#11b Curiosities on Pentecost (Shavout) - A Follow-up
[Editor's Note: In response to the previous study one of the students wrote with some observations and questions. The student's comments are in blue.]
> Buddy - I remember you calling attention to
our spirit as being what is
> reborn, and our soul as being fleshly.
Our soul can be either fleshly or spiritual. It depends on the source
are drawing from. Our soul is our personal identity. It is our spirit that
born again, and it is from our spirit that our soul draws on spiritual
resources. But if we are living by the flesh, then our soul is drawing on
fleshly powers. (I'll explain further down.)
Let me break down your next paragraph. You had several questions
sort of wrapped up together.
> I've had trouble grasping this.
It can be a difficult area, but the Scriptures themselves can help
The Bible says that God created Adam as a 'living soul.' Nephesh simply refers to a distinct living being. As a living soul, Adam had self
realization. He knew he was a distinct person. Therefore, our soul is
who we are.
But if that was all Adam was, then he wouldn't necessarily have
realization of God. So he needed something in him that could relate
directly to God. Keep in mind that God is Spirit, and that no one has
ever seen God at any time, that is, in His pure essence. (According to
So God also placed in Adam something that would be Adam's, God
connector. The writer said, "The spirit of man is the candle of the
searching all the innermost parts of his being." (Prov20:27)
When Adam sinned against the covenant, what was it in him that
died? It wasn't his soul. But the Lord said that in 'the day' that Adam
ate from the fruit of a certain tree, he would die. (He would die that
What happened the moment Adam ate? His spirit life was cut off from
God. Adam and Eve suddenly became aware of their sensual nature.
They became afraid, and yet fear had not been a part of their life prior
to this. Adam's death meant that his direct spiritual God-connector was
no longer functioning. God would have to deal with Adam, from the
outside working inwardly.
But spiritual death did not mean that Adam did not have a spirit. It
meant that his spirit-nature had been cut off from God. And Adam
became what the Bible describes as a soulish man, or a man of the
senses. Any God connection in the future would be largely through his
senses. This is why you see so much visible manifestations of God in
the Old Testament. (Pillar of fire & cloud; burning bush; angel
This bring us to our birth from above. What happens when a person is
born again? Its not his soul that is born again. His soul is eternal. It
God-connector is born anew. And in this new birth the Spirit of God enters
the deepest part of His being. This is why Jesus said, "That which is
the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit."
In the Old Testament you don't see the distinction so clearly between
our soul and spirit, but in the New Testament it becomes more plain.
This is where circumcision of the heart comes into place. Remember
how the veil in the temple was rent at the death of Jesus. This
expressed what would happen to each person in the new covenant.
What happens when a person is listening to the Word of truth, that is,
the gospel of Jesus Christ, the power of that message begins working
like a sword in the inward man. And when right believing is in place,
and as a result, the confession of the Lordship of Jesus is made, it is
because something has taken place in the human heart (spirit.)
This is what Hebrews
4:12,13 has in view; "For the word of God is
living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing
as far as the DIVISION OF SOUL AND SPIRIT, of both joints and
marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open
and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do."
In the new birth the individual has his God-connector fully functional.
Where he was blind, now he sees. Where he was unfeeling with
regard to the things of God, now he feels quite deeply. Where he was
dead to the voice of God, now he hears the voice of Christ in the
deepest of his being.
> I'd always been taught that it was our soul
which was eternal and
> needed to be saved - and our spirit was somehow connected to our
> particular personality/emotional make-up.
One way to understand the terms spirit, soul, and body, is by use of
the word 'consciousness.' With our body we are conscious of the world
around us. In our soul we are conscious of our own personhood. In our
spirit we are conscious of God. It is always in spirit that we have true
fellowship with Jesus.
> What exactly is our soul?
It is as I said above.
> Is it our soul that goes to be with God when
we die? If our soul and
> spirit are separate from one another, what happens to each of them
> when we die?
We go to be with God as born again people, fully conscious of
ourselves and of him. No, our soul and spirit are never separated from
one another. Not even for a sinner.
But the salvation that is given us in Jesus Christ also applies to our
body. This is why there is a resurrection, and this is why we are to be
given new bodies.
> If it is our spirit which is reborn, then
what of our soul? I am soooo
> confused about this!
No reason to be confused. Just think about it for a moment. If it is
spirit that is born again to God, then how does this affect our soul, or
our personal life? The soul undergoes a process of restoration. In
speaking by the Spirit, David said, "He restores my soul; He guides
in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake." (Psalm
In the New Testament this takes on a deeper spiritual significance. It
comes under the doctrine of the renewing of the mind, and the
transformation of our life. Paul said, "And do not be conformed to
world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you
may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable
and perfect." (Romans
In another place he says, "But we all, with unveiled face,
in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same
image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit." (2Co4:18)
This transformation speaks of Jesus-likeness. We begin to think like
Jesus. Did not the apostle say, "Have this attitude in yourselves
was also in Christ Jesus..." (Phil2:5)
The Greek word for 'attitude' has
to do with your thinking, and your personal understanding.
All I can add is what Paul said, "Let us therefore, as many as are
perfect (completed in this understanding), have this attitude; and if in
anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to
- The word attitude simply speaks of understanding.)
The Lord will show you. Meditate on these things.
Previous: #11a - Curiosities on Pentecost (Shavout)
Next: #12 (Acts 5:1-11) Satan's Intrusion in the Camp
This study on
Acts was originally part of a
series on the book of Acts given to members of
Hebraic Foundations from July 10, 2002 through January 19, 2003.
They were written by Pastor Buddy Martin, Founder and Senior Pastor of
Christian Challenge International.