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Introduction to Personal Bible Study - Videos (2007)

4 short introductory video studies First recorded in 2007, posted to GodTube in 2010  These short videos were made nearly 14 years ago. ...

Friday, September 22, 2023

What is a Soul?

 It's important to revisit some of these basic doctrines. If one does not rightly divide these foundational concepts and truths, much confusion will ensue and terrible error can creep in unaware. One of the most important foundational pillars is the idea of the soul. 

Of course, the soul is an important biblical truth. But it must be understood through the witness of scripture and not through the lens of commonly held beliefs or mythologies. 

Soul is who you are, not what you have. You are not a triune being (and neither is the Lord Jesus).

"And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath [Hebrew: nᵉshâmâh, English: spirit] of life; and man (Adam) became a living soul" 
-Gen 2:7

Adam was made from dust (as we are, indirectly in Adam, and to which we return in death bc of the curse of Adam on all of us "in Adam all die"). When Adam was made, he was a soul, but not a "living soul." When "spirit" was put in him, he BECAME a LIVING soul.

When the Lord was on the tree, he breathed his last and gave up the spirit (the breath of life) and died.

And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit.’ ” Having said this, He breathed His last. 
-Luke 23:46

We are told the Lord's "soul" was in "hades" (Acts 2:31) That is, who he was was in a state of death known to God. He told us "the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth" (Matt 12:40). The Lord was not simultaneously in heaven where he gave up the Spirit, and in a place called Hades where his soul was, and also in the heart of the earth. His body was in the tomb (the earth) and who he is was in a state of death (hades).

The tomb and Hades are conquered by resurrection. In resurrection the spirit (breath of life) returns to the body. That is our hope. Paul mentions Hades one time, and it is context of believers and resurrection (rescue from the state of death).

So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality [in resurrection], then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O Death, where is your sting?
O Hades [grave, state of the dead], where is your victory?” - 
1 Cor 15:54-55

We await resurrection from the state of death. Our immortal and incorruptible life is hidden in Christ to be revealed in resurrection. We "groan" not to be naked, but to be clothed in resurrection (2 Cor 5:1-102 Cor 4:7-14)

For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 
-Col 3:3

You ARE a soul. Each person IS a soul. Scripture proclaims, a soul can die. The one who sins is the soul who sins. It is not an entity, it is the person.

  • The soul who sins shall die. (Ezek 18:4)
  • The person who sins is the one who will die. [HCSB]

The gospel saves souls/people from death and destruction (not bodiless torture by God).

let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death [thánatos, same word Paul uses in 1 Cor 15:55] and cover a multitude of sins. 
-James 5:20

We are all living "souls." We die because we have sinned. We are rescued from death and Hades in resurrection. We then become (are made) immortal souls.

Next time we'll look at "Abraham's Bosom" from the story of The Rich Man and Lazarus in Luke 16.