Heb 4:12 - The great DIVISION
Heb 4:12 says "The Word of God is living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to the dividing of SOUL and SPIRIT......."
Pay close attention to the division God puts between Soul and Spirit. Let this be the backdrop for Mark 12:29-34 where Jesus is talking to a religious leader about which commandment is the most important. His response began with "The Lord our God is one Lord" and if you truly believe that He is one (Father, Son, Holy Ghost) and that Jesus is God, then the natural outflow of that belief will be to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your SOUL, and with all your MIND, and with all your strength." Jesus then goes on to state the second greatest commandment which springs from the first - if you truly love God then you will naturally love your neighbor. Bam. Done. I capitalized Soul and Mind on purpose. You'll see why in a second.
The religious leader responds, "Right, Teacher; You have truly state that He is One.........And to love Him with all the Heart and with all the UNDERSTANDING and with all the Strength......." (He quoted Moses - see Deut 6:5) It's very interesting that this man responded by summarizing SOUL and MIND as UNDERSTANDING. Jesus separated the two - this man joined them together. This man called Jesus "Teacher," but not "Lord." This man had a proper understanding of who Jesus was, which is the reason why Jesus said to him, "You are not far from the Kingdom," which insinuates that he still doesn't have it. What would it be that would grant this man the kingdom? The WORD of God penetrating his heart thus dividing his SOUL and SPIRIT. This would have made Jesus this mans' Lord and not just his Teacher.
Your soul is your mind, will, and emotions. Your soul gets saved. Your spirit gets re-born. When God's spirit enters you and your spirit merges with His and He takes full control then your soul now has someone to submit to. A division has been made between your MIND, and your Will/Emotions. You're not led by your own thoughts anymore - your new spirit is in control of that. Your will and emotions must submit to the new spirit which is inside you. The religious leader that questioned Jesus still hadn't experienced this separation - he had solid understanding, but he was leaning on his own understanding and now allowing God's spirit to come in and separate his Mind from his Will and Emotions, hence the reason he addressed him as Teacher and not Lord. If Jesus were his Lord then he wouldn't have been far from the kingdom, he would have been in the kingdom!
Romans 12:1-2 talks about where the warfare for our soul takes place - in our minds. And that the proper way to win this warfare is for our minds to be renewed. How does this happen? With the Word of God. We counteract the lies of the devil with the truth of God's Word - this is renewal. This is a picture of our Spirits directing the traffic that courses across the landscape of our minds which directs our will and emotions. This renewal is a picture of us being a "living sacrifice." Remember what the religious leader above said to Jesus in vs 33, ".....to love Him is much more (important) than all burnt offerings and sacrifices." He properly understood with his mind that God doesn't ultimately want an animal sacrifice. But what this man didn't realize is that God still wanted a sacrifice, it just needed to be him! He wants US to be sacrifices, and we do this by renewal, which can only take place when our Soul and Spirit has been divided by the Word of God!
Until God's spirit comes into a person and they are re-born they cannot see the kingdom of heaven. Why? Because they're only living a the level of the Soul - their mind, will, and emotions are doing the leading. When Jesus comes in He divides our mind away from our will and emotions and puts it under the control of His spirit (which has merged with our spirit) we can now experience the freedom and peace that we can experience in no other way. God's Word is the only way to separate yourself from yourself. This religious leader didn't get "that," but he wasn't far from getting it. May we not be in his same boat.
(Prov 20:27 shows this division - The human spirit is like the lamp of the Lord, searching all his innermost parts.)
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