Spirit, Conscience, Heart, and Soul | What’s the Difference?

by | Aug 8, 2021 | 3 Part Man, Blog, Fresh Bread Devotionals, Human Spirit

Have you ever heard someone say something like, “I just felt like I needed to …”  or maybe they’ve said something like, “Follow your heart” or “Listen your gut”.  Maybe you’ve done something like this yourself!  

Many people don’t really know what it means to hear God, but it starts by understanding the difference between the three things that we can listen to: spirit, soul or body.

The “Spirit”

Spirit, conscience, heart, and that “gut feeling” are all terms used to describe your human spirit.  God said in Genesis 1:26-28 let’s make man in OUR image.  What’s God? 

God is a spirit.  That means WE are a spirit. 

The spirit has a lot of abilities and characteristics that aren’t readily obvious. Our spirit…

  • Can Die – Genesis 2:17 
  • Can Hunger / Thrust – Proverbs 18:20-21
  • Can Grow Weak / Grow Strong – Jude 20
  • Can Be Merry (Joyful) / Sorrowful – Proverbs 17:22
  • Can Be Wounded – Proverbs 18:14
  • Can Be Seared – 1 Timothy 5:2
  • Can See, Hear and Speak – Matt 12:34, Luke 6:45, Matt 11:15, Ephesians 1:18
  • Can Grow a Harvest – Proverbs 18:21, Mark 4
  • Has Parts and Chambers – Proverbs 20:27, Proverbs 18:8
  • Can Overflow to Healing – Proverbs 20:30, Proverbs 18:14
  • Can Convict of Sin – Proverbs 19:3
  • MUST Be Protected – Proverbs 4:23
  • Can Be Renewed & Cleansed – Psalms 51:10

The “Soul”

Many people confuse the spirit and the soul.  They are not the same. Paul says…

23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Thessalonians 5:23 KJV

He clearly is praying for the whole “spirit” and “soul” and “body”.  This is our division as a person.  We are three in one just as God is “Father”, “Son” and “Holy Spirit”.

The soul is our mind, will and emotions. They together make up our choosing capabilities.

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  1. Roman dyrda


    Nice writing, thanks.
    Spirit controls soul and body.
    Spirit never dies, in Genesis 2:17, God caused the substance to take the form – matter = Adam.
    Matter can change its form, transform from one state into another, from moving body into dust……

    • Nathan Zimmer

      Hey Roman!

      Glad you enjoyed this devotional post. You’re 100% right. God created mankind in His image out of the dust (matter) of the earth. When we look at what it means to be in God’s image we see God is a three-part being and so are we!

  2. Roman dyrda

    Spirit, soul, and body are not 3 in divisions, but 3 united in one.
    Religion is speaking about the separation, and division of God and man, while God is the Manifestation: man, in man, as man, the man.

    • Nathan Zimmer

      I heard someone say this and so I’m going to steal it for myself.

      A man holds a hardboiled egg and asks you, “What is this?”

      You reply, “It’s an egg.”

      The man then begins to peel the hardboiled egg and takes the shell off of the egg handing it to you. Then
      he takes the egg white and peels it off handing it to you. Finally, he’s left with the yellow yoke from the inside.

      The man then asks, “Do I have three eggs now?”

      It’s very clear at this moment what the Bible talks about when it says we are a three-part being: spirit, soul and body. We aren’t three separated, divided things attempting to be separate from one another, but one unified “egg” of a person!


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