God and made necessary a separation from the Tree of Life. - And that is called death.

It is one thing to reason, but reason must be checked by revelation and in that sense we depend on being taught by God. No amount of reason will produce revelation and no revelation will produce life. Faith produces life and life gives rise to a renewed mind through reading the Scriptures. Reason and the new man are separated by the flesh. Reason cannot make a man an unbeliever, but reason can exclude him from a true faith. Whereas a renewed spirit can lead to a renewed mind. The cross is the separating instrument. Man is spirit, soul and body. Having a proper biblical understanding of what that means will save us many problems when we try to reason.

 2018/12/24 20:58

Joined: 2016/6/15
Posts: 492

 Re: Rhomphaeam

You said,
"Even so Adam did not possess the life of God before his fall."

So what was the source and nature of this life that Adam had before the fall? Did God give Adam a life of his own, Adam's own life, a "self" life?


 2018/12/25 1:21Profile


I believe the answer to your question lies in the margin of this site.

'Often Satan injects pride into the believer's spirit, evoking in him an attitude of self-importance and of self-conceit. He causes him to esteem himself a very outstanding person, one who is indispensable in God's work. Such a spirit constitutes one of the major reasons for the fall of believers.' - Watchman Nee

What one needs to know, therefore, is was Adam (before the fall) capable of having his spirit injected by Satan? The word that reveals the meaning of 'injection' is deception. Given that Adam was not deceived by Satan, even though he heard every word he spoke to the woman (Eve), one would have to know how that was possible, and then why Adam sinned. And in that question alone lies revelation of God which necessarily tells us something that ought to make us tremble.

So did Adam posses the life of God before his fall into sin and death through disobedience?

The term self stems from the soul. And it is the direction of self that determines whether one is disobedient or else obedient. If we are speaking of Adam before the fall, then we are speaking of the same man after the fall. Yet despite that Adam possessed a spiritual life that was given by God, he nevertheless was denied eternal life after the fall. "Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever "

If we read Revelation 22:1-2. 'Then the angel showed me a river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the main street of the city. On either side of the river stood a tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit and yielding a fresh crop for each month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.' We can ask whether those mentioned here are in eternity? If they are not, then neither is the New Jerusalem in eternity. Yet we know that it is. And we know that these few verses from Revelation 22:1-2 are precisely about eternity because they are preceded by these words. 'Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. for the first heaven and earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Revelation 21:1-2

From this simple expression, from Revelation chapter 21 to Revelation chapter 22 we are faced with the same dilemma as we are faced with when we say, "Even so Adam did not possess the life of God before his fall." (as I did), and when we ask the question "So what was the source and nature of this life that Adam had before the fall? Did God give Adam a life of his own, Adam's own life, a "self" life?" (as you did).And both the claim and the question are true. Adam did not yet possess Eternal life. The Tree of life was given to him and he could have eaten at any time. Genesis 2:16. Yet neither without disobedience could he have died. Does God posses eternal life? Was Adam a living soul? I think the simplest way to express an answer to your question is to point to this Scripture. 'Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offence of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.' Romans 5:14.

Adam was a type of Him who was to come. Christ is the man who came. Two men. One a natural man, and the last Man (Adam), a life giving spirit. 1 Corinthians 15:45

 2018/12/25 5:08

Joined: 2016/6/15
Posts: 492

 Re: Rhomphaeam

I would say that God was the source of Adam’s life before the fall and this that was said about Israel was also true regarding Adam:

Jer. 2:13 –
For My people have committed two evils:
They have forsaken Me,
The fountain of living waters,
To hew for themselves cisterns,
Broken cisterns
That can hold no water.

Ps. 36:9 --
For with You is the fountain of life;
In Your light we see light.


 2018/12/25 7:12Profile


I agree. How could anyone deny that the source of Adam's life was God? If we did then we would be making an argument for evolution. That Adam was created by God is undoubted and anyone who claimed otherwise is a rank heretic.

The reason why I say this is because we have very little in the Scripture about Adam. And what we have is so particular that unless we see what is said about him, we may imagine that we are as he was.

Adam's sin was disobedience in eating the fruit of the Tree of Good and Evil. That is very specific. Yet it is what preceded that disobedience that tells us why he sinned. Adam did not desire the knowledge of good or evil. Neither did he rebel against God - even though he was disobedient.

My reason for posting into this thread was to address these words. '

[BeginQuote]: From the Sriptures below it could reasonably be deduced that God puts a "spirit" in us at conversion other than the Holy
Spirit that we lacked prior to conversion. Some people have held that the new believer now has body, soul and spirit whereas the nonbeliever is body and soul only. Some disagree. I'm sure this has been raised in the past on the site, but was interested in others' take. [EndQuote]

I believe that it is impossible to hold a balanced attitude to others who have faith when we simply quote Scripture - And this business of spirit, soul and body, is an undoubted trichotomous doctrine that allows us to be merciful in our doctrines and to show grace. Whereas we may simply quote Scripture and then lay wast to others which we then hold in a pretence of peace. The reason why the trichotomous doctrine of the nature of man allows for mercy is because it ties the pastoral and the prophetic ministry together. So if we then answer the question as to what preceded Adam's disobedience we would have to agree with God.

Genesis 3:17 'Then to Adam He said, "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, 'You shall not eat from it'; Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you will eat of it All the days of your life..'

And even that verse does not tell us why Adam listened to his wife. It simply tells us that listening to his wife was an outworking of his soul. His motive is other than, and his action was to eat. There is a great deal of revelation of God in these things and understanding them will give us a way to both know what truth is in this regard and yet to show compassion on the woman., and how the man is responsible for sin, and not the woman.The church has been historically filled with men abusing women because of a single verse. And yet those same men never ask how it was that Adam ate the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. If we say that the woman deceived him, then we say that the bible is false because the bible tells us that he was not deceived. If we say that the women exercised some dreadful power of influence over Adam, and so he ate against his own will, then we are saying that he was a weaker vessel than the woman. In which case how is it that God first made the man? It is in understanding spirit, soul and body that will make that meaning clear.

Anyway I simply wanted to answer your question rather than ignore it and now that I did, albeit that it may not be very satisfying, I am finished.

Have a blessed Christmas Day.

 2018/12/25 7:58

Joined: 2016/3/10
Posts: 42

 Re: Spirit, Soul, Body?

Some thoughts in Genesis:

"Then the Lord God formed man of the dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living SOUL."

After the fall, "The Lord God said "Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, lest he stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of LIFE, and eat and live forever"... So He stationed the cherubim, and the flaming sword which turned in every direction, to guard the way to the tree of LIFE."

Why did God guard the tree of LIFE?
I think because it was ETERNAL Life, and if man had eaten from it in his fallen state, he would have lived ETERNALLY in that fallen state. If that is true, then man could not have previously eaten from that tree or he would have lived eternally in his perfect state having ETERNAL LIFE in that state.
I think the Tree of Life is a type of Christ who is LIFE ETERNAL and those who eat Him live forever in a perfect state.


 2018/12/25 9:53Profile

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