Body And Soul :: by Grant Phillips

Every human being consists of a body and a soul, but it is the body that gets most all the attention, even though the “real me” is my soul.

If I go out into the wilderness and pitch a tent for the week-end on the banks of a beautiful lake, why do I bother bringing along a tent? One good reason would be that I want to protect myself from the elements, such as rain. So this would mean that I don’t care if the tent gets wet, I just want to keep myself dry.

The Bible says that my body is a tent for my soul, but yet I provide more protection from the spiritual elements for my tent the body, than my soul the real me.

“For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle [tent] were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” (2 Corinthians 5:1)

“13Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle [tent], to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; 14Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me.” (2 Peter 1:13-14)

Notice the magazine advertisements or television commercials. Most are geared toward the maintenance, improvement, satisfaction and recreation of my body. It is important for all of us to maintain our physical health, but what are we doing for our spiritual health? The earthly body will die, but the soul will live on after the earthly body dies, either with the Lord Jesus Christ or apart from Him in the Lake of Fire. Now I realize that most people don’t believe what I stated about the soul, but believe what you like, that doesn’t change the facts.

Bikers wear headgear for protection of the body. Those who go to the beach wear sunscreen for protection of the body from the sun. We wear seatbelts in vehicles for protection of the body. We hire police officers to protect our bodies from evil people. Are we Christians wearing the whole armor of God for the protection of our souls?

“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:11)

“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:13)

We Americans spend multiplied billions of dollars on such items as clothing, personal care, autos, tobacco, sports, jewelry, magazines/newspapers, alternative medicine, restaurants, weight loss, cosmetics, pet food, movies, and much more. One survey revealed that we spend 1.2 trillion dollars annually on “goods and services not absolutely needed.” It doesn’t take a mental heavy-weight to know that yes we do spend a boatload of money on things we don’t really need, and much of that is spent on items to enhance and/or entertain the body in some way. So it is without debate that we place much more emphasis on pleasing the body than the soul. For example, many Christians will spend $500 and up for an iPad but not $50 on a good study Bible. They will spend $1,000 a year and up for an iPhone and cell service, but not a dime on some good Christian help books or videos. Of course it must be understood, that buying a good study Bible, etc. does no good if they are not used.

We place all this emphasis on the body which is merely a fleeting glance in the longevity of time before it dies, and ignore the only part of us that will last forever and never die. That makes no sense. To a Christian, this should never be, but I ask again, how many of us who know Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior put at least equal the effort in the welfare of our soul as we do our body? Would anyone in their right mind not provide nourishment for their body? The body must have food and water; otherwise it will wither away and die.

For many Americans, it is obvious we are not physically undernourished. Even our government, to our dismay, is getting in on the act of trying to curb the problem of obesity. The wonderful thing about feeding the soul is that it will never become obese. The more it is fed; it just gets leaner and stronger. Here lies the problem with so many Christians in our country.

Animals have a body, but no soul. Humans, before being born again in Jesus, are body and soul. Once we are born again in Jesus Christ, we are body, soul and spirit.

The soul of man prior to spiritual birth must be re-born spiritually to inherit eternal life in Christ and shed spiritual death which came from Adam. For this to happen, their soul must be fed and accept the eternal Gospel of Jesus Christ. Then by the grace of God alone, they are born again and given a new spirit, which is eternal life.

When Adam and Eve sinned, God warned them that if they disobeyed Him, they would die.

“But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Genesis 2:17)

Literally it says here, “dying thou shalt die.” They disobeyed, and they died, not physically, but spiritually. No longer were they body, soul and spirit, but body and soul. I believe that Adam and Eve were restored spiritually. How? The same way we are today, the grace of God through Jesus Christ. If they were not restored, their body would eventually die and go back to the dust from where it came. Their soul would spend eternity in the Lake of Fire apart from the Lord Almighty. However, they were restored, born again spiritually, and will spend eternity with the Lord.

Let me emphasize one more aspect of Adam and Eve’s spiritual rebirth. When they covered themselves with fig leaves, they were attempting spiritual rebirth by their own works (Genesis 3:7), but what did God do? In Genesis 3:21 we see that God shed the blood of an innocent animal and clothed them with the animal’s skin. Just prior to this, in Genesis 3:15, God provides the John 3:16 Gospel of the Old Testament. I believe Adam and Eve accepted that Gospel, and were saved by God’s grace, as demonstrated by the shed blood of the innocent animal, representing the shed blood of the Son of God. Their spirits had died due to sin, but their spirits were reborn by the grace of God through Jesus Christ.

Now, I said all this in order to get back to one thing. Which is more important, the soul of man which lives forever, or the body which lives but only a short time? Every lost person has a soul but they need to be reborn in Christ to have a spirit. Any soul without the spirit will be lost eternally and forever be apart from God, but if the spirit is restored by being born again, they will have a spirit which lives eternally by the grace of God.

Many Christians have become spiritually anemic due to their overshadowing spoiling of the earthly body over the needs of the soul and spirit. The Scriptures say,

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)

These same Christians are putting the needs of the body over the needs of the soul and spirit by not making the body subservient to our Savior, Jesus Christ. If we make the body subservient to Jesus, then we are actually feeding the soul and spirit and will become spiritually stronger by the power of God’s grace working within us. Furthermore, the renewing of our minds transforms us into a child of God that proves to the fallen spirit world “what is the good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

“1I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:1-2)

In other words our thought patterns change. Instead of always being fixated on our physical pleasures, we will yearn for the pleasure of fellowship with Christ over anything else.

By all means, Christians take care of your body, but do so by presenting it as a sacrifice that is holy and acceptable unto God. Do not sacrifice the health of your soul over the unnecessary pampering of your body. Keep this in mind, this earthly body, that so many treat as more important than their soul, will be replaced by God with a Heavenly body, a body just like our Lord’s. (1 Corinthians 15:35-49)

Grant Phillips