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The Salvation of the Soul

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-- American Standard
3 John 1:2 Beloved, I pray that in all things thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.
-- Darby's Bible
3 John 1:2 Beloved, I desire that in all things thou shouldest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospers.
I have been meditating on and contemplating this Scripture lately. I believe we do not have total understanding of what it means for our soul to prosper. It would be enlightening to understand what the soul is first before we go on. Many people say the spirit and the soul are the same thing, however the Word of God differentiates them.
Hebrews 4:12 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.
If the soul and spirit were the same thing then why would there be a need to divide them as the Word of God is saying here? Meaning the thoughts and intentions of the heart are not the same as the thoughts and intentions of the soul. Since they are different and need to be divided, it would be beneficial for us to understand this and know why this needs to be so.
What are the differences and why is it important for us to know the differences to have a prosperous soul as the Apostle John is saying. I believe it is critical for us to understand the difference. I believe it is vital in order to know when we are receiving something from God and when it is just our flesh. I know God is a spirit and that He always communicates with our born again spirit, not our flesh, or mind or soul. I believe it begins with the Word of God, as the writer of Hebrews says. We have to start here. The Word of God is a divider of spirit and soul.
The word heart is often synonymous with spirit in the Bible. It is not talking about the physical beating heart but our spirit. Jesus said this…
John 3:5 Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
We know He was not talking about physical birth, He specifically said born of spirit. It is the spirit of man that is born again. We know this because he goes on to explain in vs. 6-7.
"That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
"Do not marvel that I said to you, `You must be born again.'
God’s Word tells us … Proverbs 20:27 The spirit of a man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all the inner depths of his heart.
It is mans spirit that communicates with God, and also where God communicates with us, not our intellect or emotions.
So we can see that the spirit of man is born again of God. God’s life has been imparted to the one who acknowledges Jesus as Lord. So the question would be if the spirit of man is born of God, then what is the soul? Well, we know it is not the spirit and we know that it is not the flesh, so what is left? Everything else is left. Our emotions, our intellect, our thought processes, and our minds are all things that are not born again. Some would ask if we are born again then isn’t our soul born again too, isn’t our soul saved as well? That is a very good question and gets to the very heart of this discussion.
The writter of Hebrews says this…
Heb:10:39: But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.
The literal translations says preservation of the soul
James said this --- James 1:21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
James was writing to believers, not the lost. He did not mean to save your spirit. Their spirits were already born again. He said the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. It is able to save your mind. Our minds or souls are not born again, they have to be renewed by the Word of God. This is a process that takes time, being born again happens instantly; the moment you acknowledge Jesus as Lord.
James goes on to say, 22. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24. for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.
This is hearing and putting the Word of God into practice. This is part of the renewing process. Hear and put into practice.
Paul said in Romans
Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
2. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
He here is talking about presenting your bodies and minds to God. paul said be transformed by the renewing of your mind. James said receive with meekness the engrafted Word which is able to save your soul. The engrafted word will renew your mind and save your soul. They both said a similar thing about renewing restoring and saving the mind or soul.
The 23 Psalm said a similar thing… Psalms 23:3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake.
He restores my soul.
We are born again of the spirit but our soul must be renewed with the Word of God.
The mind will be dominated by the body if it is not first renewed by the Word of God.
We will be dominated by the carnal not the spiritual without this renewing process.
In order for your soul to prosper it must be dominated by your spirit. In order for your spirit to dominate your soul or mind, you must receive the engrafted Word of God. This will save your soul. You may be saying I just don’t see this. All you do is have to look at any mental health institution. You will see people who have lost their soul. The world is full of people who no longer have control over their minds and have given it over to forces that now control them. Maybe this was not their original intention but it is the end state, none the less. I hope you see my point in this. Our minds must be renewed by the Word of God.
In order to grow up into spiritual adulthood we must allow our spirit to dominate our mind and begin to walk the walk of faith. It can not happen any other way, and there are no shortcuts in this process, only diligence in God’s Word. As the Apostle Paul said, this is our reasonable service.
Only the renewed mind will dominate the body. The mind or soul will take sides with our spirit because we have renewed it with God’s Word.
Your spirit by the power of the Holy Spirit will then and only then be able to dominate the carnal mind. Let’s prove God’s Word true.
Lets prove God’s Word true as the Apostle Paul said….
Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
2. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
The renewed mind is the beginning of this process, which is the salvation of our soul.
Amen.
 

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