The inner part of the person—the soul—is such an important element to who we are. God made us as body, soul, and spirit (1 Thess. 5:23). Yet the concept of the soul is so broad in God’s word that we could spend a year just studying its various nuances! Even in the book of Acts, the word takes on a variety of meanings. It is a synonym for person (Acts 27:37), while other times it refers to life (Acts 20:10), or mind (Acts 14:2). We also get a glimpse of God’s connection with our souls:
Hope From God. “For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One see corruption” (Acts 2:27).
Salvation In God. “So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls” (Acts 2:41).
Fear of God. “And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles” (Acts 2:43).
Condemnation of God. “And it shall be that every soul who does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from the people” (Acts 3:23).
Unity From God. “Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common” (Acts 4:32).
Encouragement in God. “When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:21-22).
In Jesus our souls have no condemnation (Rom. 8:1)! Instead, we find encouragement (John 16:33), unity (Eph. 2:15), salvation (2 Tim. 2:10), and hope (1 Thess. 1:3). This year, may our souls dwell in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit (Acts 9:31).
- Logan Summers, Graeber Road church of Christ, Rosenberg, TX