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Body, Mind, Soul and Spirit - There is a Difference

Updated on February 27, 2014

Body, Mind, Soul and Spirit- There is a Difference

Body, Mind, Soul and Spirit – There is a Difference.

“We are spiritual beings in a physical body.” That makes a Christian just as susceptible to any sickness or problems as a non-Christian, but the quality of life can be improved by having the proper nutrition input and the correct exercise.

The reason why the Christian is obligated to take care of their body, is because the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. The Lord instructed the people of Israel to build the tabernacle, and the temple, starting with Exodus, chapter 25 and reading to the end of the book of Exodus. Christians are to take care of the body just as the people of Israel took care of the tabernacle since God states that our bodies are His temples. But, the question is, do we? One of the excuses many Christians use for NOT taking care of themselves physically is found in 1 Timothy chapter 4 verse 8: “For bodily exercise profiteth little…”but if a person studies the background as to why the Apostle Paul wrote this to Timothy, they would find out that at that time a lot of people’s effort was spent in the development of the human body to make it perfect. It’s a matter of having the right priorities. While the Christian should be more concerned about the spiritual body than the physical, that doesn’t mean they are to ignore the physical body.

1 Corinthians 3:16-17 (KJV) Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (ASV) Or know ye not that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have from God? and ye are not your own; for ye were bought with a price: glorify God therefore in your body

The question that may arise is, what can be done to maintain an acceptable human temple for the Holy Spirit? Here is some brief, but useful information.

The answer is by doing two things: proper nutritional intake and exercise. (Note: I did not use the word, “diet”. Why? “Diet” conjectures up too many negative thoughts. A person thinks they have to stop eating certain foods to lose weight, and this can do more harm than good.) What happens in many cases is you develop a “yo-yo” problem. (A “yo-yo” problem is simply a person loses weight just to put it back on again when they go off the diet, so they go back on the diet to lose the weight, and when they have lost weight, it’s back to eating too much and putting the weight back on again. This keeps on keeping on, and that’s why it’s called the “yo-yo diet.) Another problem with diets is it may starve the body of needed nutrition.

By just feeding the body the correct amount of nutritional food, a person will obtain and maintain the proper weight. This will take time, based on how much weight loss is needed. If a person loses weight too fast, this allows the starvation mechanism to “kick in”. This mechanism “tells” the body it needs more food, so what happens is a person eats more and puts on weight. To avoid the starvation mechanism from “kicking in”, it’s best to lose only 2-3 pounds a week.

Word of advice, a person should allow themselves 30 days to develop a habit of eating in a healthy manner.

Proper nutritional intake is one of two steps in having a body that’s properly prepared to be a temple for the Holy Spirit. Correct exercise is the next step.

Before doing any exercise, first get permission from a physician.

There are two types of exercises needed – aerobics and weight bearing.

Aerobic exercise is basically for the circulatory and respiratory systems. Examples of this of type of exercise is, cycling, spinning and walking. Another good exercise is swimming. Swimming supports all the muscles, joints and ligaments not being used and gives you 12 times the resistance of some of the regular exercises.

What about weight lifting? A person lifts weights to strengthen the muscles. They don’t have to be heavy, but it’s important to be consistent in the use of weights. Lifting weights also increases a person’s metabolism, which in turn assists in losing weight, even while a person is sleeping. It’s not necessary to spend a lot of money on weight equipment. A person can get weight lifting exercise just by carrying groceries balanced in each hand, and doing curls with the bags as they walk to the car. It’s not even required that a person do all their exercise at one time since exercise can be accumulated throughout the day.

“But, I don’t have time!” Here are a couple of exercises for those who are, “Time impaired”: park your car as far away from the entrance as possible and walk to the entrance. Another exercise is walking up or down the stairs instead using the elevator. There are also isometric exercises that can be done right in an office chair.

Three areas are left for discussion – the mind, spirit and soul. Make sure you read the complete article before making up your mind.

In doing my research for this article, I found a number of opinions. Some claim you can’t separate the mind, Spirit and soul. Other theologians are of the opinion that the mind, Spirit and soul are not the same. (I agree with this thought.) Here are two verses of Scriptures that indicate these are different:

1 Thessalonians 5:23, "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Mark 12:30-31 (ASV) “and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.”

First, I will deal with the mind. Think of the mind as the Central Processing Unit to the body, like the C.P.U is to a computer, with the main difference being that the mind can reason, but only with the information put into it. The mind processes all the information that it receives, good or bad and from different sources such as the enviroment, experiences, academic schooling, etc. However, how a person uses this material that is input into the mind is determined by soul and spirit.

It’s very important for the Christian to saturate the mind with the correct input so the output is glorifying to God. For example: reading and studying the Bible each day. (Just be sure that the Bible is a translation and not a para-phrase. There is nothing wrong with a para-phrase, but it’s not translated from original documents but from already existing versions of the Bible.) For those who are time impaired and claim they don’t have time to read the Bible, there are Christian radio stations that a person can listen to as they drive, there are also CD’s and other things that are available to help a person study the Bible. Going to church and Sunday School are very important for the Christian. There are also other programs that a person can use to strength Christian life; like Christian concerts and having a Christian friend to talk with at anytime

Romans 12:2 (ASV)
And be not fashioned according to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, and ye may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of
God.” (This “renewing of your mind” is something that should be done at least daily.) Colossians 3:2(ASV)

Set your mind on the things that are above, not on the things that are upon the earth”.

Philippians 4:8-9 (NASB77)“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.”

Second, I will deal with the soul. The soul is responsible for such things as the emotions, (such as love and/or hate, like or dislike). For example: a person stop’s to help people who have been involved in a car accident., but the person who has been injured in this accident needs C.P.R. You have not had any training in how to administer C.P.R. so while the “soul” function wants to help, the input into the mind does not allow you to help, based on the mind’s ability to reason that you don’t have the ability to give C.P.R.

What function does the Holy Spirit have in a person’s life?

To answer this, we first have to list some of the functions of the Holy Spirit. Read:

Prophesy & Scripture -2 Peter 1:21 & 2 Timothy 3:16,

Comforter/Counselor/Advocate – Isaiah 11:2, John 14:16, 15:26, 16:7;

Convicts of Sin- John 16:7-11;

Guide – John 16:13;

Indweller of Believers – Romans 8:9-11, Ephesians 2:21-22, 1 Corintians 6:19

There many more scriptures that will tell us the functions of the Holy Spirit, but this list will give the reader some idea of them.

The Holy Spirit’s part in all of the various functions of the Christian is to act as a catalyst to take that “soul” desire, coupled with the mind’s knowledge and using the wisdom that is given by the Spirit to perform the appropriate action. It is the Holy Spirit that takes control of the body, mind and soul – at least that’s the Lord’s plan. When a person becomes a Christian, they get 100% of the Holy Spirit, but the Christian doesn’t always take advantage of this. Many times the Christian is out of balance – they let the Holy Spirit only operate part of the time, or they focus in on one aspect of the Holy Spirit’s function, but neglect the rest, or just use the Holy Spirit when they need Him. Balance is not the same for all of us. For example: the academic may use the mind more, while the nurse will use the soul function more. What is a proper balance for one person may not be a proper balance for another – although both may be allowing the Holy Spirit to use them as the Lord intended.

To allow the Holy Spirit to fully function in the life of the Christian, the Christian has to let Him.


The King James Bible, The New King James Bible, The New American Standard Bible, The Holman Christian Standard Bible, Thompson Chain-Reference Bible – New International Version, Geneva Study Bible, Adam Clark’s Commentary, Barnes Notes on the New Testament, A Commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud and Hebraica by John Light Foot, Holman Illustrated Bible, Dictionary, Zonderan Handbook to the Bible, People’s New Testament, Matthew Henry Commentary of the Whole Bible, Wesley’s Explanatory Notes, Business & Health, “Why Eating Breakfast a Must”, Wikipedia, “List of Weights”, “Lifting Exercises”, “Muscles & Strength”. (Those items in quotes are articles read on the Inter-net.)


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