Body Soul and Spirit
As we get into the depth of this important subject, we will see the scriptures behind each of the following truths, but out of the gate let us just briefly present a simple overview of the intricate working of the body, soul and spirit within us. As we are told in scripture that it is only the word of GOD that can divide between soul and spirit (HEBREWS 4:12), let us be assured that we cannot understand how they each function without the revelation of GOD's word.
This entire subject of Body Soul and Spirit is divided up into two separate categories, two distinct realms. There is the natural realm and then there is the spiritual realm. In the natural realm there is the natural body and the natural spirit. Likewise, in the spiritual realm there is the spiritual body and the spiritual spirit, if you will. There is the natural world and there is the spiritual world. On one side is the natural man and on the other side is the spiritual man. Let us first consider the natural realm.
At the moment that each individual is born into this world, he is comprised of body, soul and breath (spirit). He is what the Bible calls a natural-man. Because the natural-man is not born-again of GOD's holy spirit, he knows only the things of the natural world. The spiritual world is totally unknown to him. His wisdom is not from above but is earthly and sensual. His lifestyle is often one of bitter envying and strife. This is the old-man of scripture.
The physical body gives the natural-man the ability to know the world around him via his five senses. His soul is that part of him which "moves" him to satisfy the needs and desires of that physical body. Whether the body is hot, horny or hungry it is the soul that moves it to satisfy those pleasures. The body says I have a need or desire and the soul decides whether or not to do something about that request. The body can't act on its own, it requires the soul to move it.
Though the natural-man does not have GOD's holy spirit, he still has a spirit, "man's spirit". To help us differentiate between the natural-man's spirit and GOD's holy spirit, we will occasionally refer to the natural-man's spirit as the natural spirit. This spirit in the natural-man is a two sided coin, it is two-fold. The word spirit simply means "air in motion" and/or "invisible power". The "air in motion" in man is his breath. The "invisible power" is also that breath but beyond that it consists of the inner workings of his mind, his thoughts, his knowing and his memory.
Similar to the natural body, the natural spirit talks and the soul listens. First, the natural body tells the soul that it wants to devour that fresh hot slice of pizza. However, the natural spirit says, 'You know what happened last time, you burned your mouth'. So the soul takes all this information and moves the body in accordance. Another example might be, the natural body says to its soul, 'That woman is attractive, I want her'. The natural spirit then says, 'Remember what happened last time?' Then the soul decides which way to go.
The holy spirit in the believer operates in a similar fashion as the natural spirit. It also speaks and then the soul considers which action to take or not to take.
The natural-man becomes a spiritual-man only when he is born again of GOD's holy spirit. This new creation now has wisdom from above, which is pure, peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy (JAMES 3:15). This is the new-man of scripture.
After the natural-man becomes born again of holy spirit, his soul then has this third source of information to consider. It not only has the natural body and the natural spirit at work within it, but it also has the spirit of GOD. This is all fine and dandy, except the flesh and spirit of man do not normally get along with the spirit of GOD. Worse than that, they are at odds with each other, sometimes even hostile. This is because the natural-man has been raised up in an un-holy world. Since his first breath, this world has wrought its own way upon the soul of the natural-man by way of the natural body and spirit.
Man's body and spirit are not bad in themselves, but only bad because of what they have been exposed to. It is not really the natural body and natural spirit that are at odds with GOD but it is the world. The natural-man has been so often overwhelmed by the influences of an un-holy world, that it can't help but be at enmity with the ways of GOD. Though the body and natural spirit have been thoroughly contaminated by the world, the holy spirit remains pure and pristine.
When this natural man becomes born again of GOD's holy spirit, his flesh then has to contend with the holy spirit for influence upon his soul. Each tries to get the soul to go their way because it is the soul that makes things happen. While the natural-man is led by the desires of the flesh, the spiritual-man has the additional pulling at his heart of the desires of the spirit of GOD. The natural-man has only to chase after his physical desires while the spiritual-man is continually confronted with the choice to either go GOD's way or his old way. As such, there is sometimes a turmoil within the believer which the unbeliever knows little of.
Even so, the flesh and the spirit of man remain at odds with the holy spirit. They are like oil and water, like cats and dogs, east and west. This is not to say that the flesh and spirit of man are evil and never contribute anything good to our lives. What is meant, is that the flesh and spirit of man have one set of aspirations while the holy spirit has another. The flesh and spirit of man want us to set our affections, our hopes and dreams upon their allurements while the holy spirit seeks to lift our eyes up heavenward and seek after the things of GOD.
MATTHEW 6:19-21 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. [see also the rest of chapter six]
If the important things of our life are centered in our physical attributes or possessions, then that is where our heart will be. But we as Christians are called to set our affection on things above, above all that is worldly. Of course we still need the physical things, the earthly treasures, so to speak. We are still bound in this physical body which requires to be fed and clothed and housed. But how much of our time do we devote to pleasing the physical body and how much time do we devote to our higher calling? That is the fine line we must walk, that is the choice with which we are continually confronted with.
ROMANS 8:4-7 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
To walk after the flesh is to have our flesh and soul in harmony, which is to be carnally minded. To walk after the spirit is to have the holy spirit and our soul in harmony, which is to be spiritually minded. The flesh and the spirit each talk, the soul walks. They each seek to lead but we must decide for ourselves which one we follow after. If our walk shadows our flesh then we will be at enmity with GOD but if our walk shadows the holy spirit, then we will be at one with GOD, indeed we will be pleasing to GOD.
GALATIANS 5:16-17 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
The real us is the soul. The soul walks while the flesh and the spirit talks. We gather in all sorts of information from many different sources, (the five senses, the natural spirit and the holy spirit) but it is the soul that processes it and then makes decisions on which path to pursue, which actions to take. Scripture is forever encouraging us to choose its righteous path and continue drawing nearer to GOD while the natural man is continually alluring us to choose his old way, his course which in the end leads us away from righteousness. Here are a handful of verses which demonstrate how the natural man can adversely affect our soul.
ESV ACTS 14:2 But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds [souls] against the brothers.
ACTS 15:24 Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment:
1 PETER 2:11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.
2 PETER 2:8 For that righteous man [Lot] dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds.
2 PETER 2:14 Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling [catching with a trap] unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices....
Thus we have ample warning from scripture of the destructing effect the natural man can have upon our soul. It is noteworthy that other people are often instrumental in causing our soul grief. But fortunately there is another force at work within us. Holy spirit can also affect our soul, only righteously. Here are a handful of verses that illustrate that point.
PSALM 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
HEBREWS 10:39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.
JAMES 1:21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
JAMES 5:20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
1 PETER 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
So far, our reading has given us a general overview of how the body, soul and spirit function together within us. Now let us look at each part a little closer to get a more thorough understanding of their inter-workings.
The body is of course our flesh and bones. More than that though, it is the lightening rod so to speak of our five senses. It allows us to perceive the physical world via sight, smell, touch, taste and sound. But even beyond that the body is a need machine. It is constantly crying to have its needs fulfilled. It wants to be warmed or cooled, fed and watered, energized or left alone to rest. As such it is wholly dependant upon the soul to satisfy its endless needs.
As we mentioned above, the body and spirit of man are not bad or evil in themselves (1 CORINTHIANS 6:20; 7:34). We would find it impossible to learn scripture and come to know GOD without our five senses. But the natural man has endeavored to mold and shape our senses into thinking and acting in an unholy way.
The natural body and natural spirit are like wild horses within us, which must be tamed, or at least bridled, if the holy spirit is to have its way.
PROVERBS 25:28 He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.
ROMANS 6:12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
1 CORINTHIANS 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
The natural man has little initiative, ambition or ability to over-rule his carnal impulses; but after he is born again of holy spirit, then he has the wherewithal to confront and conquer all those fleshly desires.
The soul of man is that part of him which moves him to satisfy the needs and wants of the body. But that is not all, for the soul also accomplishes the desires of the spirit, both man's spirit and if he is a Christian, the holy spirit.
In the Hebrew Bible the word "soul" is usually translated from the word nephesh. In the Greek New Testament "soul" is translated from the word psuche. Even though our particular version might not always translate these Hebrew and Greek words as soul, nevertheless that is what the words mean. An important insight into the function of the soul is given to us in its first usage in the Bible.
GENESIS 1:21 And God created great whales, and every living creature [nephesh, soul] that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
The first usage of a word in the Bible is often very descriptive in defining its meaning. This first occurrence of soul causes us to stop and think a moment. Let us consider and ponder what GOD is trying to teach us. We notice that this particular version reads that "GOD created every living creature" (nephesh, soul). The reason that the Translators wrote creature here instead of soul was simply because they didn't believe that animals had a soul. Yet the verse clearly intimates that animals do have a soul.
This is a problem for many people because they erroneously believe that the soul is eternal. If the soul is eternal, animals having a soul must also be eternal, if indeed the soul is eternal. Of course that would suggest that animals go to heaven, which however ridiculous it is, some actually believe. If the soul is eternal and animals have a soul, then I don't know how you can get around the idea that animals go to heaven.
Let's return to the scriptures. GOD created every living soul, but then our verse adds the important phrase, "that moveth". Why give us this added piece of information? Why tell us that every living soul moves? We already know that. But GOD's words are not wasted and therefore this phrase is inserted for an important reason. Scripture is defining for us what it is to be a living soul. A soul which is living moves, whether man or beast. That fact may not seem of much import until we consider it a little fuller. Why do animals move? It is simply to acquire something that they desire. Whether it's food, or drink, or love they move from here to there to get it. That is the essence of what a souls is, or does. We see this fact often repeated in scripture.
PROVERBS 13:4 The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.
PROVERBS 16:26 He [the soul, nephesh] that laboureth laboureth for himself; for his mouth [appetite] craveth it of him [urges him on].
PROVERBS 27:7 The full soul loatheth an honeycomb; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.
SONG OF SOLOMON 1:7 Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?
LUKE 12:19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.
The soul is that part of man that moves him to accomplish his desires. This unlocks for us the key to understanding just how the soul inter-works with the body and spirit. The body and spirit feed the soul with information but it is the soul that then moves the body to satisfy those desires.
Many have wrongly assumed the soul to be the spirit. They have supposed that the soul is some mystical part of man that ascends into heaven when he dies. They call it the "eternal soul" or such. But if we are to define our terms with scripture we will learn that never, not even once do we find the words soul and eternal paired together in the Bible. Soul is not found with eternal, nor everlasting, nor ever, nor eternity, not in the Hebrew Bible nor in the Greek of the Christian scriptures (the New Testament). The idea that the soul is eternal is not from the Bible but Greek philosophy, or Greek mythology.
Instead, the Bible tells us that the soul has an end, and that end coincides with the death of the body. When a man dies, his body decays and his spirit returns to GOD. At that point, without either body or spirit, his soul can no longer function.
PSALM 146:4 His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.
ECCLESIASTES 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
His breath (spirit) returns to GOD, his body returns to the earth, and his soul ceases to function. Only if resurrected can the soul be re-animated.
PSALM 49:14-15 Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall consume in the grave from their dwelling. But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah.
It is the soul, and only the soul that will be redeemed from the power of the grave. We know that GOD has designed the physical world to mirror HIS spiritual world so as to help us to understand HIS ways. Thus it is with sleep and death. Normally, each night of our lives we go to sleep in darkness, sort of like death. But then each morning we awaken to the sunrise, much like resurrection. GOD created even our everyday routines to reveal to us this simple truth.
The body decays and the spirit returns to GOD but the soul just goes to sleep, so to speak. It looses consciousness until GOD decides to redeem it, bring it back from the power of death with a new body. This is set forth for us many times in scripture. Here are a few.
PSALM 16:10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell [sheol, Hebrew word for "the grave"]; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
PSALM 89:48 What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death? shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave [sheol]? Selah.
MATTHEW 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell [geenna].
ACTS 2:27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell [hades, Greek word for "the grave"], neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.... 31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell [hades, the grave], neither his flesh did see corruption.
ACTS 27:22 And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man's life [soul] among you, but of the ship.
1 PETER 4:19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.
Several things are revealed for us in these passages. First, that the soul does not go directly to heaven when one dies, nor is it eternal. The soul goes where? To the grave, or hell as the case might be. If GOD is not going to leave one's soul in the grave, then it must first go there. How else are we to understand these scriptures? They don't say that GOD is not going to send the soul to the grave, but that HE will not leave it there. If the soul is not left in the grave, then it must first go there after death. In Yeshua's case, His soul was brought back from the grave after three days and three nights. How long the rest of our souls remain in the grave is not revealed to us.
Here is what Paul wrote the believers at Corinth in the first century.
1 CORINTHIANS 15:51-55 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
We believe that this is referring to the great Resurrection which occurred at Christ's return around A.D. 70. At the last trump, the dead, who the previous verse (51) says were asleep, were to be raised incorruptible. So which part of the body, soul and spirit of man was sleeping? Which part of the body, soul and spirit of man was going to be raised from the dead? Not the body because it was going to decay. Besides, Paul writes in 1 CORINTHIANS 15:35-44 and PHILIPPIANS 3:21 that believers were going to receive new bodies. Neither is it the spirit that was asleep, because scripture tells us that if they died, the spirit was going to return to GOD.
The only part of man that could be asleep awaiting the Resurrection was his soul, which happened to be the only part of man that scripture assured them GOD was not going to leave in the grave. Paul reiterates these truths again in his letter to the Thessalonians.
1 THESSALONIANS 4:13-17 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent [precede] them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Clearly, Paul writes that those believers who had died were really just asleep. Yet the only part of man that can be asleep, the only part of man that scripture assures us can be brought out of the grave, is the soul. GOD promised that sometime after the death of the body, HE would bring the soul back into a state of consciousness. But not every soul was to be brought back from the grave and this is why an animal can have a soul, yet not be eternal. Likewise, an unbeliever can also have a soul and yet not have eternal life.
In dealing with death and the grave we need to align our definitions with those of the Bible. In the Jewish Scriptures (the Old Testament) there are three Hebrew words rendered grave, tomb or hell.
gadiysh = tomb.
qeber = grave, sepulchre or burial site.
sheol = realm of the dead, but often translated grave. (more of a state then a place)
In the Christian Scriptures (the New Testament) there are four Greek words rendered grave, tomb or hell.
mnemeion = tomb, monument or sepulcher.
geenna = valley of Hinnom (Ghi-Hinnim), place of judgment. The Tartaroo was to the ancient Greeks what geenna was to the Jews.
hades = realm of the dead, but translated hell or grave.
Thus, sheol and hades are the equivalent Hebrew and Greek words for the "realm of the dead". Howbeit, grave is not necessarily the best translation for sheol or hades. When we think of a grave, we normally picture a hole in the ground. Sheol and hades are not always physical places, but more like the "realm" for the dead. In his Critical Lexicon and Concordance, E.W. Bullinger writes, "Hades can mean only and exactly what Sheol means, viz., the place where "corruption" is seen (Acts ii:31. Compare xiii. 34-37); and from which, resurrection is the only exit."
A spirit is never said to go to hell, or the grave, because the spirit returns to GOD when we die. The body and soul however, do go to hell and/or the grave, but only the soul can return from the grave, generally speaking. The body simply decays. The body can return from death before it decomposes, by resuscitation or the like, but that is not resurrection (ACTS 9:40). In resurrection, the soul will get a new body, because the old body has decayed. The only exception to this is when Yeshua died, for scripture foretold that His body would not see corruption, as all others do (PSALMS 16:10).
The body of a dead person decays, eventually being no more than scattered particles of dust strewn about the planet. This was not what GOD was going to awaken from sleep at the Resurrection. Instead, the Creator was going to change that natural dead body into a living spiritual body.
1 CORINTHIANS 15:44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
However, for the person who was alive at the Resurrection, because his body had not decayed, GOD was going to change that mortal into immortality, if he was a believer (JOHN 11:26).
ROMANS 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken [make alive] your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
A mortal is one who is subject to death, but still living. Whenever scripture refers to a mortal becoming immortal, it is referring to someone who is not of necessity going to physically die, his body is just going to be changed from a natural body to a spiritual body.
Spirit can either mean air in motion or it might be an unseen power. It is either an invisible force or an invisible being. The Hebrew word from which we get the English word "spirit" is ruwach, which meaning is closely related to wind, or breath. Likewise, the Greek word pneuma is translated spirit or ghost but has the same meaning as is found with ruwach, as a movement of air. Unless wind picks up something like dirt or snow to make it visible, it remains an unseen power. One who smokes is a perfect illustration. His breath is normally only visible if he is smoking, otherwise it is invisible.
As the wind might be strong, mild, cool, hot, dry or wet likewise spirit can represent several different things. It might be man's very breath or it can stand for an invisible being or GOD's gift. In whatever way it is manifested, the spirit has no form. Whether it is breath or wind or GOD or evil spirits or GOD's gift of holy spirit, it has no body that we can see or touch.
LUKE 24:39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.
We should not however confuse angels with spirits. Angels are not spirits as many suppose. Angels are angels and spirits are spirits. Angels have a body, spirits do not (see the study Angels and Spirits). As an invisible power, spirit can represent GOD or other spiritual beings, or it may even denote the wind. Yeshua uses pneuma to describe all three.
JOHN 4:24 God is a Spirit [pneuma]: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit [pneuma] and in truth.
LUKE 10:17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. 20 [The Lord said] Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits [pneuma] are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.
ESV JOHN 3:8 The wind [pneuma] blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit [pneuma].
The spirit also energizes the body and gives it life both physically and spiritually. When the spirit is present there is life, when it is absent there is death.
RSV JOHN 6:63 It is the spirit that gives life...
JOHN 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost [pneuma].
EPHESIANS 3:16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
JAMES 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
In addition, the word spirit can also represent the spirit of man, the natural spirit. Besides being his breath, man's spirit is his carnal knowledge, his carnal memories, his carnal experiences recorded in the recesses of his mind. Man's spirit talks to the soul every bit as much as his five senses do. The result is man's wisdom, man's learning, man's science. The great Universities overflow with this spirit of man. This natural spirit is set in perfect contrast with the spirit of GOD in Paul's letter to the Corinthians.
ESV 1 CORINTHIANS 2:10-14 ...these things God has revealed to us through the [holy] Spirit. For the [holy] Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person's thoughts except the [natural] spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts 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 understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the [holy] Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
Here Paul displays for us this whole grand idea of man's spirit teaching the natural-man and GOD's spirit teaching the spiritual-man. Human wisdom, which is from man's natural spirit, is set in contrast to GOD's holy spirit which interprets spiritual truths to spiritual men and women. We read also how the natural-man can not possibly know or even learn the things of GOD, for they are spiritually discerned. The natural-man has not received from GOD holy spirit so he is blind to spiritual realities.
Three verses later Paul begins to expound upon the idea of even a believer being natural, a carnal Christian. Though we might have GOD's holy spirit to teach us "the deep things of GOD", if we continue living contrary to HIS will, then we are not able to eat spiritual meat and thus must still be fed with a nipple. We cannot be taught the meat of the word because we are not able to bear it.
As we physically become alive after taking our first breath, and as we die when we breathe our last, so it is with the holy spirit. We become spiritual men and women only after we receive holy spirit, holy breath, and we die spiritually when we loose that holy spirit. Thus, King Saul died spiritually when he lost holy spirit.
1 SAMUEL 16:14 But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him.
Another aspect of spirit is that it inspires, it gives inspiration. The spirit is saying, teaching and knowing, while the soul is doing. GOD designed our physical bodies to reveal to us spiritual realities. Thus HE created man in such a way, that the same breath that gives us life is the same breath that gives us speech. So with the holy spirit. The same spirit that gives us spiritual life is the same spirit that gives us wisdom from above.
There are a multitude of passages where we can see this played out.
EXODUS 35:31 And he hath filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship;
2 SAMUEL 23:2 The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue.
NEHEMIAH 9:20 Thou gavest also thy good spirit to instruct them....
ISAIAH 11:2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.
ISAIAH 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
JOEL 2:28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
MATTHEW 10:20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.
LUKE 12:12 For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.
JOHN 6:63 ...the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
JOHN 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
ACTS 8:29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.
ACTS 28:25 And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers....
EPHESIANS 1:17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
1 TIMOTHY 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.
2 PETER 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
While the holy spirit enlightened, the spirit of the world blinded. GOD's spirit teaches and inspires. The other side of the coin is that the spirit of the world deceived and blinded.
ACTS 16:16-19 And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. And this did she many days.
But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour. And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers.
The "hope of their gains was gone" because having lost the spirit of divination, she no longer had access to that special information. The spirit was gone and so was her special knowledge.
1 CORINTHIANS 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world....
2 CORINTHIANS 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
1 TIMOTHY 4:1 Now the [holy] Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.
1 JOHN 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
Thus, the spirit of this world was sent by the god of this world as a false prophet, setting forth false doctrine. The only sure way for them to recognize the counterfeit spirit was by the holy spirit. As such, the natural-man, as well as the carnal Christian, was easily led astray by the god of the world.
This holy spirit that the Christian receives when he is born again is referred to in scripture as the gift of the holy spirit. GOD is Spirit. GOD is also Holy, thus HE is the Holy Spirit. HIS gift to the believer is therefore holy spirit, little "h" and little "s". Of course in the original text of the Hebrew and Greek Bible there was no difference between upper and lower case letters. We use them here only to help us differentiate between the giver (Holy Spirit) and HIS gift (holy spirit). Here are a few of the passages where GOD's gift is said to be given to man.
1 SAMUEL 16:13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit [holy spirit as a gift] of the LORD came upon David from that day forward...
ISAIAH 42:1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
MATTHEW 3:16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit [holy spirit as a gift] of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
JOHN 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit [holy spirit as a gift].
JOHN 14:17 Even the Spirit [holy spirit as a gift] of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
Thus the believer has GOD's gift of holy spirit to guide and teach him the deep things of GOD. That spirit perfects our soul, making us ready for an eternity with GOD. As we live our lives, dealing with all of the pain and heartaches as well as the joys and inspirations that come our way, our confidence, trust and hope in GOD are developed within us in such a way which would not be possible if we were safe in some cocoon, protected from all the evils of the world.
We must experience life! Not stumbling blindly through it till we finally fall into that eternal pit, but instead, ever learning and growing and maturing, spiritually. We learn to avoid the pitfalls our stupid mistakes have caused and instead welcome all that GOD chooses to bring our way. HE is our Father, HIS Son is our teacher, and HIS gift is our enabler.
Each day, indeed each second, our body continues to decay. No matter. We fret not because we have new bodies awaiting us. Someday we shall each fall asleep but then on another day we shall all awaken to a new world, to a new "bright and morning star", when all shall then be understood and made clear. Let us brave the cold night coming upon us and be assured that HE is able to keep our souls until the morning........