Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

The Importance of our Souls


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 being. (NKJV)

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. (KJV)

Flight 370

The news this last week has been filled with speculation about a Malaysian plane that was flying to China that has disappeared.  No one seems to know where it is.  As I listened to a team of CNN reporters discussing the incident, one of them kept saying that there were 239 people on board.  The other kept saying that there were 239 souls on board.  I was taken by the difference in terminology.  I suppose that the two news anchors could have thought that they were saying exactly the same thing, but I wondered if the one news anchor was trying to make a point without saying that she was.  A person has a soul according to the Bible.  When we call a person a soul we are emphasizing the fact that the person is more than a body. 

What is the Soul?

When I preach the Gospel, I try to stay simple on this issue.  I tell people that the body is a container.  Inside the body is the real person and that real person doesn’t cease to exist when the body dies.

Many people have tried to identify and define the terms body, soul and spirit.  There are many Biblical reasons to believe that we are made up of the three parts.  I usually define the body as the material part of the person.  The soul is the personality, the spirit is the energy.  We could liken this to a car.  The car is the container that holds the passengers.  But neither go anywhere without gas to energize the car.  The car would be like our bodies, the passenger would be like our souls and the gas would be like our spirits.  Spirit is often linked to breath which provides some of the energy that we need to “live.”  We see those three parts in our verse in Genesis 2.  The forming of man out of dust was the forming of the body. The breath was the energy that the body needed.  Man became a living soul or a living being in that body once it had breath.  Because man cannot become a living being or soul without the breath of life some argue that we are really just body and soul/spirit.  The important thing to realize is that when God created mankind, He created life that was different from plant life and animal life.  He created something material that has something eternal, spiritual and immaterial inside.  That immaterial being is the real person.  It never ceases to exist.

The Body is Important, But the Soul is More Important

We tend to spend most of our time on our bodies.  We bath them, we perfume them, we paint them, many tattoo them, and we try to keep them healthy.  But our real emphasis should be on the immaterial eternal parts of our being.  When we die it is not “all over” as some think.  Our bodies all go to the same place which is ultimately back to the dust that God used to create us.  The Lord does tell us that body and soul will be thrown into Hell for the unbeliever so after the resurrection, people do receive bodies suitable for that place.   But it is our souls that are eternal and that need to be prepared for eternity. 

A Final Thought

A verse Mark’s Gospel keeps coming before me this week.  It is found in Mark 8:36 and says, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?”

I hope that the 239 persons on Flight 370 are found and are safe.  But I hope that this incident makes us all think about the importance of our souls.

Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of March 16, 2014

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