Spirit, Soul and Body
In our © Growing Deep and Strong series Module 1, we have looked at how God transfers us from the Kingdom of Darkness into the Kingdom of Light, the kingdom of His beloved Son. And then we have introduced the three Persons of the Godhead to the new disciples so that they can get to know who God is. All the while we have been helping the new Christians to unlock the Bible as they learn to use the New Spirit Filled Life Bible to find out the truth about who God is and the relationship they enjoy with Him.
Having discovered something of who God is, now they need to find out what the Bible says about who we are as humans. This is getting to “where the rubber meets the road”.
Often we hear people use the expression, “body, soul and spirit”. But that is actually back-to-front compared to what the Bible teaches. It consistently refers to human nature as spirit, soul, and body, which puts the emphasis where it rightly belongs. The body is not the most important part of our being; the spirit is. While the body is subject to death and decay, that is not the case with the spirit and the soul. And while we cannot separate the spirit and the soul, they are distinct from each other; they are the eternal parts that make us human beings.
We could define the human spirit as the eternal and the God-conscious part of the person. When a person believes in the Lord Jesus Christ, the first thing that happens is that the Holy Spirit comes into their spirit and they are immediately born again. The spirit is the most important part. That is why God brings new life to it first. It is at this point that eternal life begins—and doesn’t end! But that’s just the beginning. As He lives in us by His Spirit, God wants to bring the same new life to the other two parts of our person, the soul and the body!
The soul is rather like a run-down house that badly needs renovation. Rooms need to be opened up and cleared of dirt and rubbish. Often a house has to be completely stripped, repaired, and painted, so that it can be transformed from what it was as it takes on something of the character of the owner and becomes a home, rather than just a house.
The soul has “rooms” in it that need opening and transforming. God will do the restoring as we allow Him into those “rooms”. The great thing is that He will not leave the work unfinished. We can rest assured that that God always finishes what He starts in us. His aim is to completely transform the soul so that we become like His Son, Jesus. This is a renewing process of the mind, will, and emotions that we go through the rest of life. We call it being set apart for Jesus.
The body is where God’s Holy Spirit lives; it is His actual home. The Bible says that the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. How amazing that God wants to dwell in the body and make it His own residence. That is why we have to treat the body with respect. Seeing that the body belongs to Him, we need to maintain it in good health and keep it clean, not just on the outside, but also on the inside. God’s long-range plan is that He will raise our physical body from the dead when Jesus comes back again and transform it to be just like Jesus’ body. What a fantastic prospect!
What we see here is that God is taking us on a journey, the journey of sanctification. It is a process of co-operating with what God wants to do in our lives. He is working to completely transform us, spirit, soul and body, to become like the Lord Jesus Christ.
Ps. David has pastored in churches with the aim of helping Christians know what they believe and why they believe it. He has also trained leaders in churches and Bible institutions both in Australia and overseas. His desire is to see leaders trained, mentored and encouraged to fulfil their calling and go on to release others into their God-given calling.