I said I would do a post on the nature of what is a “spirit.” To do so I am going to use Scripture and I am going to talk about it from the Christian perspective. I am not versed in what other religions say about the topic. I’m just providing a framework of what Christians believe about the topic, nothing more, maybe less because I’m not going to be exhaustive by any means.
Let’s start at the beginning. As the story goes, God created Adam and breathed the breath of life into him. Genesis 2: 7 reads “the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”
This distinction was not made in the creation of animals. They were created alive, but not given the breath of life as was Adam. And so from Adam to Even and on to all men the breath of life is a part of our existence.
Now the point of this is the “breath of life.” This is where humans got a spirit. The Greek word for “spirit” literally means “breath.” Genesis tells us that we were created in the image of God. John tells us God is spirit. But we also know that God took physical form in Jesus who is the exact representation of the Father.
Man was created physical and given a spiritual dynamic when God breathed His breath into man giving Him life. John 6:63 puts it this way “The Spirit (meaning the Spirit of God) gives life; the flesh counts for nothing.”
Life doesn’t come from our flesh it comes from His Spirit and flows to our spirit which He gave us. Psalm 146:4 reads, “When their spirit departs, they return to the ground.” Meaning when the essence of our life, our non-physical being, leaves our body returns to the dust. For the body is not the essence of who we are. Who we are continues after the body is gone. Ecclesiastes 12:7 states “and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.”
David writes in Psalm 31:5 “into your hands I commit my spirit, redeem me, O Lord, the God of truth.” And in Psalm 51:10 we read “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Proverbs reads, “the lamp of the Lord searches the spirit of man; it searches out his inmost being.” God is very much concerned with the state of our spirit for a redeemed spirit connected with Him gives us life. Life, more than physically being alive like an animal, but having a restored contact with Someone greater than ourselves that is full of this kind of supernatural life.
God calls for us to connect with Him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:24). This means our spirit can connect with His Spirit and we connect with Him in truth, it’s not just a mystical symbolic faith experience, it’s a real tangible encounter that is true.
We were designed to live fully connected in His spirit, but sin severed that connection and made connecting difficult. Our spirituality is still very much a part of our being, but we it’s like the light went out and that part of us is dark and unused or sometimes ill-used. We need to be spiritually and truly connected to the ultimate life giving source in order to have a resurrected spirit that enables us to connect to God in spirit and in truth.
Let me say once more, this is the story of our spirit and His Spirit according to the Biblical narrative. A story I am very much invested in and living out. But the above content isn’t an apologetic for that story, it is simply the story. I find we need to know what we are talking about before we can delve deeper into it. I said I would provide more information from Scripture regarding “the spirit” I believe is inside each of us and here is my first attempt to make good on my word.
I welcome clarifying questions and ask that we start there on this subject.