The Holy Spirit and the Human Spirit

The Holy Spirit and the Human Spirit(日本語版は準備中)

Marty Woods


Over the last few years, I have been searching the Scriptures to see where it refers to the human spirit in the Bible. It is helpful that In English the Holy Spirit always has a capital “S” while the human spirit is always a small “s”.

1 Thessalonians 5:23 sets up the discussion…
 “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” NIV
Paul writes,
“The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.” I Corinthians 2: 10b-11. NIV
In Job 32:8 Eliu says,
“But it is the spirit in a person, the breath of the Almighty, that gives them understanding.” NIV
Psalm 51 is helpful in showing the difference as David talks about both the Holy Spirit and the human spirit…
“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.  Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me…  My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.” Psalm 51: 10-12 & 17
God’s promises in Ezekiel of a new spirit in us…
“And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.” Ezekiel 36:26-27 ESV
I consider these 2 passages in the New Testament the key insight of the human spirit – from Jesus and then Paul.
“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Mark 14:38
I always appreciate the Message translation…
“Don’t be naive. Part of you is eager, ready for anything in God; (your spirit) but another part (your flesh) is as lazy as an old dog sleeping by the fire.”
Secondly from Paul in Romans 8:15-16 – with its incredible teaching on both the Holy Spirit and the human spirit
“The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.”
The Message translation says…
“This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike ‘What’s next, Papa?’ God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children.”
The Passion translation…
“And you did not receive the ‘spirit of religious duty,’ leading you back into the fear of never being good enough. But you have received the ‘Spirit of full acceptance,’ enfolding you into the family of God. And you will never feel orphaned, for as he rises up within us, our spirits join him in saying the words of tender affection, ‘Beloved Father!’ For the Holy Spirit makes God’s fatherhood real to us as he whispers into our innermost being, ‘You are God’s beloved child!’”
Other Old Testament references to the human spirit
“My servant Caleb has a different spirit.” Numbers 14:24 NIV 
“After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself.” 1 Samuel 18:1
Here is what Elisha asks for Elijah before he is taken up…
“Let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.” 2 Kings 2:9 NKJV

“Take a good look at me, God, and answer me! Breathe your life into my spirit. Bring light to my eyes in this pitch-black darkness or I will sleep the sleep of death.” Psalms 13:3 TPT
“His teachings make us joyful and radiate his light; his precepts are so pure! His commands, how they challenge us to keep close to his heart! The revelation-light of his word makes my spirit shine radiant.” Psalms 19:8
“The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18 NIV
“I know that you delight to set your truth deep in my spirit. So come into the hidden places of my heart and teach me wisdom.” Psalms 51:6 TPT
“I said, "Let me remember my song in the night; let me meditate in my heart." Then my spirit made a diligent search:” Psalms 77:6 ESV
“When my spirit grows faint within me. it is you who watch over my way.” Psalm 142:3
“Bright eyes and a cheerful expression bring joy to the heart, and good news revives the spirit and renews health.” Proverbs 15:30
“Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.” Proverbs 16:32 ESV
“Like a drink of cool water to a weary, thirsty soul, so hearing good news revives the spirit.” Proverbs 25:25 TP
“The lamp of the LORD searches the spirit of a man ; it searches out his inmost being.” Proverbs 20:27

Ezekiel and the promise of the New Covenant
“And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.” Ezekiel 36:26-27 ESV
“For this is what the high and exalted One says— he who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.” Isaiah 57:15 NIV
In the Message...
“A Message from the high and towering God, who lives in Eternity, whose name is Holy: ‘I live in the high and holy places, but also with the low-spirited, the spirit-crushed, And what I do is put new spirit in them, get them up and on their feet again.’”

From the New Testament 

The Gospels

Mary’s Magnificat…
“And my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour.” Luke 1:47
The healing of Jairus’ daughter –
‘They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead.  But he took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up!”  Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat.’ Luke 8:53-55
“When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.” John 11:33 NIV
“After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, “Very truly I tell you, one of you is going to betray me.” John 13:21
“When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” John 19:30
“But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.” 1 Corinthians 6:17 NIV
“But the one who joins himself to the Lord is mingled into one spirit with him.” TPT 
“Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” 2 Corinthians 7:1 
This verse in the Passion…
“We must remove everything from our lives that contaminate body and spirit and continue the development of holiness within us.”
Paul reflecting on the gift of tongues…
“For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful.” 1 Corinthian 14:14
The Word of God is able to separate between the spirit and the soul…
“ For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 NIV
“As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” James 2:26 NIV
“I hope all is well with you and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit.” 3 John 1:2 NLT
Passages where I believe the spirit is implied
“Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”  John 7:38 NIV
I believe this is from your spirit. The Passion says “your innermost being” and The Message… “spill out of the depths.”
Some translate John 4:23 with the Holy Spirit:
“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.” 
Others like the ESV, CEB and King James say,
“But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.” 
The Message also translates it as the human spirit…
“Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth, John 4:23  MSG
The Message translates the last part of Luke 9:48 (where Jesus is referencing becoming like a child to enter the Kingdom) …
“Your spirit not your size makes the difference” 
Ephesians 3:16: I believe also refers to the human spirit. Some translate it as the “inner man” or “inner being” (NIV.) The Passion writes,
“I pray that he would unveil within you the unlimited riches of his glory and favour until supernatural strength floods your innermost being with his divine might and explosive power.” TPT
Paul’s final greeting to the Church in Galatia; this seems a fitting place to finish any discussion – that Jesus Christ will be with our spirit…
“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen.” Galatians 6:18