Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 5:23
“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.”
God created man according to His own image (Genesis 1:27). In line with God Himself as a trinity, man was made as one tripartite being. There are three parts that constitute man: spirit, soul and body, but these three are one. The spirit is the innermost part of his being and is the essence of his being. By his spirit, man can be conscious of God and have communion with God. The soul is his intermediate part that makes him conscious of himself and is the seat of his personality. The soul itself is composed of three major areas : mind, emotion and will. The body is the outermost part of man and is visible. It is the means whereby man relates to the physical world. The spirit, the soul and the body are different parts of man’s being, but they are intricately interconnected.
When God first created man in His own image, his spirit, his soul and his body were perfect. Each part was perfect in itself and they were perfect in harmony one with another. His spirit was always conscious of God and had an uninterrupted and intimate communion with Him. What he experienced in his spirit then flowed to his soul. The presence of God and the glory of God filled his personality. He had no trouble in knowing the mind of God, in feeling His emotion, and in surrendering to His will. He found himself completely in God. His body, in turn, then expressed this perfect state of his soul as he related to the physical world. Therefore, he could subdue the earth and exercise dominion over all other creations of God easily. Thus, originally, the spirit of the man controlled his soul, and then his soul expressed this control of the spirit through his body.
Because of sin, the spirit of the man was separated from God. This state is called death (Romans 6:23). Consequently, his soul became corrupted because it was cut off from the glory of God. Man became more conscious of himself than of God. His own self took the place of God. He became afraid of God, rebellious and wise in his own eyes. The desires of his body became uncontrolled and predominant. His body now controls his soul. Because the spirit of the man no longer supplied the life of God to his body, his body began to experience decay.
Through the Lord Jesus, God has provided salvation for the whole being of man (Hebrews 7:25). His spirit, his soul and his body can be restored to their original state and their order. When a man receives this salvation, his spirit is instantly made alive by the Holy Spirit and becomes conscious of God again. Then by constantly feeding himself with the word of God, his spirit will grow and become strong. The apostle Peter wrote, “As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby,” (1 Peter 2:2)
After a man’s spirit has become alive his soul can begin to be restored. Much of the restoration of the soul is about the renewal of the mind. The apostle Paul wrote, “And do not be conformed to this world, 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) How can a man renew his mind? By meditating the word of God day and night. Joshua wrote, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” (Joshua 1:8)
As a man’s mind is renewed by the word of God, he will live according to the Spirit and his body will receive life from the Holy Spirit in him. The apostle Paul wrote, “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” (Romans 8:11) Now by the Holy Spirit he can put to death the sinful deeds of his body, discipline his body and bring it into subjection (Romans 8:13; 1 Corinthians 9:27)
When the restoration of the state of a man’s spirit, his soul and his body takes place; his spirit, his soul and his body are put back in the original order. His spirit controls his soul, and then his soul controls his body. Then he can live as God created him to be, that is, to have dominion over the earth so that all things are subjected under his feet. The writer of the book of Hebrews wrote, “You have put all things in subjection under his feet.” (Hebrews 2:8)
Dominion is possible only when our spirit, our soul and our body have been restored into their right state and order. Therefore, we should always grow in our spirit, renew our mind and discipline our body that we are sanctified completely and our whole spirit, soul and body are preserved blameless until the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:23).