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Is there a difference between soul and spirit?

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by ewq1938, Aug 29, 2018.

  1. Hawkins

    Hawkins Member Supporter

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    Spirit can be used to describe entities not inside our realm. In this sense, it can be used interchangeably with soul. Soul if correctly applied or translated, refers to the immortality part of a human. It is thus improper to call the angels souls. Implicitly the use of spirit means "they live in another realm but are not humans".

    On the other hand, it is improper to describe the immortality part of humans a spirit. We have an immortal soul (but not immortal spirit). This is from the perspective of self identity. Soul refers to a human ID.

    The ultimate reason why soul is used more for humans is that humans are triune. If not then soul as a term does not necessarily exist. Soul is the "you" as an identity, however the spirit from the perspective of identity may not represent "you".

    From the perspective of your mind state, that is a human's mind state, they may be interchangeable. "My soul is troubled" = "my spirit is troubled".

    This is to say the generalization, there are always some people use them interchangeably everywhere nevertheless.

    With the same trinity concept, the Spirit of Christ is not Jesus but the Holy Spirit.

    Romans 8:9 (NIV2011)
    You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.

    Galatians 4:6 (NIV2011)
    Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.”
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2018
  2. justbyfaith

    justbyfaith justified sinner

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    It is the essence of who we are, that contains our consciousness.

    The fact that we can't cleanse our hearts from sin means that only Jesus can do that; and I would think that this is a major part of what salvation is.

    re #20.
     
  3. justbyfaith

    justbyfaith justified sinner

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    Consider that the Spirit of Christ, is, in a sense, Jesus.

    In John 4:1-3 it is stated that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, and to deny this is to have the spirit of antichrist.

    However, in Ephesians 4:10, it is stated that Jesus rose from the dead to fill all things.

    Nevertheless the first scripture teaches that He is confined to a finite human body (again, 1 John 4:1-3).

    It is His Spirit that fills all things; and it is written in that case that it is Jesus Himself who fills all things (Ephesians 4:10).
     
  4. Bible Highlighter

    Bible Highlighter Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. Supporter

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    The soul is a person's mind, will, and emotions. It is the core of who they are. The spirit is the representation of you in the spirit realm. For Paul says there is a natural body and a spiritual body (See 1 Corinthians 15:44). So the spirit portion of you is the spirit body (physical representation) of you in the spirit world (or spirit realm). Sometimes the spirit is mentioned as having emotion and this simply means that it is referring to both your soul and your spirit combined. In the story of Lazarus and the rich-man: The rich-man who died was said to have eyes, and a tongue, etc. Yet, the rich-man had died physically. So the story is referring to his spirit or spirit body that was being controlled by his soul. Sometimes soul can refer to both soul and spirit, too. In Revelation we read about the souls who were under the alter of God and who were martyred for their faith. So while the word "soul" and "spirit" can refer to both the soul and spirit combined, they are also distinct and different from each other, too. For Paul tells us to keep three things blameless until the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He tell us to keep our soul, spirit, and body blameless. Three things here and not two, etc.
     
  5. justbyfaith

    justbyfaith justified sinner

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    I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you. John 14:17-18.

    continued from #23.
     
  6. GingerBeer

    GingerBeer Cool and refreshing with a kick!

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    Is there a difference between soul and spirit? No. Not for a human's soul and spirit. A soul is a body in which is the spirit (breath) of life. But there are spirits that are not souls and do not have material bodies. Angels, for example, are spirits - ministering spirits says Hebrews - while human beings are souls, so are cows and sheep anything in which is found the spirit (breath) of life is a soul. But human souls are intended to live in eternity.
     
  7. Marvin Knox

    Marvin Knox Senior Veteran

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    Back in Bible school the professor asked us to write a brief statement explaining why we thought that man was a "2 part" being or a "3 part" being.

    I hedged my bets because I thought, and still do, that the scriptures aren't completely clear on the subject.

    It seemed that he wasn't pleased with my straddling the fence the way I did. But I supposed that he'd just have to live with it.

    It seems to me that the "bi-part" vs. "tri'part" debate is a bit like that concerning John the Baptist vis a vis Elijah. Whatever you can "receive" concerning it is perfectly OK with the Lord - so long as you get the basic picture.

    I tend to refer to the spirit as being a part of the soul. The soul is usually said to be the mind, emotion and will. It seems to me that the spirit is that part of the soul which connects with God's Spirit - thereby effecting the mind, the emotions, and the will.

    Not being able to see through the glass clearly at this present time - I'm perfectly happy thinking of it that way.

    The soul of the unregenerate and the regenerate as well leaves the body at death and goes somewhere. Only the spiritually regenerate, who are connected to God's Spirit, are ushered into His presence by the Spirit of God.

    I'm pretty much "Reformed" in my theology. But I never cared a whole lot whether people referred to the "regeneration" of a fallen man's spirit as an instantaneous act of God or a bit of a process whereby he is enlightened over a period of time by the Spirit of God Who has connected with man's spirit.

    It does seem to me, that there has to be an instant in "time" when the process of the Father drawing a man to the Son actually "starts". But some kick against the goads a bit longer than others before yielding to the Spirit of God enough to have their mind emotions and will come into line with the gospel.

    So long as people acknowledge that it is by grace alone that God regenerates man's spirit, either instantaneously or gradually, I have no problem with them.

    But it does make a really big difference theologically just how one thinks about that particular subject with regard to acknowledging the grace of God and His authorship of our saving faith. That's where the theological sparks seem to fly.

    But the question of whether the spirit is a separate part of man from the soul or whether the spirit is part of the soul - makes very little practical difference theologically it seems to me.
     
  8. Thir7ySev3n

    Thir7ySev3n Psalm 139

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    To my understanding, the soul is the emergent personality of the spirit and the body combined. As a comparison, think of the perfect inextricable union of Jesus' divinity and humanity in His incarnation which produced a unique, truly dual nature.

    The spirit and the flesh are truly distinct entities, whereas the soul has a strong connection to both because it is the product of their meshing (think of it as like a Venn Diagram where you have only two circles but they produce a middle section when intertwined). That is why you can experience internal battles, especially that kind which results from your new birth, where you experience the genuine desire to do the will of God but the impulse and temptation to do something contrary; you are experiencing a consciousness (soul) of your impulses from the Holy Spirit and the flesh simultaneously. It is also why your soul longs for God (spiritual origin) and physical interaction (fleshly origin, though in this sense not intrinsically sinful), why you desire the Word of God and also food, to please God and to entertain yourself (again, not intrinsically evil in this context), and all of these are experienced as your desires, sometimes which battle within you (if born again).
     
  9. ewq1938

    ewq1938 Age isn't a number. It's a three lettered word. Staff Member Supervisor Supporter

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    The spirit is also a person's mind, will, and emotions. There is no difference between our soul and our spirit.
     
  10. ewq1938

    ewq1938 Age isn't a number. It's a three lettered word. Staff Member Supervisor Supporter

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    The soul is not a body. It resides within a body.

    1Th_5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    This verse makes clear we have a body and a soul, so the soul is not a body.
     
  11. friend of

    friend of Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The Spirit is the Holy Spirit that animates and brings to an eternal condition, that of our soul.
     
  12. ewq1938

    ewq1938 Age isn't a number. It's a three lettered word. Staff Member Supervisor Supporter

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    No, our spirit is different than the Holy Spirit. In our body we have a spirit and a soul, both having the same meanings and definitions in English, Hebrew and Greek.

    The "eternal condition" is still the same three, body (glorified) and inside the same spirit and soul as we have now.
     
  13. friend of

    friend of Well-Known Member Supporter

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    What do you think happens when we get saved? Is it not that our soul is enjoined to the Holy Spirit?
     
  14. ewq1938

    ewq1938 Age isn't a number. It's a three lettered word. Staff Member Supervisor Supporter

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    Do you have a scripture?

    I know of this:

    Eph 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
    Eph 1:14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
     
  15. friend of

    friend of Well-Known Member Supporter

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    That works.
     
  16. justbyfaith

    justbyfaith justified sinner

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    The spirit is the part of us that is primarily our will; that directs us where we are going to go...Ezekiel 1:20.

    The soul is basically our conscious mind...it dictates what we experience. It is the part of us that is conscious of experience, is what I am saying. (It is our true self; who we are: and it is the part of us that is being sanctified).

    So when the soul goes to hell or to heaven, we will experience heaven or hell in a conscious manner.

    Our souls goes to hell or heaven based on what kind of spirit is connected to them...whether regenerated or unregenerated.
     
  17. Sam91

    Sam91 Child of the Living God Supporter

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    There is a bible project video arguing that the soul is just all of us based on the hebrew word nephesh. Shall find a link.

    EDIT: Here is the link. It also says that the soul idea comes from ancient greek philosophy

     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2018
  18. ewq1938

    ewq1938 Age isn't a number. It's a three lettered word. Staff Member Supervisor Supporter

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    Again, the soul/spirit is basically our conscious mind...it dictates what we experience.
     
  19. Hawkins

    Hawkins Member Supporter

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    Spirit being not a "self" is a very early Jewish concept.

    Exodus 31:1-3 (NIV2011)
    Then the LORD said to Moses,
    “See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah,
    and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills—


    The Spirit of God is not God (the Father) Himself, nor is it the wind of God. God won't say that "I will fill you with me". Because "Spirit of God" isn't the same "self" as me. God won't say that "I will fill you with wind" either. It doesn't make much sense to fill someone with wind.

    Numbers 11:25 (NIV2011)
    Then the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke with him, and he took some of the power of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders. When the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied—but did not do so again.

    This can't be replaced with "when God rested on them" or "when wind rested on them".

    The description "some of the power of the Spirit" is actually consistent with the saying that the Holy Spirit will be poured down to all believers.

    1 Samuel 16:23 (NRSV)
    And whenever the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, David took the lyre and played it with his hand, and Saul would be relieved and feel better, and the evil spirit would depart from him.

    Wind can't have an active mind to decide to leave Saul. Spirit here is an entity but not something living in our realm.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2018
  20. akaDaScribe

    akaDaScribe Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hebrews 4
    12For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
     
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