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One of the biggest mistruths in religion is the Bible definition of spirit whether it be with a small s or a capital S. In both cases it is power.
We have established the Biblical fact that God breathed neshama into the first human (Genesis 2:7). This neshama is God’s inspiration (Job 32:8) endowing humans with understanding (Job 32:8 – H995) or, from H995 a mark of discernment or perception. The Explanation transposes this meaning into modern terminology: consciousness. God infused neshama – consciousness into the first and subsequent humans conferring on them the five attributes that make them human: function, socialization, rulership, reasoning, and purpose.
(Mind-Body Problem Solved, Chapter 23 – Table of Contents)
This is clearly indicated by the goals God set for humans in Genesis 1-3. He equipped humans with the five qualities to achieve His purpose for His Creation. Those five characteristics are not a biological DNA blueprint; they are a nonmaterial psychological design. The human singularity is at birth, each one is automatically endowed with the potential of performing those five prerogatives.
The Explanation revealed WHY humans accomplish these five specific tasks. Because God performs these identical functions. Humans are of the God kind, training in these five domains to join the God Family. Humans have a unique and indelible relational link with their Creator through the neshama that implants these five characteristics. But there’s still one major missing dimension and it’s the ruach.
Let’s go straight to the crux of the matter regarding the Bible definition of spirit. We will come back for the all-important details. Remember, this is the first of many chapters to broach this subject. Spirit, maybe because of its metaphysical nature, is possibly the most twisted term in the Bible. Here are some verses that establish the basis of the Bible definition of spirit. They reveal
- The relationship of God’s Spirit to human spirit.
- The nature of God’s Spirit.
- The nature of human spirit.
The relationship of God’s Spirit to human spirit
God’s Spirit and human spirit are two separate spirits but they can interconnect. The following verses convey the extremely important teaching of becoming a part of God’s Family. However, to focus, we will only be looking for the Bible definition of spirit.
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
15 For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but you have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
16 The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
There are TWO distinct spirits, God’s Spirit (capital S) and human spirit (small s). But verse 16 shows they are intimately bound; the two TOGETHER reveal we are part of God’s Family. There’s a close-knit functioning relationship between human spirit and God’s Spirit. Verse 15 calls this connection the Spirit of adoption. allowing us to recognize God as our Father. This translation is correct but Paul, the author is inspired to add the Hebrew word, Abba.
Allow me a brief story. I took Hebrew lessons when I was ten years old. At age 16 I went to Israel and stayed in a hotel with a swimming pool, and 60 years later, I still remember hearing this kiddie voice crying out abba to his dad standing beside the pool. This wasn’t the formal father, it was the loving cry of “dad, look what I can do” watched by an admiring father. The words bears witness with mean corroborate or testify together (see G4828 at UnlockBibleMeaning.com). Words fail to express this intimate union of a parent-child relationship. When connected to God’s Spirit, the human spirit undergoes a vibrant change in its approach.
The coupling of God’s Spirit and human spirit
Humans are born with human spirit but not God’s Spirit. There is a specific moment when this deep connection occurs. Christ told the disciples to prepare for that instant.
And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry you in the city of Jerusalem, until you be endued with power (G1411) from on high.
That power is the Holy Spirit given to the Apostles on the day of Pentecost.
But you shall receive power (G1411), after that the Holy Ghost (God’s Spirit G4151-pneuma) is come upon you: and you shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
God’s Spirit confers power on humans. These verses are corroborated by hundreds of other contexts in both the Old and New Testaments. The spirit in man and God’s spirit are two fundamental givens that are unchangeable throughout the history of humankind, starting with the first human in Gen. 2:7, on Earth. This power is the Bible definition of spirit.
δύναμις dunamis doo’-nam-is; From G1410; force (literally or figuratively); specifically miraculous power (usually by implication a miracle itself):
KJV – ability abundance meaning might (-ily -y -y deed) (worker of) miracle (-s) power strength violence mighty (wonderful) work.
δύναμαι dunamai doo’-nam-ahee; Of uncertain affinity; to be able or possible:
KJV- be able can (do + -not) could may might be possible be of power.
From the Greek dunamis, we have the English words dynamo, dynamic, and dynamite. I believe they speak for themselves and their relationship to power. Let’s see how the word power is used for God’s Spirit in the Old Testament.
Power – the nature of God’s Spirit
Note the interchangeability of power and God’s Spirit. If there’s one word for the Bible definition of spirit, it is power.
But truly I am full of power (H3581) by the spirit (H7307) of the LORD, and of judgment, and of might, to declare to Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin.
In the Bible definition of spirit we see the word power literally substituted for God’s Spirit. In the first verse below God’s Spirit is the vector of Creation; subsequently, it’s His Power.
You send forth your spirit, (H7307) they are created: and you renew the face of the earth.
Jeremiah 27:5, 32:17
I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are upon the ground, by my great power (H3581) and by my outstretched arm, and have given it to whom it seemed meet to me.
32:17 Ah Lord GOD! behold, you have made the heaven and the earth by your great power (H3581) and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for you:
Man, beast, Earth, and heavens; God made, created them all by His Spirit which is His Power. The underlying essence of the Bible definition of spirit is power. We are going to see that power takes on many forms. In the Old Testament, the Biblical Hebrew word koach (H3581) is similar to the Greek dunamis (G1411), both represent power. Please compare the translations of both of them.
כֹּחַ kôach ko’-akh; or (Daniel 11:6) כּוֹחַ; from an unused root meaning to be firm; vigor, literally (force, in a good or a bad sense) or figuratively (capacity, means, produce); also (from its hardiness) a large lizard:
KJV – ability, able, chameleon, force, fruits, might, power(-ful), strength, substance, wealth.
God’s Power and Human Power
You know Jesus was both man (by His virgin birth) and God (The Holy Spirit shall come upon you, and the power (G1411) of the Highest shall overshadow you (Luke 1:35)). Christ was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and to accomplish His life and ministry, the Father gave Him the Holy Spirit without limit. When you study the Bible, notice how many times the Bible definition of Spirit is power.
For he whom God has sent speaks the words of God: for God gives not the Spirit by measure to him.
And Jesus returned in the power (G1411) of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.
And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue (G1411) had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?
Note that in English this power representing the Holy Spirit can be translated otherwise; in the above verse virtue. Elsewhere dunamis refers to Christ’s mighty works and miracles. This Bible definition of spirit therefore also includes the spirit’s accomplishments. Hence we see the spirit of love (2 Tim. 1:7); here the understanding is the Spirit gives us the power to transform our human love into godly love.
Servants of God animated by the Power of God’s Spirit
Not only Christ was animated by the power of the Spirit but all God’s servants have this additional dunamis to perform God’s purpose in their personal lives and in the work God has called them to do.
And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power (G1411).
2 Timothy 1:7
For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power (G1411), and of love, and of a sound mind.
Note an important point in Paul’s message to Timothy; the power of the Spirit confers a sound mind. We shall return to this point when we talk about psychology and especially Christian conversion. The mind is the spirit in man both alone and coupled with the Holy Spirit: a sound mind is central to life itself.
Ability – the nature of human spirit
Finally, but oh so important as an integral part of the Bible definition of spirit we must broach a concept that will probably be new to you. This has to do with the spirit in man. Remember, every human has neshama and ruach; the ruach is the spirit in (hu)man(s). Therefore this concerns all humans, it has nothing to do with Christianity, religion, or race.
In the KJV translations for both H5381 (koach) and G1411 (dunamis) we saw ability. Every person worldwide has their personal power or ability. And the basis of G1411, dunamai (G1410) reveals the translations be able and can do. Those are common words to describe every activity under the sun. Whatever you are able to do, everything you accomplish daily, monthly, yearly, in your entire life.
All these accomplishments, from brushing our teeth to writing a note, from turning on our computer to flying to the moon, humans are able to do them because of the power, the strength of the spirit in man we all possess. This is the Bible definition of spirit for all humans and is therefore directly related to psychology. These Bible verses confirm all humans have the power to be able to do.
Matthew 25:15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability (G1411); and straightway took his journey.
Acts 11:29 Then the disciples, every man according to his ability (G1411), determined to send relief to the brethren which dwelt in Judaea:
Matthew 6:24 No man can (G1410) serve two masters:
Matthew 6:27 Which of you by taking thought can (G1410) add one cubit to his stature?
The two last verses clearly refer to every human being. We CAN DO or CAN NOT DO those mental activities because we have the power of the spirit in man in us. That’s our mind, the psychological, immaterial spirit that animates us.
In the next chapter we will see the exact relationship between the neshama and the ruach, the consciousness, and this spirit that powers and energizes us and is synonymous with the mind.
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