What Is the Human Spirit According to the Bible?

special animation

Originally posted on the Bibles for America Blog.

Receiving Jesus Christ as your Savior is a momentous event. But have you ever wondered what happens next? 

The good news is that being saved is just the first step in your Christian life. There’s so much more to being a Christian! Jesus Christ is now living in you, and He wants to have a personal relationship with you. For this to happen, it’s critical to understand the importance of your human spirit according to the Bible.

In this post, we’ll look at some key verses to explore how knowing about our spirit can affect our Christian life.

Key Bible verses

The Bible mentions the human spirit numerous times. 

From the very beginning, the Bible reveals God made human beings with three parts, including a spirit. Genesis 2:7 says: 

“Jehovah God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.”

God formed man’s physical body with the dust of the ground. Then God breathed into his nostrils, and man became a living soul. This, of course, points to man’s soul, which consists of the mind, emotion, and will. 

Now, where is the human spirit in this verse? We don’t see the words human spirit, but what we do see is the breath of life. In Hebrew, the original language of the Old Testament, the word translated as breath is neshamah. This same Hebrew word is translated as spirit in Proverbs 20:27, which says: 

“The spirit of man is the lamp of Jehovah.”

By this we can see that when God breathed into man, man’s human spirit came into existence. Our human spirit is the deepest part of our being. 

But why did God create us with a human spirit? Isn’t having a body and soul enough for us to exist? 

Why we have a spirit

Our spirit was created by God so that we can contact and receive Him. Our body and our soul have their own specific functions; only our spirit has the ability to contact God. We can see this from numerous verses, including John 4:24:

“God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truthfulness.”

In order to contact—or worship—God, who is Spirit, we must use our spirit.

The way a radio functions is a good illustration of our spirit’s unique ability to contact and receive God. When a radio is turned on and properly tuned, it can receive the invisible radio waves in the air and interpret them.

Our human spirit is like a radio, and God is like the radio waves. Our spirit is the part of our being that corresponds to what God is, so we have to use our spirit in order to contact Him.

What makes our human spirit so important?

Our human spirit is so important to God because God wants to fill us with Himself. He wants us to receive Him, and our spirit is the unique receiver. Our Christian life begins with our human spirit, as we see from John 3:6:

“That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Note 2 in the Recovery Version says:

“The first Spirit mentioned here is the divine Spirit, the Holy Spirit of God, and the second spirit is the human spirit, the regenerated spirit of man. Regeneration is accomplished in the human spirit by the Holy Spirit of God with God’s life, the uncreated eternal life. Thus, to be regenerated is to have the divine, eternal life (in addition to the human, natural life) as the new source and new element of a new person.”

The moment we believe in Jesus, His Spirit enters into our spirit. When we’re regenerated, we’re born of God; we receive His divine, eternal life in our spirit; and we become His children. 

The Lord is love, light, peace, rest, comfort, strength, our Shepherd, our refuge, and so much more. And because He’s now living in our spirit, we can experience and enjoy all He is to us right now, not just at some point in the future.

Our human spirit and our Christian life

Knowing about our human spirit is foundational for our Christian life. Once we realize that the Lord Jesus lives in our spirit, we need to apply this realization by using our spirit to contact Him all the time. We can practice doing this first thing each morning. Then continually throughout the day, we can contact Him by simply calling on His name, “Lord Jesus!” 

We can also use our spirit to contact the Lord by praying with God’s Word. For instance, let’s say we read John 14:6: “I am the way and the reality and the life.” We can pray, “Lord Jesus, thank You for being the way. Thank You for being the reality. And Lord, I praise You for being the life, the real life. Thank You for being my life.”

In this blog post, we’ve only scratched the surface of the importance of our human spirit and its application to our Christian life. To learn more, we encourage you to read chapter 5, “The Key to Experiencing Christ—the Human Spirit,” in Basic Elements of the Christian Life, vol. 1, a book that has helped thousands of believers. If you’re an Australian resident, you can order the three-volume set for free here. You can also download these volumes from anywhere in the world here.

Subscribe to receive the latest posts