Question: My friend and I have been discussing when the soul and spirit enter the body? Is there anything in the Bible that can help clarify this?
Answer: First, it must be recognized that a living individual, who starts at conception, is composed of body, soul and spirit. (1 Thessalonians 5:23). There can be no life from the sperm and egg; unless the soul and spirit are present the moment conception produces a new life. The soul and spirit are the life of the body. James 2:26 tells us,
“For as the body WITHOUT THE SPIRIT is dead...”.
The spirit is the seat of our intelligence and understanding (1 Corinthians 2:11). The soul is the seat of our emotions and appetites. For example: our soul rejoices (Isaiah 61:10); our soul lusteth (Deuteronomy 12:15); the soul has desires (1 Samuel 2:16); it sorrows (Mark 14:34); it can hate (2 Samuel: 5:8), and etc.
We never find where the soul and spirit are ever divided. At conception, when life begins, the soul and spirit develop; as they are connected with the body in the womb and on through after birth. God said in Genesis 2:7,
“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”
No doctor or neurologist has ever been able to find; or, observe the soul and spirit of an individual. They do know the different functions that the physical matter, called the brain, perform. What they do not know is how the soul and spirit controls the brain matter, as the brain is only dead tissue—unless the spirit of life is in the body.
In Psalm 139:14 we are told,
“I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made:...”
“the body without the spirit is dead”; (James 2:26a)
...therefore, conception could not produce life unless the spirit is present. Life begins at conception; therefore, abortion is nothing more than First Degree Murder in the eyes of God!
When sin entered into the garden, God pronounced the death sentence, physically and spiritually. God never remitted the physical consequences of sin (Romans: 3:23); but, did remit the eternal consequences of Hell, on one condition. You must accept Jesus Christ as your Savior. In John 3:16, God exhibited his love for the sinner.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him (Christ) should not perish, but have everlasting life.”