Body, Soul & Spirit

I Thessalonians 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

God originally designed man to be a three part being.

In the beginning (Genesis 1:1) God created the heaven and the earth including all the elements that make up the physical body of man.

In Genesis 1:20 "God created every living creature that moveth". The words translated living creature are the words also translated living soul. Soul is life. It is the life that all creatures that move and breathe (including man) have in common. Plants which grow have life. But plants do not have the "moving life" or "breath life" that was created in Genesis 1:20. Soul life in man makes man an alive moving being.

In Genesis 1:27 God created man in his own image. The image of God is spirit according to John 4:24. Spirit is also life but it is on a higher plane; just as soul life is a higher life form that the growth life present in plants. When God gave man spirit he put man in His own category of life.

God's nature lost!

Isaiah 43:7 Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.

Genesis chapter 2 describes in detail man's creation.

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.

God formed the body of man from the elements He had created in Genesis 1:1. God placed in man (breathed into his nostrils) the soul life He had created in Genesis 1:21 and thus he made man a living moving being.

The Word of God uses the word "create" when God brings something into existence for the first time. In the case of "spirit", which is the nature of God, the Word always uses the word "create" indicating that an act of God is necessary to create spirit in any individual. Spirit cannot be passed from person to person as body and soul elements are at birth. Only by an act of God can a man become a spiritual being. In the beginning this spiritual nature was created in man on a conditional basis:

Genesis 2:16-17 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

When Adam and Eve violated this condition they did surely die that very day. Spiritually they died. They no longer had the nature of God abiding within them. They were no longer three-fold beings in God's category. They still had life. They had growth life as do plants and they had soul life (moving breathing life) as do all living creatures. But they no longer had spiritual life. This was the fall of man. This was the event that left man in the state of needing a savior - a redeemeer. Man needs spirit to be that which God intended man to be in the beginning: a spiritual being in God's category.

The promise of holy spirit

Throughout the old testament when God wanted to communicate with man or direct His chosen people He would place spirit upon a very limited number of individuals. The spirit was always conditional and was removed when a man or woman failed to walk with God. However, throughout this time God's promise of a redeemer and the coming of spirit on a permanent basis where all mankind would have the opportunity to once again be body, soul, and spirit beings in God's category was looked forward to by those who held the Word of God in esteem.

Joel 2:28-29 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions; And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.

The promise of God was that a redeemer would come and that God would be able to pour out His spirit upon all. This included young and old, boys and girls, and would not be subject to a person's position (servants and handmaids) - In other words - ALL !!!

Jesus Christ came to redeem man and make spirit available. He reminded a Pharisee ruler named Nicodemus of God's promise:

John 3:5-7, 9-10 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water [body & soul] and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh [body & soul] is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit...Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?

Jesus was surprised that a Pharisee did not understand about the promise of spirit to come. The spirit that would be poured out upon the accomplishments of Jesus Christ would be born within man. No longer on a condition - it would be seed born within a man or woman who believed. Jesus understood this and expounded God's Word to a woman drawing water from a well:

John 4:23-24 But the hour cometh, and now is [almost here!] when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Jesus spoke to his disciples and those he taught about the coming of holy spirit:

John 7:39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost [spirit] was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

John 14:16-17 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; [not conditional] Even the Spirit of truth [the true spirit]; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

Luke 24:49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

Acts 1:4-5 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost [holy spirit] not many days hence.

FINALLY the day arrived!

Acts 2:1,4 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place...And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost [holy spirit], and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Acts 2:33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted [talking about Jesus], and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost,[holy spirit] he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.

Acts 2:39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

Today the promise of holy spirit is available by believing Romans 10:9-10. When we confess Jesus as Lord and believe that God raised him from the dead we too become, as God originally intended, BODY, SOUL, and SPIRIT.

Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation [wholeness - spirit is the missing part needed to be whole]: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

Today the spirit of God is born in us when we believe. It is not conditional. It is incorruptible seed. It is eternal life! It is the nature of the living God born in us. We are once again in God's category: Spiritual men and women with eternal life!

As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country. Proverbs 25:25

April, 1997
Michael Cortright