The “vessel” inhabited by the soul is the body AND BRAIN
Thesis #70 of 95 - By attending to the means of grace and persevering in the faith the Christian is enabled to “possess his vessel in sanctification and honour”. Such is the immediate purpose of Christian salvation as well as a preparation for future glory as the corporate Bride of Christ


1Thes4:4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour (KJV)

1Thes5:23 – Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your SPIRIT AND SOUL AND BODY be kept complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Rom8:16 – The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God

Gal6:18 – The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen.


This thesis pertains to the human soul: its origins and nature, which I described in the Little Book of Providence as follows:

A creationist understanding of the soul’s origin[1] maintains that each person’s soul/spirit, i.e. that which is separated from the body at death, is created immediately by God and planted into the embryo procreated by the parents. Such has been the prevalent view within Eastern Orthodoxy and is also the official teaching of the Roman Church[2] albeit Augustine had wavered from it. Through original sin, the divinely created spirit finds itself within a morally sickly environment, or expressed another way is required to operate through an impure medium – the procreated body of death. Physiologically the physical and spiritual entities (body and soul/spirit) are in union, yet they have opposing moral impulses. Augustine, considered to be the first Christian anthropologist had started well, aptly applying the analogy “your body is your wife”: the couple were once in perfect harmony but following the Fall are in combat with one another. Paul however goes further: these two entities are influenced by separate and distinct laws or engrained principles; the body, being the corrupted medium through which the soul/spirit (Paul’s “inner man”) functions, has impulses of its own:

For I am gratified by the law of God in my inner man, but I perceive a different law in my bodily members warring with the law in my mind and bringing me into captivity to the sinful law that is in my bodily members”[3]

The “law in one’s members” refers to the senses perceived through the members of the body processed by the brain, an organ that, it must be remembered, is part of the procreated vessel through which the divinely planted soul/spirit must operate. Like the rest of the body it ultimately derives from fallen Adam’s loins and is heading for the grave. The human psyche, emotions and motivations cannot be contained within that vital organ or entirely derived from it, for when the soul leaves the body it is conscious and memory-retaining as Scripture affirms; the rich man wondering why he must experience suffering in Hades was told by Abraham to “remember that in your lifetime you received good things and likewise Lazarus evil things, so now he is comforted and you are tormented[4]. Paul’s reference in this context to the “law of God” is referring to a moral sense of right and wrong, in particular the need to exercise love and consideration for others, which the apostle confirms was always the law’s (and the Torah’s) heart and purpose[5]. It is intuitive, being the outworking of the human conscience[6] which is clear or “clean” when one obeys that principle, guilty when one does not.

[Extract from “The Little Book of Providence” chapter two.]

[1] Explanation and historical background:

[2] Catechism of the Catholic Church #366

[3] Rom7:23

[4] Lk16:25

[5] Rom13:9-10

[6] Rom2:15


The seemingly obvious yet often eluded point to grasp is that the soul and the vessel (body and brain) it inhabits during mortal life are both intellectual entities. That results in the mental conflict Paul is referring to in Romans chapter seven. It is usually translated and interpretated as pertaining to the Holy Spirit versus sinful human nature as a whole. In fact the apostle is referring to the contrasting laws (i.e. governing principles) of the universal God-given spirit (“inner man” incorporating the conscience) versus the thinking and processing of the human brain. Hence, Paul’s summation of salvation in Christ – what it is from and what it is for – Rom7:23-25.

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