Purpose of this Session
To consider the constitution of man as a unique unified being, with three distinct parts; Spirit, soul and body
1 Thess 5:23 “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Heb 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, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
In the beginning, God created man in His own image. The scriptures declare that we are made a little lower than God:
“For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.” (Psalm 8:5 KJV)
“Yet You have made him but a little lower than God [or heavenly beings], and You have crowned him with glory and honor.” (Ps 8:5 AMP)
The word translated “angels” in the KJV is actually the word “Elohim”, the word used elsewhere referring to God Himself, including Genesis 1:1.
Mankind, male and female, were originally as close to God as possible, without actually being gods. Jesus was so convinced of this reality that He pointed out the truth in his conversations with the religious leaders of His day, quoting Psalm 82:6:
“Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?” (John 10:34 KJV)
The constitution of Man
Man is a tripartite being, consisting of:
1. Spirit – Hebrew: “Ruach” Greek: “Pneuma”
2. Soul – Hebrew: “Nephesh” Greek: “Psueche”
3. Body – Hebrew: “Beten” or “Geshem” Greek: “Soma”
Spirit and Soul are distinguishable but indivisible, and these are housed in the physical body. These are the three centres of consciousness within the total personality of man.
Without God, man has no possibility of knowing himself and the complexity of his being. Psychologists have tried to understand the soul of man but have taken little account of the spirit of man. Consequently their understanding is incomplete and their ability to restore the heart of man severely limited.
Wholeness and Restoration
Throughout the Bible, God reveals himself as a God who is well able and more than willing to restore our lives when we truly come to Him with a contrite heart.
Rejection, insecurity, inadequacy and the fear of failure are some of the many factors that blight and bruise the human heart during the years prior to our conversion.
The Word of God is the only source to which we can refer in order to understand ourselves and through faith in it experience God’s power to completely restore every area of our lives.
A victorious believer is one who lives out of his spirit. Until in our understanding we can truly comprehend the differences between our spirit, our soul, and body, we will be subject to wrong thinking in our mind, negative emotions and bodily appetites. True freedom and the path to wholeness comes from knowing that we can control our mind, will, emotions and body from our spirit.
“I am a spirit, I have a soul, and I live in a body!”
Stated simply, this is the understanding God wants to give us of ourselves. As we live in this truth, we will be victorious in the circumstances of life.
Example from Scripture
King David, a spirit man
King David had a revelation that he was more than just a soul in a body. He often spoke to his soul from his spirit. From his spirit, he was able to use his will to focus his mind on God, overcome negative emotions, and gain the victory.
Psalm 42:5-6a “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance. O my God, my soul is cast down within me;”
Psalm 62:5 “My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him.”
This ability was amply demonstrated as David returned to Ziklag to find the town raided and all of the women and children missing.
1 Sam 30:3-6 “So David and his men came to the city, and there is was, burned with fire; and their wives, their sons, and their daughters had been taken captive. Then David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep. And David’s two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite, had been taken captive. Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters. But David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.”
Everyone’s soul was grieved including David’s, but from his spirit, David was able to rise above his feelings of grief and focus himself on God. He eventually recovered all.