A Heaping Portion of Soul Food

I wanted to find an easy and quick definition for soul from the Bible but there is none and the difficulty of translating into English from Hebrew and Latin [Greek] subtexts comes fully to the fore.  I have been perplexed by the differences between the King James Version and other versions that preclude them from using the word.  Doing the research I find that the definition of ‘soul’ in Vines Expository Dictionary of  New Testament Words is literally 500 words revealing a very complex word that has several meanings and shades of meaning.  A visit to the link is worth the effort, you are also afforded other examples of where the word soul is used. https://www.blueletterbible.org/search/Dictionary/viewTopic.cfm?topic=VT0002707 
 
A mention of the soul of man has been visited briefly in these pages (see “Waiting with Stones” or “A Quick Pass through Romans 15:4” and “Complete Deliverance Parts I & II”)  but there has not been a through discussion of the journey and transition of salvation.  This page will begin to remedy that lapse.  
 
Introducing three important premises:
 
  1. Human beings were formed from dust and spirit was breathed into Adam by God as described in Genesis 2:7 hence man is a spirit that has a soul and lives in a body.   II Cor. 4:7 “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us”.  The treasure spoken of is the born-again spirit, redeemed from destruction, alive, communicative and celebratory toward God. 
  2. The human is a tripart being created in the image and likeness of God.  This said with the knowledge that the soul is also tripart containing mind, will and emotions.  
  3. Salvation is both a journey and a process. The born-again spirit is saved, the soul is being saved and the body will be saved and resurrected on the Day of the Lord.
 
As it has been said for many years by Tim LaHaye and other, there is an ongoing “battle for the mind”.  I would beg to differ that there is a battle for the soul i.e. that the mind is only a part of the soul and that we must learn to open ourselves to the healing we need for the mind, [because we are vulnerable to confusion], the will [because like Christ, we must conform our will to God’s will] and the emotions [to evolve past the natural emotional state that we have inherited to the emotional stature of Christ].
 
The premises reinforce the notion that the process of salvation is dynamic and purposeful and that we have work to do to be “kingdom ready”.  What do we need to learn about managing our Mind, Will and Emotions in preparation for the kingdom.  Psalm 23 says He restores [continously] my soul (vs. 3)
 
Some other poignant ‘soulful’ verses from the KJV that bear pondering and meditation:
 
 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?  Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?   [Mark 8:36-37]
 
 In your patience possess ye your souls.  [Luke 21:19]
 
Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.   But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.   [Hebrews 10:38-39]
 
As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.  My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?  Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.  [Psalm 42: 1,2 & 5]
 
and yet another for a friend from last night:  Isaiah 55:2
Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.
 
 

Complete Deliverance Part I

Israel was in Egypt. It seemed providential since Joseph was sold into slavery before the great famine. The sitting Pharoah had lost the history of Joseph and later generations were in bondage.  They cried to be free.  God sent an unlikely hero to be their deliverer.  He was Moses.
They needed deliverance from the tyranny of their bondage, the effects of 400 years of captivity, the toll of hard physical labor.
Salvation, much like their bondage is 3-fold. The plan of salvation as revealed in scripture is:  the spirit is saved, the soul is being saved and the body will be saved on the Day of the Lord. Salvation is the transformation from the “Kingdom of Darkness into His marvelous light” I Peter 2:9.  Jesus said one must be born again, that is, borne of water and of the Spirit.  In this process one’s spirit is is renewed and becomes open for being in contact with God. 
Man was created in God’s image and likeness or his form and similitude.  God is a tri-fold being manifest as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Man is a tri-fold being as he is a spirit, he has a soul and lives in a male or female body. While the born-again experience is immediate and complete, the soul salvation takes considerably longer.
The soul consists of the mind, the will (volition) and the emotions.  The Bible describes both Father God and the Holy Spirit as emotional stating they can be grieved, can be pleased and laugh.  [James 2 and Psalm 59]  Jesus openly shared emotion with his disciples and the world.  He wept, showed anger and frustration and most importantly compassion. As is most things, our goal is to imitate Christ in all ways especially his emotion. 
 
The writer of Hebrews says that Christ learned obedience through the things he suffered. Our soul salvation is limited or enhanced by how much we study and imitate his emotion, his conviction and how he subjugated his volition. 
 
I Corinthians 1 says we have the mind of Christ.  If we received this promised benefit, what would it look like?  A mind that wouldn’t forget, that wouldn’t be distracted by the fiery darts of the adversary [Ephesians 6:16].  A mind that keeps focused on the trail and that esteems others more highly than he does himself.
 
Will is defined as the mental faculty by which one deliberately chooses or decides upon a course of action that is not prescribed but surrendered to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.   The beautiful grace of God is that once you set you affections upon Him,  his will, the Kingdom – He helps you turn your emotions and will toward Him.  
 
To be Continued!!
 
 
inset photo of an Egyptian deity figure part of the Indianapolis Children’s Museum collection photographed by the author.  

Quiet

All Talk Radio
All the talk that’s fit to hear
24 hour talk radio
Talk on Demand
Non-stop Talk and Entertainment News
Talk for those in the know
Fair and Balanced Talk. News.
Chat
Chit-Chat, Chat rooms
internet chatter
Rap 
Rhymes
riddles
R&B
up to the minute
on the hour
At this time of the year,  after being fed a nonstop diet of news, talk, enter-pain-ment [read gossip], and o-pain-ion, I’m fed up!
What are the markets doing? What did President Obama do? What is the Party line?  What stymied the congress this time?  What act of aggression against the Chinese? North Korea? 
Which Starlet or Politician has done something utterly noteworthy while we are busy trying to be oblivious?
Is it NEWS or fear mongering?  Has anyone done anything helpful or praiseworthy?  Is there anything actually new under the sun?

As one preacher said, “Always be ready to ignore the world because it hasn’t solved any of it’s problems so we should focus on the One who can solve all of our problems!!”


Hence, we have this study of scriptures that details the quiet that we need to seek and how it will be important to our spiritual, physical, and soulical well-being.**  The world and our adversary create noise that keeps us unsettled and off-balance.  We have to learn to quiet, and to disregard and defuse this noise in order to maintain our place in Him.  

Psalms 131: 2
Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of its mother: my soul [is] even as a weaned child
There is a strong parallel between the psalmist’s declaration and our admonition from the Apostle Paul who tells us to do all things without murmuring.  The psalmist states that his action has internal and external efficacy to silence his complaints and to seek the peace and satisfaction that only comes from communion with the Holy Spirit.
Further, he describes the state of quiet, as that of a weaned child. One of the beauties of the Bible is the continuity of metaphors contained within.  Across the centuries, we are taught that newly born-again Christians need the milk of the Word to grow  [I Peter 2:2], then here we notice that as the newborn grows past the breast-fed stage there is a greater expectation of her resistance to discomfort and real-world events. Weaning away from the mother and her milk assumes a growth path indicative of a more mature child who has the capacity to feed herself.  To quiet herself and to fall asleep without the attentive mothers soothing.  This is the picture of Christ in the bow of the ship traversing the storm.  He is sleeping soundly so that he must be awakened.  The noise and roiling of the sea is not enough to keep him from sleep.  

My mind, will and emotions are as a weaned child, calmed knowing that God is in control,  unflappable and yet open to hope for the future.

Romans 14:17
For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
This is a not-so-subtle reminder that the temporal things that we encounter and are distracted by are short-lived and completely un-related to the Kingdom that we strive after

I Thessalonians  4:11
And that you study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you.
The psalmist says that she quieted herself, but here Paul re-states that we should ” make it your ambition and definitely endeavor to live quietly and peacefully, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we charged you” [AMP].  This state of quiet is an aim and desire, it is not a natural state of affairs but only comes as we submit to the will and purpose of God and learn to maintain our fellowship with him.  We learn the discipline of quietly trusting God, keeping gossip, murmurings and complaints to ourselves.  We begin to understand that it is not acceptable to belittle or berate people whether they be in the household of faith or not. 

I Peter 3:4
But [let it be] the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, [even the ornament] of a meek and quiet spirit, which in the sight of God is of great price.
Notice that this writer says the Lord attributes great value to a meek and quiet spirit cultivated in His children.  

I Corinthians  14:33
For God is not [the author] of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
I Timothy  2:1-2
I exhort therefore, that , first of all, supplication, prayers, intercessions, [and] giving of thanks, be given for all men;  For kings, and [for] all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 
We are told to cast all of our cares, anxieties and problems upon Him for He cares for us; to pray without ceasing and in the example of David, the great psalmist – we cry out to him for help.  The other noise we make would be a better witness if considered praise before the world and our adversary.   A Joyful Noise, for the battle has been won!!

**  of the soul, therefore based within the mental, emotional and will of the individual.

quotes from the Amplified Bible [copyrighted by the Lockman Foundation]