In addition to the spirit, the organ with which he communicates with God, man also has a soul. This soul is where man’s own consciousness lies. Man is conscious of his own existence because of the activity of the soul. The soul is the organ of man’s personality. Everything included in man’s personality, that is, every element that constitutes him a man, is a part of the soul. His intellect, mind, ideals, love, stimulations, judgment, will, etc., are all parts of the soul.
We have said that the spirit and the body are merged into the soul. That is why the soul becomes man’s personality and the center of his being. For this reason the Bible calls man "a soul," as if man has nothing but a soul. For example, Genesis 12:5 speaks of the souls that went forth from Haran. When Jacob brought his household down to Egypt, the Bible says that "all the souls of the house of Jacob, which came into Egypt, were threescore and ten" (46:27). There are many other instances like these in the original language, where "soul" is used to denote persons. The reason for this is that the soul is the location of man’s personality and the chief element of his personality. The way a man behaves is governed by his personality. A man’s existence, characteristics, and life all come from his soul. Hence, the Bible calls man a soul.
The three main elements included in a man’s personality are his will, his mind, and his emotion. The will is the deliberating organ; it is where the power of judgment lies. It makes decisions on whether or not one will do something and whether or not one wants something. Without the will, man would be a machine. The mind is the thinking organ; it is our intellect. Our intelligence, knowledge, and everything that has to do with our mental capacity come from the mind. Without the mind, man would become totally foolish. The emotion is the organ of love, hatred, and sentiments. We can love and hate and feel joy, anger, sorrow, and happiness through our emotion. Without the emotion, a man would be senseless like wood and stone. If we study the Bible carefully, we will find that the three main elements of man’s personality belong to the soul. They are all parts of the soul. Because there are too many verses, we will just quote a few to serve as illustrations.
The soul includes the will:
"Do not give me over/To the desire [lit., soul] of my adversaries" (Psa. 27:12).
"Do not give him over to the desire [lit., soul] of his enemies" (Psa. 41:2).
"Delivered thee unto the will [lit., soul] of them that hate thee" (Ezek. 16:27).
"You shall let her go wherever she wishes [lit., according to her soul]" (Deut. 21:14).
"Do not let them say in their heart [lit., soul]" (Psa. 35:25).
"When a man vows a vow to Jehovah or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge" (Num. 30:2).
"Now set your heart and your soul to seek the Lord your God" (1 Chron. 22:19).
"They desire and lift up their soul to return to dwell there" (Jer. 44:14, Amplified Bible).
"The things that my soul refused to touch" (Job 6:7).
"So that my soul chooseth strangling, and death rather than my life" (Job 7:15).
The words "will" and "desire" in the foregoing verses show that they refer to the human will. The setting, the lifting up, the refusing, and the choosing are all functions of man’s will, and they all issue from the soul. Hence, we see that the soul includes the will.
(Spiritual Man, The (3 volume set), Chapter 2, by Watchman Nee)