The complete man is a trinity ((Some insights are based upon the book by Watchman Nee-The Spiritual Man)
1st Thessalonians 5:23 “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body (Tri-part being) be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow (corporeal), and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
A. What the man is depends upon what the soul is, or who is in charge. The soul expresses a person as a unique individual; his personality and the organ of his free will. If the soul should choose to obey God, it will allow the spirit to rule over the man. Mankind, apart from obeying God is soulical. However, in juxtaposition when obedient to God’s Word, he is spiritual.
The Resurrection of the Body
John 12:20 “Now there were certain Greeks among those who came up to worship at the feast. 21 Then they came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and asked him, saying, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22 Philip came and told Andrew, and in turn Andrew and Philip told Jesus. 23 But Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. 24 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. 25 He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.”
1st Corinthians 15: 41 “There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory. 42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. 43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 45 And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being (soul; psuche).” The last Adam became a life-giving (of the spirit, quickening as respects the spirit, endued with new and greater powers of life) spirit. 46 However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly. 49 And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man. 50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 55 “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”
B. If we think of ourselves as living souls, we remain in the first man Adam who made us all sinners. On the other hand, if we abide in Christ and His Word, we cease to be soulish because the last man Adam is a life-giving Spirit.
1st Thessalonians 4:13 “But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Thus, we shall always be with the Lord.”
When the priest made a sacrificial offering onto The LORD, they would dissect the animal in such a way that all of it’s internal organ are exposed. A spiritual person (man or woman) will willingly make themselves an offering onto The LORD in the same manner. Remember Christ likened His own body as broken and open. Isaiah 53 tells us in verse 7 “He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth.”
Romans 12:1 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. 3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.”
C. We are spiritual beings housed in a physical body. That combination of clay (dust of the ground), and the breathe of life (Spirit of God) created a living soul. Both spirit and soul are Incorporeal-1 : not corporeal : having no material body or form; synonymous to- bodiless, ethereal, formless, immaterial,
Rom. 8: 5-16 the flesh is at war with your spirit. 1st Peter 2:9-12
The body is world consciousness (senses); Romans 8: 5 “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”
The soul is self-consciousness; (mind, volition, and emotions) 1st Corinthians 3: 3 “for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? 4 For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not carnal?” (Matt. 16:24)
The human spirit is given for God-consciousness; John 4:23 “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”(Matt. 11:28-30)
The order in which God wants to deal with us is; 1st spirit; 2nd soul; 3rd body. It is vital that the believer understands that he has a spirit, and ultimately he is a spirit. That which is born of flesh is flesh, but that which is born of Spirit is spirit;
John 3:1 “There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” 3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’
D. The soul does want to do its thing. Madonna sang, “I’m just a material girl living in a material world.”
These days most Christians substitute the works of the soul as the works of the spirit. All communication from The Spirit of God occurs in your new born, recreated human spirit. Selfishness is all about the soul dominating the spirit. This is why it’s so difficult to find a truly spiritual Christian. We must understand what emanates from the spirit, what emanates from the soul, and what emanates from the flesh (or carnality). This verse is a reference to the condition of mankind before the entrance of The Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 2:9 “But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.
1st Cor. 5: 4 mentions “my spirit”; Rom. 8: 16 says “our spirit”; 1st Cor. 14: 14 “my spirit”; 1st Cor. 14: 32 “the spirits of the prophets”; Prov. 25: 28 “his own spirit”; Hebs. 12: 23 “the spirits of just men”; Zech. 12: 1 “the spirit of man within him”.
It is of the utmost importance that the believer comes to the realization that he has and is a spirit. Every communication from The Spirit of God takes place in the human spirit. If we cannot discern the difference between spirit, soul, and body, we will find ourselves confined to the holy place, which represents the self/soul. We want to move deeper into the Holy of Holies, where the Spirit of God abides with our Great High Priest Christ Jesus where He carries out worship on our behalf and will to us how to do the same. If remain in the Holy Place we will never come into contact the Holy Spirit. Even worst, we can stay in the outer court, which represents the flesh (Rom. 8:7 sarx) and its depravity.
According to The Word of God and human experience, the human spirit expresses itself mainly in three ways. We see a type of these functions in the structure of Moses Tabernacle in the wilderness. The Apostle Paul wrote:
Sectarianism Is Carnal
1st Corinthians 3:1 And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal (sarkikos), as to babes in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; 3 for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions (dichostasia) among you, are you not carnal and behaving (peripateō: to walk) like mere men? 4 For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not carnal? 5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. 7 So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. 8 Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor. 9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. 10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. 16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If anyone defiles (phtheirō: corrupt, to destroy) the temple of God, God will destroy (phtheirō: corrupt, to destroy) him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.
Jesus said: Matt. 15: 1 Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying, 2 “Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.” 3 He answered and said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? 4 For God commanded, saying, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ 5 But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God”— 6 then he need not honor his father or mother.’ Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. 7 Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: 8 ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. 9 And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ ”10 When He had called the multitude to Himself, He said to them, “Hear and understand: 11 Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles (koinoō: 1) to make common 1a) to make (Levitically) unclean, render unhallowed, defile, profane 1b) to declare or count unclean) a man.” 12 Then His disciples came and said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?” 13 But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. 14 Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch.” 15 Then Peter answered and said to Him, “Explain this parable to us.” 16 So Jesus said, “Are you also still without understanding? 17 Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated? 18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. 20 These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.” (James 1:26-27; 3:5-8)
Sarx (Carnal) : 4) the flesh, denotes mere human nature, the earthly nature of man apart from divine influence, and therefore prone to sin and opposed to God
Conscience: Is the discerning organ that distinguished right from wrong. Not by knowledge stored in the mind, but rather by spontaneous and direct judgement. The conscience is a blank slate a birth, it develops over time; written on by parents, siblings and environment. Once developed, it’s independent and direct and will not bend to outside influence. (Rom. 2:14-16; Heb. 9:9-14; 10:19-22)
Intuition: instinctive knowing (without the use of rational processes); an impression that something might be the case (hunch; suspicion) e.g. “he had an intuition that something had gone wrong”. (Matt. 26:41; Mark 2:8; Acts 18:5; 1st Cor. 2:11
Communion or Fellowship= koinōnia: 1) fellowship, association, community, communion, joint participation, intercourse; 1a) the share which one has in anything, participation; 1b) intercourse, fellowship, intimacy. (Acts 2:42; 1st Cor. 1:9; 1st Cor. 10:16; Gal. 2:9; Eph. 3:9; Phi. 2:1; 1st John 1:3; 1st John 1:6) To be continued…