What is the human spirit?

The human spirit is comprised of the nonmaterial parts of our humanity. The human spirit was given at creation when God breathed His very life into Adam (Genesis 2:7). Through our human spirit, we have self-awareness, emotions, intellectual knowledge, creative output, and personal passions. The spirit within enables us to understand and communicate our observations (Job 32:8, 18). Because we were created in the image of God, our God-breathed human spirit is what distinguishes us from animals and is the factor that gives us free will (Genesis 1:26–27).

Our human spirit enables us to be conscious of our actions and our inner workings: "For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him?" (1 Corinthians 2:11). It is our spirit, also, that enables God to search our hearts: "The human spirit is the lamp of the LORD that sheds light on one's inmost being" (Proverbs 20:27, NIV). At death, our human bodies perish, but if we have been saved through Jesus Christ our spirits go to be with God, the one who gave them to us (Ecclesiastes 12:7; Job 34:14–15; Psalm 104:29–30).

When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden of Eden, the human spirit became fatally flawed. While mankind did not physically die, they did spiritually die. Human spirits have been born under the shadow of the fall ever since, which is why salvation is necessary. We are all spiritually dead before accepting Jesus Christ as Lord (Ephesians 2:1–5; Colossians 2:13). Through Jesus, our spirits become born again (John 3:3–8) and we are filled with the Holy Spirit who renews our spirits every day (2 Corinthians 4:16).

Similar to how our human spirits were initially breathed into us by God, Jesus breathed the gift of the Holy Spirit into the disciples in John 20:22: "And when he [Jesus] had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, 'Receive the Holy Spirit'" (see also Acts 2:38). When we are saved, we become spiritually alive through the Holy Spirit, the "Breath of God," who partners with our human spirit and helps us to live as spiritually renewed beings (2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 6:4; 8:16). The presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives is confirmation of our salvation: "By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit" (1 John 4:13). The Spirit continually leads us on the path to eternal life; our job is to "keep in step with the Spirit" (Galatians 5:25).

Related Truth:

What is the human soul, according to the Bible?

What is the difference between the soul and the spirit?

What is the heart, according to the Bible?

Spiritual death - what is it?

What do Christians mean by saying they are born again?

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