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7/29/15 God created man in three parts: body, soul, and spirit

Published: Wednesday, 29 July 2015 Written by Carlton L. Arnold

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  1 Thessalonians 5:23

This is a wonderful prayer that Paul gave to the people in a city called Thessalonica.  Paul is asking for God to “sanctify” the people.  Sanctify means to work with the people to become different from the world.  To be made holy is another way of saying “to sanctify.”  God intends for every Believer to go through a metamorphosis to become more Christ-like in their behavior.  This will require a change in the soul that will be manifested in the body.  Someone with an unpleasing personality will not be easy to be around.  Someone who has a negative attitude will exhibit similar negative traits in their facial and body movements, and, especially, with what they say about others.  God expects a Believer to love God and to serve others as Christ lived on this earth. 

The verse continues with a definition of a human being as three parts: spirit, soul, and body.  A human being is a complex creation of God.  After God created Adam, the Bible says: Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”  Genesis 2:7

“The breath of life” is unique to the creation of man.  God did not do this for any of His other creations. Consider the “breath of life” as your soul.  He had created the body out of dust, but instead of being a lump of clay, He went further.  In Genesis 1:26, the Bible records, “Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness,”  

In our likeness refers to the Trinity.  I know it does not say “Trinity” but we know that God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is an eternal Trinity.  God made man and woman in that likeness.  This likeness is also unique to mankind. There is no other creation like mankind.  The angels, all of the animals, and everything that God created is not like a human being.  Mankind’s likeness is the ability to think and reason.  It is the need for relationships with others.  Just as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are One, God intends all Believers to be as one (see Matthew 17). 

His likeness also includes a tremendous characteristic called the “free will”.  As we know man’s free will is a wonderful aspect of man.  We can choose to spend quality time with others.  We can choose to help someone else even if it requires a sacrifice on our part.  But, man’s free will has the potential for disaster, because man can reject God.  I will discuss each aspect of man (body, soul, and spirit) over the next few weeks.  I hope you will stay with me through this study.  It will change your perspective on several things about who you are.

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