What the scriptures say about

Other sources:
Are Soul and Spirit the Same? Contending for the Faith
"A careful study of the Bible will show that man has a spirit (Job 32:8),
that his spirit has a definite function (Rom. 1:9),
and that the function of the spirit is different from the function of the soul (Luke 1:46-47)."

"The Bible clearly shows first that we have a human spirit,
second that our human spirit is not synonymous with our soul,
and third that it is not the same as the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:16)." Contending for the Faith

The Spiritual Man, on-line book by Watchman Nee

SPIRIT in scriptures [BibleGateway Search]

select Cross Reference Bible links
Genesis 1:2 - the Spirit of God hovered over the waters
Genesis 26:35 - Esau's Canaanite wives grieved his parents' spirits
Genesis 35:29 - Isaac gave up the spirit and died, and was gathered to his people
Genesis 41:38 - Pharoah saw that Joseph had the spirit of God in him
Joel 2:28, Acts 2:17 - I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh [See Holy Spirit]

SPIRIT [Easton Bible Dictionary]

(Heb. ruah; Gr. pneuma), properly wind or breath. In 2 Thessalonians 2:8 it means "breath," and in Eccl 8:8 the vital principle in man. It also denotes the rational, immortal soul by which man is distinguished (Acts 7:59; 1 Corinthians 5:5; 6:20; 7:34), and the soul in its separate state (Hebrews 12:23), and hence also an apparition (Job 4:15; Luke 24:37,39), an angel (Hebrews 1:14), and a demon (Luke 4:36; 10:20). This word is used also metaphorically as denoting a tendency (Zechariah 12:10; Luke 13:11).

In Rom 1:4, 1 Tim 3:16, 2 Co, Romans 3:18, it designates the divine nature.

SPIRIT [International Standard Bible Encyclopedia] Also see the Holy Spirit

spir'-it (ruach; pneuma; Latin, spiritus):
1. Primary and Figurative Senses
(1) As Wind, Breath
(2) As Anger or Fury
(3) As Mental and Moral Qualities in Man
2. Shades of Meaning
(1) As Life-Principle
(2) As Surviving Death
(3) Spiritual Manifestations
3. Human and Divine Spirit
(1) The Human as Related with the Divine
(2) Operations of the Divine Spirit as Third Person of the Trinity
4. Old Testament Applications
5. Various Interpretations

1. Primary and Figurative Senses:

(1) As Wind, Breath:
Used primarily in the Old Testament and New Testament of the wind, as in
Genesis 8:1; Numbers 11:31; Amos 4:13 ("createth the wind");
Hebrews 1:7 (angels, "spirits" or "winds" in margin);
often used of the breath, as in Job 12:10; 15:30,
and in 2 Thessalonians 2:8 (wicked consumed by "the breath of his mouth").
(2) As Anger or Fury:
In a figurative sense it was used as indicating anger or fury, and as such applied even to God, who destroys by the "breath of his nostrils"
(Job 4:9; Exodus 15:8; 2 Samuel 22:16; see 2 Thessalonians 2:8).
(3) As Mental and Moral Qualities in Man:
Hence, applied to man -- as being the seat of emotion in desire or trouble, and thus gradually of mental and moral qualities in general
(Exodus 28:3, "the spirit of wisdom";
Ezekiel 11:19, "a new spirit" etc.).
Where man is deeply stirred by the Divine Spirit, as among the prophets, we have a somewhat similar use of the word, in such expressions as:
"The Spirit of the Lord came .... upon him" (1 Samuel 10:10).
2. Shades of Meaning:
(1) As Life-Principle:
The spirit as life-principle in man has various applications:
sometimes to denote an apparition
(Matthew 14:26, the King James Version "saying, It is a spirit";
Luke 24:37, the King James Version "had seen a spirit");

sometimes to denote angels, both fallen and unfallen

(Hebrews 1:14, "ministering spirits";
Matthew 10:1, "unclean spirits";
compare also Matthew 12:43;
Mark 1:23,26-27;
and in Revelation 1:4, "the seven Spirits .... before his throne").
(2) As Surviving Death:
The spirit is thus in man the principle of life -- but of man as distinguished from the brute -- so that in death this spirit is yielded to the Lord
(Luke 23:46; Acts 7:59; 1 Corinthians 5:5, "that the spirit may be saved").
Hence, God is called the "Father of spirits" (Hebrews 12:9).
(3) Spiritual Manifestations:
Thus generally for all the manifestations of the spiritual part in man, as that which thinks, feels, wills; and also to denote certain qualities which characterize the man, e.g.
"poor in spirit" (Matthew 5:3);
"spirit of gentleness" (Galatians 6:1);
"of bondage" (Romans 8:15);
"of jealousy" (Numbers 5:14);
"of fear" (2 Timothy 1:7 the King James Version);
"of slumber" (Romans 11:8 the King James Version).
Hence, we are called upon to "rule over our own spirit" (Proverbs 16:32; 25:28),
and are warned against being overmastered by a wrong spirit
(Luke 9:55 the King James Version,
"Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of").
So man may submit to the "spirit of error," and turn away from the "spirit of truth"
(1 John 4:6).
Thus we read of the "spirit of counsel" (Isaiah 11:2); "of wisdom" (Ephesians 1:17).
3. Human and Divine Spirit:
(1) The Human as Related with the Divine:
We go a step higher when we find the human spirit brought into relationship with the Divine Spirit. For man is but a creature to whom life has been imparted by God's spirit -- life being but a resultant of God's breath. Thus life and death are realistically described as an imparting or a withdrawing of God's breath, as in
Job 27:3; 33:4; 34:14, "spirit and breath" going together.
The spirit may thus be
"revived" (Genesis 45:27), or
"overwhelmed" (Psalms 143:4), or
"broken" (Proverbs 15:13).
And where sin has been keenly felt, it is "a broken spirit" which is "a sacrifice to God" (Psalms 51:17);

and when man submits to the power of sin, a new direction is given to his mind:

he comes under a "spirit of whoredom" (Hosea 4:12);

he becomes "proud in spirit" (Ecclesiastes 7:8), instead of being "patient in spirit";

he is a fool because he is "hasty in spirit" and gives way to "anger" (Ecclesiastes 7:9).

The "faithful in spirit" are the men who resist talebearing and backbiting in the world (Proverbs 11:13).

In such instances as these the difference between "soul" and "spirit" appears.


(2) Operations of the Divine Spirit as Third Person of the Trinity:
On this higher plane, too, we find the Divine Spirit at work.

The terminology is very varied here:

In the New Testament we read of the "Holy Spirit"
(1 Corinthians 6:19; Matthew 1:18,20; 1 Thessalonians 1:5-6);
the "Spirit of God"
(1 Corinthians 2:10 ff; 1 Corinthians 3:16; Romans 8:9,11; Ephesians 3:16, etc.);
the "Spirit of Christ" (Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 3:17; Galatians 4:6);
or simply of "Spirit," with distinct reference to God
(1 Corinthians 2:10; Romans 8:16,23, etc.).
God Himself is Spirit (John 4:24).

Hence, God's power is manifested in human life and character

(Luke 4:14; Romans 1:1; 1 Corinthians 2:4; especially Luke 24:49).
The Book of Acts may be termed the Book of the Holy Spirit, working with power in man.

This Spirit is placed on a level with Father and Son in the Apostolic Benediction (2 Corinthians 13:14)
and in the parting message of the Saviour to His disciples (Matthew 28:19).

As the agent in redemption and sanctification His work is glorified by lives "renewed" in the very "spirit of the mind" -- a collocation of terms which has puzzled many interpreters

(Ephesians 4:23-24),
where pneuma and nous appear together, to indicate a renewal which is all-embracing,
`renewed in the spirit of your mind, so that the new man is put on, created in righteousness and true holiness'

(see also John 14:17,26; 15:26; 16:13; 1 Corinthians 12:11, etc.).

4. Old Testament Applications:
In the Old Testament this spirit of God appears in varied functions, as brooding over chaos
(Genesis 1:2; Job 26:13);
as descending upon men, on heroes like Othniel, Gideon, etc.
(Judges 3:10; 6:34),
on prophets
(Ezekiel 37:1),

on "cunning workmen," like Bezalel and Aholiab
(Exodus 31:2-3,4, "filled with the Spirit of God"),
and specially in such passages as Psalms 51:11, where the very presence of God is indicated by an abiding influence of the Holy Spirit:
"The Spirit of Yahweh is Yahweh himself."
5. Various Interpretations:
May we not reach a still higher stage?

Wendt in his interesting monograph (Die Begriffe Fleisch und Geist), of which extracts are given in Dickson's Paul's Use of the Terms Flesh and Spirit, draws attention to the transcendental influence of the Divine ruach in the Old Testament as expressed in such phrases as

`to put on' (Judges 6:34),
`to fall upon' (Judges 14:6,19),
`to settle' (Numbers 11:25 f).
May we not then rightly assume that more is meant than a mere influence emanating from a personal God?

Are we not right in maintaining with Davidson that "there are indeed a considerable number of passages in the Old Testament which might very well express the idea that the Spirit is a distinct hypostasis or person."?


Rejecting the well-known passage in Genesis: "Let us make man after our own image," which some have interpreted in a trinitarian sense, we may point to such texts as

Zechariah 4:6, "by my Spirit";
Isaiah 63:10-11, "They rebelled, and grieved his holy Spirit";
"Where is he that put his holy Spirit in the midst of them?"

This is borne out by the New Testament, with its warnings against

"grieving the Holy Spirit,"
"lying against the Holy Spirit,"
and kindred expressions (Ephesians 4:30; Acts 5:3).
It is this Spirit which "beareth witness with our spirit, that we are children of God" (Romans 8:16) -- the spirit which, as Auberlen has put it (PRE1, article "Geist des Menschen"), "appears in a double relationship to us, as the principle of natural life, which is ours by birth, and that of spiritual life, which we receive through the new birth (Wiedergeburt)." Hence, Paul speaks of God whom he serves "with his spirit" (Romans 1:9); and in 2 Timothy 1:3 he speaks of serving God "in a pure conscience."

J. I. Marais

SPIRIT [Thompson Chain Reference]
# Filled (Men)

    * Luke 1:15
    * Luke 4:1
    * Acts 2:4
    * Acts 4:8
    * Acts 4:31
    * Acts 7:55
    * Acts 11:24
    * Acts 13:9
    * Acts 13:52

# God, a

    * John 4:24
    * Acts 17:24
    * 2 Corinthians 3:17

# The Leadership of Holy Spirit

    * Guides into All Truth
          o John 16:13
          o Acts 8:39
    * Controls the Movements of Believers
          o Acts 10:19
          o Acts 10:20
    * Directs in the Selection of Christian Leaders
          o Acts 13:2
    * Chooses the Fields of Operation
          o Acts 16:6
    * Obedience to, a Mark of Sonship
          o Romans 8:14
          o Galatians 5:18
    * SEE Guidance, Divine

# Indwelling Holy Spirit, in Believers

    * Ezekiel 36:27
    * John 14:17
    * Romans 8:9
    * 1 Corinthians 3:16
    * 1 Corinthians 6:19
    * 2 Timothy 1:14
    * 1 John 2:27
    * SEE Holy Spirit
    * SEE Spiritual; Fulness
    * SEE Indwelling Christ

# Of God, Holy Spirit

    * (Select Readings)
    * John 14:16-26
    * Acts 2:1-47
    * Romans 8:1-39
    * General Work
          o Zechariah 4:6
          o Matthew 12:28
          o John 15:26
          o John 16:8
          o Romans 8:11
          o Romans 8:26
          o 2 Corinthians 3:6
          o 1 Peter 3:18
          o 2 Peter 1:21
          o Revelation 22:17
    * Dwelling in Believers
          o Ezekiel 36:27
          o John 14:17
          o Romans 8:9
          o 1 Corinthians 3:16
          o 1 Corinthians 6:19
          o 2 Timothy 1:14
          o 1 John 2:27
          o SEE Holy Spirit
          o SEE Spiritual; Fulness
          o SEE Indwelling Christ
    * Outpouring of, Promised
          o Isaiah 32:15
          o Isaiah 59:21
          o Ezekiel 39:29
    * Upon Young and Old
          o Joel 2:28
          o Zechariah 12:10
    * Christ the Giver of
          o Matthew 3:11
    * Bestowed in Answer to Prayer
          o Luke 11:13
    * Through Waiting upon God
          o Luke 24:49
          o John 7:39
          o John 14:16
          o John 16:7
    * Empowers for Service
          o Acts 1:8
    * Personal Cleansing Precedes
          o Acts 2:38
          o SEE Spiritual; Fulness 
    * Examples of Men Receiving the Gift of, under the Old Dispensation
          o The Seventy Elders
                + Numbers 11:25
          o Balaam
                + Numbers 24:2
          o Othniel
                + Judges 3:10
          o Gideon
                + Judges 6:34
          o Samson
                + Judges 14:6
                + Judges 14:19
          o Saul
                + 1 Samuel 10:10
                + 1 Samuel 11:6
          o David
                + 1 Samuel 16:13
          o Saul's Messengers
                + 1 Samuel 19:20
                + 2 Chronicles 15:1
                + Luke 2:25
          o SEE Spiritual; Power 
    * Believers in the Early Church Baptized with
          o Simeon
                + Luke 2:25
          o Believers at Pentecost
                + Acts 2:3
          o The Samaritan Christians
                + Acts 8:17
          o Cornelius and his Company
                + Acts 10:44
          o The Ephesian Believers
                + Acts 19:6
                + Acts 19:7
                + 1 Corinthians 12:13
                + 1 John 2:20
          o SEE Spiritual; Power 
    * Bearing Witness to the Spiritual Adoption of Believers
          o Romans 8:16
          o Galatians 4:6
          o 1 John 3:24
          o 1 John 4:13
          o 1 John 5:6
          o SEE Spiritual; Adoption
          o SEE Assurance
    * As Teacher
          o Nehemiah 9:20
          o Luke 12:12
          o John 14:26
          o 1 Corinthians 2:13
          o 1 John 2:27
          o SEE Guidance, Divine 
    * The Sin Against
          o Isaiah 63:10
          o Matthew 12:31
          o Mark 3:29
          o Acts 5:3
          o Acts 7:51
          o Ephesians 4:30
          o 1 Thessalonians 5:19
          o Hebrews 10:29
          o 1 John 5:16
          o SEE Despisers
          o SEE Stubbornness
    * Withdrawal of
          o Genesis 6:3
          o 1 Samuel 16:14
          o Psalms 51:11
          o SEE Face
          o SEE Reprobation
          o SEE Wicked, The 
    * Christ Baptized with
          o Isaiah 11:2
          o Isaiah 42:1
          o Isaiah 61:1
          o Matthew 3:16
          o John 1:32
          o Acts 10:38
    * The Leadership of
          o Guides into All Truth
                + John 16:13
                + Acts 8:39
          o Controls the Movements of Believers
                + Acts 10:19
                + Acts 10:20
          o Directs in the Selection of Christian Leaders
                + Acts 13:2
          o Chooses the Fields of Operation
                + Acts 16:6
          o Obedience to, a Mark of Sonship
                + Romans 8:14
                + Galatians 5:18
          o SEE Guidance, Divine
    * Giveth Life
          o John 6:63
          o Romans 8:11
          o 2 Corinthians 3:6
          o 1 Peter 3:18
    * Called "Spirit of Truth"
          o John 14:17
          o John 15:26
          o John 16:13
          o 1 John 4:6
    * Called the Comforter, (Greek, Parakletos)
          o Abides forever
                + John 14:16
          o Brings to remembrance Christ's words
                + John 14:26
          o Testifies concerning Christ
                + John 15:26
          o Convicts the world of sin
                + John 16:7
                + John 16:8
          o Guides into all truth
                + John 16:13

# Of Truth

    * (Holy Spirit, Called "Spirit of Truth")
    * John 14:17
    * John 15:26
    * John 16:13
    * 1 John 4:6

# Promised

    * (Holy Spirit)
    * Outpouring of, Promised
          o Isaiah 32:15
          o Isaiah 59:21
          o Ezekiel 39:29
    * Upon Young and Old
          o Joel 2:28
          o Zechariah 12:10
    * Christ the Giver of
          o Matthew 3:11
    * Bestowed in Answer to Prayer
          o Luke 11:13
    * Through Waiting upon God
          o Luke 24:49
          o John 7:39
          o John 14:16
          o John 16:7
    * Empowers for Service
          o Acts 1:8
    * Personal Cleansing Precedes
          o Acts 2:38
          o SEE Spiritual; Fulness 

# Quickeneth

    * (Holy Spirit)
    * Giveth Life
          o John 6:63
          o Romans 8:11
          o 2 Corinthians 3:6
          o 1 Peter 3:18

# Sin Against

    * (Holy Spirit)
    * Isaiah 63:10
    * Matthew 12:31
    * Mark 3:29
    * Acts 5:3
    * Acts 7:51
    * Ephesians 4:30
    * 1 Thessalonians 5:19
    * Hebrews 10:29
    * 1 John 5:16
    * SEE Despisers
    * SEE Stubbornness

# Teacher

    * (Holy Spirit)
    * Nehemiah 9:20
    * Luke 12:12
    * John 14:26
    * 1 Corinthians 2:13
    * 1 John 2:27
    * SEE Guidance, Divine 

# Upon Christ

    * (Holy Spirit)
    * Christ Baptized with
          o Isaiah 11:2
          o Isaiah 42:1
          o Isaiah 61:1
          o Matthew 3:16
          o John 1:32
          o Acts 10:38

# For further treatment of this subject

    * SEE Holy Spirit 

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