Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. The greatness of the Word of God is its integrity, by which it is without error nor deception. If contradictions arise, it is the reader’s lack of perception. So then, let it be an opportunity to gain a better insight.
The passages below are some of that which we avert, for the lack of understanding, but with a willing mind, they shall be made known.
The Threefold Nature of Man
One cannot fully explain or comprehend the relation of the body, soul and spirit without acknowledging God as the key to the comprehension of the subject.
Man is a Threefold being, meaning three parts working as one, the body, the soul, and the spirit. The outer of man is the body of man. The middle of man is the soul; the inner of man is the spirit. (1 Thessalonians 5:23)
The body (or the flesh) is the physical outer shell that houses the soul and the spirit.
The soul is the existence of who we are. The expression of who we are, through our character.
The spirit of man is the intellect, the immortal part of the individual.
The soul and the spirit are closely related, however, there is a difference. Dealing with the soul, it is the personal existence of the individual.
The soul in relation to the body or (flesh)
The soul, the existence of who we are. It expressed who we are, through our character. The expression of who we are is seen through the soul. This expression of the soul is predicated upon its communion with the spirit, or with the body. Therefore, we walk in the Spirit; meaning, we let the Spirit direct our lives, or we walk after the flesh. Desiring the lust of the human nature. Through communicating with the body, the soul explores the act of self-expression, of who we are.
With the eyes, seeing is enacted, causing imagination to the soul.
With the nose, we smell, bringing conscience to the soul.
With the ears, we hear, producing memory to the soul.
With the mouth, we taste, causing the soul to reason.
With the hands, or touches, the soul translates affections.
These things in themselves are not amiss, but to what cause are they enacted? The soul that desires only the things of the flesh, is carnal. That which is carnal, may be pleasing for a while, but it is temporary. It shall waste away, and so shall the individual whom the soul depends on the attributes of the flesh.
The soul in relation to the Spirit
On the contrary, the spirit of man is the intellect, and the immortal part of the individual. The intellectual discernment of the spirit does not depend on the physical. This part of man was created by God, as an abode for His presence to dwell with man, for a fellowship and discerning right from wrong. Although the spirit receives impressions of the outward through the body and soul. However, unlike the soul wherewith its senses are the five senses; seeing, smelling, hearing, tasting and feeling. The senses of the spirit are faith, hope, reverence, prayer and worship.
Therefore, if the soul of an individual commune with his spirit, the individual discernment is far beyond the physical or the natural. This is what Paul the Apostle refers to as, walking by faith and not by sight. Wherewith, faith becomes the eyes of the soul. Though we see with the natural eyes, but we are not controlled by what we see. Therefore, the individual mood is not altered by sight, or by hearing, neither through the physical interaction with the natural.
The benefits of such are innumerable. Where there was once fear, there is assurance. Where anger once control the mood, there is now peace. The soul that once was depressed, shall be grateful. Hatred is replaced with affection. These and more are vital to the existence of who we are, neither are they brought about through a magical enhancement.
Until the Spirit of God can dwell with the spirit of man in unity, within man, his spirit abides in darkness. The works of his heart are evil. The results thereof are pride, selfishness, corruption, prevarication, hatred, quarrelsome, greed and Lover of self. The replacement of these things and more, is done through the rejuvenation of the spirit within man. Wherewith, the Spirit of God comes in and dwell with the spirit of man. Where there was once darkness, there shall be light and illumination.
However, there arises a problem, the darkened spirit chamber of the natural man, has his “Will” as a guard at the entry to his spirit, to prevent the entering of the Spirit of God.
Case in point, we see the perishing of society around us, however, they rather self-destroy than the acceptance of God in the equation. Young people are disobedient to their parents, but family rather accepts a dysfunctional family by partaking in counseling than teaching their young ones Exodus 20:12 - Honor your father and your mother: that your days may be long. Self ambition without God, but when premature failure arrives, God is blamed.
Not until the “Will” of man surrenders to the Spirit of God; illustratively speaking, surrendering is accomplished through the “Sword of the Spirit” wherewith, the “Will” of man is crucified. This is done by the “Word of God” through the acceptance of the Word of God. For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12 KJV)
When the “Will” surrenders, then the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit can enter and abide with the spirit of man. Now, the individual no longer solely depends on the natural through his flesh, but he can rely on the direction of the Spirit of God. This is the process in which the believer is set apart to be worked on, to make whole (restore). Theologically speaking, this is sanctification, the believer isn’t perfect, but is being made perfect.
There will be times, when the soul of man will resort to the flesh through failure, but his spirit no longer dwells in darkness. Therefore, the Spirit of God in him shall be a guide and a protector to correct, and lead his soul in the guidance of the Holy Spirit along with his spirit.
Through FAITH – though we do not see, but we believe. We HOPE – the blessed assurance of God. Our PRAYER - Our communication with God, in every effectual communication, there must be a time to listen, and a time to speak. Therefore, let us learn to listen to God as well as to speak to Him, and WORSHIP – the selfless expression of adoration and praise, the gratification of seeing the goodness of God, through REVERENCE – the respect of the Lord is the path to wisdom.
(Ecclesiastes 12:13 KJV)
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole of man. (Not the whole duty of man) as it has been translated. Rather, the whole of man.
In other words, if a man keep His commandments or abide in the directive path of the Lord, he is a whole man:
Body, soul and spirit.
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. Faithful is he that calls you, who also will do it.
(1 Thessalonians 5:23-24)