Part 2— Soul: Mind, Emotion and Will
After the LORD surveyed the earth which was in darkness and void; the seven days of creation came into play and the existence of humanity began with one very specific rule, and that was, not to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. It all started in the beginning when God formed the first man in His image and likeness. "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul.” Genesis 2:7, while in NASB it was recorded like this:"Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being."
We can tell that human being is the same as a human soul and the dust of the earth is to a living being or soul. It must come from the dead soul then becomes a living soul or living being. In the Book of Genesis—So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him, male and female. He created them— Genesis 1:27. “And in the day they were created, He called them "man." Mark 13:19. The word man here is not a gender specific but a gender neutral and some termed it Agender. Male and female He created them, and He blessed them. And in the day they were created, He called them "man." Genesis 5:2.Two example that we can reference the genderless from the Bible.
According to Genesis 2:7 God did not make a body and put a soul into it but used a dust of the earth and formed it then called it man after He breath the gift of life. The man became a living soul as Brevard Childs writes, in biblical perspective that a person “does not have a soul, but is a soul.”
If God’s Will and Purpose for humanity is to multiply and replenish the earth and subdue it, how will it happen without the interaction with opposite sex? Sylvester Stallone and Sandra Bullock movie Demolition Man brings back my memories of the film about the cryogenically frozen cop for centuries and the future cop in a crimeless generation met. This generation can have babies without any physical contact just by sitting face to face and some wiring they can keep the population growing. Just thinking the way it works, just imagine life without sex can save humanity! Will that work for our salvation. Let us go back time in the Garden of Eden where life began. Adam was tempted by Eve after she was deceived by the adversary, the father of lies. We need to unveil the truth that this event of lies and deception in the garden is not about the literal fruit but the physical fruit that brought the knowledge of the good and evil.
We can be judged by others in bringing the make believe movies in this teachings but there is a possibility that it could happen maybe not in our generation but in the future. There are some animals that are fully asexual and do not need a male or a mate to give birth. They are created to give us something to think and seek for the truth behind that story. Why God allowed Adam to sin that made the beginning of the sinful nature of mankind and the wages of sin is death and souls that sinned died. God gave us free will, free to think, to decide and to act and react but all these things happened not because God planned it but by the misused of the freedom of will could be the cause. We can make arguments that sex is essential for child bearing. Is that what the creation’s original plan? Is it a creation with genderless body? There are God’s creations that they can multiply without physical contacts from the opposite sex like; sea horses; they do not need a female to produce an off-spring. Female sharks can reproduce without having sex and there are many more. It is called Asexual. Asexual reproduction means reproductions without sex involve.
Parthenogenesis is a process when wild female animals are able to reproduce without a mate.
If God kept Eve inside Adam’s body, then the plan could go for generations before man could have committed sins against Him. God’s plan and purpose is written in His heart. Do we know exactly what it is? Or we will never know it. Can mankind grow if Adam avoided the temptation? If sin did not come to the world, do we keep our perfection? Will human nature be a divine nature? Many questions we can come up to but it will be a human thinking and reasoning. It is the glory of God to conceal a thing and it is up to you as king of your kingdom, your own domain to search out a matter. See how great God the Father is. He wrote these things to exercise our free will to ask, seek and knock and He will never interfere. The truth will set us free, what a great God we have.
A living soul refers also as a living being which has three major divisions; mind, emotion, and will. As Ray Stedman wrote it this way, “the cry of the soul is mind which can be found in the book of Psalms along with Proverbs which is the emotion and Ecclesiastes as the cry of the will. All three expressing the cry of man's soul. The primal need of the human spirit is faith, because man was made to believe in God, but the cry of the human soul is for hope.” Psalms reaches the mind of person and give the impression that humans are full of bitterness, struggles and discontentment and death ends the existence of man without hope of afterlife. We have to bear in mind that the psalmists deeply think the way they feel what people feel and not essentially the real truth. When feelings arise, it should not be mistaken to be a discernment of the truth. We can feel that the enemies we are trying to avoid are the people around but later we realized that they are not but ourselves. Our feelings can be misleading. We cry for something and then find out that it is not what we should be seeking but –power to defend against pressure of the oppressor, the true enemies in this troubled world. Living the life of faith gives us the key towards God for help.
Our souls are designed to worship God and God used the Psalmists to touch our emotions through hymns to get our emotions. It then makes the difference between the world and word of God. They are an emotion that teaches us how to be honest before God. To worship with Honest Heart is lifting God’s glory to the highest. It is His delight to see His children making the effort to make connection with Him. It is a joyful sound singing Psalm praising and glorifying Him. We have to remember that our refuge in times of trouble is God alone. We can lean on Him and He will never leave us nor forsake us, then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. (Psalm 91).
The Soul makes us think a godly thought. Our emotions feel like a blessing and our Will makes our actions a reaction well mannered, disciplined and in line of good works. Our emotions must always be felt in the very presence of God since our emotions are in conjunction with our relationship with God. If there is a problem in our life, the Holy Spirit within knows it but we have to ask and must not hide it because He knows. If we feel mad, say it. If we are upset about something, express it. If we are resentful, bring it out. To be upset with Him is foolishness. We should not have a one way relationship with God that we only come when we need a refuge but must also show or express our gladness and joyful act. This is what worship with our soul is all about. Honesty and truthfulness to God who alone can reform our body and renew our heart and with full submission to His Holiness He will send troubles and problems to go away. He will change our behavior and attitude to live a worry free life and our moods will be consistently loving and caring and no more resentful attitude. We will be totally a change person full of His grace.
"Does God have a soul?"
We believe as it is that God created us in His image and likeness and we also believe that we are souls with borrowed vessels. Throughout the Bible people are referred to as having a soul (Psalm 62:5; 104:1; Luke 1:46). Since we are created in God’s image and likeness, we therefore can say that God has a soul. The Scripture says that God has a soul-Leviticus 26:11; and God grieves- Genesis 6:6; Psalm 78:40; Judges 10:16. God describes Himself as having a soul, as written in Jeremiah 5:29, Jeremiah 9:9, and Amos 6:8. In Jeremiah 32:41 it says, “I will rejoice over them to do them good and will faithfully plant them in this land with all my heart and with all my soul.” (NASB); “Shall I not punish for these things? Says the LORD: shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this—King James 2000 Bible?”
Scripture refers God as having a hand or a face the same qualities as of a human. In Noah’s time God regretted making human beings on the earth, and His heart was grieved, Genesis 6:5-6. Though the Scripture refers God with human’s behavior and character we should not interpret those passages so quickly when applying human qualities to God. Consulting to the Holy Spirit through Prayer and meditation day and night may reveal to us the key to a revelation that He alone can give to those He has chosen. It is very important to analyze if the given Scripture is a description of a figure of speech or it is a prescription that we must believe and follow what He wants us to do and continue seeking His truth, He will set us totally free from any doubts. However, we must first believe or else seeking Him could be meaningless, and the best way to do it is to know ourselves first in regards to our spiritual maturity.
The soul of man can either serve God and fully submit to Him or give in to sin and therefore allow wickedness control our daily lives. The Bible is very clear when Jesus said that God is Spirit and we worship Him in spirit and in truth. Notice the difference regarding spirit. God is a Spirit and ours is a spirit with small “s”. This has something to do when Adam fell into sin, that his perfection was diminished and it had passed through generations. We always hear that “we are not perfect not to make mistakes.” Can we avoid it? Of course we can, not all sins cannot be avoided. We still have the freedom of will to reject deceit and temptations.
Although our souls are dead to sin, we can still have a living spirit. We can still have time to be transformed from our wickedness to righteous deeds. If Jesus Christ is in us the work of forgiveness is at hand and all we need is just ask. Remember that the spirit is the highest component of human part and work directly in worship and in prayers to God—John 4:24; Paul to the Philippians’ “For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.”—Philippians 3:3. Paul described the Trinity in this passage “We- is the soul; God- is the Spirit and flesh as we already know is the body.
Regardless of what we learned outside of true spiritual studies, for example; psychology, philosophy, prose and poetry and other sciences; the knowledge acquired from these studies, including knowledge of religion, and apart from what our souls search and convictions, we still have to ask so many questions such as, “What does our Bible say?” What does God’s Word say about our body, soul and our spirit? Why there are so many doctrinal views that differ from one another? Why there are so many versions of the Bible and yet we believe in one true God? Is it for financial gain? Is that to draw more people in their congregation if they have their own version? What about the most crucial factors, our spiritual profit?
Our souls must be on guard with what is going on to traditional churches, their teachings, the way they practice what they preach and the most important is to watch our own spiritual walk, our own progress and awareness not to fall for glib talkers. Talkers that deliver good inspirational talk reaching our mind and we mistakenly feel that it is a spiritual blessing that make us shout out loud through our mouth but not from our heart, then we are just making a noise; when we jump up high feeling happy but without the of the joy of the spirit, it is just an exercise of the body; and if we interact with wrongful reactions, then it is just an excitement brought by the soul.
Soul which is represented by our mind, feelings and emotions can easily be mistaken to as spiritual blessing. If we are not aware of the difference between a spiritual blessing and entertainment then, we can be misled by our body. Both may lead to the same reaction but we can discern the difference through true worship that brings spiritual blessings from the Spirit of God and therefore makes our soul give in and then the spiritual blessings can be felt with gladness. There are times that this happens when the speaker’s motive to celebrate the Word is to please himself and not God. A true servant of God can be discerned and the manifestation of a normative blessing cannot be manipulated by fleshly desire. Our soul is separated and distinct from other created beings like the souls of the specific animals and plants. We have a soul that gives in to the Spirit of God.
A Human Soul is a part of a person but not complete if the spirit is not present inside the body that we call flesh. The spirit makes a person a person and we call it the essence of a person. Soul is the part of us that makes us who we are. Our behavior, attitude and maturity are all properties of the soul managed by the Holy Spirit. Any misdeed in our walk can be charged to us. We walk by faith and not by sight, and any lies, deception and temptation are all the responsibility of the soul. Prophet Ezekiel was very clear that the soul that sinned dies. Do not let our souls be dictated by the desire of the lust. The destination of our souls at the end of our journey here on earth is either heaven or hell. Complete happiness with God in the new earth or condemnation in the lake of fire.