‘“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell (Matthew 10:28).”’
You may have heard the saying, “You are out of your mind.” In other words the speaker is telling you, “You are off your rocker!” You’ve lost your sanity. You are insane.
The remark, “You are out of your mind,” usually comes in response to someone proposing an action that is irrational, i.e., it doesn’t make sense. For example, those in the UK who wish to remain in the European Union maintain Brexiteers must be ‘cuckoo’, because they believe they will be better off if they leave.
Remainers reason they are sensible, and in their right mind, because by continuing with the status quo, the UK will become even more prosperous; therefore Brexiteers must be ‘bonkers!’
These opposing factions exercise their grey cells, and make up their minds concerning what they think will be best for them and for the UK.
So the ‘mind’ is where thinking takes place. One of its functions is to reason, to weigh up pros and cons. The mind decides what is right and what is wrong; therefore ethics and morality play their parts in decision making.
In the case of a Christian, ethics and morality are inextricably bound to the teachings of the Bible, which is God’s rule book. His rules for Christians are clearly set out in the New Testament. They are based on the teachings of Jesus who did away with the work-related rules of the Mosaic Covenant. He instituted the New Covenant, which is a covenant of grace, not of works (Ephesians 2:8,9). His law (Galatians 6:2) is one of compassion, love (1 John 4:8) and support for one another. That doesn’t mean to say Christians ignore laws found in the Old Testament; on the contrary, they interpolate them and apply their principles in light of teachings found in the New Testament, not only those of Jesus, but of the saints who penned the NT.
For a Christian, sanity of the mind is of the greatest importance. The demon-possessed man known as Legion, after being exorcized by Jesus was found to be, ‘in his right mind’ (Mark 5:15). He believed and trusted Jesus, who commissioned him to tell his friends what great things the Lord had done for him. This is a picture or parable of the before and after state of a born-again Christian (John 3:3).
The body is easier to define than the mind, since it consists of the tangible components of a human, i.e., flesh, bones and organs that are ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ by God (Psalm 139:14-16). A person’s body is subject to decay and death, but it will be reconstituted when Christ comes again (1 Corinthians 15:42-44). Paul the Apostle exhorts Christians to look after their bodies, because they belong to the Lord (1 Corinthians 6:15-20).
The soul is much harder to define. The Greek word for it [pronounced ‘psuché’] can have different meanings. Vines Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words gives eleven different meanings, according to how the word is used within specific contexts. To confuse the issue, the word ‘spirit’ can have the same meaning as ‘soul’. Such a case may be found with Hebrews 4:12, where ‘spirit’ [‘pneuma’] would appear to have the same meaning as ‘soul’ [psuché], i.e., a rational, immortal, living, breathing entity.
Of the eleven meanings of ‘soul’, the one that has the greatest significance for me, is the ‘immortal living’ part of me that cannot be seen, but is central and fundamental to my nature. It defines my character. It is living, and it cannot die. Having been infused by the Holy Spirit (John 3:3), that part of me lives in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). He is mine, and I am His.
After I depart from this world my soul will reside with Christ, and after He returns to the earth my soul will be united with my new reconstituted, spiritual body that Christ will give me (1 Corinthians 15:50-54).
After my death, the body that I currently have will most likely become ashes, as it is my wish to be cremated, and for my ashes to be scattered on the waters of the River Crouch. This will not prevent God from giving me a reconstituted body that will be admirably fitted for life in His new earth (Revelation 21:1), where only those perfected in Christ may dwell. There my mind, body and soul will be united in the presence of God Almighty and the Lamb (v 22).