What Is the Human Spirit According to the Bible?
As one who has believed in Christ, have you ever wondered, “How can I get to know the Lord Jesus more? How can I know Him in my daily life?”
The Lord has provided a wonderful answer. The answer is our human spirit. Our human spirit is the key to experiencing Christ and to living a normal Christian life. When we believed in Christ, we received forgiveness of our sins, and we were delivered from God’s eternal judgment.
But even more, we received Jesus Christ Himself, the most wonderful Person, into us. This wonderful Person came to live in our deepest part, our human spirit, to be our life and enjoyment today.
Where is the human spirit mentioned in the Bible?
We find mentions of the human spirit throughout both the Old Testament and the New Testament. For example, 2 Timothy 4:22 says this:
“The Lord be with your spirit.”
In this verse, “be with” is for the present. This means the Lord being in our spirit is something we can experience right now. This also indicates that to know and enjoy Him, we really need to know our spirit. From the very beginning of the Bible, we can see that God made us with this human 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.”
Now, where is the human spirit in this verse? We can see that “the dust of the ground” becomes the physical body and “a living soul” refers to the soul, which is the psychological part of a person, their mind, emotion, and will. But what is “the breath of life”? “The breath of life” refers to the third part of man, the human spirit. We have confirmation of this in Proverbs 20:27, which says,
“The spirit of man is the lamp of Jehovah.”
The same Hebrew word used for “spirit” in this verse is the word translated “breath” in Genesis 2:7!
What is the human spirit?
Our spirit is the deepest part of our being and was created by God to contact and receive Him. Note 5 on Genesis 2:7 in the Holy Bible Recovery Version explains the meaning of the spirit in this verse:
“Man’s spirit is his inward organ for him to contact God, receive God, contain God, and assimilate God into His entire being as his life and his everything.”
This ability of our spirit to contact and receive God can be illustrated by a radio. A radio, turned on and properly tuned, can receive the invisible radio waves in the air. This is something a coffee pot or microwave can’t do. In fact, a radio is the only apparatus that can properly receive and interpret those radio waves. Our human spirit is like that radio, and God is like the radio waves. Our spirit is the part of us that can receive and contact God. Our other parts—our body and our soul—are important, but they function in other ways. It is only by our spirit that we can contact and know God, who is Spirit.
What makes your human spirit so important?
Our human spirit is very important to God because God desires 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. Consider what John 3:6 says:
“That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”
Note 2 on this verse in the Recovery Version says this:
“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.”
This means that from moment we believe into God’s Son, Jesus, His Spirit enters into our human spirit and we are reborn! We’re born of God, we receive His divine, eternal life in our spirit, and we become His children. Our human spirit is the unique place for God’s Spirit to enter into us to make us His children, and it is also the place from which He goes on to fill our entire being.
Our human spirit and the Christian life
Once we realize that the Lord Jesus lives in our spirit, we need to apply this revelation by practicing to use our spirit to contact Him and receive Him as our life all the time. Here are some ways we can do this:
- We can practice contacting the Lord Jesus in our spirit first thing each morning, and then continually throughout the day. We can do this even by simply calling on His name—“Lord Jesus!” This is like spiritual breathing.
- We can use our spirit to contact the Lord in prayer and to pray with God’s Word. Rather than seeking an emotional feeling when we pray or focusing on understanding the Bible in a mental way when we read, we must learn to turn deeply to the Lord who is right in our spirit. Our Bible reading and prayer will then be fresher and full of the divine life. We’ll taste God each time we pray and read His Word, and our hunger for the Lord and His Word will increase.