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.
—1 Thessalonians 5:23 (NKJV)
1 Thessalonians 5:23 reveals that we were created by God to have three parts: a spirit, a soul, and a body.
The body is our physical part. Through our senses we feel pain; we see with our eyes; we hear with our ears; we taste with our mouth; we smell with our nose. The physical part of the body experiences things based on the perception of our five senses.
The soul is often referred to as the mind. The mind makes up our mental and emotional state—our personality. It is where we think and reason and where we feel the full range of human emotions like happiness and sadness—compassion and anger. The mind is where we reason and make choices.
We are more than just a physical body and a soul. God also gave us a spirit. Our spirit is where we are reborn in Christ. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:6, NKJV). Our spirit is also where we receive the fullness of God. “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truthfulness” (John 4:24, KJV). God created our spirit as the way to commune with Him. Through our spirit, we pray, receive, and worship God.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17, NKJV). When we are reborn by the Spirit of Christ, we become a new person in our spirit. We receive the full atonement of Christ, and He comes to live in us. In our spirit, old things have passed away and all things are completely new. However, the soul and body are not immediately changed. As our soul (mind)—receives the Truth of the Word through our reborn spirit in Christ, the understanding of our mind is transformed.
“Do not be conformed to this world,” Paul writes, “but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2, NKJV). The Holy Spirit, as our teacher, brings a spiritually-revealed understanding of God’s Word. Our mind receives the Truth of the new life of the spirit that became ours when we were born again. The way we think and our emotions renew over time to the Truth of God’s Word. When we apply faith to what the Holy Spirit reveals, we believe all things are new. And when we believe this Truth in our mind, the Holy Spirit can flow from our spirit—healing us in spirit, soul, and body.
Before the Holy Spirit became the new person within our reborn spirit, our thoughts and desires determined our decisions. We did what we wanted, based on our feelings and judgments. We might have lived a good life or a life that wasn’t good, but either way, how we lived was determined by our mind. But when we were reborn by Christ in our spirit with a new life, we received all things new. It is our choice to be renewed in mind and action by the new life we have received in our spirit.
Do we allow the Holy Spirit to change us in the spirit of our mind—in the way we think and respond and act (Ephesians 4:23)? We can either live by our feelings and emotions or by the new life of Christ within us. We choose to take in God’s Word and allow the new life we have received to transform our minds and actions.
We have a spirit within us created to hold God. We have a soul (mind) to express the new life we have received in our spirit. Our spirit contains the new person as the person of the Holy Spirit. Our soul (mind) reveals the transformation the Spirit brings. By continually choosing to live by our spirit, our soul and even our body will be renewed and changed by the flowing and unlimited power of God.
Understanding who you are in spirit, soul, and body helps you to understand how you receive from God. The fullness of God flows from your spirit to every part of your being. May your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again.
©2021 Lynn Lacher