Doctrine of Soul Essence

July 23, 2010



A.    The soul is comprised of five different parts:  self-consciousness, mentality, volition, emotion, and conscience.

B.    These five parts are sometimes referred to as “the essence of the soul.”

C.    The soul is the source of all basic sin.

D.    The soul is the battleground between the old sin nature and the Holy Spirit.  (Ephesians 4:17-19; Psalms 143)


1.    The Essence of the Soul.

A.    Self-consciousness.

(1)    Self-consciousness means that a person is aware of his own existence and is able to relate to both animate and inanimate life on earth.

(2)    Animals have consciousness, but not self-consciousness.

B.    Mentality.

(1)    Mentality is the thinking part of man’s soul and is composed of two parts.

a.    Part 1:  the mind or left lobe of the soul.

b.    Part 2:  the heart or right lobe of the soul.

The heart has seven compartments:  a frame of reference, a memory center, a vocabulary storage center, a categorical storage center, a conscience (norms and standards), and a launching pad from which location application of metabolized knowledge is made to life’s situations.

(2)    Romans 1:20-22 and Proverbs 23:7 imply that all thought is stored in one or the other of these two lobes.

C.    Volition.

(1)    Man has the ability to make both negative and positive choices toward anything in life.

(2)    Man was created for the purpose of making decisions that would resolve the angelic conflict.

D.    Emotion.

(1)    Emotion is the appreciator of the soul.

(2)    Emotion responds or reacts to whatever thoughts are in the soul’s mentality.

E.    Conscience.

(1)    The conscience is the evaluator of the soul.

(2)    The conscience contains a person’s norms and standards about life.

F.    The old sin nature is not part of the soul.

(1)    The old sin nature is genetically formed in every cell of the body.

(2)    The old sin nature battles to influence the soul through personal sins and human good.

(3)    Because we have an old sin nature, we are said to be totally depraved.

2.    The soul must be distinguished from the human spirit.

A.    Adam was CREATED a trichotomous being, having a body, soul, and spirit.  (Genesis 2:7)

Genesis 2:7  Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life [lives (plural):  spirit and soul]; and man became a living being.  (NAS)

B.    After the fall of Adam, man is BORN a dichotomous being, having only a body and soul  (1 Corinthians 2:14; Jude 19)

1 Corinthians 2:14  But a natural (soulish) man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.  (NAS)

Jude 19  These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit (the Holy Spirit resides in the human spirit, so, if a person is devoid of the Holy Spirit, this person has no human spirit.  (NAS)

C.    The believer, however, is said to be a trichotomous being, having a body, soul, and spirit.
(1 Thessalonians 5:23)

D.    The soul is created by God and imputed to man at physical birth.

E.    The human spirit is regenerated by God the Holy Spirit at the moment of salvation.

3.    Only the soul, not the body, is saved at the point of regeneration.  (Psalm 34:22; Mark 8:36-37;
1 Peter 1:9; Hebrews 10:39)

4.    Only the soul, not the body, was made in the image of God.  (Genesis 1:26-27 cf. Genesis 2:7)

A.    God is not material.

B.    God is spiritual.

5.    The soul is the area where mental attitude sins are committed.  (Job 21:25; Zechariah 11:8)

A.    The content of the soul is revealed by what a person says and does.

B.    Sins of the tongue reveal mental attitude sins.

C.    If a person is arrogant, bitter, or full of revenge, he/she will talk in such a manner as to reveal the content of his/her soul.

D.    Therefore, the soul sponsors all overt sins and sins of the tongue.

6.    The soul becomes the seat of misery because of scar tissue of the soul.  (Psalm 6:3; 119:28, 81)

7.    The soul is the area for all capacities, both good or bad capacities.

A.    With function inside the divine dynasphere, the mature believer’s soul has maximum capacity for life, love and happiness.    (1 Samuel 18:1; 1 Peter 1:22)

B.    With function inside the cosmic system, the reversionist has maximum capacity for sin and human good which produces self-induced misery.

8.    The following passages imply that upon physical death, the soul departs from the body.  (Psalm 16:10; 2 Corinthians 5:8)