How can the soul prosper as stated in 3 John vs 2?

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.

3 John 1:2 

3 John 1:2

NKJV - 2 Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.

Clarify Share Report Asked April 04 2023 Data Adanko White

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My picture Jack Gutknecht ABC/DTS graduate, guitar music ministry Baptist church
Good practical question, Adanko! 

How do we become healthy physically? We eat well (healthy diet). Sleep well. Exercise daily or at least regularly. Good hygiene is also needed. Spiritual health is similar. We get proper spiritual nourishment with the Bible. (1 Th 2:13; 2 Pe 3:18). We rest in the Lord (Mt 11:28-30). We exercise in the Lord (Hebrews 5:14). We keep ourselves clean spiritually (2 Co 7:1). See Warren Wiersbe for more ideas.

April 05 2023 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
As I read the cited verse, John is saying that the souls of his readers have already prospered spiritually through the eternal salvation that they have previously received as a result of their faith in Christ, and he is praying that the same prosperity may be theirs in both a temporal sense with respect to their material possessions or resources, and in a physical sense from the standpoint of their health.

April 04 2023 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Justin Hale
The Holy Spirit is revealing through the apostle John that our soul reflects our spiritual state, and our spiritual state gets 'translated' like a language directly into our physical state, like our wisdom with material things, (i.e. 'prosperity'), and the overall health of our physical body, (i.e. to be in 'good health'). 

John is reminding his beloved readers of this fact and refocusing them back upon the state of their soul as the first priority, because this is how we are supposed to address any issues of material or physical disorders, ill health, poverty, or even minor setbacks.

As Christians, we aren't supposed to go out and try to fix the problems externally, since our soul just goes right back to reflecting our same state again anyway and whatever work we did will just be undone again. 

The lessons we learn here are not about material things and the physical body itself, so even if we become experts of both we haven't moved an inch in GOD's direction other than in outward 'form,' (2 Timothy 3:5). 

We attain the 'form of godliness' while denying its power. So while we may end up being a perfect analogy for others to use to understand GOD and His wisdom, (because of our demonstrating what superficially works to keep us both prosperous and healthy), we ourselves are quite ill and wretched, just like Jesus describes for us here when addressing the Laodicean church:

"Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and pitiable and poor and blind and naked." (Revelation 3:17).

By refocusing us back on the actual condition of our soul, the Holy Spirit is making sure that this never happens to us. We realize that the only truly lasting and worthwhile prosperity and health comes from within and reflects our actual spiritual state, not just our skill in superficially 'imitating' it.

April 05 2023 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini John Appelt
In III John 2, the apostle/elder John prays for Gaius that he might be prosperous and be in health. Then he says, “just as your soul prospers.” This is too often understood that John wants Gaius to be as healthy and prosperous physically as he is spiritually in his soul. But there is a problem with this, as the word, “soul,” as well as the nature of man, is misunderstood.

Man was formed from the dust of the ground, and God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life or spirit, (Hebrew “neshamah,”) Genesis 2:7, Job 33:4, Ecclesiastes 12:7. As a result, he became a living (Hebrew “chai,”) being (Hebrew “nephesh”). Actually, according to Genesis 6:17, 7:15, 22, all living humans and animals have the breath of life. 

When man dies, the spirit or breath (Hebrew “ruah,” Greek “pneuma”) leaves the body, James 2:26, Acts 7:59, Mark 15:37, Luke 23:46, Acts 7:59-60. The person literally expires or breathes his last breath, Genesis 25:8. As an exception, Jesus dismissed His spirit, Matthew 27:50, Luke 23:46, John 19:30. The spirit returns to God and the body returns to the earth, Psalm 104:29, 146:4. James 2:26.

Although frequently found, “soul” is not an adequate translation for the Hebrew word “nephesh” and its Greek counterpart “psuche.” It is better translated “person,” “being,” or “life.” 

For example, in I Samuel 19:11, Michal says David must save his “nephesh.” Here “nephesh” cannot mean “soul,” but it can mean “life.” Also “psuche” in Matthew 2:20, John 10:11, 15, I John 3:16, clearly refers to life. In fact, in every use of these words throughout the Bible, the sense can be “life,” “being,” or “person” without any problem. There is no Scriptural evidence that man has a soul.

Some verses seem to prove the existence of the soul. As an example, I Thessalonians 5:23 seems to indicate the soul as being a part of man. Instead, Paul prays God would completely or thoroughly sanctify the total person. Likewise, Hebrews 4:12 seems to itemize parts of man, but instead it says the Word is able to pierce and penetrate into the inward part of man, which is transparent and discernible to God.

In III John 2, all John prays a customary prayer of that culture, that Gaius to be prosperous, which is to be successful, leading in a good way, and having a good career. He also wants him to be totally healthy. But most of all he prays that he be prosperous as his life had prospered. Gaius already demonstrated this, not only by possessing the truth, but practicing it. This is borne out by John’s commendation of him and counsel to him, III John 1:3-8, and the contrast of Diotrephes, III John 1:9-11. 

When John uses “psuche,” (translated as “soul,”) he is not thinking of the immaterial, immortal part of man. Instead, he is thinking of his whole being. The correct definition of “soul” helps clarify this verse as a prayer for continued personal success and health.

September 28 2023 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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