Body, Soul and Spirit – Explained

These three terms – Body, Soul and Spirit – are words that most of us have heard before, yet many do not understand what they truly mean.

In this teaching, we will explore the meaning of each (Body, Soul and Spirit), and how these 3 states came into existence.

We will also examine the 3 terms: Formed, Made and Created, and understand their relationship with “Body, Soul and Spirit”.

Sections in this Biblical Teaching:
1) What are we made up of?
2) Body – Formed
3) Soul – Made
4) Spirit – Created
5) Conclusion

1) What are we made up of?

We as human beings are composed of a range of Chemical Elements by mass. (Body)

– The human body is approximately 70% water (H2O).

– Around 99% of our bodies are made up of six elements: Oxygen, Carbon, Hydrogen, Nitrogen, Calcium, and Phosphorus.

– Of the remaining mass, about 0.75% is composed of five elements: Sodium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sulfur, and Chlorine.

– The remaining elements of the body exist in trace amounts (very tiny amounts).

All of these Elements can be found in the Earth’s Crust.

The Bible says that we “Christians” are:
– Formed of the Earth
– Made of Soul
– Created of Spirit

(Isaiah 43:3) For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour:…

(Isaiah 43:7) Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.

Formed, Made and Created are not synonymous, they all have different meanings.

(1 Thessalonians 5:23) And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Neither is Body, Soul and Spirit synonymous, they each distinct from one another.

Most humans (Natural man) only have 2 of those 3 parts. Body and Soul.

(Genesis 2:7) And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Dust + Breath of Life = A Living Soul {All living Organisms}

Physically, humans are no greater than Animals.
Natural man can operate only by 5 senses. Everything a natural man can learn or understand comes through the senses of: Sight, Hearing, Smelling, Touch and Taste.

Humans “attain” Spirit when they confess Jesus Christ as Lord, and believe with their heard that God raised him from the dead.

How does one become a Christian? »

2) Body – Formed

As I mentioned before, all of the Elements that make up the Human Body, can be also found in the Earth’s Crust.

The Bible says that God formed man from the earth:

(Genesis 2:7) And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

This is how our human bodies were “put together”. God used the elements of the earth, or “dust of the ground” to shape this marvellous body we have.

יצר
yâtsar

yaw-tsar’
through the squeezing into shape; to mould into a form; especially as a potter; figuratively to determine (that is, form a resolution): – X earthen, fashion, form, frame, make (-r), potter, purpose.

The word “formed” in the Bible is translated from the Hebrew word “yâtsar”.
Yâtsar means “to fashion/mould out of something that already exists”.

From Genesis 2:7: “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground…”
The word “man” here is “âdâm”.

אדם
‘âdâm

aw-dawm’
To show blood (in the face), that is, flush or turn rosy: – be (dyed, made) red (ruddy).
That is, a human being (an individual or the species, mankind, etc.)

The meaning of the name/word Adam is: ‘Man; earth; to be red’.

Our Physical bodies all return to the earth one day. This is a natural law.

(Ecclesiastes 3:20) All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.

(Genesis 3:19) In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

When we die, are physical bodies go back to the earth.
This goes for all living organisms, humans and animals alike.

3) Soul – Made

The Body is a “Host” or “Vessel” for the Soul.
Once God formed the Body, he “made” the body into a “Living soul” by breathing the “Breath of Life” into it.

(Genesis 2:7) And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

The words “soul” is translated from the Hebrew word “nephesh”.

נפשׁ
nephesh

neh’-fesh
Properly a breathing creature, that is, animal or (abstractly) vitality; used very widely in a literal, accommodated or figurative sense (bodily or mental): – any, appetite, beast, body, breath, creature.

The soul is what gives a body life, it’s vitality.

The phrase ”breathed into his nostrils” is the figure of speech condescensio.
God put life into Adam, making him a living soul.

“‛âśâh” is the Hebrew word for “made”.

עשׂה
‛âśâh

aw-saw’
A primitive root; to do or make, in the broadest sense and widest application: – accomplish, advance, appoint, apt, be at, become, bear, bestow, bring forth, bruise, be busy

“‛âśâh” is “a substance required or which the thing made consists”.

The soul is nothing more and nothing less than what gives a body life.
It is sometimes referred to as someone’s “Life-force” or “The spirit of a man”.

Soul is not Spirit, and has nothing to do with whether you are a Christian or not.
Once someone is breathing, living, they have a soul.

(Genesis 1:30) And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

The word “life” here is “soul”, translated from “nephesh”.
This verse says that all living things have a soul.

(Genesis 1:20) And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

(Genesis 1:21) And God created great whales, and every living creature 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.

(Genesis 1:24) And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.

In both verses 21 and 24, the word “creature” here is again “soul”, translated from “nephesh”.

The Hebrew word “Chai/Chay” means “moving” life or “moving” soul.

חי
chay

khah’ee
Alive; hence raw (flesh); fresh (plant, water, year), strong; also (as noun, especially in the feminine singular and masculine plural) life (or living thing), whether literally or figuratively.

In the above verses, the word “living” is translated from “chai”.
“Nephesh Chai” is always used in the Bible as a living soul, in contrast to a “dead” or perished soul.

Where is the soul located in man?

(Leviticus 17:11) For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.

The Bible tells us that the soul is in the blood.
Thus, soul life is passed on from parent to offspring through their bloodlines.

God does not need to breathe soul again into every newly born creature. It’s passed on through the generations.

Soul life is not immortal; it is either passed on through generations, or perishes when a person dies.

4) Spirit – Created

We have looked at what all living organisms are composed of. Body and Soul.
So what is Spirit about?

Let’s look at the first verse of the Bible:

(Genesis 1:1) In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

“To create” means, “to bring something into existence from nothing” or “to bring something into existence which never existed before”.

In Genesis 1:3, God did not create light, it already existed before this point.

(Genesis 1:3) And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

God only called “light” into existence/focus here.

—————
This Topic explains more about what in the first verses of Genesis:
Genisis 1:1 – What happened in the Beginning of Time?
—————

Let’s see what God “created” in these “7 days of his work”.

(Genesis 1:21) And God created great whales, and every living creature 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.

Here is where God is now finally creating something new.

Their physical bodies were formed out of the waters and the earth, but what is new here, is “Soul”.
This is the first time God created “Soul life”.

God then uses this new “Life Force” called Soul, to “Make” all living creatures.

Let’s look at these verses to explain a little more:

(Genesis 1:24) And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.

(Genesis 1:25) And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

(Genesis 1:26) And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

Paying close attention, God does not “Create” again here, he simply Forms and Makes these new types of life.

But why?
This is because Soul was already created in verse 21, and didn’t need to be created again.

Let’s see what God does next.

(Genesis 1:27) So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Here we can see that God is ending his “days of work” by finally creating 1 new thing.
This is, creating man I his own image.

What is God? What is his “image”?

(John 4:24) God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

God is Spirit.

“Genesis 1:27” is where God creates Spirit in Man. His image.
Thus, finally man became Body, Soul and Spirit.

The animals did not get a Spirit, only Man.

Spirit is what we Christians use to “communicate” with God. We use it in prayer and manifestations.

As seen later in Genesis, Adam and Eve lost that “Spirit Connection” with God through their sin.
Thus, the generations of Adam (natural man) also do not have that Spirit.

However, because of what Jesus Christ has done for us, we are able to receive that Holy Spirit again, and have connection with God.

In the older scriptures of the Bible, before Christ’s accomplishment, what those Prophets of God had, was “Spirit upon”, something different from what Christians have today.
It was not permanent as ours is now.

Our Spirit is what goes to heaven when Jesus Christ returns, not Body or Soul.

5) Conclusion

To Conclude, we have seen that:

All living things are:
– Formed of the Earth
– Made of Soul Life

Christians also have something “extra”, they are:
– Created of Spirit

The Physical Body returns to the earth (dust) upon dying.

The Soul is passed on (shared) through progeny from Parent to Child, or it perishes at death.

Our Spirit returns with God at the time of Jesus Christs return.

So lets look forward to the return of our wonderful Lord and Savoir Jesus Christ, and lets try to “save as many souls” as we can, by bringing them into the truth of God’s word!

[sc:small_separator ]

Thanks for reading! 😀
God Bless You!
-Andrew Emmanuel Davis

20 Comments

  1. Maletsie
    Jan 27, 2016

    I feel very blessed after reading this article. I really feel that God’s grace is upon us. We do not have to do much but just accept his son Jesus Christ as our savior unlike in the old testament where people had to do burnt offerings over and over. I really feel blesses and I am glad I came across this article.

  2. Paula Hutchings
    Jul 18, 2016

    I have a question. If the soul was created by God by breathing into man. The soul is “life” and the Spirit that lives in us is the Spirit of God. Why would you say that the soul ceases to exist and the Spirit is what returns to God. God gives us life or what makes us “us”. All man has a soul. I believe that the soul is what goes to heaven and the Spirit which is God returns as part of God. The body dies and the soul lives in a glorified body in heaven. I liked all of the rest of what you said.

  3. Delores Minter
    Aug 22, 2016

    Thank you for your help in explaining spirit , soul and body.

  4. VICTOR
    Oct 18, 2016

    thank you Andrew. The article has helped me a lot. Only one area I didn’t really understand. If souls must be saved by receiving Christ, why then should they be saved if the soul does not go to heaven. Again I need to understand what burns in hell if a person did not accept Jesus as his or her Saviour.

  5. OHENE .K.EMMANUEL
    Oct 24, 2016

    THANKS A LOT FOR THE WONDERFULL TEACHINGS,BUT PLEASE AT YOUR CONCLUSION THE SOUL BEING PASSED ON OR SHARED THROUGH PROGENY FROM PARENT TO CHIL OR IT PERISHES AT DEATH, I DO NOT UNDERSTAND .PLEASE EXPLAINE MORE.THANKS GOD BLESS YOU.

    • OHENE .K.EMMANUEL
      Oct 25, 2016

      I AM STILL WAITING FOR RESPONGS ,SO THAT I CAN SK SOME MORE QUESTIONS,

  6. cris Williams
    Nov 6, 2016

    What if you are NOT born-again. Where does your spirit go upon death if the soul and the body go back to the earth? Paul says to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. So, if you ARE born-again, upon death you are immediately with Jesus-right? But, if you are not, which part of you goes to the place of torment?

  7. ajc
    Oct 7, 2017

    I read this article and I feel some of the conclusions are a little stretched. I don’t see how made in his image brings you to the spirit thing. David and people in the old testament talk of their soul. God communicates with us by his spirit. I just don’t see how with what you quote you come to the conclusion you come to. Some things cannot be fully explained as they are not in the written word. Watchman Nee did the body, soul and spirit things and confused so many people with stuff that sounded so good but lead away from trust in Christ. ajc

  8. Jay
    Feb 10, 2018

    Good article. Yet I have a question about your statement that the soul simply perishes when one dies. Can you please expound on this? I believe the scriptures do state that the unsaved will be resurrected for judgment, which would assume their souls would remain intact as their bodies. If this is the case for the unsaved, then it can be assumed for the saved as well, who will also be resurrected, but for eternal glory. Thus I would have to conclude that a soul should be considered immortal, just as the spirit and body is for believers, and the soul, body and an ever dormant human spirit for the unsaved.

  9. Claudey Roger Coon
    May 21, 2018

    I believe you about the body and soul, but I believe every one has a spirit also whether we are saved or not. Ecc. 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the Spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

    This is talking about when we die.

  10. Prentice Dukes
    Jun 14, 2018

    Thank you for the way you have explained the body, soul and Spirit. This same Jesus Christ has been apart of my live form 1973, when I took Him as my Lord and Savoir. I am now looking for Him to come and take me into the clouds with Him and all my brothers and sisters in the Lord. Amen

  11. Sandra black
    Aug 22, 2018

    Hello….Wow this is wonderful teaching.
    How important it is to have understanding, and appreciate what the Lord has done for us. God Bless you for making body ,souls and spirit so clearly understood

  12. DEBORAH WELLMAN
    Oct 13, 2018

    Dear Andrew, I was looking this morning for something to explain and teach my teenage children on the body,soul, and spirit. I thank you for your message and blessing through it , I myself have also been so blessed by it I am priniting it out to keep. Deborah Wellman.

  13. sephin
    Nov 20, 2018

    your knowledge about the body soul and spirit is really deep. thank you for your time putting this here for everyone to read. God bless you.

  14. victor mutero
    Apr 25, 2019

    Thank you very much Andrew for explaining body, soul and spirit. I however have a question because am not so clear on the soul. if the soul perishes then what goes to hell. Obviously if a person never received Jesus Christ as their savior, they will not see heaven and if they don’t have the spirit of God in them, what then goes to burn in hell. Again as explained the soul is the seat of our emotions, which made me to believe that it is the one that burns in hell. please help me there.

  15. Rev. Francis Amoah-Kyei
    Jun 14, 2019

    This is an excellent teaching. Am so blessed. What I want to contribute is this: Adam’s spirit wasn’t taken away from him when is sinned. He died spiritually, that is his spirit was alienated (cut off) from God. He could no longer fellowship and communicate with his creator. His spirit was now with the devil who deceived him. All those born in the image of Adam (and not after God’s image)afterwards suffered the same fate, their spirits cut off from God and controlled by Satan. The change came with the coming of Christ for those who believe in him. Thanks.

  16. William W Middleton
    Aug 19, 2019

    At death, where does our Spirit reside waiting to join Christ on his return?

  17. monica chandler
    Mar 2, 2020

    People need reassurance l did.Thank you

  18. Abhilash Masih
    May 26, 2020

    I have a question
    1. According to Ecclesiastes 12:7 , Spirit will return to God, then who will face the judgement Spirit or Soul?

    2. Soul life is not immortal; it is either passed on through generations, or perishes when a person dies.

    For above can you give me references?

  19. Brooke
    Jun 10, 2020

    I really enjoyed your teaching, but have a few questions. Are you saying that fallen man before Christ still had a spirit but just the connection to God’s spirit was lost? Also, many teach that the soul is made up of the mind, will and emotions. But that wouldn’t agree with your explanation of it just being a life force. If the mind will and emotions are NOT part of the soul, then it doesn’t explain the emotions that animals experience, who were not made in the image of God and therefore do not have a spirit. TIA for your input!

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *