The Spirit Life by Juma Sultan
There are three parts to a person – spirit, soul (mind, will, and emotions) and body. Juma thought it would be good to understand more about a person’s spirit, which is different from the soul. “Spirit” and “soul” are often used interchangeably, but they are very different from each other. As we looked at various scriptures, the difference became clearer.
John 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your rembrance all things that I said to you.
John 16:13 However, when he, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.
1 Thessalonians 5:19 Do not quench the Spirit.
1 Thessalonians 5:23 So may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Looking at these verses we see the Holy Spirit is part of the Godhead, and it is the Holy Spirit that teaches us and helps us to remember the teachings of Jesus. He is a Spirit of Truth, and will guide us to truth if we listen to Him. And we know that the truth sets us free. The Holy Spirit speaks what God tells Him to speak. We can quench the Spirit by not listening to the Spirit. And 1 Thessalonians 5:23 shows us there are three parts to a person – spirit, soul and body.
Juma pointed out that, in our lives, we need to let spirit become dominant. The spirit needs liberating so it can become dominant again. Notice the order of the words in 1 Thessalonians – (1) Spirit, 2 (soul), 3 (body). In our lives we usually talk about body, soul, and spirit – reversing the order. We let our fleshly desires (body) and our soul (mind, will and emotions) dominate over the Spirit of Truth. We want to do what “feels” good or seems good in our own understanding. That is not God’s order of things. We are to be led by the Spirit, not led by our soul (mind, will, emotions) or our flesh (the body).
When Adam was created the Spirit was dominant.
Genesis 6:3 And the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.”
God breathed His Spirit into Adam. Had he not breathed the Spirit into Adam, Adam would have been a dead lump of clay. God gave Adam and Eve instructions they chose to disobey, and their disobedience let the flesh and soul gain dominance over the Spirit.
Ideally our Soul is the vessel through which the Spirit acts. The body is a servant to the Soul and the Spirit. When Adam fell, the flesh gained dominance over the Spirit. As Christians, with the redemptive power of Jesus, we are called to reverse this order, and let our Spirit dominate. The Spirit should direct the Soul (mind, will, emotions) and the Soul should direct the body (the flesh). Then the flesh is dominated by the Spirit.
Ezekiel 36:26-27 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.
This is an example of the unregenerated man (heart of stone), and God begins His work and puts His Spirit into man.
John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Nicodemus came to Jesus seeking explanations for his intellect (mind) but what he really needed was the redemptive power of Jesus who died for our sins, and His Holy Spirit within us.
1 Peter 3:18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit.
Galatians 5:24-25 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
The redemptive power of Jesus produces change in us. His Spirit is given to us freely and that saves us. There is a difference in behavior when the Spirit leads our soul and body.
The word in Greek for “Spirit” is “pneuma” and it means breath, breathe, Spirit and Wind. The Eskimos have many different words for “snow” whereas we only have one word. The same is true regarding “soul” and “Spirit.” There is a deficiency in the English language. We have the nouns “spirit” and “soul” and we often treat them as synonyms, because we have no adjective from the word “soul”, so often we get the two words mixed up and cloud the meaning of the words. Our English translation of the Greek Word that is “soul” only has the definition, “pertaining to soul”. If we were to pick out an adjective for Soul, it would be “soulish” but “soulish” isn’t a word in the dictionary.
1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
We need to discern if what we have received is of the Spirit or of the flesh. And the Spirit of God will help us to discern the difference between Spirit and soul.
James 3:15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic.
Wisdom from the flesh appeals to the senses. Fleshly wisdom is not of God. Often what we learn from the spirit does not “make sense” to our senses, and seems foolish. If we rely on our intellect we leave ourselves open for deception. Satan wants us to plan and think in the mental realm, and not to pay attention to the Spirit. We want comfort and security, but the Holy Spirit can push us out of our comfort zones.
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
This verse shows the three parts of us – soul, spirit, and body.
We can be true and trusting, but unless we are operating through the Holy Spirit of God we can be deceived. We need to discern.
In our fleshly natures we list the order as “body, soul, Spirit.” But from God’s perspective the order in our lives should be “Spirit, soul, body.” If the Body controls the Spirit we will be acting in the flesh. We can only really align with God’s word when our Spirit is in line with His Word and our spirit controls the soul (mind, will, and emotions) and the body.
1 Corinthians 2:10 But God has revealed them (wisdom of God) to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.
If we call on the Holy Spirit to give us revelation we can receive it from God. Only the Spirit of God enables us to gather truth and set forth on life. The Holy Spirit is able to teach the believer and to help Him discern the truth of God. In our flesh we analyze things too much, and we can miss the mark in our own understanding. Sometimes we have to go forward in faith, “God said it, and it is true.” Even if our flesh does not think what God said “makes sense.”
We need to pray and ask for understanding. The Holy Spirit will guide us as we pray about it. We need God’s guidance in all we do.
The scholar understands words, the letter of the words, the law of the words, the intellect. But to understand the “rhema” word, we need the help of the Holy Spirit. Spiritual truths are not understood by all men.
1 Corinthians 2:10-14 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
The Natural man cannot understand the things of the Spirit, it takes the Holy Spirit to bring understanding to man of the things of the Spirit.
1 Corinthians 3:1 And I, brethren could not speak to you as spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ.
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
1 Thessalonians 5:23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
At some point each day we need to touch base with the Holy Spirit to guide us with what we do. To begin our day being in the Spirit, and throughout the day to call on the Spirit to give you strength to go forward. To keep asking the Holy Spirit to aid us. Only in the Spirit can we meet God. We can’t meet God intellectually. God is love, so we love.
A question was brought up about forgiveness, and we were told that forgiving does not mean that we forget what happened. God forgets. Juma said that he thinks of God having a “delete” button for he does not remember our sins as far as the East is from the West. Because God forgets, we need to pray to have Him help us forget as well.
1 Corinthians 3:16-17 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.
In order to live sanctified lives, so that our temples are holy, we need to ask the help of the Holy Spirit who will direct us in where we need to focus to keep our temples holy.
The main manifestation of God in our lives is love, for it is by our love that others will know we are His. We make choices on a daily basis, and we really want to make choices that do not grieve or quench the Holy Spirit. We want to be led by the Holy Spirit so that we are in line with God’s word and God’s best for us.
Hope this teaching blessed you, it sure was a good reminder to me regarding the Holy Spirit.
Have a blessed Friday!
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