Bible Truths -Needs of the Soul

The quality of life depends on the condition of the Soul.

Mental problems are the biggest problem in our society today. Since the Soul is the source of our feelings, thoughts and emotions we must have a healthy soul for good mental health.

Hello again, I’m Randy Gaudet, founder and director of All Thailand Experiences. Those who have read my profile know how I first came to Thailand and my association with missions and churches since 1989.

We use funds from our tours to help the needy, change lives and spread the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We teach about the Holy Trinity, Love and Grace because of Jesus Christ and to tell Christians they are free from the Law, sin and death.

At most churches in Thailand the old covenant law is being taught and that Grace is not available to you if you break the law. We are training pastors about the New Repentance as written in the Bible with help from Pastors Nathan and Salila Gonmei at Abundant Grace Church in Chiang Mai.

On all our All Thailand Experiences Christian teaching blogs I will point to scriptures and explain the meaning on the topic. As our mission is to reach Thai people we will then watch or listen to Pastors Nathan and Solila give a sermon on the topic in English and Thai Languages.

Today we’re going to talk about Needs of the Soul.

1 Thessalonians 5:23, NIV: “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

In this verse Paul refers to God as “the God of peace.” God had given the Thessalonians peace when they had trusted in Jesus as their Savior. Paul insists in Romans 5:1 that justification by faith brings believers “peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Further, Paul prays that God, who gives peace, would make the Thessalonians completely separated unto Himself, so that their spirit, soul, and body would be free of any valid accusation at the rapture.

Most people think of the three components of every human being as body, soul, and spirit, but Paul reverses this order, giving highest priority to the spirit and the lowest priority to the body. The spirit connects us to God and enables us to worship God and to fellowship with Him. The soul is the seat of emotions and makes us conscious of our being. The body connects us to our environment. We need to be kept faultless by God in our worship of Him and in our fellowship with Him. We need to be free of any legitimate accusation in our inner being and in our social relationships.

Spirit and Soul are not the same but they work together. We are a spirit as God created us in His own image and He is a spirit. Our spirit is eternal just as God is. Our spirit is what got born again when we received Jesus Christ. The soul does not get born again so most born again Christians continue with the same habits, thoughts and emotions as a non-believer. The soul must be renewed by the word of God.

The soul contains our thoughts, will, feelings and emotions. The soul guides us in our everyday decisions. The soul can cooperate with the flesh and against the will of God or our old self or with our born again spirit and the will of God.

  1. Our Soul Needs a Caretaker.

You are the caretaker of your soul. Just like a garden that you let weeds or seeds you do not want into the garden you get bad or undesirable fruit, your soul is the same. Let things and thoughts not in line with the will of God into your soul you get depression, sadness, doubt, worry, anxiety, sickness, bad decision making. This will prevent a blessed fruitful life given to you by your born again spirit. Your spirit needs the cooperation of your soul. They must be in agreement.

Proverbs 4:23, NIV: “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

In many bible verses they talk about the heart. They are talking about the “spiritual heart” or soul not the physical heart.

To “keep” something, in this sense, means more than simply “to maintain ownership.” It refers to maintenance, care, and support. Some translations use the word “guard,” A wise person realizes that temptation is real (1 Corinthians 10:13) and takes appropriate precaution. This parallels statements made earlier, where Solomon advises his son to actively avoid evil, and those who practice it (Proverbs 4:14–15).

Scripture places a strong emphasis on the heart (soul) as the source of good or evil. Jeremiah 17:9 says, “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick.” Jesus announced: “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45).

David, Solomon’s father, certainly understood how influential the heart is in how we live out our morals and values. Out of the evil of his heart he stole Uriah’s wife Bathsheba, committed adultery with her, and then arranged for Uriah’s death when he could not hide his crime (2 Samuel 11:2–5, 14–15). However, when he was under heavy conviction about his evil deed, David prayed, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10). What is hidden in the heart is open to God’s eyes. First Samuel 16:7 reminds us that “the LORD sees not as a man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”

It is absolutely essential, therefore, to guard the heart (soul).

  • Our Soul Needs an Anchor.

 Our soul determines whether we walk in the plan of God or not. Our will, thoughts and emotions can be controlled by worldly influences or Godly influences. For this reason our soul must be anchored in the word of God not physical or material things.

Hebrews 6:19, NIV: “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain,”

The purpose of these last verses in chapter 6 is encouragement. In order for Christians to move beyond spiritual immaturity, they need to experience a sense of confidence in their faith. That assurance ought to come naturally when we consider examples such as Abraham. He was given promises by God, and history proved those oaths to be true. In the prior verse, the writer began to weave three separate concepts together.

The first metaphor was that of fleeing to a refuge. This could be a reference to the Old Testament cities of refuge (Numbers 35; Joshua 20), or the general idea of a fortress or safe-house. In either case, the point is safety and security. Those within the refuge are safe from whatever danger they were fleeing.

The next image applied to our confidence is that of an anchor. This was a common symbol of hope, both before and during the early Christian church. Anchors prevent a ship from being swept away by wind or waves. What’s more interesting, and relevant to this particular use, is that anchors are often placed away from the ship. In a harbor, for instance, sailors would carry the anchor some distance away, securing it to a reef, or the shore, or the dock. This aspect of an anchor makes more sense in light of the next image brought out in this verse.

The third image used to explain our hope is that of Christ entering “the inner place behind the curtain.” This has already been referenced in the description of Christ’s High Priesthood for all believers (Hebrews 2:17; 4:14), and a reason for our confident approach to God in prayer (Hebrews 4:16). Here, it again represents the way in which Christ precedes us. The next verse will refer to Jesus as our “forerunner,” much as Hebrews 2:10 called Him the “founder of [our] salvation.”

Put together, these separate images create a powerful message of reassurance. Christ has “anchored” our hope of “refuge” in the very presence of God: the “inner place.” Prior verses pointed out the absolute and unchanging value of God’s promises (Hebrews 6:13–18).

Just as the anchor which holds a ship is not in the exact same place as the ship itself, our hope is not in this world. Rather, it is in a holier, greater place. Since Christ has gone ahead of us, in order to secure our salvation, we should absolute confidence. That confidence ought to lead us to greater faith, and growth in both truth and love. Our soul should be anchored with that of Christ not tossed around by the things of the world. We no longer have to be tossed around by wrong or false emotions or thoughts when we are anchored in God’s word and truth.

Our Soul Needs Rest

Rest in our soul is our relationship with Jesus Christ. Knowing our relationship with Jesus Christ causes our soul to be at rest.

Matthew 11:28, NIV: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

Jesus has made an extraordinary claim and now He makes an extraordinary offer to all who hear Him. He claimed in the previous verse to be the only one who knows God the Father and to be able to reveal the Father to anyone He chooses (Matthew 11:25–27). Now He makes an invitation: if you’re struggling and tired, I can give you relief.

Here is the implication. Jesus’ Jewish listeners were engaged in a mighty struggle to know God the Father. Their religious leaders had placed enormous burdens on them (Matthew 23:4), and they were laboring to carry those burdens in hopes of being approved by God. Jesus has just said that He can reveal His Father to anyone, and He immediately offers rest to everyone who is weighed down.

Jesus is not talking about physical rest, necessarily. The following verse will describe it as rest for the soul. The path to the Father through Jesus is not one of weary labor and heavy work. Jesus’ earlier analogy about the path to life being narrow and “difficult” (Matthew 7:14) is entirely separate, and speaking from a different perspective. From the view of the world, following Christ means taking on difficult circumstances and giving up worldly pleasures. From the view of eternity—of salvation—following Christ means giving up the impossible task of carrying our own sin.

Christ does not say it here, but the gospel will reveal that Jesus is offering to carry the burden and do the work in order to lead those who come to Him—those who are “yoked” to Him—to the Father (Matthew 11:30; John 6:29).

Matthew 11:29, NIV: “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

A yoke is a wooden device used to harness the working power of an animal, especially oxen. These could be made for a single animal, or to combine the power of several. Jewish people described living under obedience to the Law as having a yoke upon them. In Jesus’ time, the Pharisees made that load even heavier by adding manmade requirements and regulations on top of the law of Moses (Matthew 23:4).

Jesus has declared that He knows God the Father and that He can reveal God to whomever He chooses. Then He invited His listeners to come to Him and take His yoke, to commit to Him and put themselves under His authority. He has promised rest to those who do this (Matthew 11:28). Now He elaborates, inviting these listeners to put His yoke on them.

The implication is to allow Jesus to put His own yoke on us, the way a farmer would put one on his livestock. It means giving Jesus control and letting Him direct our efforts. The work He has will not be difficult, Jesus says. He wants them to learn from Him. Unlike the Pharisees, Jesus insists that He is gentle. He is lowly in heart (Philippians 2:6–7). He has not come to add to their burden but to give them rest for their souls.

This statement is from an entirely different perspective than Christ’s earlier comments on the wide and narrow gates. There, Jesus had said that the path to life was narrow and difficult (Matthew 7:14). In that context, Jesus was speaking of the world’s view: that following Christ meant taking on difficult circumstances. This is certainly true, since being a follower of Christ often means being persecuted (John 16:33). What Jesus refers to here, however, is the perspective of eternity. Compared to the impossible task of earning one’s own salvation (Romans 3:20; Galatians 2:16), Jesus offers something infinitely “easier” (Matthew 11:30).

By making this comment, Jesus is not offering freedom from commitment. His yoke is still a yoke: it still comes with demands from a holy God. But the apostle John will later write that obedience to the God we love is not burdensome (1 John 5:3). This is true in part, the gospels will reveal, because Jesus will carry the ultimate burden of our sin for us and will provide power in the Holy Spirit to carry out His will.

At rest also means not yo compare ourselves to non believers, materialism or things of the world. If you do you will never find rest. You need to focus on who you are in Christ with all His Grace, Love, Promises and Power, who God created you to be

It is OK to enjoy things however things can never satisfy our soul or heart.

  • Our Soul Needs Freedom.

God did not design our soul to be bound by any negative thing. If our soul does not have freedom it will never see the abundant life God has for us. A soul that is free knows the Love of God and free from the influences of life. This is why we must build our soul on the word of God not the lies of the world and Satan.

Our soul must be free from self-hatred, jealousy, fear, bitterness, hopelessness, uselessness and negative thought patterns that will destroy our lives. We must know our strength and glory in Christ who freed our soul. Without God our spirit can never be free.

2 Timothy 1:7, NIV: “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”

Facing Our Fears 2 Timothy 1:7 By David Dann

The opening phrase of this verse may explain why Paul dwells so much on concepts such as bravery and spiritual strength when writing to Timothy. It’s possible this represented a spiritual weakness which Paul was helping Timothy to overcome. Perhaps Timothy was content in his role of serving alongside Paul and did not prefer to be the outspoken leader of a large movement of Christians. And yet, this was the role Timothy held in Ephesus at the time Paul wrote this letter. However, Paul urged Timothy to stand strong. Rather than fear, God had given a spirit or attitude of “power and love and self-control.”

“Power” has always been an important part of God’s work in the church. In the next verse, Paul notes again the “power of God.” In 2 Timothy 3:5, he will speak against those who have an appearance of godliness, but deny its power.

“Love” was also vital theme for Paul (1 Corinthians 13) as well as a prominent topic in the teachings of Jesus. Self-control was a theme in 1 Timothy (1 Timothy 2:9, 15) and appears here again. Paul routinely reminded believers under his care to exhibit self-control, as part of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22–23).

For Christians, remember your spirit is born again and you have a new nature, the righteousness of Jesus Christ, the presence of the Holy Spirit and all the blessings of redemption is in your spirit. However the soul has a big part to play in our lives. The condition of our soul determines if we receive the blessings and guidance of God and the Holy Spirit or not.

If our soul is renewed with the truth of God then our born again spirit can affect our life. If our soul is not discipled by the word of God then it is cooperating with the flesh and things of the world. 

Many new Christians when they are born again experience the same feelings, thoughts and emotions as before they were saved and wonder why. This is because their Spirit was born again but the soul was not.

What the bible says about the soul is to renew our minds with the word of God. Then our soul will align with the born again spirit and you will experience a new life. You must maintain a healthy soul to know the will of God in your life and it will produce good fruit. We are the gardener of our soul and must anchor our soul in the words of Christ.

        5. Our soul also must cultivate a life of thanksgiving.

1 Thessalonians 5:16, NIV: “Rejoice always,”

According to this verse, Christians should be joyful at all times. Practicing unconditional forgiveness allows us to obey the command to “rejoice always.” A bitter, unforgiving soul blocks joy as surely as a logjam blocks the flow of a river. Scripture recognizes that our circumstances might not always result in our being “happy,” but happiness is not the same thing as joy. Joy, in the Bible, involves a trusting hope in Christ, leading to an eternal perspective (James 1:2–3; Hebrews 12:2).

Paul practiced what he preached. When he wrote to the Philippians from prison, he didn’t live under his circumstances, instead he rose above them. Even though he was shackled, he rejoiced in the Lord (Philippians 1:17–18; 4:10). The Thessalonians’ circumstances were difficult, but they could be joyful “in the Lord.” Paul’s joy overpowered his trials. In spite of ill-treatment, brushes with death, sorrow, and virtual poverty, he always rejoiced (2 Corinthians 6:8–10).

Jesus linked joy to obedience. He said, “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love…These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:10–11).

1 Thessalonians 5:17, NIV: “pray continually,”

In this verse Paul encourages the Thessalonian believers to pray continually. Naturally, this does not mean to be in a state of prayer during every waking moment. Rather, we ought to be in a constantly “prayerful” state, and frequently speaking to God in actual, dedicated prayer. Even in the midst of trials, believers should recognize the immeasurable value of maintaining fellowship with God through frequent prayer.

Jesus is the supreme example of what it means to pray continually. He taught His disciples to pray (Matthew 6:5–13). He prayed before feeding the five thousand (Matthew 14:19–21). He prayed when He blessed the children (Matthew 19:13). He prayed in the morning (Mark 1:35) and in the evening (Mark 6:45–47). He prayed for His disciples and for all subsequent believers (John 17). He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36–42). He prayed from the cross (Luke 23:34).

The apostle Paul, too, prayed continuously. He prayed from prison at midnight (Acts 16:25). He prayed after giving a charge to the elders of the church at Ephesus (Acts 20:36). He prayed at Malta (Acts 28:8). He prayed for Israel (Romans 10:1). He prayed for the churches (Romans 1:9; Ephesians 1:16; Philippians 1:4; Colossians 1:3–12).

1 Thessalonians 5:18, NIV: “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

In this verse Paul exhorts his readers to give thanks in all circumstances. He adds that it is God’s will to do so. Regardless how difficult our circumstances may be, we can find reasons to thank God. We can be thankful that all things work together for our good if we belong to Him (Romans 8:28). We can be thankful that God’s grace is sufficient to sustain us in every circumstance (2 Corinthians 12:9). We can be thankful that nothing can separate us from God’s love (Romans 8:37–39). We can be thankful that God even supports us spiritually when trials produce difficulty in our prayer life (Romans 8:26). Rough circumstances also prove the genuineness of our faith (1 Peter 1:6–7).

Paul previously wrote to “Rejoice always” (1 Thessalonians 5:16). Joy is not the same thing as happiness. In a similar way, Scripture notes the difference between giving thanks “for” our circumstances, as opposed to giving thanks “in” our circumstances. For example, a car wreck may not find us giving thanks for a twisted fender and smashed radiator, but we can give thanks that we have insurance and a God who is always present with us. We may not thank God for an illness, but we can be thankful for medicines and doctors. Persecution is not something we would be thankful for, but we can be thankful that God can use that hardship for our eternal benefit.

Created by Randy Gaudet with contribution from Abundant Grace Church, Chiang Mai Thailand

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