Doctrine - Spirit, Soul and Body

The scripture says, “Guard your heart with all diligence for out of it flow the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:18-20. I understand that we are body, soul and spirit, but how can I get a revelation of our heart? Is it like a filter over our soul and what are the issues that flow out of it?

Here are the issues that flow out of your heart: whatever you put into your heart is going to come out of your heart. Your heart is a garden. And I think that everybody needs to understand that their heart is, literally, a garden. In the Old Testament, God put man in the garden. He created the garden and he created man and He put man in the garden. In the New Testament, God doesn’t put the man in the garden; He puts the garden in man.

So, in your heart is a garden. Your heart is soil. God made us out of the dust of the earth. We’re really made of soil. And our heart is a spiritual soil, an emotional soil that when you put good things in your heart, then good things are going to come out.

The Bible says, “A man out of the good treasure of his heart is going to bring forth good things, but a man out of the evil treasure of his heart is going to bring forth evil things.” So, whatever you sow is what you’re going to reap. So, I want to make sure that you understand that your heart is going to respond to whatever you put in it. If you watch garbage on TV all day, then that’s what is going to come out of your heart. Your heart is going to produce the issues or the harvests of whatever it is that you put in to your life.

It’s sort of like if you go out into your backyard, and you might have dedicated your property to the Lord, you might have dedicated your house to the Lord and your backyard to the Lord, but if you go into the backyard and you plant marijuana seeds in your backyard, no matter how dedicated that your backyard is, no matter how holy that your backyard is, no matter how much you’ve prayed over your backyard, your soil, your backyard has no choice but to produce and grow the marijuana seeds that you put in it. Your soil is not going to look back at you and say, “Hey, I’m a Christian soil, I’m a Christian farm, I’m a Christian backyard; you can’t put that junk in me. I’m not going to grow that”. Well, the fact is, if you put marijuana in your backyard soil, you’re going to grow marijuana and you’re going to have a jail ministry one day where you are inside a prison and you are preaching to other prisoners because you’re one of them.

I think that sometimes people just think that somehow they’re not going to get a harvest from the seeds that they sow. If you treat people bad, if you’re mean to people, if you’re unkind to people, you’re going to get a harvest of that in your life. Maybe not from the people that you treat unkindly, but other people will treat you unkindly. At one point or another, you will get a harvest. So that’s what that means when the scripture says to watch over your heart. Protect your heart. Don’t just let anything go into it.

One time, the children came home years ago from the library. A babysitter took them to the library and they came home with a stack of books. I looked at the books and I said, “where did you get these?” And they said, “the library.” And I said, “Who said you could get these kinds of books?” And they weren’t pornography or anything like that, but they weren’t anything that were going to produce good harvests in the soil of their heart. And I said, “Guys, you have to realize that whatever you read and whatever you put into your eyes and your ears and your heart is going to come out of your life in the form of a harvest.” And so, you need to be careful on the front end of what you let in, and then on the back end, you’ll have a great harvest. So, they didn’t read those books. And we took them back and they got other books. And that’s when I began to talk to them about seedtime and harvest and about why we don’t let them watch certain kinds of things on TV and that kind of thing.

Doctrine - Spirit, Soul and Body

You had broken down something about the mind, soul and body and I’m trying to understand that. Does God save the soul?

God saves us in three ways according to 1 Thessalonians chapter 5. God saves us spirit, soul and body. It starts with our spirit. Our spirit is born again. Our soul consists of our mind, our will and our emotions. So, our emotions don’t get born again. Our spirit gets born again. And that goes to heaven. Our soul goes to heaven also, but it doesn’t get born again, so it has to be renewed; it has to be changed, reprogrammed, retaught and retrained. Your soul, your mind, your will, your emotions were all trained by your experiences and trained by your parents and trained by your feelings and trained by school. But what we need to do is to retrain our soul, which, again consists of our mind our will and our emotions, and we need to teach our soul to obey God and to think in agreement with the Word of God.

So, that’s what the difference is between the spirit, the soul and the body. Now, the spirit, God gives us a brand new spirit. The day we receive Jesus Christ, our spirit is brand new and it’s going to spend eternity with God in heaven and it’s perfect. Our soul is not changed right away. We change it as we change our thinking and make sure that our thinking is in alignment with God’s Word. And then our body doesn’t change until we get to heaven.

Now, our body can improve while we’re on this earth by taking care of our body. It’s the temple of the Holy Spirit. But God’s going to give us a new body when we get to heaven. The spirit is that part of you that has intimate fellowship with God and your spirit is born again according to John 3:3. It’s made brand-new the moment that you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior. That spirit is perfect. It’s holy. It’s clean and it’s made just like the image of God Himself. Our spirit gets born again. And then our soul gets renewed, gets changed by the Word of God. And we’ll be given a new body when we go to heaven.

Doctrine - Spirit, Soul and Body

Is there a difference between a person’s soul and spirit or are they interchangeable terms?

There is a difference between the soul and the spirit. The basic difference according to 1 Thessalonians chapter 5, that we consist of spirit, soul and body. Our spirit is what gets born again. When we connect with God, when Jesus Christ becomes our Lord and Savior and we put our faith in Him, our spirit is recreated. God takes out our old spirit and He puts in a brand new one. This is what Jesus called in John 3:3 a man being “born again.” He’s a “new creature; the old things are passed away.” That is your spirit that is brand new. It is born again. And again, your old one is gone and God gives you a brand new spirit; you are a new person. You’re not the same person that you were before you were saved. At least your spirit is not the same.

The difference between your spirit and your soul is that your soul contains your mind. Your soul contains your emotions. Your soul contains your memory. And so, God doesn’t give us a new soul. He gives us a new spirit, but He does not give us a new soul. He instructs us to renew our soul, to change the way we think, to have our soul transformed by the Word of God in Romans chapter 12. To have our mind renewed to the Word of God. God cannot give us a new soul because that’s where all of our memory banks are lodged. You would have to learn to use a spoon all over again if He gave you a new soul. You’d have to learn who everybody is around you. You wouldn’t know your wife, your children; you wouldn’t know anybody because you would lose all of your memory banks and you would start all over again. Well, God doesn’t want to put us through that process, so He gives us a brand new spirit and that’s our connection with God.

And then our soul is our mind, our will and our emotions. And those aspects of us need to be changed through a process. Those are not changed instantaneously like our spirit is. But those are changed over a course of renewing our mind to the Word of God. That’s why when you get born again, you feel like, “Man, I’m so forgiven.” You feel a weight has lifted off of you. But then you go back to doing some of the same things you used to do and you wonder, “Did I really get born again?” Yes, your spirit got born again, but your soul has to go through a process of change through the Word of God.

Another analogy I like to use is that your spirit is your vertical window, your up and down window to the things of God and window to spiritual things, your window to heaven. That’s you and God connecting. That’s your spirit. Your soul is your horizontal window. That’s you seeing people and seeing what’s in front of you and how you deal with people on a day to day basis and how you look at things on the outside horizontally. That’s your soul. Those are your emotions. That’s your will, those are your feelings, that’s your mind. And that has to go through a process. So, don’t be discouraged if you’re not perfect yet because none of us are. In our soul, we still need to be changed. And that is a day by day process. 2 Corinthians chapter 3 talks about day by day being renewed in His image. Romans chapter 12 talks about our mind being renewed. Ephesians chapter 5 talks about being cleansed and washed by the washing of water with the Word of God. So, that’s the difference between the spirit and the soul.