The division of soul and spirit is the most difficult concept for man to understand. Once understood it becomes easier to walk in the spirit and give less power to the flesh (our soul) in our daily walk in life.
Hebrews 4:12-13 “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. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.
As humans in our natural thinking we have great difficulty separating the difference between our spirit and soul, but by looking into the perfect word of God we can see the difference. Those in Christ have the perfect spirit from the Son, but our soul which was trained by our old man spirit and how we were raised is still active. Just like the example of joints and marrow; it is the marrow that gives us life, but without the joints we could not move about. If the marrow becomes attacked by a disease it weakens the whole body and there may need to be a marrow transplant. Likewise our old spirit weakens our whole body and God gives us a spirit transplant. If a joint goes bad just the joint needs attention and starts with simple strengthening depending on the severity of the problem. This is the very reason Romans tells us to renew our minds daily. Our spirit is as perfect as it can be since it is the spirit of the Son, Jesus. Our soul needs to be renewed by building up our new man in spirit and that only happens by renewing what we think and what we have learned in our natural pre born again state.
Most people, with the right information, can see the difference between spirit and soul, and marrow and joints. I find few people understanding and often never even recognize the difference But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart”, and use it to push the point that because many of our thoughts are bad we are bad and in a consistent state of asking forgiveness (repentance) since even a simple sinful thought is the same as performing the sin act. Christians miss the difference between a thought and intent. Yes God knows all of our thoughts, but we are not held accountable for every thought that comes into our minds. That would be impossible since once something is in our mind it can and often comes back with little effort. This is why it is so important to be cautious with what we watch and listen to. If we read Matthew 5:28 with this in mind it is clear that the man “looks to lust at her” is saying his intent is more than just recognizing she is attractive. Even if the next thought is of a sinful nature you are not committing the sin; it is what you do with that thought from that point on that matters. You have the choice to cast it off or dwell on it. Sin does not just erupt out of our lives like an uncontrolled volcano. It first has to take root deep in our thinking before it can manifest itself in our flesh. Even if you are stupid and impulsively follow through with the sinful thought, God is not right there ready to condemn you for it even though verse 13 clearly states that nothing is hidden from God. Nothing you did was hidden before you received Jesus into your heart and God loved you then. How much more will He love and reach out to you once you accept Jesus and become His son or daughter. We must remember John 3:16 and that God so loved the world before anyone was saved that He gave Jesus for our ransom. In fact Romans 8:35, 38-39 are proof that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ or the love of God. This includes our sins! God still loves us and has not turned His back on us when we sin, but in doing so we are opening up ourselves for the Devil to steal our blessings that are coming from God. It is not sin that will keep you out of heaven, it will probably get you there faster that you wanted to go, but unbelief that will keep you out of heaven, it will probably get you there faster that you wanted to go, but unbelief that will keep you out of God’s rest, (see notes on Hebrews 4:11). For a Christian, living in sin is like a person setting down to watch a specific channel on TV, but purposely turning it to a different channel and wonder why their show is not on. That sounds stupid when you think about it, but Christians are doing just that every day. Remember that in the “model prayer” spoken by Jesus in Luke 11:2, He claimed that God’s will shall be done on earth as it is in heaven. If that was never possible, for God’s will for us to live here on earth in His blessings, than Jesus prayed a lie. The fact is God wants us to live in His blessings and enjoy Him and have a good life here on earth and then get to go on to heaven. Christians should renew their minds to help change their soulish nature so that they can line their thoughts up with His. We purpose to overcome sin in our lives not to gain righteousness with God, but because of the precious gift of salvation and forgiveness He has already extended to us. That is our reasonable service to Him. The good news is that in our renewing our minds and overcoming our sins we can now get back on the correct channel to be able to watch what we wanted to in the first place; God’s blessings coming to us. We will then be able to receive what God has already given to His children.
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