The Difference Between Soul and Spirit
The soul-spirit differentiation of Hebrews 4:12 is a key Scripture for living in the abiding rest the writer speaks of as our continued experience in Hebrews 4:9-11. That rest, of course, means not indolence, but rest from the strain of the sense of incapacity in our daily activities to be replaced by the consciousness of capacity (“we’ve got what, it takes”), which results in far fuller, not lesser, activities in God’s sufficiency. This is obviously so when we know that we are He as us, in place of the lie of independent self.
We may often be disturbed in our new freedom of living unless, as the Scripture tells us, we have seen clearly this difference between soul and spirit. Paul likens it to the difference in our bodies between joints and marrow. Marrow is the life of the bones. Marrow is likened to our inner spirit union where our selves are joined to His Self, and from which our new life flows. Joints are the means by which the marrow-life operates in outer form. They give flexibility. So our spirit joined to His Spirit, where our knowing who we are is the permanent flow, expresses itself by our outer forms of soul. The soul, like the joints, gives outer, emotional expression to our spirit-love, and mental reasonings and explanations give expression to our inner spirit knowing.
Thus, soul emotions and reasonings are of vital value to our Christ-manifestation, but can equally be penetrated and assaulted by Satan on either feeling or thought levels. A great many of our unsolved problems find their answers as we continually differentiate between soul reactions and spirit fixed condition, and replace the soul disturbances by recognition of our true being as He. Spirit is like the sea–total and beyond disturbance. Soul is like the restless waves, but we are like the sea. So also is the difference in this verse between “thoughts” (variable soul level, good or bad) and “intents” (fixed spirit-life purpose).
This then covers the “young man” second level of true being as detailed for us by John in his 1 John 2:13-14 statement of the three levels. The young man now has “the Word of God abiding in him,” Christ in us/as us, and therefore he is “strong” in God as his strength in a permanent union. He must meet, confront and overcome all the negatives of “the wicked one’ in his daily living. The “overcoming” is the “coming” of Satan in all pulls back to independent self, and the “over” of the “overcoming’’ is in who we really are, recognizing Christ as us. As we do this, the light of that recognition swallows up the darkness of the assaults–all that we have been looking into in relation to temptation and liberation. Here then is the complete young man, now graduated with his total personhood of spirit, soul and body, and now consciously and fixedly the spontaneous expresser of Him whom he had been predestined to manifest in his human form. “Ye are the light of the world.” As “young men” we have found our true selves!
- God All in All
- Jesus, the Second Man
- We Humans Have No Nature
- Pairs of Opposites: The Operating Law of the Universe
- The Fallacy of Having Two Natures
- No Such Thing as an Independent Self
- At Last Operating as a Truly Liberated Self
- The Way Is the Obedience, Not of Words, but of Faith
- Then Daily Living
- Trials Are Adventures, Temptations Are Opportunities
- When Temptation Becomes Sin
- The Difference Between Soul and Spirit
- The Finality! We are Royal Priests
- Death in Us, Life in Others
- God Meaning Evil for Good
- Speaking the Word of Faith
- The Lamb on the Throne
- The Spirit’s Drive in Us
- The Gaining of Specific Intercessory Objectives
- Children, Young Men and Fathers
- A Missionary Mother’s Intercession
- To Sum Up