It’s complicated right? We are after all a complicated creation of a even more complicated God! Some Scriptures seem to convey that our Soul is the same as our Spirit. Other Scriptures show they are not the same. And then we read Apostle Paul’s letters which are teaching about our Mind and the Old Man and our New Man. Then we see passages about the Body being corrupted. This thing called SIN. It is complicated!
Yet, as believers in Christ, we really need to bring all these things together to understand who we really are as a redeemed human being. And understand what happened to us when we received the gift of Salvation through belief on Christ for our justification with God.
Let’s look closer in the Word of God for the truth together shall we?
There are Old Testament passages that are about The Soul written before the event of the cross. Before the New Covenant of the Gospel of Grace Through Jesus Christ crucified, that Apostle Paul taught. Most in the Old Testament, speak of our OLD SELF, what Paul refers to as our OLD MAN. Unredeemed. Needing sins covered by sacrificing unblemished Lambs to cover the sins of the Jews of Israel. The high priest doing his thing to keep the people’s sins covered until, as the writer of the book of Hebrews puts it, the Messiah would come and be the once for all payment for the sins of the whole world (Hebrews 10:10).
In John 3, Jesus told a top Jewish Pharisee, (Nicodemus) that we must be born again in “The Spirit”. Jesus then goes on to tell Nicodemus HOW to be born again in verses 14-18; which is by belief on Christ.
SALVATION STARTS WITH A DEATH
∴ The Spirit Of Man
When Apostle Paul writes about our ‘old man‘ he is talking about the Spirit Of Man. He also refers to this as our Adam nature. I also refer to it as my ‘old self’ to give clarity in my writing. If you think about it a moment, who is the real you? Is it your body or your spirit? It is your spirit, it is the ‘self’. It is the real us. We control our body by our spiritual self. It is our very core being. So I sometimes refer to it as our ‘self’.
The Spirit of Man is our Spiritual Self Before Salvation.
This is the core spiritual being of every person before they are saved. For a believer in Christ for righteousness, this core being, our Old Self is now DEAD. It is dead and raised again as a new creation called The Spirit Of God.
Apostle Paul tells us that from the moment we believe on Christ for righteous, and not Law of Moses following nor by good works, that our OLD SELF DIED and this was written in the past tense (Romans 6). Paul wrote this in the past tense because it already happened and it is finished now. It was fully accomplished on the cross by Jesus. It is not that we need to work to attain, nor to keep, this new self, this new creation called The Spirit Of God. Paul is clearly telling us that our Old Self, our Old Spirit Of Man, literally DIED on the cross WITH CHRIST, was baptized in Christ (born again), became eternal and was SEALED by the Holy Spirit of promise (John 3:14-18, Ephesians 1:13-14), buried WITH CHRIST, rose WITH CHRIST a new creature, is right now (in present tense) SEATED WITH CHRIST and COMPLETE IN CHRIST (Colossians 2), hidden IN CHRIST (Colossians 3), and has become the righteousness of God, IN CHRIST ( 2 Cor. 5:21). This is all in The Spirit – not The Body.
∴ The Spirit Of God
In Paul’s writings we see that Paul refers to the new creation in us, The New Spirit Of God believers now are through Salvation by belief in Christ, as ‘The Spirit’. When Paul talks about The Spirit he is referring to who a person has become from the very moment of belief on Christ. He is talkig about or New Spirit Of God. This is the new us now and is the very CORE of our being. Our very NATURE was changed and we are a NEW CREATION in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17), that Paul calls ‘The Spirit‘.
The Spirit never sins (1 John 3) and is the very righteous of God, in Christ (2 Cor. 5:21) and is deemed by God as without sin. Why? Because Jesus already paid for all our sins on that cross. But we can and do still sin in the body. Our OLD SELF thoughts in The Mind were ‘sin bent’ because our very nature of our old self, our old Spirit Of Man, wanted to sin as it’s very nature. We sinned because we had a sin nature. Born into sin. Our sin nature died with Christ and was replaced with The Spirit Of God. Why then do we still sin as believers if The Spirit is our very core being now? Thankfully, Apostle Paul wrote much about this very question in his letters in the New Testament.
The answer is when Paul writes about The Mind of a believer. Paul explains that it is because our Body has not yet been regenerated, and will not be until our bodily resurrection. Our old sin nature is dead as believers but our Mind is still corrupted with the Old Self thoughts and emotions and thought processes, left over in the mind. This is what Paul refers to when he is writing about ‘The Flesh’. That is why Paul says we need to Renew OUR MIND by the Word of God and bring every THOUGHT into submission to the image of Christ (Romans 12).
This is a believer’s process of sanctification (John 17:17). Our Spirit is IN CHRIST. By belief on the only payment for our sins, Christ crucified died and risen (1 Cor. 15:1-4), a person is Redeemed, born again. Christ abides in us and we abide in Christ (John 15). Jesus explains that believers are one with the Father and Holy Spirit because Christ is one with the Father and we are in Christ. (John 17). Our body is still corrupt, not regenerated though.
∴ The Mind
The Mind seems to be the connector between The Body and The Spirit, in The Soul.
However, as believers, we have this war in our mind between thoughts of the new self, the new real us which God made us at our conversion (The Spirit) and the left over sin bent thoughts and processes of the OLD MAN, our Old Self ; The Flesh. Paul explains it in Romans 7. And we see that it is SIN...not the new us in The Spirit that does the acts of sin when we sin in The Body, as believers.
“For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.
Now then it is NO MORE I THAT DO IT, BUT SIN THAT DWELLETH IN ME.
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for TO WILL IS PRESENT WITH ME; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
Now if I do that I would not, it is NO MORE I THAT DO IT, BUT SIN THAT DWELLETH IN ME.” (Romans 7:15-20 KJV)
The battle for right living AFTER SALVATION, is in The Mind. Paul tells us that the battle is in our mind which is in our Soul which is connected to our Spirit, yet is NOT our Spirit.
Before Salvation, our old man (our Old Self), which was of a sin nature, controlled our Soul. Influenced so strongly our very thoughts in The Mind and so affected how we lived in The Body. The mind connected the body with our old sin nature self. So you see, Sin came naturally. It takes only one sin to be deemed UNRIGHTEOUS by God, because God is perfect in every way and we are not. We were lost. Separated from God by this thing called SIN.
The Romans Road to Salvation is something many use to bring people to Christ and so let us get this right! If you read Romans believing all instances of the word SIN have the same meaning; that is where confusion starts. Many times overlooked, the New Testament was written in Greek and translated into English. There are TWO Greek words for SIN in Romans and they are hamartanō (a verb) and hamartia (a noun). What is the ratio of use between these two words of either SIN as a noun or SIN as a verb? Hamartia (a noun) is used a stunning 46 out of the 48 times! Apostle Paul is talking about SIN as a noun. And what is he definition of a noun? Is it an act of doing something? No. A noun is a person, place or thing. And so when Paul uses the word SIN as a noun, he is referring to sin as a ‘place’, as ‘a position’ and as a ‘thing’. This is so important to understand!
In Romans, Paul used the word ‘sin’ the overwhelmingly majority of the time as a noun…not a verb. As a noun it is a THING and a place or position that a person is in. Before Salvation we were prisoners to this thing called sin and stuck in a position of sin because our very nature was a sinful nature at our core being. And our body, even now as believers, has been corrupted with this thing called sin. Paul says our corrupt body can not inherit the kingdom of God – not even after Salvation. It will die, and go back to dust.
“Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood CANNOT inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.” (1 Cor. 15:50 KJV)
Paul explains about The Body to tell us our redeemed Spirit goes to God at physical death (2 Corinthians 5:8), one day to be united with a new glorified resurrected body, with no disease of sin on resurrection day when finally our corrupt body will be recreated, just as our Spirit already has.
“” (1 Cor. 15:51-52 KJV)
Old Testament Scripture states, that the SOUL that sins will die right (Ezekiel 18)? That is certainly true BEFORE our conversion. But our born again Spirit replaced our old sin nature , the very core of our being IN our Soul. The Spirit Of God, our new self, will never die now. We are IN CHRIST. How long will Christ live? FOREVER! We are in Him, so how long will we live as believers now? FOREVER! Amen!
So although not the same, The Spirit and The Soul are definitely connected forever in a believer. No, they are not the same, but are most certainly connected right? We need the mind. The Mind is in our Soul and is what connects to our physical body.
The body is not The Soul as some are teaching. The mind is inside The Soul. So our mind and body are not together. We see in Genesis that God first created the body and then breathed into the body and we BECAME a living Soul.
“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” (Genesis 2:7 KJV)
The body alone is useless. It needs to be ALIVE. The alive part is The Soul. In The Soul is the connector between the body and our Self; The Mind. The mind is ultimately controlled by our core nature. What we call The Self, our Spirit. The real us deep inside. Before Salvation that Spirit was corrupted with a sin nature called the Spirit Of Man. After Salvation, a believer has the Spirit Of God. This friend is game changer for how we CAN live.
The wages of this THING called SIN is DEATH (Romans 6:23). When a person accepts Christ and trusts His once for all sacrifice (Hebrews 10:10) for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2) for righteousness, their OLD SELF DIED and rose with Christ. God changed the very core of our nature, in our soul.
An internal OPERATION by God, not ourselves (Colossians 2:12, Ephesians 2;8-9). The body is not yet regenerated and the mind needs to be renewed to our new core being by the guidance of the indwelling Holy Spirit, who is one with Our Spirit. This takes time while we are still residing in this corrupt body.
This renewing of the mind is repenting (a word defined in the Bible as ‘changing our mind’) about many corrupt beliefs and thoughts in our mind, by God’s truth in the Word of God. The mind connects the real us to the physical world in which we live, in the body. Our Soul and Spirit as believers are absolutely eternally connected.
! Right believing in The Mind results in right living outwardly through The Body.
Why Demons Cannot Possess The Truly Born Again Person
Some are teaching that a believer can be possessed by a demon. That is just not possible after the moment of Salvation!
A demon cannot occupy where God has redeemed us. The Spirit is Holy, the very righteousness of God and one with God. Can demons influence a believer to commit sins by exciting the corrupt thoughts left over by our Old Self death though? Oh yes! They TEMPT US! Where? Do they tempt is in our new SPIRIT? NO! They know you have left over OLD THOUGHTS from your Old Self that died with Christ…where? IN YOUR MIND! that is the battle ground for living right! Not our external forced good works. It is an INTERNAL change of your mind! And demons use the senses of The Body to excite the corrupt thoughts still in The Mind, where the true battle is fought (not for redemption but for right believing and right outward living).
Yet, as we renew our minds by the truth of God’s Word, the demons cannot influence believers so easily over time. It gets harder for them indeed! It is as Jesus said,
“And ye shall know THE TRUTH, and THE TRUTH shall MAKE YOU FREE.” (John 8:32 KJV).
We start to see God’s world view more and more through the guidance of the Holy Spirit teaching us ALL TRUTH of God’s Word. And as Paul says, since our Old Man died, why walk in it’s corrupt ways anymore? IT IS DEAD! We need to realize this fact! Now live in the newness of this new you! You are alive, IN CHRIST, forever! you are rigt now, regardless of your feelings (in the mind that needs renewing) the very RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD, IN CHRIST in The Spirit. That is the amazing GIFT of our Salvation folks! Paul says to “…Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” ( Galatians 5:16 KJV). I wondered for a long time what exactly ‘walking in the Spirit’ was and how to do it. Once I understood the relationship between the Body, Soul, Mind and Spirit a big light bulb went off! Of course! I need to believe that I am now as a believer, who the Bible says that I am. Not what I ‘feel’ I am. Not that I am a sinner because I struggle with sin. Not I have to still earn my salvation. I AM THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD, IN CHRIST RIGHT NOW. Since my old Spirit is DEAD… why am I still walking by it’s ways?
Know who you now are as believers; IN CHRIST. And walk by the NEW YOU thoughts by renewing your mind by the truth of the Gospel of God’s Grace Through Jesus Christ. The Gospel of our Salvation, that Apostle Paul was commissioned by Jesus to preach to the gentiles. The Holy Spirit is within you to guide you to ALL TRUTH. How amazing! And that is for you, and for me TODAY, living today under the NEW COVENANT and in the dispensation of the Grace of God.
I have created a diagram below so you can visually see who a believer has become in Christ.