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Dividing soul and spirit

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by TruelightUK, Aug 21, 2002.

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  1. TruelightUK

    TruelightUK Tilter at religious windmills

    Many times in Christian circles the terms 'spirit' and 'soul' seem to be used pretty much interchangeably, as if the two were synonymous.  However, the writer to the Hebrews tells us that the Word of God divides beween the two, as a sword might divide joints and marrow (4:12), so it behoves us to do likewise.  Indeed, I think the failure to do so clearly is responsible for much muddled and unhelpful thinking in various areas.  If we are clear about the distinctions, then Christian living becomes so much simpler to understand.

    For our spirits are born again as new creations, made alive again to God (like the stony hearts of Ezekiel's vision), washed free from sin by the blood of Christ.

    Whereas our souls are, as yet, 'under reconstruction' - a divine work in progress.  Comprising our minds and emotions, they need to be renewed in line with His Word, and thus transformed from the patterns of this world and the habits of our former lives as slaves to sin.  For which we are responsible to co-operate with God in cleansing ourselves of ungodly ways.

    With our wills, we must decide which voice to obey; that of our new spiritual nature which desires to please God, or that of our soulish thought life, which still falls back into the time-worn rut of old habits, and is influenced by the 'changes and chances of this fleeting life' to seek security in the things and ways of this world.  Will we follow our feelings - which are transitory and unreliable - or our knowledge of the things of God, which endure forever?


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  2. Rafael

    Rafael Only time enough for love

    I think you are onto it and are exactly right.

    The soul would be a work in progress then.

    The verses in Hebrews you have mentioned have been in my meditation, recently, but with different focus.

    I have thought of the great skill needed to use such a sharp instrument -able to seperate marrow from bone and soul from spirit. Sometimes I feel that our clumbsy use of it can maim and injure when God would not have it so. My example for this would be in the garden of Gethsemene where Jesus asked the disciples if they had a sword. Peter did and cut off the ear of Caiaphas' servant when he and the soldiers came to arrest Jesus (John 18:10). Jesus healed the ear (Luke 22:51).
    Hope you don't mind me adding what God has shown me in these verses concerning proper use of the Sword. I feel that there are things that only God's Spirit can do, especially the need for skill in conviction of sin unto repentence and salvation.
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