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9/2/15 - Part 2 of 6: The Soul of a human being

Published: Wednesday, 02 September 2015 Written by Carlton L. Arnold

Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.  1 Peter 1:8-9

There are basically two meanings for the word “soul” in the Bible.  An example of one meaning is contained in the verses above that treat your soul as an entity within you that will experience salvation.  It is what we mean when we refer to life in the physical body.  In many translations, the Biblical word is translated as life instead of soul.  “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their life (soul)? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their life (soul)?” (Mark 8:36-37)  Another example is the following: “And it came to pass, as her soul (life) was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Benoni: but his father called him Benjamin.  (Genesis 35:18) We frequently say the phrase, “save a soul” in reference to evangelism.  Again, what we are meaning is the life of an individual.


The second meaning is one that all Believers need to know.  God created an amazing phenomenon that is the most unique aspect of all human beings.  He created us in His image and breathed life into us and gave us a soul. The Biblical word used for soul means “breath”.  Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7)  God desires a healthy relationship with us. However, everyone’s soul is in trouble, and his or her personal relationship with God is in jeopardy.

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.  Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. (Genesis 3:6-7)   For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  (Romans 3:23)

None of us can have a relationship with God because of the sin in our souls.  However, God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, as a sacrifice for forgiveness of our sins.  We must believe that He did that for us to have a relationship with Him.  The difference between a Believer and an unbeliever is where their soul spends eternity.   A Believer’s soul will be spent with God while an unbeliever’s soul will be separated from God for an eternity.

Most importantly, after we become a Believer, God expects to see our souls change to become more like Christ.  This is a process that all Believers go through.  All Believers should be diligent and aggressive in asking God to show them the changes needed to be made to their souls, and accept the leading of the Holy Spirit for those changes to take effect.  However, most Believers are not working on becoming more Christ-like.  This is a major weakness of Believers and is made prevalent by their non-Christ-like behavior that unbelievers see.  The importance of soul changes for Believers to become more Christ-like is a major point of the New Testament.  The Soul of Jesus Christ will be discussed in Part 3.  This will give you an opportunity to compare your soul with the Soul of Christ.  Prepare to be honest about who you are as a personality.

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