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

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 Spirit, Soul, Body?

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.

1 Corinthians 15:45 - Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.


Hebrews 4:12 - 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

1 Thessalonians 5:23

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. (ESV)

Ezekiel 36:25–26

I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. (ESV)

Is the "new spirit" simply the Holy Spirit given to new believers or is it something different in light of these verses? It really is the 1 Thessalonians passage that creates the question.


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Robert

 2018/12/22 6:29Profile
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 Re: A new spirit?

brother,

I am sorry but all these references are the to the Holy Spirit of God. Church history does also not give any room for a "new idea" of a 2nd spirit. I would just caution you to see to know what is the faith once delivered to the Saints (Jude 1:3) and not seek to find "new" things that believers have never seen before.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2018/12/22 6:36Profile
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 Re:

Thanks Brother Greg,

I really thought I had read other very respected theologians mention this also. If I'm in error about that I sincerely apologize. I left off this verse from my list and would ask if this is going down the same rabbit hole or not. I will see if there are other people you would respect as faithful expositers of the Word who posed this question. If there aren't, big mistake on my part.


1 Corinthians 14:14–16
For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unfruitful. What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also. [16] Otherwise, if you give thanks with your spirit, how can anyone in the position of an outsider say “Amen” to your thanksgiving when he does not know what you are saying? (ESV)


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Robert

 2018/12/22 6:46Profile
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 Re:

Hi Brother Greg,

I did a quick search on line and found this excerpt. There were many other links to the issue but I thought I would pass this along. It isn't a hill for me to die on so I'm glad to withdraw the question.

DICHOTOMY AND TRICHOTOMY - PART ONE
June 14, 2016 | By: Sam Storms

All Christians agree that God created us as a material (or physical) and immaterial (or spiritual) unity. But not all agree on the nature of the immaterial. Some argue that the immaterial dimension in human nature is divided into two distinct and separate faculties: soul and spirit. They are thus called Trichotomists: the three “parts” or “faculties” being the body, the soul, and the spirit. Others believe that the immaterial dimension cannot be so easily subdivided in this way. The soul, spirit, heart, mind, will, and affections are but different expressions for the variety of functions of the singular spiritual aspect of human nature. They are thus called Dichotomists.

Is Trichotomy a legitimate evangelical option? Yes. There is nothing inherently heretical or dangerous in understanding human nature as comprised of three faculties: body, soul, and spirit. There is enough ambiguity in certain biblical texts to allow for trichotomy. But is it the most likely or the most probable interpretation of the many biblical texts and terms noted below? In my opinion, no.


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Robert

 2018/12/22 6:56Profile
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 Re:

Hi again Greg, you really scared me with the post because the idea of coming up with something "new" is abhorent to me. I honestly tremble at His word. Here's a simple article from a simple website outlining the issue I tried to present:


From Gotquestions:

Those who believe that human nature is a trichotomy typically believe the following: the physical body is what connects us with the physical world around us, the soul is the essence of our being, and the spirit is what connects us with God. This is why the unsaved can be said to be spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1; Colossians 2:13), while they are very much physically and “soulishly” alive. Those who believe that human nature is a dichotomy would have the same understanding of the body but would view the spirit as the part of the soul that connects with God. So, the question of dichotomy vs. trichotomy is essentially whether the soul and spirit are different aspects of the immaterial human nature, or if the spirit is simply a part of the soul, with the soul being the whole immaterial part of the human nature.

Trichotomy vs. dichotomy of man—which view is correct? It would seem that it is unwise to be dogmatic. Both theories are biblically plausible. Neither interpretation is heretical. This is perhaps an issue we are unable to fully grasp with our finite human minds. What we can be certain of is that the human nature is comprised of a body, a soul, and a spirit. Whether the soul and spirit are one, or are somehow distinct, is not an issue God chose to make abundantly clear in His Word. Whether you believe in a dichotomy or trichotomy, offer your body as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1), thank God for saving your soul (1 Peter 1:9), and worship God in spirit and truth (John 4:23–24).


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Robert

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 Re:

Quote:
I really thought I had read other very respected theologians mention this also. If I'm in error about that I sincerely apologize. I left off this verse from my list and would ask if this is going down the same rabbit hole or not. I will see if there are other people you would respect as faithful expositers of the Word who posed this question. If there aren't, big mistake on my part.




Dear brother,

I have fully mis-understood what your post was aiming at but now I see it. I believe there is a triune nature of man as shared above in your last post. This Is not a new belief but old belief. But the truth is there is only ONE Holy Spirit of God. Our soul is different then our spirit where Christ dwells. Our soul is our mind and emotions.

sorry for any misunderstanding. I will edit the thread title.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

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No problem Greg,

For those who believe in the idea that we are body, soul and spirit as a man, the question is were we born that way or is the "spirit" aspect of our nature part of the "new nature" or "new creation" or "new man" that happens for us at conversion. Is that "spirit life" one thing that we were lacking as a man "spiritually dead in trespass and sin"

In the Hebrew passage, it says that the Word divides soul and spirit like bone and marrow. In the physical metaphor of bone and marrow, the spiritual distinction between soul and spirit seems to come to some clarity. The bone ( soul ) lacks the life of "marrow". Thus, when we are made "alive in Christ", an argument can reasonably be made that the marrow of life has been restored by God to the man's nature thus making him truly new.


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Robert

 2018/12/22 7:59Profile
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 Re:

Brother Robert,
Watchman Nee has written a book, “The Spiritual Man”, which goes into much detail on spirit, soul, and body.

Even a unregenerate man has a spirit, but that spirit is seperated or dead to God. At the new birth, the spirit of man receives the life of God By the Holy Spirit, and that Man is born again, and now the Spirit of God is living in him.

THE FUNCTIONS OF THE SPIRIT,
THE SOUL, AND THE BODY
By Watchman Nee
Man is composed of two independent kinds of material: spirit and body. When the spirit entered the body of dust, the soul was produced. It is impossible for the spirit to control the body directly. Hence, it requires a medium. This medium is the soul, which was produced when the spirit touched the body.

The spirit mingled with the body and brought forth the soul. As such, man became a living soul. Hence, the soul is the result of the union between the spirit and the body; it is the personality of a man.

The body is the outer shell of the soul, and the soul is the outer shell of the spirit. Before man fell, it was the spirit that controlled his entire being. When the spirit wants to do something, it communicates this to the soul, and the soul motivates the body to obey the command of the spirit. This is the meaning of the soul as the medium. Luke 1:46-47 says, "My soul magnifies [present tense] the Lord, and my spirit has exulted [perfect tense] in God my Savior." The spirit must first exult, before the soul can magnify the Lord. The spirit first communicates the exultation to the soul, then the soul communicates to the body.

The body is the "world-consciousness," the soul is the "self-consciousness," and the spirit is the "God-consciousness." There are five organs in the body, which afford man the five senses. This physical body enables man to communicate with the physical world. This is why it is called the "world- consciousness." The soul includes that part known as man’s intellect, which helps to make man’s existence possible. The part of love generates affections toward other human beings or objects. The part that can be aroused is the part that originates from the consciousness. All these are parts of the man himself; they form the personality of man. Hence, they are called the "self-consciousness." The spirit is the part with which man communicates with God. With this part, man worships God, serves Him, and understands his relationship with God. Hence, it is called the "God-consciousness."

The spirit has knowledge, but this knowledge is different from the knowledge of the mind. Because the spirit is different from the mind, only a spiritual man can know himself. First Corinthians 2:11 says, "For who among men knows the things of man, except the spirit of man which is in him?" Although man knows things through the mind, his mind is actually not trustworthy and cannot know "the things of man." The mind may have knowledge, but only by man’s spirit can he know the things of man and know himself. Hence, God’s Word states the fact: "For who..knows the things of man, except the spirit." This spirit is the part with which man fellowships with God. "But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding" (Job 32:8). "The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord, searching all the inward parts of the belly" (Prov. 20:27). The spirit of man is the part with which man fellowships with God.

The soul can be stimulated, and it can be disquieted (Psa. 42:5). It can feel sorrowful (Matt. 26:38). In short, the soul is everything that the personality entails. Hence, we can say that the soul is the personality. Many portions in the Bible do not call man a man, but a soul. For example, when the house of Jacob went down to Egypt, there were seventy people (Gen. 46:27). But the Bible says, "All the souls...were threescore and six" (Gen. 46:26).

The body is like a servant; it is under man’s control.

The soul is the meeting point; here the spirit and the body join. Man communicates with the spiritual realm through the spirit. He communicates with the world of senses through the body. The soul is in between. On the one hand, it communicates with the spiritual realm through the spirit, and on the other hand, it communicates with the physical world through the body.

The soul is in between the spirit and the body; it binds the spirit and the body together as one. The spirit rules over the body through the soul and subjects it under God’s power. The body can induce the spirit to love the world through the soul.

In conclusion, the soul is the source of the personality; man’s judgment, intellect, and love all are of the soul. The spirit is the part with which man communicates with the spiritual realm. The body is the part with which man communicates with the physical realm. The soul is in the middle of these two parts. It exercises its judgment to determine if the spiritual realm is to rule or if the physical realm is to rule. Sometimes the soul rules through its intellect and stimulations; this becomes the rule of the psychological world. Unless the soul yields its rule to the spirit, the spirit cannot rule. Hence, the soul has to authorize the spirit to rule before the latter can rule over the soul and the body. The reason for this is that the soul is the origin of the personality.

(Collected Works of Watchman Nee, The (Set 1) Vol. 01: The Christian Life and Warfare, Chapter 5, by Watchman Nee)


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Mike

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 Re:

Thanks Mike, I've read that before. I want to ask you a sincere question. I struggle with Nee's handling of spiritual things like this sometimes. I like his writings a lot generally, but here he seems more philosophical than Biblical. That doesn't make him wrong in his conclusions but I struggle with lack of Scripture on this from him.

Mike, do you have any thoughts on the bone and marrow analogy from Scripture ? When I read that passage in the context of this issue, I immediately thought of the Ezekiel passage where the prophet is commanded to 'breath" upon the dry bones of the Israelites. Is that a bridge too far in suing Scripture to interpret spirit and soul and what the
spiritually dead man lacks ?

ADD: Mike, another thought for you to respond to on the question. When God said to Adam, "On the day you eat of the fruit, you shall surely die" is it possible that God was speaking of two deaths? The moment Adam ate he died spiritually ( no more marrow in the soul ) and would eventually hundreds of years later die physically?


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Robert

 2018/12/22 8:34Profile
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 Re:

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)

Brother Robert,
I believe that the dividing of the joints and marrow refers to the High Priest in the Old Testsment that would take his sharp knife and knew precisely how to divide the sacrifice. Our High Priest, the Lord Jesus, who is the living Word of God divides asunder the soul and spirit which are often mixed. We must learn how to discern the difference between the soulical and the spiritual.

When man sin, he died spiritually, but his physical death occurred hundreds of years later. I am not sure how this relates to the joints and the marrow.


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