Is my soul saved?
Your spirit man is instantaneously transformed from death into life, the moment you receive Jesus into your heart, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). If you were bald before you were saved, you will be afterwards. The context of ‘all things’ here is not your physical body or soul, but your spirit.
Salvation of your spirit is not the same as salvation of the soul
This salvation of your spirit is a one-time affair and you gain access to Heaven via that choice of believing on the Son of God. Religious people often use the term spirit and soul synonymously, but they are not the same. The spirit and soul are separate and distinct. This is clearly revealed in scripture, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12). If they were the same then this scripture would not delineate between the two. The scriptures are explicit on this topic and this passage alludes to a deeper understanding of what the Lord requires of us as we grow into maturity in our Christian walk.
Notice that the soul and spirit are mentioned separately in this passage for a reason. For years, Brother Kenneth E. Hagin would discuss with notable scholars and ministers whether or not the soul and spirit were synonymous and it was one of the significant revelations of his ministry that they were separate entities, despite popular opinion to the contrary. The Book of James has further insight into this:
“Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures…..Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls”. – James 1:18, 21.
The first observation here is that the Apostle James is talking to believers in Christ. The Epistles were letters that specifically addressed the Church, not the unsaved. Notice he is saying that your soul needs to be saved, and his audience were believers whose spirits were already saved. The salvation of your soul (which constitutes your mind, will and emotions) is in perpetual process, as you meditate on the word of God.
Christians are a work in progress
We are all a work in progress and that work is in the mind, will and emotions in order to conform us to the image of Christ. This transformation, can also be called, ‘maturity’. Those who exhibit maturity display the fruits of the Spirit primarily in their lives (Galatians 5:22-23). There’s an old saying, ‘fruits are grown and gifts are given’. We are cognizant of the gifts and callings of God that are irrevocable (Romans 11:29), yet Jesus said, “You shall know them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:16), not gifts, talents, ascendancy or authority. Maturity has to do with the fruits of the Spirit and character. Let’s look at the word.
“For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” (Romans 8:29)
The goal of a Christian is not just to be ‘saved’, but to be conformed to the image of Christ in every facet of our being. The Lord wants us to be impactful on those around us, to share His love and be people of humility and integrity. We accomplish this by meditating on the word of God, so that our thoughts, behavior and actions align with His will. This is in addition to your established salvation; influencing others here on earth. You can get ‘saved’, remain a baby, stay in diapers and go on to be with the Lord if you want to, but that will not help your witness here on earth. We are called to maturity. The moment our spirit is ‘born again’, a transformation starts taking place in your soul towards the image of Christ in us. How does that transformation take place? By the renewing of the mind, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:2
Importance of renewing the mind
The renewing of the mind is a process and the soul can require restoration. If you have had some struggles with unforgiveness, offense, bitterness, worry, anxiety etc., then your soul might need some restoration. If you’ve been abused or hurt through the actions of others, your soul might need restoration. Guess what, God promises to restore your soul too! (Psalm 23:3). In Scripture the cares of this world and burdens of life are related to the soul, not the spirit and Jesus made it clear that if we take his yoke upon us, we will find rest for our souls (Matthew 11:29). So the scripture makes it clear there is rest and restoration for the weary soul, as we seek the Lord and meditate on His word. Jesus also stated that the soul can be lost or exchanged in the pursuit of worldly gain (Mark 8:36). A man’s spirit is recreated when he is born again. The soul however is in being restored and renewed as we meditate on God’s word.
Did you notice in Romans 12:2 that as your mind is renewed, you are better able to discern the will of God? Knowing His word, which is His will, puts us in a better position to discern His best life choices for us.
In conclusion, no one has reached a point where they can say their soul is fully changed and sanctified from the effects of sin; it is a work in progress and a distinguishable process until the very day we leave this earth because our ‘flesh’ will always have the capacity to sin. We must choose to walk in the Spirit and God equips us daily to do so, as we seek Him. Your spirit man however is instantaneously saved, as that is a one-time affair and has no due process.
|Senior Pastor Carl Joseph desires to see God move in power in the downtown Denver area. He is joined in the ministry by his wife, Amy. In his spare time, he rides his motorcycle and plays golf.|