In the comments below, what do you think the author of Hebrews meant when he wrote, “dividing soul and spirit”?
Our born again spirit which already attain perfection by grace is the most holy place where the Holy Spirit dwells and we worship the father from the spirit but the mind is still in the process of renewal not yet perfect so the word of God divides our spirit and soul so that the thoughts of the mind will not corrupt our pure worship to the Father
12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to THE DIVIDING ASUNDER OF SOUL AND SPIRIT, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
The Word of God “divides asunder” or separates the soul and spirit of man because they are two separate and distinct entities. There would be no need to divide them if they were the same. For instance, if you tried to separate water from water, you would find it is impossible. You cannot separate something from itself.
But two distinct entities can be separated. For example, when water and dirt are mixed together in a container, the muddy water is still basically made up of two different elements: water and dirt. If left undisturbed, the mud would settle to the bottom of the container. The mud could be separated from the water, because dirt and water are two separate entities.
Similarly, although the spirit and soul are intertwined within the nature of each of person, they can be separated from each other because they are two separate entities. But they can only be separated and distinguished by the Word of God.
The truth is, you can only follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in your spirit, or heart, if you are continually renewing your mind with the Word of God (Rom. 12:2). You become more sensitive to God and the things of God when your mind is being renewed with the Word.
If you will continually fill your mind with God’s Word by reading, meditating on, and speaking the Word, you will begin responding to circumstances in line with the Word rather than from your physical senses or from your emotions—according to the way you used to think. So just stay faithful to daily receive the Word into your heart and mind (James 1:21), and it will become easier and easier to listen to your heart with confidence, following the Holy Spirit’s leading in all the situations and circumstances of life.
The point is that it’s the word of God that reveals to us our true selves. Are we spiritual or are we natural? Are we born of God and spiritually alive, or are we deceiving ourselves and spiritually dead? Are the “thoughts and intentions of our heart” spiritual thoughts and intentions or only natural thoughts and intentions. Only the “word of God” can “judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart” as Hebrews 4:12 says.
Practically speaking, when we read or hear “the word of God,” we sense ourselves pierced. The effect of this piercing is to reveal whether there is spirit or not. Is there marrow and life in our bones? Or are we only a “skeleton” with no living marrow? Is there “spirit,” or only “soul”? The word of God pierces deep enough to show us the truth of our thoughts and our motives and our selves.
and intents of the heart.”
The expression “soul and spirit” needs to be understood in the context in which it is written. The point of the verse is not that it’s possible to separate soul (Greek, psuche ) from spirit (Greek, pneuma ). The words actually have similar meanings in the Greek. Rather, the point is that God’s Word is alive, powerful and sharp.
The New International Commentary on the New Testament volume on Hebrews by F.F. Bruce mentions these phrases “are to be understood as a ‘rhetorical accumulation of terms to express the whole mental nature of man on all sides.’” If we fervently and sincerely study God’s Word, the Holy Bible, it will help us to see the wrong thoughts and motives within us that must be changed in order to come to have the mind of Jesus Christ.