In October 2015 I published a post titled “Body, Soul, Spirit” in it I wrote that Christians believe that we consist of three parts because man was created in the image of God and God is a Trinity (the Christian Godhead as one God in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a group of three people or things. the state of being three).
2 Corinthians 13:14 (NLT)14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
Matthew 28:19 (NLT)19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Christianity, other religions, even those who are not religious, believe that man is more than just a physical being. A prevalent idea is that man consists of only two component parts; either body and soul, or body and spirit. The soul and spirit are very closely related and it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between them.
The bible is clear that man is made of body, soul and spirit.
1 Thessalonians 5:23 (NLT) Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again.
Hebrews 4:12 (NLT)For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. (Bold mine)
The Body (Greek, "soma")
This is the physical part of a person.
It is easy to recognize the body as the physical matter that makes up a person. The body is clearly distinct from the soul and spirit in several ways:
The Soul (Greek psyche)
Merriam-Webster Dictionary - the spiritual part of a person that is believed to give life to the body and in many religions is believed to live forever: a person's deeply felt moral and emotional nature: the ability of a person to feel kindness and sympathy for others, to appreciate beauty and art, etc.
Psyche can express emotions such as grief
Matthew 26:38 (NKJV) Then He said to them, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me."
John 12:27 (NKJV) "Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save Me from this hour'? But for this purpose I came to this hour.
Luke 1:46 (NKJV)46 And Mary said: "My soul magnifies the Lord,
Matthew 12:18 (NKJV) "Behold! My Servant whom I have chosen, My Beloved in whom My soul is well pleased! I will put My Spirit upon Him, And He will declare justice to the Gentiles.
There are passages where psyche stands in contrast to the body, and there it seems to refer to an immortal part of man.
Matthew 10:28 (NKJV) And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
The Spirit (Greek pneuma)
Merriam-Webster Dictionary - the force within a person that is believed to give the body life, energy, and power: the inner quality or nature of a person: a person
Pneuma occasionally means wind
John 3:8 (NKJV)8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit."
Matthew 27:50 (NKJV) And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.
2 Thessalonians 2:8 (NKJV) And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.
However it is most generally translates "spirit"an incorporeal (not composed of matter; having no material existence), feeling, and intelligent being.
In the New Testament spirit is also seen as that dimension of human personality whereby relationship with God is possible
Acts 7:59 (NKJV) And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."
Romans 8:16-17 (NKJV)16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,17 and if children, then heirs--heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
It is this human spiritual nature that enables continuing conversation with the divine Spirit
Romans 8:9-11 (NKJV)9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
Occasionally pneuma will be treated in a parallel structure with psyche. The terms seem to be one and the same and seem to be interchangeable.
Luke 1:46-47 (NKJV)46 And Mary said: "My soul magnifies the Lord,47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
On the other hand, there are passages that distinguish between the two. Paul speaks of Adam as a "living soul" but of Christ as a "life-giving spirit." The one is oriented to human life and the other to heavenly life.
1 Corinthians 15:45 (NKJV)45 And so it is written, "The first man Adam became a living being." The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
While it’s true that human beings are body, soul, and spirit God see us as all spiritual because He is spirit. The following is from Visioneering a YouVersion Reading Plan by Andy Stanley from his book Visioneering: Your Guide For Discovering and Maintaining Personal Vision.
It’s All Spiritual
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NKJV)19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.
From God’s perspective, there are no spiritual versus non spiritual components of your life. He makes no distinction. There is no secular division of your life. You are a spiritual being. Therefore, everything you are involved in has spiritual overtones. He sees you holistically.
The Christians in the city of Corinth believed there was a division between the soul and the body. They thought they could sin with their bodies and it would have no impact on their souls. Paul pointed out that no such division existed. He told them that they were to glorify God with their bodies.
When Christ purchased you at Calvary, he purchased all of you: body, soul, and spirit. There is no division. You are to glorify God through your actions, regardless of where they take place and what role you are in at the time. You are to glorify God as a spouse, parent, friend, employee, boss, and citizen. What you do at the office, then, is no more or less spiritual than what you do at church or at home.
Consequently, there is a spiritual element to your vision regardless of which category of life it emanates from. There are no secular pursuits. Your vision does not exist apart from your responsibility to glorify God. The challenge is to discover the link.
This blog is for you! If you have any questions or topics you would like me to address please use the comments section or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Donald Jacobs is an ordained minister with the spiritual gift of teaching. He is the Associate Pastor of a non-denominational church in Los Angeles, CA.