For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
– Hebrews 4:12
God created mankind in His image, we are told in Genesis.
His image is expressed through humanity in many ways, from our desire to express our personalities through our own creations to our drive to reach beyond ourselves to others. Our very existence mirrors His Godhead in trinity. Each person enters time and space as three: body, soul, and spirit. We often use the terms “soul” and “spirit” interchangeably, but they are separate entities.
- Our body we know well. It is the house of flesh, the vessel of clay in which we reside on this side of heaven.
- Our soul is who we are. It is more than the sum of our thoughts or the vault from which our brain operates. It is the eternal person that is us. The brain is the control room that connects our soul to our body and directs the body to act out the commands of the soul. Our souls will exist forever. The question since Eden has been where that eternal dwelling will be.
- Our spirit hears the voice of God and communes with Him. It is the part of us that is lost if we do not accept the sacrifice of Jesus which restored the communion of Eden to mankind. This is the new man spoken of by the apostle Paul in the book of Romans.
At the Fall, the death humanity suffered was three-fold.
Our spirits died, and communion with God ceased. A biological clock began to tick in our bodies that made death of the flesh a certainty. Our souls could no longer live in the presence of God and carried a sentence of eternal judgment away from His presence.
The cross destroyed the curse and restored us. For those who lived before the coming of the Lord Jesus, it was a forward-looking faith. For us, it means accepting the revelation of His good news. At salvation, the Holy Spirit enters this house of clay to come alongside us. He speaks to our spirits, comforts our souls, and keeps our bodies as seed for the resurrection.
In the Bible, the three persons of the Trinity always worked together and gave the glory to the Father. In our lives, God desires us to put our triune body under the power and direction of the Holy Spirit, who will grant us strength and victory for each day. In Him we are truly complete.