Of Growth
And Strength

Dividing Soul and Spirit


What exactly is "feeding the carnal soul?" Is the "carnal soul" different from the immortal soul? Does it require nourishment of some kind? (A question posed to me by a Roman Catholic on an online forum)

The short answer is all souls are eternal souls. Some will after death enter eternal life and most will enter in Eternal death. – In the bible there are specific criteria that one must do to enter eternal life. Salvation is not an accident. The bible tells us that upon death most souls will enter eternal death. Eternal death is a state that requires nothing on our part to earn.

There are three important words in the bible to understanding “Feeding the carnal soul”     

The first is the word body. – All of us we have a firm grasp of what our physical body is.

But in the bible it tells us that our body is more than just our flesh, our blood, and our bones. The body is a container of something special that is directly from God and that in the bible is called our soul and spirit.  When you say eternal soul – the absolute correct term would be eternal spirit – The bible refers to this as our spiritual body. 

So we have a body that houses a soul and spirit and when we die we have a spiritual body that houses a soul. And I might add your soul is your mind, your understanding and your feelings, and your emotions what makes you, you.    

Further the bible also calls our body: the flesh, and calls it: carnal.  (Which means of the flesh or more exactly that which is given to the desires of the flesh.) So when we read “The lust of the flesh” this is not merely our sex drive as many seem to preach, this is better described as our instinct to survive, and our instinct to sin. – That is when we see something, we want it, and we take it, and do what we want with it without any regard as to who the person or owner of what we want is. 

And ultimately the bible says our bodies are not our own – that they are lent to us by God – they were created in the image and likeness of God – so when we sin against our bodies or sin against others bodies,  because they are his property we sin against God.

In the book of Genesis we find believers and unbelievers having an acute sense of this when they say things like: “”how can I sin against God and have sex with this woman,” or “How can I sin against God by not telling someone the truth,” or “How can I sin against God taking something from someone.”  David when he killed Uriah the Hittite and took his wife Bathsheba  he confessed that he has sinned against God and God alone. Because of the underlying reasons I mentioned above. 

This understanding that we are in God’s Image and likeness has largely been lost in this day and it has many ramifications.

Let me quickly define sin since there is a lot of tradition carried in that particular English word. – Sin is more accurately “defilement,” literally “to make unclean.”  If we jump in the mud we have defiled our bodies, if we view pornographic material we defile our soul.

When we jump in the mud we can bathe and we can wash the clothes and the problem is solved . But this is not so with the soul when we view pornography even when we cut off this behavior, we still have a memory and the images live on in our memories, the emotions live on in our memories and our acts associated with these images and emotions also live on. Feeding the carnal soul is to give into our soul’s fleshly desires. We call these habits, or behavioral problems. The thing with habits is we don’t really have to think about what we are doing and it is not uncommon for people to even do habitual things in our sleep. 

The bible speaks of sowing to our flesh and sowing to our spirit.  -- when we sow into our soul and our spirit  what is planted grows and they become a living organisms. The bible speaks of a root of bitterness in people that can defile others – our actions what we sow in ourselves can poison and corrupt those that are around us.

Think in terms of homosexuality, or even “ideals” like liberalism and realize that there is more to them than just words. There is a spiritual reality to these things and I an speaking here beyond angels and demons. – Most of recognize that people can communicate things without words. Our souls and spirits speak, and on occasion we are with some one that our souls and spirits mesh with and we find ourselves speaking the same words having identical thoughts at the same moment  -That is our unseen soul and spirit communicating.

Not all sin and defilement are the same, either in our daily experience or in the Bible. Beyond the norm, there are also the heavy-duty sins, or defilements that can be classed sensual in nature.  And interestingly enough the pleasures associated with this type of sin fades. It is like salt that loses its savor. In other words this type of sin loses its edginess, so we seek something with more of an edge, and we go deeper and deeper into that sin to maintain the same level of arousal, excitement or feelings that we once had. Paul terms this as becoming a slave to sin. We start out doing these for the feeling and for self-gratification and we wind up becoming addicted to a harmful behavior and unable to let loose because of the cravings and hunger that have grown in our soul for that.

Solomon in Ecclesiastes talks about his exploring journey into sin and defilement and says he found this was vanity and that was vanity – it was hollow, it was empty, it was not fulfilling, – in other words Solomon got bored – the salt lost its savor and he moved on to something else. – So they replace one sin with another sin trying to convince their soul that what it wants is in this, and not in that. – this may work for a while but ultimately they get snagged and what is the testimony of Solomon in the bible? That he was taken by the strange women he loved, and his heart was stolen from God. of all the kings of Israel David is the only one that God recalls in the prophets, not Solomon and I dare say that because of the sins of Solomon the kingdom was torn asunder.

Solomon seems like most of the people I have met in my life. He justified his experimentation and playing with fire by saying: I am the anointed of God, I am saved, I am a Christian, and God has me covered.  And so we feed our soul and forage for those things hunger after.

We feed our souls whether with knowledge, philosophy, and we can even feed it with bible and church traditions without it doing any good because it is just stuff going in. We can also feed ourselves with vanity and pleasures TV, the Internet, movies, books, wine, women song, sex, drugs, friendship, family, all these feed our souls we call them fulfilling, fulfilling what? Our cravings to be loved,    

So we have on one side our flesh and on the other side our spirit and we have the soul in between.

The Spirit of man also has desires and cravings and hungers in the word of God.

In Genesis the bible tells us that God breathed the breath of life in a pile of dirt, and man became a living soul. 

So not only is man created in the image and likeness of God but God breaths life into them –  David in Psalms tells us our souls are drawn to God

The Apostle John tells us that in: John 1:9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

Between these verses I believe that the bible says that every soul that comes into the world comes with a direct impartation of God – I can not help but think a child when first born has some knowledge of his maker – The Catholic Church calls it innocence – But from that moment much of what the child sees hears and learns is corrupted and the child’s soul gets corrupted – but still within everyone even the most hardened atheist there is a desire to know God – there have recently been articles discussing this and others that say there is a God Gene. You know people are going to try to remove that gene. But I don’t think it is something so simple as a gene that can be removed or augmented. I think the breath is our life our spirit.

Also in scripture we see that man’s spirit can be corrupted but I won’t go into that I’ll leave you with some bible verses that may make more sense with this discussion.

John 3:6  That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

John 6:63  It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing.

Romans 8:1  There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Galatians 5:17  For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

2 Corinthians 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God

Romans 8:5  For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

Romans 8:13  For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

Galatians 6:8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

Romans 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Romans 8:7 because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be

1 John 2:15-17 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.

1 Peter 4:6 6For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

Colossians 2:10-11 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:

Ephesians 5:29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it . . .

Ephesians 2:2-3 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.