Matthew 16:26 says, “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul.” If we take this verse at face value, and we should, we learn here that “the value of a soul” is worth more than “the whole world.” Yet many people are using all their time, talents and energy to accumulate wealth and possessions and they place no value whatsoever on their soul. The Lord Jesus warned people about this in Luke 12:15-21: “’Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.’ And He told them a parable, saying, ‘The land of a rich man was very productive. And he began reasoning to himself, saying, What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops? Then he said, This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry. But God said to him, You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared? So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God’” (NASB). This man is a picture of all who think there is great profit in gaining as much of this world’s goods as they can, but he suffered the greatest loss one can experience, the loss of his soul.

Why does God place such great value on a soul? Let’s begin by reading 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.” In this verse we learn the main difference between Man and every other living being, for God Himself “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life” and as a result he “became a living soul.” Earlier God had said in Genesis 1:26, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness,” and thus when He breathed into man the breath of life He gave him an immortal soul. Animals and other creatures are said to have a soul, but it is not immortal. Man is the “crown of God’s creation,” and He chose to create him to exist, like Himself, forever. The body can and does die, but the soul will never die. Jesus taught this truth in Matthew 10:28, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul.” So, God places such great value on our soul because of its “eternal quality.”

What does it mean when it says a man can “lose his own soul?” The second half of Matthew 10:28 gives us the answer, “But rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The word “destroy” means the “loss of well-being.” If one dies unsaved their soul, as well as their body, will suffer the loss of well-being in hell! How solemn! And yet people go through life as if this life was all there was and they take no thought of their immortal soul and where they will spend eternity.

What does it mean by “what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” I believe the thought here is if a man dies without receiving Christ as their Savior, what can they give to God to redeem their soul? We turn to Psalm 49:6-8 for the answer: “Those who trust in their wealth and boast in the multitude of their riches; None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him: For the redemption of their soul is costly” (NKJV). Man cannot redeem himself or his brother; he has NOTHING TO GIVE! If he had the whole world to give, it would not be enough, for the price of a soul is too costly.

We will not end on that note, for we are happy to tell you that God sent His Son to pay the price you could not pay. Christ gave His very life and shed His blood on the cross to redeem your precious soul, and if you will simply believe on Him as your Savior your never-dying soul will be saved. 1 Peter 1:18-19 declares, “Ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold…but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”  (189.10)  (DO)