Body, Soul and Spirit


Introduction: 1 Thes. 5:23 (Paul reveals that man is made of three basic parts; the body, the soul and the spirit. By understanding these better, we can better understand what happens when we die, which gives us hope for a better life. It also helps us realize the error of the "neo-Sadducees" who do not believe in the immortal soul or the resurrection of the body.)

1. What Materialists Teach: Acts 23:8 (The Sadducees denied the existence of the spirit and the resurrection of the body. Many religions today adopt similar views that deny the immortality of the soul and spirit and deny a bodily resurrection. This view or similar views are taught by Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, Worldwide Church Of God. These are sometimes called materialists. They sometimes try to define soul and spirit and force that definition into every passage. For example some say soul = body + spirit. This definition will not work when plugged into 1 Thes. 5:23.)

2. Defining The Terms: In the New Testament soul = psuche, spirit = pneuma. In the old Testament soul = nephesh, spirit = ruwach. The following passages demonstrate the difficulty in giving a consistent definition to these terms. Col. 3:23 (Heartily = psuche)

    Deut. 12:20 (Nephesh eats, hungers)

    Jn. 3:8 (Wind = pneuma)

    Gen. 3:8 (Cool = ruwach)

3. What You Are Made Of: We have already seen that each person has a spirit and a soul and a body.

    2 Cor. 4:16 (Here Paul divides man into two parts, inward and outward man. The soul and the spirit jointly constituting the inward man.)

    Heb. 4:12 (Here we learn there is a difference between soul and spirit.)

4. The Origination:

    Gen. 2:7 (The body came from the dust.)

    Zech. 12:1, Dan. 7:15 (The inward man, the spirit comes from God.)

5. The Destination:

    Gen. 3:19 (The body returns to its origin.)

    Eccl. 3:21 (The spirit returns to its origin.)

    Eccl. 12:7 (Both the outward man and the inward man return to their respective origins.)

6. The Separation:

    Jas. 2:26 (When the spirit leaves the body, the body dies.) Mt. 10:28 (When death happens the soul does not die.)

    Gen. 35:18 (This is a good demonstration of the inner man leaving the body at death.)

7. What Happens Next: Lk. 16:19-31 (This story illustrates what happens after death.)

8. The Resurrection:

Ezek. 37:1-8 (Though this is a spiritual resurrection, it shows that in the resurrection the body, the decayed body is reconstructed by the Lord.) Rom. 8:11 (It is the mortal body that is resurrected.) 1 Kings 17:21-22 (The mechanics of the resurrection are accomplished by reuniting the inward man with the outward man.) Jn. 5:28-29 (The resurrection will be followed by the judgment.)