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In my opinion, humans are three-part beings. They have a body, a spirit, and a soul. I regard the spirit (as I use or understand the term) as the "life force" that animates the body (as it does with lower life forms, as well), and the presence of which distinguishes a living human from a dead human. In that respect, the spirit does die. The soul (again, as I use the term) is an internal entity that is unique to humans; that consists of such aspects as intelligence, conscience, memory, abstract thought, and all the other distinctive aspects of "personhood"; that survives bodily death; and that experiences a conscious afterlife, awaiting the resurrection. I realize that Christians differ on this point. However, to me, if there is not a continued conscious existence immediately after bodily death, then "eternal life" (which was the very purpose for which Jesus was incarnated) would not really be "eternal". (As I've mentioned in some of my previous posts, another position that I've encountered, and that reconciles the varying positions on the issue of the "interim state" of the believer between death and the resurrection, is that, the moment we as Christians die, time no longer exists for us, and we go immediately to the resurrection in our risen and glorified bodies, along with the rest of the redeemed from eternity past to eternity future, who all "arrive" at the same time as we do. There is thus no time interval in which the soul exists as a disembodied entity. To those we leave behind, our bodies appear to be lifeless, but that is because those people are still "trapped in time". A full exposition of this perspective, with supporting passages of Scripture, is fully viewable online at http://www.custance.org/Library/Journey/index.html.)
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