Do I have a Soul?
Have you ever asked yourself the following questions: “Where am I from? Where am I going? What do I live for? Why was I born on this earth?”
These are very serious questions for anyone and everyone. Most people do not know the answers to these questions because they have no real understanding of their existence and of the next world. They go astray and wander from here to there and, eventually, they find themselves at an inevitable and tragic end: death. This is most people’s fate. Some say that life is but an empty dream and all is in vain. However, life is not all in vain. There is a significant mystery hidden deep within our lives here on earth.
We were once the noble sons of God in the kingdom of heaven before we put on the tent of the body. But now, we are wretched men destined to die because of the sin committed in heaven. However, God had pity on us and opened a way for us to have eternal life through which we can restore our former glory. Only when we seek the way opened by God will we find the definite answers to the questions about our origin: “Where are we from? Where are we going? What should we live for?”
When we fully realize that our transient life has no lasting value, we can then pursue the meaningful things in the spiritual world. Our essence is not our flesh, but our spirit. Jesus said, “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing” (Jn 6:63). Do not merely hold on to the temporary things here on earth. Please, seek spiritual life seriously and you will discover the truth and meaning behind the words: “If we only think of the visible, our faith collapses; but if we have faith, the visible collapses.” Once we secure life in the spiritual world, we can give up chasing shadows and even the trials of the physical world will no longer affect us.
- Our Soul
The record of the creation in Genesis shows us not only the creation of the body, but also the creation of the soul.
Genesis 2:7『The LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.』
From the above verse, we understand that our flesh is the earthly being and the breath of life is the spiritual being from God. Regarding this, Solomon wrote:
Ecclesiastes 12:7『The dust returns to the ground it came from, the spirit returns to God who gave it.』
Here, the dust means the body, and the spirit is the breath of life given by God. Jesus called the breath of life, “the soul.”
Luke 12:20, KJV『“Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee.”』
The action of God requiring man’s soul represents His withdrawing the breath of life that He breathed into him. As the dust represents human body, God’s breath of life represents the human soul. Our body is formed from our human parents, while our soul is formed from God, who is our spiritual Father.
The author of the book Hebrews in the Bible said that we all have our human fathers and the Father of our spirits as well, for our body and soul are two separate elements.
Hebrews 12:9『We have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live.』
God is called “the Father of our spirits.” Then, who are the spirits which are called the children of God? About this, Jesus said to the crowds and His disciples:
Matthew 23:1-9『“Do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.』
Therefore, those spirits, the children of God, refers to us.
In addition, Jesus teaches that the death of the body is different from that of the soul.
Matthew 10:28『Do not be afraid of those who kill the body, but cannot kill the soul.』
Consequently, there are two types of death, the death of the body and the death of the soul.
Revelation 20:12-14『And I saw the dead…the dead were judged…they were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.』
Our salvation is not for our body, but for our soul.
1 Peter 1:9『…for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.』
Apostle Paul wrote about his own salvation:
2 Corinthians 5:8『We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.』
Here, what is away from the body? It is the soul. Paul longed for his soul to separate from the body and to be with God. He expressed the soul as a separate entity from his body. Regarding the body, Apostle Paul said, “If the earthly tent we live in is destroyed” (2 Cor 5:1), and Apostle Peter remarked, “…as long as I live in the tent of this body” (2 Pt 1:13). Therefore, the body is nothing but a tent in which our soul dwells for a short amount of time. What is important is not our body, but our soul.
- Our Home Country is the Kingdom of Heaven
God told Job that he had already been born at the time of creation.
Job 38:1-21『“Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge? …Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? …Surely you know, for you were already born! You have lived so many years!”』
And when a Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt asked Jacob, “How old are you?” Jacob said to him, “The years of my pilgrimage are a hundred and thirty.” The writer of Hebrews wrote that the reason Jacob compared his life to the years of pilgrimage was that he was longing for a better country, a heavenly one.
Hebrews 11:4-16『By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did… By faith Enoch… By faith Noah… By faith Abraham… Isaac and Jacob… All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one.』
Here, “all these people” indicate the forefathers of faith saved since Abel. They testified that their life on earth was like the years of a pilgrimage, for they were longing for their own country, the heavenly one. Now then, where is our own country?
Jesus compares His people, the spiritual pilgrims, to the lost sheep.
Luke 15:4-7『Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it… I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.』
Here, who are the ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent? Where are they? And who is the “one sinner”?
The lost sheep, the one sinner, once lived in the kingdom of heaven with the ninety-nine righteous persons. About this, Jesus said, “The Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost” (Lk 19:10) and “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” (Jn 3:17). He called the lost sheep “one sinner” —all of mankind lost from the kingdom of heaven. So, Jesus came from heaven to this earth to seek the lost sheep. As a hundred sheep were together, so we were also together with all the angels in the kingdom of heaven. And like the one lost sheep, we are now lost from heaven to this earth. Then, why have we become the lost from heaven? Jesus said:
Luke 19:10『The Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.』
1 Timothy 1:15『Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.』
The “lost” Christ wanted to seek are the “sinners” He wanted to save. Because of sin, we became the lost, not knowing the purpose and way of life on earth. All men on this earth are sinners who committed sin in heaven, and in order to return to the kingdom of heaven, we need to receive the forgiveness of sins through the precious blood of Christ given to us during the Passover feast.
Ephesians 1:7『In him [Christ] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins…』
Luke 22:8-20『Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover. … And he took [Passover] bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this [Passover] in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup [of Passover wine] is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.”』
Let us celebrate the Passover and return to the kingdom of heaven, our true home!