Lesson 5 - Spirit-Soul-Body
So as we learned in lessons 1-4, we see our sin as being independent from God, being our own god, and doing the actions of man. We then admit our sin and repent. We want to go to our God in boldness and confidence. That takes a knowing of who He is, what He has done through Christ, and who we are now.
Let's look at the Spirit-Soul-Body diagram.
1Thes 5:23 says, "...may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved...." Hebrews 4:12 says the word can divide the soul from the spirit. So you see we are a tri-unity as God, Son, and Spirit are a tri-unity.
We are a spirit, we have a soul, and we live in a body. The spirit deals with the God consciousness which includes spirit-awareness, sensitivity, understanding, and motivation. It is how the spirit relates to God.
The soul deals with the mind, will, and emotions. It is psychological and includes self consciousness and how we relate to others.
The body is the physiological part of us. It is how we relate to the world/environment through our senses: sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell.
Now we are born with a spirit that is dead to God, and a mind and body that still relates to our environment and the data we take in as we grow up. Some of us have both parents, some one, some none. Some have a great childhood, others not so good. Some have a Christian upbringing, some nothing, or worse. This affects our soul by how we think, our attitudes, our actions, and our goals in life.
At some point we come to receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and then The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit come into our spirit and give us life. Then we have the data of the WORD to teach and show us even more of who God is, what Christ has done, and who we are now.
In Romans 10:8-13, we see that by faith, if we believe unto righteousness and confess with our mouth, we will be saved. So we have salvation, eternal life in God, and we are saved from eternal death. (see Diagram). In 1 John 5:13 we see that we have assurance of this salvation ("That we may know we have eternal life"). John 10:28 says, "...and they shall never perish nor shall anyone snatch them out of my Father's hand." We have security in the assurance of this salvation.
"We are accepted in the beloved." (Eph 1:6 and 13). So God accepts us into Him and then He is totally committed to us (Hebrew 13:5).
So in our Spirit, God, Jesus and the Spirit live; and they saved us, assured us of that, secured us in them, have accepted us and are committed to us!! WOW! And that is just the beginning!!!
Our Spirit is who we are: dead or alive, unbeliever or believer. There are only 2 types of people in this world - believers or unbelievers, live ones or dead ones.
Now the Spirit is taken care of for the believer. You CANNOT get anymore of Christ in your spirit. You're filled up. No matter what age you are, young or old, the same amount of Spirit is in your spirit.
SO, what's the problem? Where is the problem? Why do I sin? Why do I feel so fearful and anxious with no victory in my life? (Remember teaching #1.) Look at the second diagram of spirit-soul -body.
The problems we face are in the soul, our mind, will, and emotions.
We think and feel:
Inferior (appearance oriented). "I am so fat," "I am so ugly," "I need more muscle," "My clothes, hair, car, house.....looks so good (or bad)."
Insecure (relationship oriented), "No one loves me," "I need my husband to love me," "I want my wife to approve of me," "I need a spouse".....
Inadequate (performance oriented) "I must win," "I must be rich," "I will get the next reward at work"....
Guilt ( Failure oriented) "I sinned," "I am a bad mom," "I cheated," "I failed".....
Worry, doubts, fears (approval oriented) "I fear no one will ever like me," "He is going to reject me," "Who will ever love me?"...... and the list can go on and on and on for all of these.
But what is true in the spirit does not feel true in the soul, and so what comes out of that is frustration toward others including family, coworkers, and teammates. These same insecurities and fears eventually lead to hostility toward others (see diagram in sidebar). Then in the emotional realm we get depression and anxiety, and our mind will have fantasies, paranoia, and
obsessive thoughts. All of this leads into our bodies, and this is how our body may react to all this mental and emotional turmoil in our soul: We see headaches, migraines, nervous stomachs, peptic ulcers, hives, rashes, allergies, colon problems and heart problems, fatigue, insomnia, compulsive eating, respiratory ailments, escape into sleep and this list goes on. The medical community has said that 80% of the people that go to the hospital are there for something that was emotionally based first. Certainly these can be brought on by environmental and physical issues as well, but many are from emotional responses.
Turn with me to John 1:12-13. Here we see that people become children of God, by the Spirit of God, by believing in His name. And 1 John 3:1-2 again states that we are children of God, and that is who we are! Why? Because He lavished His LOVE on us (Romans 8:14-17). He tells us we have become His children, sons, daughters, heirs so we do not have to live in bondage to fear again! Without God we fear because we do not belong to anyone but ourselves and Satan. But with God, we belong to the creator and judge of all mankind. We are able to cry out, "ABBA, DADDY, FATHER," If we are His children, and you are if you are a believer, then we are DEEPLY LOVED. See Romans 8:35-39. Who or what shall separate us from the love of God? NOTHING!!! Not your wife, husband, kids, cancer, sickness, poverty, riches, enemies, or even Satan. And not your current circumstances in any way.
Turn to Ephesians 1:6. He made you and you are accepted IN CHRIST!! He accepts you, approves of you, and wants to be around you. He likes your company. So we are His children, deeply loved and totally accepted in Christ.
As we mentioned in the teaching on repentance, we are completely forgiven. ALL SIN IS ON THE CROSS! So we are HIS CHILDREN, who are DEEPLY LOVED, TOTALLY ACCEPTED, and COMPLETELY FORGIVEN!!!!!
Let's look at the next diagram.
We see then that our Spirit has been saved, we have assurance of that salvation, we are secure, accepted, sealed, and He is committed to us because we, by the Spirit, are His children. WHO YOU ARE IS MORE IMPORTANT THEN WHAT YOU DO. WHO YOU ARE GIVES YOU MEANING AND PURPOSE! (look at diagram) Because we are His children we are complete in Him (Colossians 2:10), preserved in Him (1 Thes 5:23), sufficient (adequate) in Him (2 Cor 3:5), freed in Him (Gal 5:1), and we have peace in Him (Eph.2:14a) and with Him. Isn't that beautiful? That's you, if you are in Him, a believer.
Because of the work of the Spirit in your spirit, and who you are, and by putting your soul (mind-will-emotions) on what is true in the Spirit, your body is then offered up to God a holy and living sacrifice. Your body now belongs to Him as His property. Your body is renewed and disciplined. It reflects Christ's life! Stop and look at all those verses. Dwell on them over and over so that, as it says in Gal. 2:20, it is no longer I who live, but Christ that lives in me and through me.
SEE DIAGRAMS BELOW AND TEACHING 6 IDENTITY
Lesson 6 - Identity and Ephesians 1-3
As we shared in the last teaching on who we are in spirit, soul, and body, we will now look at even more of what God has done and who Christ "IS" and who we are "IN Him."
Turn in your bibles to Ephesians 1. For this study I want to suggest that you have a King James Bible and/or a New King James Bible, too, if you have one. There will be some words that I use that are best understood in these versions.
OK! Let's get started in Ephesians chapter 1, verse 1. Paul an Apostle... Paul introduces himself as the writer and an apostle. An apostle is a messenger, delegate, or ambassador for and sent from Christ Jesus. Paul is saying who he is which tells us his meaning and purpose. Who you are is important, because with that comes the meaning of existence. If you are a husband, the meaning is to be married to a woman. The purpose is to provide and protect her. A woman married to a man is to be a helpmate. A mother is one who nurtures her children. So identity, who we are, is more important than what we do. We must find our identity "IN Christ" only. Not pastor, teacher, business man, athlete, husband, father, wife, or even mother. Let's go on, back to verse 1.
Paul says by God's will I am this, so by God's will you are....
verse 1: Paul addresses the letter to "the saints." Now Paul uses this term in all his books from Romans to Philemon. He even uses it to refer to those in Corinth who did not have the best behavior. To be a saint is to be "holy." You are holy because God is holy and He is in you. So you are a saint! Paul also calls them "the faithful." To be IN Christ, you must be IN the faith.
verse 2: Grace, too, is given to us from God through the work of Jesus and faith in Him. And peace is given to you and me from God and our Lord Jesus. There is NO peace without God's grace, and NO grace without Jesus Christ's works.
verse 3: God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing. Think of all the things God has done as we go through this; all the things He tells us in His word, the bible. He has given us life. If you're dead and He gives you life, that in itself is great! Then He adds that He made us His child who is loved, accepted, forgiven, justified, righteous, and an heir of God almighty!!! He has blessed us as we are sitting with Him in heaven now, and we are IN HIM now! We are in Him with power, wisdom, knowledge, and authority now! We are chosen, adopted, holy, blameless, saved, sealed, and delivered children now. We have been redeemed, reconciled, and have revelation into His mind because we have the mind of Christ. We are freed from sin's bondage which allows us to be real, authentic people who can love in the righteousness and power of Christ. We are a new creation, alive and complete in Him. Whole and holy, sanctified, and set apart for His work and intention. We are preserved, secure, sufficient, adequate, and disciplined property owned by the God of the universe. He provides for us and protects us. All that and more........
verse 4: He chose you and made you holy and blameless.
verse 5: He adopted us, and according to His good pleasure, He wants to be with us. God likes us and wants to spend time with us.
verse 6: He made us accepted in His Beloved Son, Christ. And because it is His Beloved Son who is IN us, He will always accept us.
verse 7: He has redeemed us (a purchase through a ransom, Christ's death on the cross) to bring us into right fellowship with our Father. Therefore we are freed and we have the forgiveness of sins, all sins! (Eph 4:32)
verse 8: Grace that abounds toward us over and over and over...
verses 9-10: He let us in on His will, the mystery, which is that He will bring ALL things in heaven and earth together in one, IN Him.
verses 11-12: We have an inheritance, Christ Himself, and we are God's glory because of faith in His Son, Jesus Christ.
verses13-14: We are saved and sealed in the Holy Spirit which is the guarantee of our inheritance!
verses 15-17: Paul prayed for God's wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. The book of 1 Corinthians is all about that power, wisdom, and revelation given to us by the Spirit.
verses 18-20: We have His understanding, His hope, His riches, His inheritance, His power etc. Christ is seated with God in the heavenly places and we are there too!!! (Philippians 3:20)
verses 20-23: Christ is above all power, all authority, all names. God put all things under Him. God made Christ the head of the Church, which is His Body! The Church IS CHRIST! AND Christ fills all, including you and me. He is ALL we ever need!
verses 1-3: He made you alive. You were dead in your spirit and in sin, BUT now you are alive.
verses 4-7: God is rich, rich, rich in mercy! His mercy never ceases because of His great love, and how great a love it is in which He loves us. Just dwell on that verse alone. He loves you!!!! He has SO MUCH LOVE that He made you alive to be with Him. He wants us with Him, and we are with Him in Heaven. Can it get any better than that? All this because of His wonderful grace.
verses 8-9: This grace is His gift. We cannot earn it or buy it. We must be born into it.
verse 10: We are His creation, crafted and molded in Him. The Spirit of the living God is in us. Therefore we can do the works He desires which are to praise, worship, and glorify Him.
verse 14: Christ is our peace. He doesn't just bring peace, but He IS our peace.
So now you see all these wonderful things God through Christ has blessed us with, and who we are IN Christ. Meditate on these. Renew your mind over and over with these truths.
Now let's go back to chapter 2 verse 11. This is where you may want a KJV or NKJV bible.
Verse 11 says we Gentiles are called the uncircumcision by the circumcision, Israel. This means the men of Israel had to be circumcised by the law of God to be a part of Israel. We Gentiles never had such law. Therefore we were aliens from the commonwealth or nation of Israel and not a part of God's covenant or promises. Therefore, we Gentiles had no hope and were without God.
Now look at the sidebar at the Biblical Timeline Chart. You see that all the way back to Adam(see under Adam the Gentiles) there were Gentiles. The promise was given to Abraham, and the law was given to Moses for the nation of Israel. The promise of a kingdom was given. The prophecy of the kingdom was preached at hand and offered. The Gospel of the kingdom was preached, as well as the gospel to the circumcision, Israel. Jesus the Messiah, the Christ on earth, was born to bring Israel to that kingdom. The rest of the world would have followed Israel to God as prophesied.
But Israel refused as a nation to believe in the earthly Messiah and had Him crucified. Then He died on the cross, was buried in the tomb, and He rose the third day. Again, Israel had the opportunity to follow the RISEN Messiah, Acts 1-9. But they refused, and so Christ came to Paul. (Acts 9:15 "...he is a chosen vessel of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel." )
Turn with me to Galatians 2:7-8.
"...when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was entrusted to me as the gospel of the circumcision was entrusted to Peter, for He who worked effectively in Peter also worked effectively in me toward the Gentiles, and when James, Cephas (Peter), and John, who seemed to be (the) pillars, perceived the grace that had been given to me, they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcision."
Paul was raised up, taught by the RISEN Messiah, Jesus, for a different and special purpose: to teach the gospel of grace to the Gentiles. The 12 apostles' ministry was to the Jews. (By the way, look who wrote the last books in the bible. After Paul's letters, Romans through Philemon, all the other books are written to Hebrews, or Jews. They are written by Peter, James, John, and Jude, who was Jesus's brother, a Jew, and a strong influence in the Jerusalem church.)
So now back to Ephesians 2:13-22. Paul writes, "BUT NOW" we Gentiles are IN Christ, and we were "far off," BUT NOW we are near. The middle wall, the law, has been broken down and we are one man, not two (Jew and Gentile). Both are reconciled as one IN Christ; Gentiles are no longer foreigners or strangers from God's household. Yes, we belong to Him, together. We are His body and His church, the Body of Christ.
So now, let's go back to the biblical timeline diagram. After the cross and after Israel's refusal to believe in the RISEN Messiah, Acts 1-9, they fell. Now read Romans 9-11 and see how the Gentiles through the Apostle Paul's teaching and by being grafted in will lead them back. Romans 11:11 says, "I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles." And verse 14 says, "...if by any means I may ... save some of them."
Now back to Eph. 3. In verse 1-2, Paul says that he is the prisoner of Christ for us Gentiles, "if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God." ( KJV/NKJV). This word dispensation, is very important. It means to dispense, to give, to pour out and then manage, to steward and administrate. God said, "I will pour out my spirit on man," and John the Baptist said "He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit." Then in Acts, at Pentecost, the Spirit came on man at Jerusalem, just as if God was pouring a pitcher of oil, anointing the world, and the head was Jerusalem. The oil runs down over the head onto the shoulders and then the body. The dispensing of grace onto and into man. "He will remember their sins NO more."
The dispensation (administration) of the Spirit has begun, BUT the early disciples were Jewish and only went to Israel or the Jews, and still they were to follow the ordinances of the Temple and the law. Let's look at Acts 1:6. They ask Him, "Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?" They were still interested in the earthly kingdom. In Acts 1:21-25 we see they needed 12 apostles. They only had 11 because Judas had killed himself, but they needed 12 to represent the 12 tribes. In Acts 2 at Pentecost, a Jewish holiday, they were ready. The Spirit came and they spoke to all the nations of the Jews under heaven. Verse 22 says who they were speaking to ("Men of Israel..") and verse 36 ("let all the house of Israel know"). Verse 38 is the message they were to give the nation of Israel, to repent and be baptized (washed as in an outward purification and to identify with Moses, and now to identify with Jesus, by law).
In Acts, chapter 3, Peter and John went up together to the Temple. It was the hour of prayer, the 9th hour (3pm). They stood and taught in the Temple, and they continued to do that until the Temple was torn down in 70 AD. Stephen was the last to speak about the risen Messiah to the NATION of Israel, its government, and the Pharisees (chapter 7). In Acts 11:19 after Stephen was stoned to death, the Jews scattered because they were facing persecution. But still, they preached the word to "Jews only" everywhere they went. Acts 21:20 -24 tells us Paul had returned back from his mission and had just told the apostles (disciples) and James how the Gentiles had believed and were saved, and they rejoiced. But then they say (perhaps James), "You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are who have believed (In Christ), and they are all zealous for the law." In verse 24, they wanted Paul to still walk orderly by the law and customs. They wanted Paul to go to the Temple and be purified with some others.
BUT NOW . . .
2 Timothy 2:15 says we are to rightly divide the word of truth. That means to cut straight lines, distinct lines of truth. If we look at the ministry of Israel, we see that it was by law, outward, earthy, and included signs and wonders. They walked by sight, they fixed their sin by sacrifices, and relied on prophecy. BUT in Ephesians 3:3, we see that it is no longer by prophecy but by something called a mystery. A mystery is something that the prophets did not know or tell or see or understand. Paul says God revealed this mystery to Him. That Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body. and partakers of His promise In Christ. That by the power of God working through Paul, the gift of this grace may be known to all. The wisdom and power may be known through the church to all the world.
So now looking at the timeline below, we see that the "BUT NOW" section is where we are today. It's the gospel of grace, the gospel to the uncircumcised, the gospel to the Gentiles, the mystery program of God. The spirit is now in man, not around man. There are no sacrifices. We are not earthy beings but heavenly beings. We are not saved by works or ordinances of the law but by faith and faith alone; not by law, but grace; not by our works (like Israel's) but by Christ's works; not by certain dietary laws, but all things are cleansed; not by the 12 Apostles' doctrine, but by Paul's doctrine, given to him by Jesus Himself; not by water baptism, but by Spirit baptism; not asking for more, but thanking Him for what you already have, being content in Christ's work. His Grace IS SUFFICIENT.
Go to R3 and Lesson 7