Holding to Truth

holding to truth in love for the building up of the Body of Christ

What is the Function of Your Spirit?

What is the function of  you spirit?

Once you’ve realized that God made you with three distinct parts—spirit, soul and body, you need to go on to learn the function of your spirit.

In my previous post, “What is the Difference Between the Soul and Spirit of Man?” I addressed the function of the spirit in a general way.

However, it’s not sufficient to know that there is a difference between your spirit and soul.  You need to learn the  function of your spirit in a detailed way  in order to apply it to your Christian life.

So in this post, I’ll  go deeper to consider the specific functions of the spirit from the Bible and consider how we can apply them to our Christian experience today.

Footnote 5,  on Genesis 2:7  in the Recovery Version provides a concise overview by saying,

“Within man’s spirit there are three functions: conscience, enabling man to know what God justifies and what He condemns (Rom. 9:1 and note 2); fellowship, that man may contact God, worship God commune with God (John 4:24; Eph. 6:18a; Rom. 1:9); and intuition, giving man a direct sense of  God and a direct knowledge from God (Mark 2:8; 1 Cor. 2:11).

In the following sections of this post, I’ll consider each of these three functions and apply them to the Christian experience.

Conscience—the primary function of your spirit

First, let’s consider the function of the conscience.  The conscience is probably the most familiar to  us. It’s the part of our spirit that gives us the sense of right and wrong. It also condemns certain things and justifies other things.

By comparing Romans 8:16 with 9:1 we can see that the conscience is part of our spirit. In 8:16 Paul said, “The Spirit Himself witnesses with our spirit…” Then in 9:1 he said, “…my conscience bearing witness with me in the Holy Spirit.”  By comparing these two verses we can see that the witnessing of our spirit with the Spirit, matches our conscience bearing witness in the Holy Spirit. So we can say that the conscience is one function of our spirit.

Before man fell, the function of the conscience was not yet activated. Man only needed to enjoy fellowship with God. But due to his sin in eating the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, man’s conscience was activated to know right from wrong. Feeling condemned for his disobedience to God’s command, man covered himself and hid from the presence of the Lord.

Read what Genesis 3:7 says,

“And the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.”

Footnote 2, on this verse in the Recovery Version points out:

“This is the beginning of the function of the human conscience. The conscience, being a function of man’s spirit…, came into being at the time man was created by God. However, it was not until after man partook of the tree of knowledge that the function of the conscience was manifested. After the fall Adam was ashamed of his nakedness (cf. 2:25) because the function of his conscience was activated. From that time the conscience in man began to bear the responsibility of refusing evil and accepting good.”

Now let’s apply the function of the conscience to our own experience. When our heart has been opened to the Lord by loving Him, we will also become keen in our conscience. We may sense that we are wrong in certain things–sins, failures, wrong attitudes toward others, and so on. In this way our conscience functions to bother us. When this happens, we need to confess those things, such that our conscience becomes peaceful and able to enjoy fellowship with the Lord.

To apply this function to your experience, I’d also recommend reading a previous post, “How do You Pray Confessing Prayers?”

Fellowship—the second function of your spirit

The second function of our spirit is fellowship. Fellowship refers to our communion with God, our contact with Him in our spirit which is our true worship to Him.

The following two verses confirm that fellowship is a function of our spirit:

  • God is Spirit and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truthfulness”John 4:24. Since worship is to fellowship with God and such worship must be in our spirit, we can see from this verse that fellowship is a function of our spirit.
  • Praying at everytime in spirit…Eph. 6:18a. Since genuine prayer is also to fellowship with God and such prayer must be in our spirit, this also confirms that fellowship is a function of our spirit. This hymn enriches this point.

But, due to the fall, man’s spirit  became deadened, losing its function to fellowship with God (Eph. 2:1). Thankfully, through God’s salvation in Christ, the way has again been opened for us to come to God to fellowship with Him (Heb. 10:19-22).

However, to enjoy this genuine fellowship with the Lord, we first we need to deal with any condemnation on our conscience by confessing the sins and obstacles between us and God and receiving the cleansing of  the Lord’s precious blood as mentioned in the previous section (1 John 1:7-9).

Then we need to learn to exercise our spirit to contact the Lord in prayer in order  to commune with Him. For more appreciation for how to cultivate a life of fellowship with the Lord, I’d recommend reading Practical Points on How to Fellowship with the Lord and 10 Short Morning Prayers We Can Pray to the Lord.

Intuition—the third function of your spirit

Once we’ve entered into a normal fellowship with the Lord, we become increasingly aware of a third function of our spirit–intuition. Intuition refers to our direct sense of God or knowledge from Him.

This direct sense in our spirit is beyond the mere reasoning of our mind. It is the sense, or consciousness of the divine life in our spirit. This hymn develops this point.

Mark 2:8 and 1 Corinthians 2:11 confirm that intuition is a function of our spirit. Mark 2:8 points to this function of intuition by saying,

“And immediately Jesus, knowing fully in His spirit…”

First  Corinthians 2:11 confirms this by saying,

“For who among men knows the things of man, except the spirit of man which is in him?…”

To “know the  things of man” by “the spirit of man” is the function of the intuition in our spirit.

So when we’re enjoying fellowship with God by means of the cleansing blood, we can realize the function of the third part of our spirit—intuition.

We need to learn to listen to the intuition of our spirit  in all the big and small things of our daily life. That is, we need to check with this direct sense from the Lord in our spirit in whatever we’re doing. We can ask the Lord, “Do you want me to talk to this person about You right now?” If the direct sense in your intuition  is lively and peaceful, you may proceed with confidence.

To learn the intuition of our spirit we need to build up the habit of conversing with the Lord about every detail of our life. We need to inquire of Him concerning both the details of our living and His desire for our service to Him. For more on this, you may appreciate my previous post “Praying Inquiring Prayers for God’s Work.”

Wrap Up

To learn the three functions of our spirit–conscience, fellowship and intuition:

  1. Take care of  your conscience by confessing, and dealing with anything that the Lord in your spirit objects to, that is, anything that interrupts your fellowship with Him.
  2. Then go on to fellowship with the Lord by praying in your spirit often,  simply to commune with Him.
  3. Follow the intuition of your spirit by continually conversing with the Lord and inquiring of Him concerning every aspect of your living and service. By following this direct sense of the Lord, you will be able to remain in fellowship with Him and afford Him the way to  grow in you.

If you enjoyed this post please take a moment to subscribe to the Holding to Truth blog. You can also stop by the Holding to Truth Facebook page or leave a comment below.

References and Further Reading:


About Tom Smith

Hi. My name is Tom Smith. I'm the writer behind Holding to Truth in Love, and I love the Lord Jesus and His life-giving Word. Please feel free to send me an e-mail through the contact page if you have any questions. I hope you'd take a moment to subscribe to the Holding to Truth blog. Then you'll be sure not to miss a post. Thanks!

60 Replies

  1. I like the order of your presentation. First, we confess our sins to clear away anything that bothers us. Then we have fellowship with God. Here you mention Eph 6:18. I like this with verse 17 – we pray at every time in spirit with the word of God. His word is the content of our prayer and our spirit is the realm of prayer. Third, we have the inner sense as the outcome of our fellowship.

    1. Tom Smith

      I found the order helpful myself. Reading The Economy of God chapters 6-8 gave me a deeper appreciation for the interrelationship between the three parts or functions of our spirit–conscience, fellowship and intuition. The function of our spirit is recovered by first dealing with the feeling of our conscience by confession and the cleansing of the Lord’s blood. Then through the cleansing of our conscience, our fellowship is recovered. When we’re enjoying fellowship with the Lord, our intuition becomes active and we learn to follow the sense of our spirit. This enables us to be led by the spirit so that we mature as sons of God (Rom. 8:4-14). Thanks for the confirming reply.

  2. Teshome

    it is very important to walk with God!

  3. doreen

    I appreciate so much this organized, scripture-supported breakdown of the body/soul/spirit. I have read some pretty funky explanations in my research on this subject. This sits right with my “conscience”…!
    question…Are you saying that at the time of the fall, man’s conscience was activated (so to speak) as his fellowship with God was deactivated? And if there was no fellowship with God, then there would be no intuition at all, or now conscience and intuition would be subject to the soul since the spirit is dead?

    1. Tom Smith

      Thanks for your encouraging comment. As Gen 3:7-8 indicates, man’s fall activated the function of the conscience so that they became aware of their nakedness and hid themselves from God’s presence. That they hid from God’s presence shows that they lost the function of the spirit to fellowship with God. So you could say that their fellowship with God was “deactivated.” And when fellowship with God was lost, the intuition of the spirit which issues from this fellowship was also lost. So you could also say that due to the fall, the intuition of the spirit was also “deactivated.”

      God’s way is now to progressively recover the function of man’s spirit through the gospel and the work of the Holy Spirit. So when the gospel is proclaimed in an effective way, the Spirit comes in to convict man concerning his sin, righteousness and judgment (John 16:8). Such a convicting work in man’s conscience enables him to repent to God, believe in Christ, and receive the forgiveness of his sins. As the result of such an experience, man’s conscience is cleansed by the precious blood of Jesus and his fellowship with God is restored (1 John 1:7-9).

      It is by such a way we can now come boldly into the Lord’s presence to have fellowship with Him in our spirit (Heb. 10:19-22). Then as we’re abiding in this fellowship, the intuition of our spirit is recovered, so that this direct sense of our spirit can again function to tell us what is of God and what is not.

      As you indicated, sense a fallen man’s spirit is dead, the soul becomes the dominating part of his being. Rather than walking according to the spirit and being led by the Spirit as God intended, the mind of man’s soul directs him and justifies his behavior, subduing the conscience with its reasonings until his inner parts are recovered to their proper function in God’s salvation.

  4. Abigail

    Hi Tom!Now when i fast and pray,which part of me wants to fast between soul and spirit?

    1. Tom Smith

      It’s really hard to say because to fast is not merely to refrain from eating; it is to be unable to eat because of desperate burden to pray for certain things. It is also an expression of self-humbling in seeking God’s mercy. (See footnote 1, on Matt. 6:16 in the Recovery Version.) Such a desperate burden may affect both our soul and our spirit. Real burdens from the Lord come to us from the moving of His Spirit in our spirit, but when our mind (in our soul) understands this feeling as being from the Lord, in a proper condition, we will respond to His urging and choose to be one with Him in fasting. This should be the normal condition of a believer who is abiding in fellowship with the Lord.

      1. Abigail

        Thank you very much pastor.i like this teaching so much.

  5. Kimberly Grigsby

    Hi Pastor,

    This is very helpful especially the diagram. One thought I’m considering is the conscience. I have experienced my conscience pointing to sin behavior in my actions and feeling a sense of condemnation. After spending a lot of time in Romans, it has become clear that Christs’ sacrifice once and for all has forever cleansed my account of sin (past, present and future).; not the presence of it, but sin b
    Wing imputed to me. It has been imputed or charged against and exhausted on the body of Christ. So what I now confess is that I am the righteousness of God by faith in Christ Jesus. That just as Adam’s sin brought sin and the knowledge of good and evil into every person’s conscience, Jesus’ sacrifice has brought right standing with God into every person’s conscience or awareness to those who believe. So I am no longer confessing my sin. I am confessing my righteousness by faith and that because of what Jesus did, I am right with God and can enjoy fellowship with Him freely because of his abundance of grace (undeserved favor) and gift of righteousness. I do not magnify sin because the sting of death is sin; and power of sin is in the law(1 Corinthians 15:56) and the letter kills(2 Corin 3:6), but the Spirit gives life. In Romans I am advised to have a mind set on the things of the spirit…it brings life and peace. I have had difficulty when my mind has been set on the things of the flesh(sin or self-efforts to correct sinful behavior). Once again, God tells us that the mind set on the things of the flesh is death. The sting of death is sin and the power of sin is in the law( or keeping a set of rules to be righteous by our own efforts).
    I love this diagram and will use this information to help me understand the inner workings of the spirit. I will confess Jesus’ gift of righteousness in place of confessing sins. Those sins have been settled on Calvary and isn’t that Good News!

  6. Emmanuel

    Morning Mr Tom Smith, i am Emmanuel from south africa, i read what you posted concerning the body, soul and the spirit,and yes it seems true because its not from an opinion point of reference,but directly from the bible,now my question is what happens to the spirit when a person dies,as what i know is the soul is formed by God’s living spirit and the human body,when these two meet then we have a human,i just want to know from bible support as to where does the spirit of a human go after it departs from him and the soul dies,one other reason for me to ask this question is when you read in Job 2 verse 6,were GOD instructs satan not to touch Job’s life,my question based on this scripture specifically is if GOD breathed the breath of life into man’s nostrils,can satan have power to destroy or control the life giving spirit from GOD,and please don’t miss code me as i am not talking here about the soul as i understand that it is formed by the the combination of body and spirit,hope to hear from you as actually i also need to understand something but for now can we deal with this one issue


    1. Tom Smith

      Emmanuel, thanks for your comment on this post, asking “What happens to the spirit when a person dies?”

      After our death and before the resurrection of life, the human spirit and soul of the believers are carried to their resting place called “Paradise.” Such a place is referred to by both the Lord and the Apostle Paul (Luke 23:43; 2 Cor. 12:4).

      In Luke 16:22-26, the Lord Jesus also referred to this place as Abraham’s bosom—the pleasant section of Hades where Abraham and all the spirits of the just are, awaiting the resurrection of life.

      It was in also Paradise that the repentant thief on the cross was able to be with the Lord on the day of His death (Luke 23:43). This was a comfort to him and it should also be to us.

      1. Emmanuel

        morning Mr Tom

        thanks for your response,i see all these scriptures you have quoted,now my question to you based on these scriptures you have quoted is if a person dies and goes to heaven immediately or hell for that matter,then when Christ comes what will be his reason to come as all people who die either go to heaven or hell,judging from these scripture you quoted,still on this question when we read in revelation it talks about the first resurrection and the second resurrection,if people go to heaven or hell immediately then these resurrection which are being spoken off will be for who,as all people would have long gone to either one of the two places please explain,because i believe that maybe thats why some people tend to say the bible is confusing.please explain so that we understand properly.

        1. Tom Smith

          Emmanuel, the Scriptures do not support the teaching of dying and immediately going to heaven or hell (the lake of fire). In the Bible, every person will face one of two judgments—the judgment seat of Christ at the Lord’s 2nd coming (for the believers) or the great white throne of judgment at the end of the 1,000 years (for the unbelievers).

          Frankly, the teaching of immediately dying and going to heaven is not Scriptural. The believers who sleep in Jesus are caught away to Paradise, the pleasant part of Hades also referred to as Abraham’s bosom, by the Lord Jesus (Luke 16:22). The ungodly, who have not accepted God’s way of salvation will be in the place of torment, where the rich man was kept, the unpleasant part of Hades (vv. 23-24).

          At the Lord’s second coming, all the believers will be caught up to a meeting in the air, and will be judged at the judgment seat of Christ (2 Cor. 5:10) to determine their reward or punishment during the 1,000 years (Matt. 25; Rev. 20:6). After the 1,000 years, the unbelievers will be brought before the great white throne of judgment and the books will be opened and if their name is not in the book of life, they will be cast into the lake of fire, to suffer the second death (Rev. 20:13-15).

          This is the revelation of the Scriptures in brief.

          1. Emmanuel

            morning Mr Tom

            thanks for your response,can you please consider the following scriptures as i have never read anywhere in the bible where they talk about a waiting place,this first one which is Psalms73,this talks about the final judgement,and the following one’s they talk about what happens to people when they die all of them,Ecclesiaste 2verse 16,Ecclesiaste 9 verses 5,10,Ecclesiate8 verse10,Job 14 verses 12,21, Isaiah 26 verse 14,please chech these scriptures cause i have never seen anywhere in the bible where it talks about waiting somewhere except waiting in the grave,cause also what i know from the bible the words hades,hell,sheol,gehena,they all mean one thing which is the grave.maybe we should arrange a time to talk but please respond on these scriptures,cause my understanding of the scripture concerning Lazarus we should check why christ talked about that parable, yes i know some people will say that was not a parable but it was thats why i say we should check why Christ was saying all those things.please respond on these scriptures please.


          2. Tom Smith

            Emmanuel, thank you for you comment. I would simply turn you to an understanding of “holding to truth” as it related to the mission and purpose of this blog. The Lord Jesus said, “I am the truth” (or the reality) (John 14:6) and the church in the “pillar and base of the truth” (1 Tim 3:15), upholding the divine reality of Christ and the church in the universe.

            So the divine “truth” we’re focusing on here is not general Bible doctrines or matters other than the truth as the contents of the unique faith in the New Testament. This faith is related to the unique God who is Father, Son and Spirit, Christ with His Person and work, His way of salvation, and the church, the church as the unique Body of Christ.

            The Holding to Truth blog focuses uniquely on these things that can cause the believers to grow up into Christ in all things so that out from Him, the Body of Christ may grow and be built up.

            So I feel its best to limit doctrinal discussions that do not directly lead my readers to focus on the experience and enjoyment of Christ that issues in growing up into the Body of Christ, His fullness.

            So I feel from the Lord to stay within the bounds of this blog and avoid making “Holding to Truth” a forum for doctrinal discussions. Please realize and respect this purpose in commenting at Holding to Truth. Thanks.

          3. Emmanuel

            Mr Tom happy new year,i saw your response i was meaning to come back to you,regarding what you posted,yes sir i really and truly respect,your page,i am only asking because i took your page as a page where believers can actually discuss about issues of the bible,because i believe that the world is rough out there,the world is so rough that if as Christians we don’t actually understand what the scriptures are actually,saying to us we will find ourselves being challenged by non believers and even those who pretend to be believers,but are actually wolves,when i ask questions i am not asking to prove anything but i am asking questions which Christians might come across,and find themselves not being able to answer them,like for instance what is the difference between paradise and heaven.

          4. Tom Smith

            Emmanuel, questions are fine. It’s just important to realize that every blog has its purpose and the purpose of Holding to Truth in Love is to dispense the divine life to God’s children so that they can grow up into Christ in all things. Proper knowledge is good for leading us to Christ so that we may gain Him. Paul even speaks of “the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord” (Phil. 3:8). It is only by growing up into Christ, that we can receive the supply from Him that issues in the building up of His Body, the church.

            I may occasionally address questions related to minor points of doctrine, but this is only with view to come back to the central line of Christ and the church (Eph. 5:32). I believe that the readers of this blog that appreciate this point will receive more benefit from the posts. Otherwise, some may wonder why we won’t get into lengthy discussions about certain teachings. I hope my readers would ask the same question I ask, “Does this question lead my readers to love the Lord Jesus more and to grow up into Him?” If not, I dare not spend much time on it, or I may distract them and cause the blog to take on a different purpose.

  7. isaac kwabia

    please why is the soul valuable than the spirit?

    1. Tom Smith

      Isaac, the soul and spirit are both precious to God. Our spirit is our deepest part, the organ for contacting and receiving the Lord. Our soul is the organ for expressing and magnifying the Lord. While she was pregnant with Jesus, “Mary said, My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has exulted in God my Savior” (Luke 1:46-47) May it be the same with us. May our spirit first contact God and exult in Him. Then may our soul magnify the Lord. This make both our soul and spirit very valuable to God.

  8. ayo.paseda

    Thank you sir for this post, please if one has the opportunity to make heaven or hell, is it the spirit that will suffer or the soul?

    1. Tom Smith

      In 2 Corinthians 4:16 it says, “Therefore we do not lose heart; but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.” The footnotes on this verse in the Recovery Version are very helpful. The first note says,

      “The outer man consists of the body as its organ with the soul as its life and person. The inner man consists of our regenerated spirit as its life and person with the renewed soul as its organ…”

      When our body dies, the destiny of our inner being depends on whether our spirit has been regenerated. John 3:6 says, “That which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” We can be assured that we will spend eternity with the Lord by receiving the Lord Jesus. When we believe into Him, we have eternal life (John 3:15-16) and God regenerates our spirit with His Spirit. If you have not yet done so, simply pray,

      “Lord Jesus, I believe into You. Thank you for dying for my sins and rising from the dead so that You can live in me. Forgive me of all my sins and come into my spirit.”

      If you prayed such a prayer, you are regenerated in your spirit and will not perish. Now your soul needs to be continually renewed by the spreading of the Lord’s life from your spirit into your soul. In this way your “inner man is being renewed day by day.”

      If you are experiencing such a salvation, you need not be concerned about the suffering of your soul under God’s judgment.

      The spirit and soul together make up your inner man, the spirit being hidden within the soul. (see the 3 concentric circles graphic–spirit, soul and body.) But suffering is particularly a function of our soul. The more our soul is being saturated with God’s life, the more we are brought into a condition of peace (Rom. 8:6).

  9. Pedro Rivera

    When in the future we are resurrected, how the 3 parts of our being are going to be transformed if all 3 remain as part of us. I know about our transformed bodies and that our spirit will join our transformed bodies. But what about the soul.

  10. Derrick

    Thanks for the clarity and useful definition of soul vs spirit, Tom. It is helping me in my quest to learn how to better hear from God and obey Him.

  11. charlie harris

    Concerning the origin of man and at what point we became “created in God’s image.” The scientists say that man existed for about 30 million years or so. Is it possible that Adam and Eve were created when God put a spirit and soul into man, say 6000 years ago , on the 6th day (or era depending on how you see it) and so prior to that point mankind was only an intelligent animal rather than a human being created in God’s image? It is after all the Spirit that gives life, the flesh is no help at all. My main point in asking this question is to enable me to answer better people who use science as an excuse to deny God. I know God because he has already made himself known to me but others don’t and so struggle with some of the challenges presented by science.

    1. Tom Smith

      Charles, what a mercy that God made Himself known to you. This is His calling of you!

      I can also sympathize with your difficulty in presenting the truth of the Bible to those who take science as a basis to deny God and discredit the Bible.

      One point that helped me as a young student was to see that God’s original creation was done in Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” This creation could be billions of years old.

      However, something came in to damage God’s wonderful creation. Verse 2 says, “But the earth became waste and emptiness, and darkness was on the surface of the deep.” It’s good to realize that what God originally created was perfect, and in good order (Job 38:4-7; Isa. 45:18). However, “Became waste and emptiness” indicates God’s judgement and curse (Jer. 4:23-26). This cursed condition was the result of Satan’s rebellion (Isa. 14:12-15; Ezek. 28:12-19). For a further development of this point, and some understanding of the pre-adamic universe, I’d recommend reading the Life-study of Genesis, Message 2. You can find it online at ministrybooks.org.

      Then God came in to do a work of restoration and further creation. This work of restoration was done in the six days mentioned in Genesis 1:2b-31.

      As a side note, I remember the statement of a believer, who also was a scientist. He pointed out that science can only discover the “What.” But the Bible explains “Why.” The Bible, as God’s word, is not a book of science, history, philosophy or ethics. It is the revelation of God and His plan for man–the “Why.” In the Bible we find the meaning or purpose of the universe and of our human life.

      The “What” will continually be changing even as the universe is expanding and the tools of science developing.

      But the “Why” is eternal even as God is. God’s eternal purpose is the mystery hidden in Himself from eternity past (Eph. 1:9-10; 3:9-11). He has chosen to hide His wisdom from those who are wise and intelligent in this world (Matt. 11:25) and to reveal it to “infants”–His disciples.

      So we can never expect to convince the “wise and intelligent” of this world. Rather, we should pray for them that God would grant them the same mercy that He has granted us and grant them to be poor in spirit (Matt 5:3) so that they would emptied and unloaded to receive Him through His word.

  12. Nnabuife Eleje

    From your post I now understand more the distinction between the spirit and soul. Yet, I’d love to know more about the distinct functions of the soul. Thanks and may the Lord continue to increase you in life/ministry.

    1. Tom Smith

      For more on the distinct functions of the soul please see my post on this topic . May the Lord bring you further into the experience of Christ living in you through knowing these inward parts.

  13. Nnabuife Eleje

    Amen! Thanks.

  14. Petriece

    I found your explanation on the soul and spirit very informative. Thank you and may God continue to bless your ministry.

  15. Starsa John Tassou

    Man of God may the Lord continuously keep your ministry
    iam Togolese , a French speaking country ! How could i get your teaching in French ,literatures for my peoples for not all of them can read English !

    1. Tom Smith

      John, one of the first steps you can take to get some of the literature I’ve refer to in French is to go to the French page of the RhemaBooks.org site. I think that you can download a number of excellent eBooks in French. Based on the Holding to Truth post you responded to, I would recommend the book, The Economy of God by Witness Lee. It gives a very enlightening presentation of our three parts—spirit, soul, and body—and how they relate to our experience and enjoyment of Christ. Thank you for your comment.

  16. Roe

    Why do the believers (after the Lord’s second coming) still need to wait to hear that their name is written in the book of life before entering heaven?

    1. Tom Smith


      As believers, our participation in God’s life is in three stages: 1) in the age of grace–the church age, 2) in the age of the kingdom, and 3) in the eternal age–that is in the New Jerusalem for eternity.

      From the moment we believe in the Lord Jesus, we receive the eternal life (John 3:15-16) and our name is written in the book of life. We should enjoy this life and live it throughout our Christian journey. In this stage our name is in the book of life (Luke 10:20).

      Second, there is the inheriting of the eternal life as a reward to the overcoming believers in the millennial kingdom for a thousand years. This is something that many Christians are unaware of. Whether in this stage, we will inherit life and enter into the blessed sphere of the eternal life as a reward depends on our faithful living and service in the Christian life today (Matt. 25). Paul was such an overcoming one running as an athlete to finish his course (Phil 3:12-14) and he charged us to do the same (Heb. 12:1-2).

      The faithful runners of the race will be rewarded by the Lord at the judgment seat of Christ (2 Cor. 5:10) to enter into the joy of the Lord (Matt. 25:21-23). However, the foolish and slothful believers will miss the reward and suffer in the outer darkness (not hell,or the lake of fire) during this period so that they might be matured in God’s life to reign with Him in eternity. Such ones will not have their name in the book of life for the reward of the kingdom. (See Revelation 3:5.) But this is not the same as the perdition of the unbelievers.

      Finally, all the believer will enjoy the blessings of the eternal life in the new heaven and new earth for eternity (Rev. 22:1-2, 14). As such their names will all be in the book of life. This is as the Lord promised that He gives to His believers eternal life and they will by no means perish forever (John 10:28).

      For a more thorough consideration of this topic, I would especially encourage you to study footnote 3 on Rev. 3:5 in the Recovery Version.

      Thank you for your comment.

  17. Tara

    Hello! Wonderful explanation of the body, soul and spirit. My question is: if the same spirit thst raised Jesus from the dead lives in us, is it our spirit and does it belong to us? Or is this the spirit of God and different from our spirit?!? Just a confusing part for me.

    1. Tom Smith

      Tara, Thank you for your comment. I appreciate your questions, “if the same spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives in us, is it our spirit and does it belong to us? Or is this the spirit of God and different from our spirit?!?

      The clear revelation of the Scriptures points to these two Spirits as being joined together, or mingled, in our experience. First, from the moment we believed in Jesus Christ, John 3:6 indicates that we are born of the Spirit in our spirit. This to be regenerated or born again. From that moment, acording to Rom. 8:16, we begin to enjoy the witness of the Spirit Himself with our spirit that we are the children of God. Then as we practice to worship and serve the Lord, John 4:24, tells us we must worship God who is Spirit, with our spirit. Both spirits function together. In fact, 1 Cor. 6:17 says, “But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit.” So is it two spirits or one spirit. In our experience, these two spirits are mingled together, and function as one to become the secret to a normal Christian life. I hope you will take the time to follow the links and study the verses and posts. This should provide you with a wonderful view of these two spirits, as the mingled spirit for us to experience moment-by-moment in our Christian life. Thanks again for such a valuable comment.

  18. Sasha

    Hi Tom,
    Thank you for your research. May you please clarify the third function: intuition. What is the difference between this function and the function of the Holy Spirit to lead us? Doesn’t Romans 8:4-14 tell us about the Holy Spirit, rather than our spirit, making a reference to our spirit only in verse 16?

    In Christ,

    1. Tom Smith

      Sasha, we need to see the connection between the Holy Spirit and our spirit in our Christian experience. From the moment we believe into the Lord Jesus, we are born of the Spirit in our spirit (John 3:6) From that moment, the Spirit Himself witnesses with our spirit (Rom. 8:16). These two spirits witness together. In fact, 1 Corinthians 6:17 says that “He who is joined to the Lord is one spirit.” In our experience, these two spirits become mingled as one. So we have a sense in our spirit that comes from the indwelling Holy Spirit. On the one hand, we are led by the Spirit (Rom. 8:14). On the other hand, when we turn to our spirit, setting our mind on our spirit, we touch the intuition in our spirit and know the Spirit’s leading by the sense of life and peace in our spirit (Rom. 8:6).

      For a further appreciation, I would encourage you to follow the links to the cited Bible verses and footnotes from the Recovery Version by Witness Lee. I hope you find this reply helpful. Thank you for such a thoughtful comment.

  19. Abraham Mubambe

    This is so wonderful and enlightening! I have learnt so much about the function of the human spirit and my christian life is never the same. God will surely reward your good works of faith in obedience to His word of truth. God bless you so much and may He increase you in grace and knowledge of Him.

    1. Tom Smith

      Knowing our spirit is crucial not only in uplifting our Christian life but in bringing us into the proper experience of the church life and Body life. I hope you’ll read my post on 21 Key Bible Verses Showing the importance of Our Spirit. Points 16-21 particularly show its importance in carrying out God’s eternal plan to build the church, express Christ as His Body and defeat His enemy. Thank you for your confirming comment.

  20. Osaki Dokubo

    Thanks for your exposition about the soul and the spirit am really blessed. God bless you

    1. Tom Smith

      Glad you enjoyed the post on the function of our spirit. Discovering my spirit was such a great help to my experience of Christ that I feel I have to share this help with others. Since the Lord is now with our spirit (2 Tim. 4:22), we need to use our spirit if we are going to know Him. By calling on the Lord from deep within I’ve found I can enjoy the Lord in my spirit, drink of Him as the living water and be filled with all His riches (John 4:24; Rom. 10:12-13). Then we can learn to experience Christ according to all the functions of our spirit–conscience, fellowship and intuition. Thanks for your encouraging comment. The grace of the Lord be with your spirit (Gal. 6:18).
      For more appreciation for your spirit, I hope you’ll take the time to check out the links in this reply.

  21. Spencer

    Hi Tom. Please explain my doubt;
    1. Revelation 6: 9 – What goes to heaven to be under the alter, Soul or Spirit, or both of them in one.
    2. Are they in human form or in other form?
    3. What is John’ s view in Hebrew language and its interpretation?
    Thanks God bless…

    1. Tom Smith

      Spencer, our spirit and soul are distinct but not separate. Hebrews 4:12 compares the dividing of soul and spirit to that of the joints and marrow. So the spirit is hidden within the soul and to touch the spirit, requires that we break through the soul to touch our spirit. This is why we need to repent, to turn away from ourself and call on the Lord from deep within to touch our spirit where the Lord as the spirit dwells (2 Tim. 4:22) As far as the point on being “under the altar” please read Revelation 6:9 with the footnote on this point. For more on the matter of where our spirit and soul go after our body dies please read my post on this topic.

      There is some apparent form such that rich man in Luke 16:23-24 was able to distinguish father Abraham and engage him in some form of conversation.

  22. Hi Mr Tom, I am from Nigeria West Africa. I appreciate your timely response to issues, I really learned from them.
    My question is, on the judgement day, who are we going to see in actual sense, God through the Son, or God the Father and son standing beside to introduce us to the Father? Please I need your response, thanks.

    1. Tom Smith

      God has given all judgment to His Son, who due to His perfect, sinless, fully-tested, and victorious humanity is qualified to judge the believers at the judgment seat of Christ (2 Cor. 5:10; Rom. 14:10). We don’t see two separate persons but the Father is in the Son (John 14:9-10). When we see the Son, we see the Father. In verse 9 Jesus plainly said, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how is it that you say, Show us the Father?” Paul, said in Col. 2:9,  “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” We need to clearly see that the three of divine Trinity, not only co-exist, but also co-inhere. That is, they not only exist at the same time, but also exist within each other. This is one of the mysteries of the divine Trinity that is beyond our human understanding, but can be apprehended by a spirit wisdom and revelation (Eph. 1:17). Thanks for the comment.

  23. Ose Aidanmwosa

    Thanks you sir. I have learnt how to pray, by praying always in the spirit and with the word of God. I honor the word


    1. Tom Smith

      Wonderful! Learning to mingle our reading of the Word with prayer in the spirit (Eph. 6:17-18) is a real secret to receive the Lord’s fresh words to us that are spirit and life (John 6:63). Yes, honor the word by inhaling them as God’s own breath. This is what the Lord Jesus did while living on this earth (Matt. 4:4) and we should daily learn to do the same. Thank you for your encouraging comment.

  24. Jim Werner

    Hi Tom,

    I enjoyed reading about the three parts of our spirit. Taking into scripture’s description of man – body, soul and spirit, where would you say that our spiritual heart (not the organ) resides?

    Doesn’t scripture say that the Holy Spirit dwells in our heart?

    Is the soul basically – mind, will and emotion?

    Thx, Jim

    1. Tom Smith

      Jim, for a better appreciation of our heart according to the Bible, I would recommend that you read my post entitled, “What is Your Heart According to the Bible and How Can You Exercise It?” Yes our soul is composed of our mind emotion and will. There is a definite overlap between our heart and soul. But there is a distinction so you may want to also follow the link to my post on the soul as well. Thank you for your comment.


    Praise God!!

    Highly appreciate your post!!

    It is for the fist time that I hear that after the first sin the conscience is activated!!!

    Your explanation on this point is very clear!!

    Hope to read more from you such new thoughts!!!

    Thanks b to God!!!


    1. Tom Smith

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Discovering our human spirit is crucial to our progress in the Christian life. That is because our spirit is the key to experiencing Christ. Since the Lord Jesus, in resurrection, is realized as the Spirit with our spirit (2 Cor. 3:17; 2 Tim. 4:22), we need to learn to exercise our spirit all the time to contact Him—living and walking according to our spirit (Rom. 8:4). I recommend that you read “The Key to Experiencing Christ the Human Spirit” by Witness Lee at ministrybooks.org. You could also download a free eBook including that chapter in Basic Elements of the Christian Life, vol. 1 at BiblesforAmerica.org/books. Thanks for your comment.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.