The Three Part Person
According to Scripture, there are three parts to every man and woman who has ever lived: a soul, a spirit, and a body.
‘’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.’’ Paul wrote in 1st Thessalonians 5:23
Body and soul often conspire and work together against the spirit. In God’s design, however, He intended for the Holy Spirit to dwell and mingle with our spirit. That spiritual man would then govern the soul, which is made up of our mind, emotions and will.
To live happily and successfully with God, we must become a vehicle of the spirit. Our body will be used in the outward expression of whatever is in command: our soul or our spirit. To be our fullest expression in Christ, our soul must understand that it cannot, and must not, act on its own volition. The spirit man, according to the relationship it has with the Holy Spirit, must give the soul instruction and authority. The soul has to be won, mastered, and ruled by the spirit if we want to know the higher ways of God. Our soul needs to be saved everyday
The Bible is full of verses explaining the need for the soul to submit to the spirit:
- ‘’For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man (Romans 7:22)
- ‘’…that He would grand you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith….’’ (Ephesians 3:16-17)
- ‘’But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.’’ (Romans 8:9)
- ‘’Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.’’ (2nd Corinthians 4:16)
When the Bible talks about our innermost being, it is referring to our spirit. When it talks about our outer man, it is referring to our soul and body. God lives in the human spirit; His Holy Spirit mingles with our spirit.
The concept of inner and outer beings can be likened to clothing. The inner man, the spirit, wears the outer man, the soul and body. To be effective for Christ, we must release the inner man. To be fulfilled and joyful, the spirit must govern the soul.