Soulical and Soulish


The soulical man or woman is unsaved (unregenerated). The soulish man may or may not be saved. The reason why the soulical man is unsaved is because he lives by his soul ("ical" functions), not able to walk in a quickened spirit because his spirit is dead, insensitive to things of God and smothered by his soul's mind, will and emotion. Therefore, he lives soulishly. Soulical pertains to the functions or area of where the saved or unsaved lives, while soulish speaks of the person who is engrossed in that life. Click here to find out how "soulical" is derived in Greek and Hebrew.

For example, Watchman Nee says on page 21, Vol. 2 of The Spiritual Man, CFP, "everything belonging to the soulish is defiled and can defile the spirit", not speaking of the soulical since the soulical pertains to the natural functions attributable to the man. The unregenerated man is soulical because he lives in those functions, not in his spirit, nor can he since he is still without God's uncreated life (eternal life as typified by the tree of life) and the Holy Spirit (the life of God). "Upon experiencing the partition of soul and spirit, the latter's intuitive power becomes most keen", and "any contact with what is soulish - whether in themselves or in others - causes their intuitive spirit to feel defiled and to demand instant cleansing" which speaks of the person(s) rather than the area of the functions naturally attributable to the person. Sin is defiling, but so too can what we do in our self-life. This is really where the battlefield ensues, in the battlefield of the mind of our soul which needs the quickening of the spirit and to walk therein, renewing our mind with God's love and truth.

The soul's functions (mind, will, and emotion) are naturally attributes desirable to God in man, but they are not to be the guiding principle since God communicates His life by His Spirit to our spirit, that is, our inner man. Without this "line of communication" we can not commune with God therein, and vanity rules. God communicate His life by entering through the window of our conscience in the seat of intuition, residing there upon initial salvation or new birth. When a person is born-again, his or her old spirit is quickened and a new spirit of eternal life is given.

In order for such a miracle of God's grace to occur, God requires one thing from us; that is, for us to come to the cross as a helpless sinner and receive Jesus as Lord and Savior (affirmatively). This choice of accepting the One who created you according to John 6.47 is a righteous condition required by God for man made in His image (Gen. 1.26) in order for God to give us His Own life (eternal life, the new spirit for the Holy Spirit to indwell) and so that, in His holiness, He can walk with those whom He has chosen based on foreknowing who would make that choice. God is most amazing in this regard.


A Christian is also, often, soulish, because although he has new life, he is still living by his soulical faculties for the most part, rather than walking in the spirit as the guiding principle in his being by the indwelling Holy Spirit through the Word of God so that God can impart His life evermore and giving the believer increased faith. "First faith" came from God in His image, created in the man and graced with the God-given right to make a choice that believers make. You can say this act is God's faith first given which we may freely obtain and is the originating act of faith established by God.


Therefore, what is God to do with this carnal Christian? God will further break and crack open the shell of the soul's outer man so that the spirit can be released by various means (e.g. discipline of the Holy Spirit) to allow the believer to sense that "still small voice" (1 King. 19.12), inner registrations and movements to receive God's mind in his intuitive communing conscience and "sanctify him wholly" (1 Thess. 5.23), "piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints (movement) and marrow (sensation)" (Heb. 4.12). She or he may yet overcome in Christ while still in the body of flesh and blood to abide in Christ.


Troy Brooks

What then is the purpose of His incarnation? As a “sacrifice for sins” is the Biblical explanation (Heb. 10.12), and this is the work of the cross. God’s Son is to atone for our sins. All the fleshly sin against the law; they cannot establish the righteousness of God; and they are doomed to perdition and punishment. But the Lord Jesus in coming to the world takes this likeness of sinful flesh and joins Himself so perfectly with the fleshly that they have been punished for their sin in His death on the cross. He need not suffer for He is without sin, yet He does suffer because He has the likeness of sinful flesh. In the position of a new federal head, the Lord Jesus now includes all sinners in His suffering. This explains the punishment for sin.


Christ as the sacrifice for sin suffers for everyone who is in the flesh. But what about the power of sin which fills the fleshly? “He condemned sin in the flesh.” He who is sinless is made sin for us, so that He dies for sin. He is “put to death in the flesh” (1 Peter 3.18). When He dies in the flesh, He takes to the cross the sin in the flesh. This is what is meant by the phrase “condemned sin in the flesh.” To condemn is to judge or to mete out punishment. The judgment and punishment of sin is death. Thus the Lord Jesus actually put sin to death in His flesh. We therefore can see in His death that not only our sins are judged but sin itself is even judged. Henceforth sin has no power upon those who are joined to the Lord’s death and who accordingly have sin condemned in their flesh. (The Spiritual Man, CFP, Vol. 1, Part 1 The Flesh, Ch. 1 The Flesh and Salvation, by Watchman Nee).