Grace Bible Church

Preaching the Living Word through the Written Word












Mk 12:30, 2/15/15

Grace Bible Church, Gillette, Wyoming

Pastor Daryl Hilbert






A.    The Greek word for “soul” is psuchē. Its literal meaning is to “blow or breath.” From this, the soul is seen as the immaterial part of man, i.e. “breath-soul.” From the Old Testament, the “soul” (Hb. nephesh) has several shades of general meanings such as living being, life, self, or person. It also contains desires, appetites, emotions, and passions. Primarily, the soul is the result of God’s breath of life that caused man to be a living being (nephesh “soul,” Ge 2:7). The soul encompassed everything that God intended in creating man in His image (rational, emotion, will, conscience, morality, and the ability to worship God). At death, the soul departs from man’s body (Ge 35:18).

B.    The human soul is a living, vivifying, incorporeal, spiritual substance possessing reason and adapted to the governing of the body (Augustine, The Concept of the Human Soul).






A.      Worship of the Soul


1.     When man was created, his soul was created in innocence without sin. When man sinned, his soul was tainted by sin. Therefore, every area of the soul of man such as his heart, spirit, conscience, mind, and will was also affected by sin.

2.     As a result, man experienced physical and spiritual death. Death is better understood as “separation.” When man dies physically, his immortal soul is separated from his body. When man died spiritually, his soul was separated from a relationship with God. If man does not repent and trust in Christ’s finished work on the cross, his soul will be eternally separated from the presence of God. So, we read in Ezekiel 18:4, the soul who sins will die (cf. Mt 10:28).

3.     Christ came to save the sinner’s soul (Jm 1:21; 1Pe 1:8-9). When a sinner places his faith in Christ’s atonement and resurrection, his soul is saved (including his body in the resurrection, i.e. the whole person). He is forgiven and given eternal life and the spiritual part of the soul is made alive (cf. Ep 2:1-6).

4.     The believer’s soul is then able to worship God: thirst for God (Ps 42:1-2), satisfied by God (Jer 31:14), anchored in God’s promises (Heb 6:19), rejoice in God (Ps 35:9; 84:2; Ps 108:1), exalt God (Lk 1:46), and most importantly, love God (Mk 12:30).


B.      Encouragement of the Soul


1.     It is no surprise that the soul can be troubled either from the difficulties of life (Ps 31:7; Ps 124:4-5; Ps 143:3-4, 11; Pr 21:23) or because of its own sin (Ps 41:4).

a)    Sometimes the troubles and worries of the soul can choke out the Word (Mt 13:22).

b)    Jesus’ Parable of the Sower teaches that the troubles and worries of the soul in regard to the world can prevent the Word from taking root in the soul. This applies to unbelievers. However, believers can take their eyes off Christ and His Word because of the worries of the world.

2.     The believer’s soul can be encouraged.

a)    The soul can be encouraged and restored by the Word of God (Ps 19:7; Ps 119:20, 25).

(1)   The Word of God can encourage the believer in restoring his soul (Ps 19:7). “Restore” (shub) basically means to “return.” It can apply to the backslider (“restore”) or the unbeliever (“convert”). Both of them can be bought back to the Lord by God’s Word.

(2)   The Word of God can revive the believer (Ps 119:25). The word for “revive” is chayah and means to give or restore life. The believer constantly needs to be revived in his spiritual life and the Word is Spirit’s instrument to accomplish this.

(a)   It can turn our eyes away from vanity (Ps 119:37).

(b)   It can fulfill our spiritual longings (Ps 119:40 cf. Mt 5:6).

(c)   It can influence our obedience (Ps 119:88; Ps 119:11).

(d)   It can comfort our afflictions (Ps 119:107).

(e)   It can assure our forgiveness (Ps 119:156).

(f)    It can increase our love (Ps 119:159 cf. Ps 119:97).

b)    The soul can be encouraged by prayer (1Sa 1:15; lifting up the soul - Ps 25:1; Ps 86:4; Ps 143:8).

(1)   The soul is encouraged through prayer. When the believer is in the presence of the Lord through prayer, it is then that he begins to see God as sovereign and all-wise.

(2)   The believer not only gains encouragement through prayer in afflictions, but afflictions motivate the believer to turn to God (Ps 119:67, 71, 75).

c)     The soul can be encouraged by praising God

(1)   The soul can praise God and ought to do so. For giving praise to God is the soul’s glorious duty (Ps 103:1; Ps 104:1; Ps 146:1).

(2)   God is worthy of our praise and rejoicing regardless of what we may be going through (Php 4:4).

d)    The soul can be encouraged by other believers (1Sa 18:1 cf. 1Th 5:11, 14).

(1)   God has created men’s souls to appreciate and identify with the souls of others (1Sa 18:1). Therefore, we can fellowship (koinōnia - in common) and empathize because our souls can relate to the experiences of life.

(2)   Therefore the believer is able to encourage (1Th 5:11, 14) and comfort the souls of others with the comfort God has given him (2Co 1:3-4).

e)     The soul can encourage itself (Ps 42:5, 11; 43:5; 62:5; 116:7).

(1)   Speaking to ourselves is the internal process of encouraging ourselves with the truths of Scripture.

(2)   It also becomes part of the practice of biblical meditation and prayer.

f)     The conclusion is that the soul can be encouraged and cultivated to love God (cf. Dt 6:5; 10:12; 11:13; 30:6; Mt 22:37; Mk 12:30; Lk 10:27).


C.      Sacrificial Life


1.     Forfeit the World for the Soul (Mar 8:36-37)

a)    This is an exhortation to unbelievers to place the highest value on the soul by trusting Christ as Savior. Even if one gains the whole world, it does not compare to the soul’s eternal life with Christ. Only Christ can give life, peace, and rest for the soul (Mt 11:29).

b)    However, there is also an application for believers. Having trusted in Christ, the believer’s soul must love the Lord and live for Him. Nothing else in life can compare to this and nothing else should take a higher priority.

2.     Give up the Soul for Christ (Re 6:9; 20:4)

a)    In Re 6:9 and Re 20:4, we observe souls in heaven who were willing to be martyred for Christ, the gospel, and His Word.

b)    When we lose our lives (soul) for Christ, we actually gain our lives (soul) (Mt 16:25; Lk 21:12-19).

c)     The believer entrusts his life to Christ who is the Guardian of his soul (1Pe 2:25) who sanctifies and preserves it (1Th 5:23).

3.     Motivation to Win Souls for Christ (Pr 11:30)

a)    Knowing that the soul who sins will die, and that all souls sin, it is wise to win souls for Christ (Pr 11:30 cf. Eze 18:4; Mt 10:28).

b)    Winning souls does not mean we are competing with other believers to see if we can bring more unbelievers to Christ. Rather, it means that we introduce men to Christ so that He can save their souls (1Pe 1:8-9).




Grace Bible Church · 4000 E. Collins Rd ·  PO Box #3762 · Gillette, WY · (307) 686-1516