The First Commandment: The Soul
He opened the leather bag stuffed with coins, clutched a handful of the precious gold, and let it filter through his fingers. The clinking coinage sang a satisfying song to his soul. He was rich. The final coin dropped. The song faded. Zacchaeus had sold his soul to the Romans by collecting exorbitant taxes from his people. His people? They hated him. He couldn’t blame them. He had become rich through their poverty. That was who Zacchaeus use to be—until he met Jesus and heard him speak the words,
“This day is salvation come to this house,
for asmuch as he also is a son of Abraham.
For the Son of man is come
to seek and to save that which was lost.”
Luke 19:9,10, KJV
Zacchaeus had lost his soul to the love of money. But it was saved from certain death when he surrendered his soul to the truth behind the first commandment.
“HEAR, O ISRAEL;
THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD:
AND THOU SHALT LOVE THE LORD THY GOD
WITH ALL THY HEART …
AND WITH ALL THY SOUL,
(from Mark 12:29,30)
The day salvation came to his house, in one moment, Zacchaeus received a new heart filled with the Spirit of God. His body was infused with a renewed soul fit to embody his new heart. The spiritual heart, soul, mind, and strength are mysteriously woven together. Here the soul and spirit unite in our inner being to enable the soul to live out the new life emanating from the heart.
- The heart pumps life into what was considered dead.
- The soul, dead in sin, comes to life in righteousness
- and houses the new heart, filled with the Spirit of Christ.
- The heart sends the pure blood of Christ through the mind
- to give it the mind of Christ,
- and into the spirit to provide the strength of Christ to rule our new life.
To clear up this muddy water, think about the development of life in the womb. When the seed and the egg unite, a soul is born with everything needed for life. The soul houses the heart. The beating heart pumps blood through the soul, feeding the brain, and giving strength to survive.
In essence, the soul that loves God is the part of us that lives out the new life we’ve been given. The new heart, Christ in us, supplies all the nourishment the soul needs. The reborn soul reflects spiritual life in the deeds of the body.
When Zacchaeus’ soul was reborn, he no longer wanted to cheat others to get rich, but—
“stood and said unto the Lord:
Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor;
and if I have taken anything from any man by false accusation,
I restore him fourfold.”
Luke 19:8, KJV
Zacchaeus’ actions proved a soul reborn, even as the life we live shows our soul reborn.
“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the spirit of God dwelleth in you? …
- Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
- and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us,
- and hath given himself for us an offering
- and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour …
- For ye were sometimes darkness,
- but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
- (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth:) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 3:16; Ephesians 5:1-2, 8-10)
If our soul is not reborn, it is dying an endless death. The heart pumps blood, tainted with deceit, through that soul. Only the pure blood of Christ pumping through the heart can make a soul clean and acceptable to the Father. What would a person exchange for his soul? Or, how much value do we put on life? More on that next time. Until then, think on this—Jesus gave great value to our souls when he redeemed us with his precious blood.