LAST week we dealt with “Man’s first dimension – the spirit.” This week we will continue with the last two dimensions, that is “the soul and the body.”
I Thessalonians 5 vs 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.
Hebrews 4 vs 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 in-tents of the heart.
Genesis 25 vs 23: And the Lord said to her; “Two nations are in your womb, two people shall be separated from your body, one shall be stronger than the other, the older shall serve the younger.”
It is easy to distinguish between the body, the spirit and soul. But it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between the spirit and soul. Nothing but the Bible can do that.
Some people think that the spirit and the soul are the same.
They are not, otherwise why would the Bible say in Hebrews 4 vs 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 in-tents of the heart.
If they were the same they could not have been divided.
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If they were the same, Paul would not have said in I Thessalonians 5 vs 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.
With the body we contact the world. The body deals with the physical realm.
The spirit man contacts with God, for God is Spirit. Only a spirit can contact with another spirit.
That’s why we use the spiritual power from God to cast out devils and not our physical might.
The new birth is a re-birth of the human spirit, for Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3 vs 7: “Do not marvel that I said to you, you must be born again.” Nicodemus as a being was confused by the statement.
John 3 vs 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?” Jesus answered: John 3 vs 6: “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the spirit is spirit.”
Now having seen that with the body we contact the physical realm and with the spirit we contact the spiritual realm, that leaves the soul.
With the soul we contact the intellectual realm. Now we should begin to think of ourselves as spiritual beings who possess a soul and live in a body.
Man’s second dimension – The soul.
The soul is man’s intellect. It is man’s sensibilities and will.
It is part of man that reasons and thinks.
It deals with the mental realm. Romans 12 vs 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.
The very next verse Paul goes on to say something about your mind, which is man’s soul.
Romans 12 vs 2: And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Paul here was writing to Christians, spirit filled.
Being born again does not renew your mind and body, it renews your spirit.
The reason why some Christians have hard times with rotten things crossing their minds is that they need renewal of mind.
Paul tells us that we have to do something with our minds even if we are born again.
God isn’t going to do anything – we should. God changed our spirits – now it is up to us to do something about our body and soul.
Firstly Paul says “to present our bodies as a living sacrifice”.
Secondly, “be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind”.
One of the greatest needs of the church today is that God’s people renew their minds with the word of God.
Just because a person is a Christian, and even filled with the holy spirit doesn’t mean that he has a renewed mind.
The mind becomes renewed by the word of God.
You find out what happens with your mind and your speech when you read and listen to dirty jokes and books.
We renew our minds by the teaching of his word in the spirit.
Some people might want to ask this question, how can I make my belief in God’s word more than just a mental assent.
First of all, we must understand the difference between real faith and mental assent.
Mental assent (belief) agrees that the Bible is true but doesn’t act on it. Real faith is acting on God’s Word.
That’s why there are people who go to church but not born again. They agree that God is there, but that’s as far as they can go.
We need to accept Jesus as our personal saviour.
Mental assent says I know God’s word is true. Alright I know God promised me certain things and that I ought to have them.
Faith sees the object of prayer as already having been attained.
Faith says the word of God says it, I believe it and I have it now, even though it may not yet be seen physically.
Hebrews 11 vs 1: Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen.
Man’s third dimension – The body
Romans 12 vs 1: I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
Paul was not writing to sinners here – he was writing to saints for he says I beseech you brethren.
Notice that Paul did not say present yourself to God. If you are a child of God, you already belong to him.
You can’t present someone who already belongs to God. You wouldn’t have any right to take out a handkerchief out of a man’s pocket and give it to him. Why? Because it’s his anyway. Paul said, “ the inward man, should present their body.
We ourselves should present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is you reasonable service.
After we are born again, we still have trouble with the flesh, but we don’t have trouble with the real man (spirit).
God doesn’t want us to be carnal Christians, or “body ruled” Christians. He expects us to do as Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9 vs 27: But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. Who is “I”? “I” is the man on the inside.