The Most Miraculous Feature of the Human Body
Over the past few months we have looked at the different systems, organs and features of the human body. The goal of this series has been twofold: first to show how intricately designed and complex the human body is which truly gives testimony to an infinitely wise Creator and Designer; and secondly to show the improbability and impossibility of it being the result of the random processes of evolution.
Many of the features and structures of the human body are also similar to those of the many animals that God also created on days five and six of creation but there is one feature of the human body that is completely unique to humans and not shared by any other of God’s creatures. It is the most miraculous feature that totally separates us from the rest of creation. Yet it is a feature that cannot be studied by dissection, chemical testing or any other laboratory procedure.
I’m talking about the human soul.
Man and animals have a physical body. Those animals and man that breathe through their nostrils also have a spirit (nephesh). But only man has a soul (ruach). Only man was created in God’s image (Gen. 1:26-27).
What is the difference between spirit and soul? In the Hebrew language used to write Genesis, they used two different words. In Genesis 7:21-23 we read:
And all flesh died that moved on the earth, birds, livestock, beasts, all swarming creatures that swarm on the earth, and all mankind. Everything on the dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life died. He blotted out every living thing that was on the face of the ground, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens. They were blotted out from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those who were with him in the ark.
The Hebrew uses the word ‘nephesh’ to refer to all animals and man that breathes through their nostrils. Note that this does not include insects, fish or invertebrate animals. The word ‘nephesh’ is commonly translated ‘spirit’. Hence, birds, reptiles, most amphibians and mammals are the only animal groups according to Scripture that have a spirit or breath of life that is breathed through the nostrils.
When the Bible uses the term ‘ruach’, it is only used of man and refers to the soul that lives forever. It is this aspect of being made in the image of God that gives man a’ ruach’ or soul. This completely separates us from all of the rest of creation.
It is our soul that gives us our relationship and knowledge of God. It is our soul that can be cleansed with the blood of Christ or left filthy with sin. It is our soul that will abide forever in heaven with Christ or in hell eternally separated from our Creator.
The soul cannot be measured or studied in the laboratory. It is a mystical part of man that many find difficult to comprehend.
Have you ever tried to explain to someone how you know that God is real and you tell them that you know it in your heart? That’s your soul talking. It’s the essence of our being made in God’s image that resides in each and every one of us that allows you to know that God exists.
So to conclude the series on the amazingly designed human body, I felt it most appropriate to conclude with the one aspect that is the most amazing, most mysterious, most miraculous and the most wonderful thing that makes us who and what we are: created in the image of our Creator.
My prayers are that each and every one of you have a personal saving relationship with Jesus Christ and are prepared to share the hope that is in you as Peter told us in 1 Peter 3:15:
But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.
Take a journey from conception to birth with Dr. David Menton, former professor of anatomy at the prestigious Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Dr. Menton provides both a biblical and scientific answer to the question of when life begins.
Taken from one of Dr. Menton’s lectures, this video will reveal the wondrous design of the womb along with the numerous miracles involved along every step of the development of the unborn child.
Following the tragic starvation induced death of Terry Schiavo, Dr. Menton clearly shows the value and sanctity of human life.
With grace and sensitivity Dr. Menton concludes with a salvation message and explanation of the second birth process as described in John 3.