Our soul contains our mentality, our emotion, our free will, our self-consciousness and our conscience. The soul is the part of our thinking apparatus which understands human phenomena. All things that we encounter in the physical realm are understood by the soul. Everyone has a soul; believers and unbelievers. The soul never dies.
Our sin nature (the flesh) tries to control our free will and cause it to produce sin. Our free will is always in the center of this struggle between good and evil. It decides if we will sin, but even if we resist for a while, Satan is so clever and deceptive that when his deception is combined with our sin nature, we will sooner or later sin.
The Bible tells us that we not only have a soul, but a human spirit as well. The problem with the spirit is that when we are born, it is dead. It is dead because we have inherited Adam’s sin. It simply lies there dormant. The spirit is that which comprehends spiritual phenomena, essentially the Bible and its application to our lives. When we believe in Christ our human spirit is “quickened.” Quickened is an old English word that means to “make alive” something that was once dead.
“And you (believers) hath he quickened (made alive) who were dead (spiritually) in trespasses and sins.” (Ephesians 2:1)
“For since by man (Adam) came death, by man (Jesus) came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15: 21-22)
Without this live human spirit we can have no relationship with God, nor can we get into heaven. An unbeliever cannot understand the things of God. He can read the Bible and talk about God, but he has no understanding of what spiritual things mean, because it is the Holy Spirit that reveals spiritual things to him, and he has no spiritual receiver.
The human viewpoint is a result of the dead human spirit. The live human spirit allows someone to view the world with the divine viewpoint. Think of a human spirit as a radio. Radio waves are everywhere, but if our receiver is turned off we can’t hear anything.
“But the natural man (the unbeliever) receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: (the Holy Spirit) for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14)
It’s like walking through a door. Someone can tell you what is on the other side of the wall, and you can try to imagine what it’s like in a room that you have never seen. But once you walk through the door, things become very clear and visible. Likewise, when we walk through the door, by accepting Christ on faith, our human spirit is activated, allowing us to understand the spiritual things of God.
“Even when we (believers) were (spiritually) dead in sins, (God) hath quickened us (made us alive) together with Christ, by grace are ye saved, and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” (Eph. 2:5-6)
Ministry of the Holy Spirit
When someone explains the Gospel of Christ to an unbeliever, the Holy Spirit “sits in” and acts as a human spirit so that he can understand it. The Holy Spirit convicts the unbeliever of sin and makes the spiritual connection. He makes the gospel message understandable to an unbelieving person. This is called the ministry of the Holy Spirit. When he accepts the gospel, he is not only saved, but his human spirit is made alive, and he is then ready to learn the things of God. He becomes a new creature because he is now a body, soul and spirit. If he rejects the gospel of Jesus Christ, he has blasphemed or gone against the Holy Spirit’s ministry. He has committed the unforgivable sin, because Jesus Christ is salvation and outside of him there is no other way of salvation.
“Wherefore I say unto you, all manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit shall not be forgiven unto men….neither in this world, neither in the world to come.” (Matthew 12:31-32)
The ministry of the Holy Spirit may last for days, weeks or years. Many people know the issue of salvation, but keep on resisting. If a person dies, rejecting Christ, he has committed the unforgivable sin, and no hope remains for him. God is fair, and gives everyone the opportunity to be saved at some point in his lifetime.
“…and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister.” (Colossians 1:23)
“Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.” (Colossians 1:28)
Once an unbeliever accepts the Ministry of the Holy Spirit, by believing in Christ, there is then no longer any unforgivable sin. God is then able to forgive him of all sin and impute perfect righteousness. The soul receives and comprehends earthly things, and the spirit receives and understands the spiritual things of God.
Jesus often used miracles to express spiritual phenomena. When Jesus healed the young man from his blindness in the book of John, chapter 9, he was making a physical illustration to express the divine truth of “making alive” the human spirit. Speaking to the unbelieving religious Jews about Jesus, the young man said;
‘…whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that whereas I was blind, now I see. (John9:25)
The young man had accepted Jesus because he claimed to be a disciple, which means a follower or a believer. (See verse 27) His statement had a duel meaning because not only could he now see physically, but his spirit was made alive, and he could understand spiritual things. The Jews who were questioning him were following Moses, and could not understand the spiritual connection, (vs. 29) because they did not have an activated human spirit. This is why we must come to Christ by faith. An unbeliever will never understand spiritual things from his own intellect.