Understanding the Distinction Between the Soul and the Spirit

Published on 20 June 2023 at 18:44

So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. Matthew 27:50


Then Jesus called out in a loud voice, "Father, into Your hands I commit My Spirit." And when He had said this, He breathed His last. Luke 23:46


What happened when He gave up the Spirit?


It was returned to God!

Title: Understanding the Distinction Between the Soul and the Spirit


There is often confusion regarding the concepts of the soul and the spirit within the realm of human existence. By seeking clarity through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we can unravel this confusion and gain a deeper understanding of these distinct aspects of our being. In this blog post, we will explore the three parts of man, the roles of the soul and the spirit, and how they interact with our body, mind, and will.

The Three Parts of Man:

To comprehend the soul and the spirit, it is crucial to acknowledge the three parts of man. The body represents the physical vessel, housing our senses and enabling us to interact with the world. The soul, on the other hand, is not something we possess but rather what we become. Genesis 2:7 explains that when God breathed life into man, he became a living soul. Think of the body as the bulb, the breath of God as the electricity, and the resulting light as the soul.

Understanding the Soul:

The soul encompasses our emotions, thoughts, and will. It serves as the battleground between the desires of the body and the heavenly desires of the spirit. When our senses perceive something, our mind processes the information, our emotions respond, and our will determines our course of action. It is vital to be aware of this sequence, as it influences our choices and behaviors.

The Role of the Spirit:

Contrary to common misconceptions, the spirit is not synonymous with the soul. The spirit is the part of us that enables communication with God, who is Spirit. When we repent and receive the Holy Spirit, it becomes the source of our connection with God and acts as our advocate. The spirit allows us to have fellowship with God, provides intuition, and convicts us through our conscience.

The Conflict Within:

While the body and the soul often align, the spirit and the body are in constant conflict. They share equal parts of the heart but repel each other like opposing magnets. This conflict is exemplified in the statement, "No one can serve two masters" (Matthew 6:24). The spirit, being from God, seeks to please Him, while the body and its desires strive to satisfy earthly cravings.

Surrendering the Will:

To resolve the conflict between the body, soul, and spirit, it is essential to surrender our will to the Lord's will. When we willingly submit our will to God, the battle between the body and the soul subsides, and the spirit gains ascendancy. Surrendering our will allows God to use us according to His divine purpose, aligning us with His plan and bringing peace within.

The Eternal Aspect:

When we die, it is not our soul that goes to heaven, as man became a soul rather than having one. Instead, our spirit returns to God. Our body is buried, and our soul ceases to exist as a separate entity. Ecclesiastes 9:5-6 reminds us that the dead know nothing and have no participation in earthly matters. However, our spirit, which imparts life, has the potential for eternal existence if we receive the Spirit of the Lord.


Distinguishing between the soul and the spirit is vital for understanding our nature as human beings. By acknowledging the three parts of man, recognizing the role of the soul as our becoming and the spirit as our connection with God, and surrendering our will to the Lord, we can experience spiritual growth and alignment with God's plan. As we abide in Christ, allowing Him to abide in us, we find fulfillment and eternal life through the workings of the Holy Spirit within us.

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