What is the Spirit of Man?
According to 1 Thessalonians 5:23 man has a body, soul, and a spirit. The body is the part of man that we see when we look in the mirror. The soul is the real you that lives forever in heaven or hell depending on weather you are saved or lost. The spirit returns to God when you die (Ecclesiastes 12:7). But what is the spirit of man? In this lesson we will try to give a scriptural definition for the spirit of man and thereby have a greater understanding of this verse in Proverbs.
Before discussing the spirit of man we must note that there are many different kinds of spirits. In other words God created different spirits. We will list some of these below:
- God is a spirit (John 4:24)
- There is the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:16)
- There is the spirit of beast (Ecclesiastes 3:21)
- There is the spirit of man (Proverbs 20:27)
- There are spirits of devils (Revelation 16:14)
In regards to the spirit of man it comes from God and return to God (Ecclesiastes 12:7 ; Zechariah 12:1), but the spirit of beast goeth downward (Ecclesiastes 3:21). So there are different spirits that go to different places.
What is the spirit of man?
The spirit of man is life from God. This means that without your spirit you would be dead. This is seen in (James 2:26 and Ecclesiastes 8:8). James says that the body without the spirit is dead and Ecclesiastes says that no man can retain the spirit in the day of death. Therefore the spirit of man is life from God.
This spirit is also connected with breath. This makes sense because without breath there is no life. Below we will list some verses that connect life with breath.
- Genesis 2:7 (God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life)
- Job 27:3 (my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils)
- Job 33:4 (The Spirit of God hath made me and breath of the Almighty hath given me life)
- Job 34:14 (he gathereth unto him himself his breath and his spirit)
- Psalm 104:29-30 (takest away their breath, they die)
- Isaiah 42:5 (he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein:)
The verse for our study says that the Spirit of man is the candle of the Lord. From this verse we see that the spirit of man also connected with light. This makes sense when we look at the first chapter of John.
In John 1:4 we see that in the Word (Jesus Christ) was life and that the life was the light of men. So light is connected with life. In John 1:9 we see that Jesus was said to light every man that cometh into the world. This is not talking about salvation because not every man that lives gets saved. So it is speaking about Jesus giving everyman life. So light is connected with life. See also John 8:12.
How does this connect with the spirit of man being the candle of the Lord?
When you are born God gives you life and therefore you candle is now burning. This is why God speaks of death in the bible as mans candle being put out (Job 18:6 ; Job 21:17 ; Proverbs 24:20). Therefore we see that life from God is connected with light and breath, this is why the proverb says that the candle of the Lord is the spirit of man.
With these scriptures it becomes plain that the spirit of man is life from God.
What is the Spirit of Man? : Handout
1) Is there more than one kind of spirit? Give verses to support you answer.
2) Where did man get his spirit and where does it go when he dies?
3) What is the spirit of man connected with?
4) How is the spirit of man connected with the candle of the Lord?