Question #298

I need information on nourishing the mind, body & soul.

I need information on nourishing the mind, body & soul.

The Answer:

To answer this question we need to know that to which reference is made. We understand generally what the mind is, most certainly understand what the body is, but have some trouble in understanding what the soul is.

Scripture itself may contribute to the confusion over what the soul is. In some passages “soul” refers to the whole man as an individual. For example, God breathed into Adam the breath of life and Adam became a living soul, or living being. In Ezekiel God says that the soul that sins shall die, again referring to a human being. But when Christ asks what shall a man gain if he gains the whole world but loses his own soul, he is using the term to apply to that part of man that lives on after the death of the body. What we can learn is that man has a soul that will live on after the spirit leaves the body. James 2:26.

But now the question arises, what is the difference, if any, between the soul and the spirit? It is generally understood in such passages as Heb. 4:12 and 1 Thess. 5:23 that “soul” means the principle of animal life and “spirit” refers to that part of man that survives death. There may be a better explanation, but I have not found it. The truth is that even if our understanding is incorrect we need not be concerned. Knowing the distinction is not essential to being saved. God reveals plainly those things that we need to know. We need not be burdened because we do not know things that would make no difference if we did know them.

Thus, the question here really deals with how we strengthen (nourish) the mind of man and his eternal spirit. A good place to begin is Psalm 119 which deals at length with the benefits that flow from the word of God. For example, v. 11, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” The person who would strengthen the mind and the spirit strengthens them by that which he feeds them. He needs to spend time in the Word and on his knees – God communicating with man and man communicating with God. In Scripture the heart is the mind. The wise man said, “Keep thy heart with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23. Jesus said, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil; for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.” Luke 6:45.

A good summary is found in Paul’s admonition to the Ephesian elders when he met with them for the last time. He wanted them to be strong and faithful. He said: “And now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of his grace which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.” Acts 20:32. The word of his grace will do the same for you.

God's Plan of Salvation

You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)

You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)

You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)

Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)