Soulbook: Where Does the Soul Originate? How Does it Make Us Different? @Enwrightened

ImageSoulbook: Where Does the Soul Originate? How Does it Make Us Different?

Where does your Soul come from? Did your Soul exist after your body was conceived or before, or was it created and instilled at the very point of conception? What kind of body or bodies do we have? These and other questions come to mind when we wonder about where we actually originated. Some important things to consider before looking into the origination point of your soul and spirit are how your body interacts with your spiritual self, what the original point of physicality was, the differences between humans and the rest of creation, and our immortal nature. God made us all individually special, in that our created souls are all unique. Although the physical universe may be awe-inspiring with its vast array of difference and beauty, this physical dimension is like a speck of sand compared to the soul, and certainly this goes for the Creator of the soul and everything else.
As we discussed previously, we are made of three parts: body, soul, and spirit. We have a physical part to us and two spiritual parts. This fact, to some degree, indicates the overall importance of the spiritual over the corporeal in the eyes of God. The doubling of the spiritual self over the singular simplicity of the physical carries with it the connotation of superiority of the immortal nature of our spiritual selves. When God created Adam, in Gen 2:7, we see that He instilled within Adam physical life. The text states: “Jehovah God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul (nephesh chayyah).” This passage describes the creation and animation of the physical person. With this animation came the soul and spirit, as mentioned in the previous chapter. But, where did these immortal characteristics come from and how do they contribute to life within us? And what makes us special in the Creation? More information concerning these important mysteries is found in scripture.
1 Corinthians 15:44-45, Paul writes in reference to this passage, “If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So also, it is written, ‘The first man, Adam, became a living soul.’” The differentiation, here, is between the mortal/fleshly nature of man and his spiritual nature. This is a very important distinction when referring to the difference between man and animals, as animals have a spirit of life, the same as man, but do not have a Soul. There are six additional places in the Old Testament where similar phraseology is used, and in each case, the text obviously is speaking of members of the animal kingdom. In Genesis 1:24, God said: “Let the earth bring forth living creatures (nephesh chayyah) after their kind.” Genesis 1:30 records that God provided plants as food “to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life (nishmath chayyah).” When the Genesis Flood covered the Earth, God made a rainbow covenant with Noah and with every living creature (nephesh chayyah) that was in the ark with Him (Genesis 9:12). God pledged that He would remember the covenant that He made with every “living creature” (nephesh chayyah; Genesis 9:12), and, therefore, He never again would destroy the Earth by such a Flood. The rainbow, He stated, would serve as a reminder of that “everlasting covenant” between God and every living creature (nephesh chayyah, Genesis 9:15). The final occurrence of the phrase is found in Ezekiel’s description of the river flowing from the temple, in which every living creature (nephesh chayyah) that swarms will live (47:9).
God made it abundantly clear that He cares for all life and provides for all of His Creation. All of the creatures, breathers or animals He mentions are made to exist, but not to continue after existence. After the flood, God even went so far as to make a promise to every living creature: “And God said, ‘This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh,” (Genesis 9:12-15). While this covenant is with every living creature, the obvious understanding is that the covenant is for the benefit of human beings, God’s special Creation. God speaks to Noah and his family to make a promise and makes that same promise to us so that we know He will not cause a worldwide deluge ever again. This promise provides ,not only comfort, but an understanding of God’s care for His Creation.
While both humans and animals are referred to as “nephesh chayyah”, the Scriptures make it clear that God did something special in reference to man. Genesis 1:26-27 records: “And God said, Let us make man in Our image, after Our likeness. …And God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.” Nowhere does the Bible state or imply that animals are created in the image of God. This fact leaves us with the special distinction of a closeness to God that is lacking in the remainder of Creation. As God’s image-bearers, we have souls and spirits that allow us a privileged position within God’s created order. This understanding and ability to not only have dominion over the Creation, but understand it by way of observation and study, allows human beings the envied ability to see the universe for what it is; a physical manifestation of God’s awesome love for us all. A simple reading of the creation account itself reveals God’s love for us through the words He spoke. He calls it “good”, “good”, and “very good”. He places things like the Sun, Moon, and stars in their proper places to ensure His special people have a way to tell seasons, and times, and direction. Then He crowns His creation with people who are His own representation in the beloved universe itself, containing within them a vastness and immortality that reaches far beyond the physical understanding of that universe. God’s plan within us is not without mystery or beauty!
As seen above, man possesses an immortal nature; animals do not. This is very important to remember, as we are given a great privilege and responsibility as image-bearers of God. “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth’,” (Genesis 1:27-28). We have a distinct responsibility to watch over and be good stewards of God’s Creation. God has placed His image upon us in the form of a soul, spirit, and physical component that makes us singularly fit to make decisions regarding His universe. We are to have care, compassion, and love for other members of humanity as a result; the same care and compassion God renders to us individually. Even the animals are regarded with some measure of this care. “Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel,” (Proverbs12:10). This soul we bear as God’s image is crucial to this regard and compassion. When overgrown with sin and cruelty, the compassion that sets us apart begins to slip away, revealing a diminution of our humanity. The soul makes us different and gives us authority and power that only can come from God. As a result, we must take that position of power and privilege extremely seriously and not let it lead us to the conclusion that we can use it recklessly or flippantly.
God Himself is a spirit (John 4:24). A spirit “does not have flesh and bones,” (Luke 24:39). In some fashion, God has placed within man a portion of His own essence—in the sense that man possesses a spirit that never will die. The prophet Zechariah spoke of Jehovah, Who “stretches forth the heavens, and lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit (ruach) of man within him,” (12:1). The Hebrew word for “forms,” “yatsar”, is defined as: to form, fashion, or shape as a potter works with clay. So, God forms our spirit. He makes us alive and gives us the ability to live on after death. There is something within us that gives us life. Consider Jesus’ take on this life: “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly,” (John 10:10). This abundant life resides in the part of us that gives life, not in the physical form of a person. The abundance we have within our souls through Christ is that fullness to overflowing that can only be grown in the soul.
God “initiates” the object we know as man’s immortal nature (i.e., his soul or spirit). Solomon, writing in Ecclesiastes, noted that “the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns unto God who gave it,” (12:7). Man’s physical body was formed of the physical dust of the Earth. Would it not follow, then, that his spiritual portion would be formed from that which is spiritual? When the writer of Hebrews referred to God as “the Father of our spirits” (12:9), he revealed the spiritual source of the soul—God. Thus, our souls come not from this Earth, but from Someone and Somewhere else. In Genesis, God formed Adam from the dust of the ground. He used a physical method to form a physical being. However, Adam’s life was given to him directly from God through the inspiration or act of God breathing His own essence into him. Since God is spirit, then the essence of Him is also spirit and soul and, since God abides in Heaven, our soul and spirit ultimately originate from that realm. How awesome to know that we are Heaven born and Heaven bound! We have been given not only the privilege of dominating God’s creation, but of returning to the true and eternal home we left when God joined us to our bodies.
So, where (or from whom) do our Souls and spirits originate? God makes us. He makes every part of us. While our bodies come from the Earth, our Soul/Spirit originates in the Spiritual world with the “Father of our spirits”. But, what does this mean for us? Is this world our home, or are we merely living here as we wait to go back to where we came from originally? We are “not of this world”, after all. We are all going back to where we belong, if we are in Christ and have the joining of our souls in Him.

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