Does the Soul Exist?January 25, 2023
The Soul’s Existence Proven Through the Bible
Do I have a soul? Does the soul exist? Many have pondered this thought at least once or twice in their lifetime. Can the soul exist without the body? Can the body exist without the soul? The soul seems like such a mysterious topic to many because it is something that cannot be seen or felt with our five senses. Organisms like bacteria and celestial bodies cannot be seen by the naked eye, yet we do not ponder their existence, because it can easily be proven through the microscope. The galaxies and stars also exist, and this fact is proven through another important tool, the telescope. In the same way, the soul’s existence can also be proven through the spiritual lens of the Holy Bible. The bible testifies that the soul exists and can continue to exist after it leaves the physical body. The beginning of our understanding of the soul comes from the question: how was man created?
Humans Consist of Body and Soul
God created man from two components the dust of the ground and the breath of life.
Genesis 2:7 Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
A living being was created with the dust of the ground and the breath of life. So, a living being is a combination of a physical body and a spirit. While we are living in this world, these two fundamental components coexist together. Then what happens when a person comes to die? Does it mean the extinction of the body and the soul as well?
Ecclesiastes 12:7 and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.
The key word in this verse is ‘Returns’. The Bible explains that when a person comes to die, the body returns to the ground where it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. The word return is defined as follows: to go back or to come back again. However, the spirit goes back to God, meaning it comes back to Heaven where God dwells. Therefore, the Biblical definition of death is not the extinction of the spirit, but rather its separation from the body. The soul separates from the body and returns to the spiritual world where God dwells.
The Soul Exists Even After Death
Furthermore, this implies that while the body eventually disintegrates into dust and is absorbed by the ground, the spirit continues to live on. We can even confirm this through the words of Jesus Christ.
Matthew 10:28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
If the soul did not exist, or if the soul was destroyed the same moment that the body died, then the words of Jesus “kill the body but cannot kill the soul.” would not make sense. Just because someone kills our body, they cannot kill our soul. Through this teaching, Jesus explained that the soul can exist even after the death of the physical body. Therefore, the soul exists in our bodies and continues to exist even after the body perishes. This Biblical principle can be confirmed even from the Old Testament times, in the book of Job.
Job 19:25-26 I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God;
Job said, “after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God”. This means that after his physical death, he would see God. After his death, he will not simply disappear. Instead, Job explains he will see God who is a spiritual being who dwells in heaven. So, Job’s essence will continue to exist even after his body dies. Then in what state would Job see God if his physical body is decayed? Would it not be his soul that continues to live? Thus, the soul still exists even after the death of the body.
A Physical Life and a Spiritual Life
There are some important implications of understanding how the soul exists; both within the living body and after the death of the body. This means that just like how one has a physical body and a soul, one also has a physical life and a spiritual life.
Hebrews 12:9 Moreover, 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 spirits and live!
The Bible explains that just like how we have human fathers on this earth we also have the father of our spirits. A father is a male responsible for giving life. We receive our physical body from our physical fathers and use it to live our physical life in the physical world. In the same manner, we have a spiritual father who gave us our spiritual body to live our spiritual life in the spiritual world. Let us confirm this fact through another book written by Apostle Paul.
1 Corinthians 15:44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.
On this earth, we come to life a physical life with our natural body, but if we go to the eternal kingdom of heaven, then we will live there with our spiritual body. On this earth, the natural body can only live a certain amount of time, according to the life span inherited from our fathers. In heaven, which is the spiritual world, our spiritual bodies will live eternally because that is the lifespan given by our God the Father. Then comparing the two lives, which one is more important?
Prioritizing the Spiritual Life, A Wise Decision
In determining which of our lives is more important, we should remember that only can live independently from the other. Simply put, we should prioritize our spiritual lives because they live eternally, either within or outside of the body. Our tent of flesh, on the other hand, can only live while the soul dwells inside of it. It is dependent on the soul to live. Let us see this exemplified through a case during the ministry of Elijah.
1 Kings 17:21-22 Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried out to the Lord, “Lord my God, let this boy’s life return to him! The Lord heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived.
We can see here, that when the soul left the boy’s body then he died; but once it returned, he lived again. What can we realize? Our physical body was given to use as clothes to harbor our souls. The body cannot live without the soul, so it is dependent on the soul. In other words, the soul is the true essence of our life. Then which one should we focus on? Without this soul, our human lives are nothing. We should live for our soul, which is the essence of life. Just as the body lives and thrives through basic activities such as breathing, eating, and exercising, our souls can thrive when we spiritually breathe by praying, spiritually eat by studying God’s words, and spiritually exercise by putting the word of God into practice. While living for our soul, we must prepare for the eternal life that our spirits will come to live once our bodies perish.
The Soul Exists Forever, So Let Us Prepare!
Revelation 20:11-12 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.
Here we can see the day when all the souls are judged according to what they have done. Then what will happen to those who only lived for the body, the physical life? On that day, the body will be separated from the spirit, and only the spirit will live. This is why our minds should not be set on only our physical lives, but on the eternal life we will enjoy in heaven. Then, we should believe in our soul, and understand the implications of its existence, by living a wise and spiritual life according to the will of God. This is how we can invest in our eternal life for the spiritual world. Then we will surely be greeted by God with a smile as the day comes when all the souls are standing before Him.