God is three distinct beings: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Each of them has unique roles, but collectively are One. God created us, in His image, as triune beings made up of a body, a soul, and a sprit.
“Now, may the God of peace and harmony set you apart, making you completely holy. And may your entire being—spirit, soul, and body—be kept completely flawless in the appearing of our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One,” (1 Thessalonians 5:23 TPT).
Notice how that scripture says, “May your entire being – spirit, soul, and body…” All of who we are is comprised of our spirits, souls, and bodies. For us to be holistically healthy, we need to be intentional about taking care of each part. The second half of that sentence says, “be kept completely flawless…” I don’t know about you, but it will require some serious training for me to be completely flawless!
We can’t just focus on training our physical bodies while neglecting our souls. And we also can’t just prioritize the spiritual parts of ourselves while forgetting about our physical selves. Every single part of who we are was designed by our creative God and deserves our care.
We are beginning a new series today that will help us understand what our spirits, souls, and bodies are, as well as what their purpose is. We will be digging deep into theology so be prepared for quite a bit of scripture. It is important that we understand who we are and that foundation is laid by the Word of God.
Pastor Robert Morris said one of the most valuable things that I’ve ever heard about the spirit, soul, and body: “The spirit is saved, the soul is being saved, and the body will be saved.” I’ll explain those as we go.
I’ve shown this simple graphic a few different times on here, but I am a visual learner. So I’m showing it again.
That’s you! 🙂
Today we are studying our spirits. There are three things that I want us to understand about our spirits:
- Our spirits are saved. When we believe that Jesus Christ died for our sins and rose again on the third day, the Bible says that we are saved (Romans 10:9). Our spirit is the part of us that surrenders to Jesus’ Lordship. Our spirits can not be separated from God once we commit ourselves to Him. If you haven’t made that life changing decision yet, today is a good day to do so!
When I gave my life to the Lord at 14, I walked into the back of a tiny, Baptist church. The kids in the youth group went down to the front for worship and lifted their hands. They were going after God. I whispered in my heart, “God, if that’s real, I want what those kids have.” It felt like a bomb went off in my stomach. I literally fell back into the chair behind me. My spirit came to life when it was exposed to God’s Holy Spirit.
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh,” (Ezekiel 36:26 NKJV).
“But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit,” (1 Corinthians 6:17 NIV).
2. Our spirits will spend eternity in Heaven. When we die, our bodies get buried in the ground, but our spirits immediately go to Heaven. In the early 1900’s, Dr. Duncan Macdougall tried to prove that the human spirit has physical weight. He believed that our bodies get 21 grams lighter the moment we die because our spirit has left our body. The experiment was scientifically inconclusive and couldn’t be proven, but I don’t doubt for a second that our spirits move on the moment we pass away.
“Life, lovely while it lasts, is soon over.
Life as we know it, precious and beautiful, ends.
The body is put back in the same ground it came from.
The spirit returns to God, who first breathed it,” (Ecclesiastes 12:6-7 MSG).
“And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, ‘Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.’ Having said this, He breathed His last,” (Luke 23:46 NKJV).
“As they hurled stone after stone at him, Stephen prayed, ‘Our Lord Jesus, accept my spirit into your presence,’ ” (Acts 7:59).
Notice that the Bible doesn’t capitalize the word “spirit” in these scriptures. That is because it is referring to our spirit, not the Holy Spirit. If you notice a scripture that has the word “spirit” capitalized, it is referring to the Holy Spirit.
3. Our spirits keep us aligned with the Holy Spirit. Most biblical scholars believe that the word “heart” in scripture is synonymous with spirit. When we give our hearts to Christ, we are giving Him our spirit. He makes us new by filling us with His Spirit. The Holy Spirit begins the work of sanctifying us and changing us from the inside out. If you want to know more about who the Holy Spirit is and what He does, you can read about Him here.
Our spirit is what makes us want more of God. Salvation is just step one. As we grow, our spirits desire to be used by God, be filled with the Holy Spirit, and allow His gifts to operate in our lives.
“For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children,” (Romans 8:16 NLT).
“That’s why we have this Scripture text:
No one’s ever seen or heard anything like this,
Never so much as imagined anything quite like it—
What God has arranged for those who love him.
But you’ve seen and heard it because God by his Spirit has brought it all out into the open before you.
The Spirit, not content to flit around on the surface, dives into the depths of God, and brings out what God planned all along. Who ever knows what you’re thinking and planning except you yourself? The same with God—except that he not only knows what he’s thinking, but he lets us in on it. God offers a full report on the gifts of life and salvation that he is giving us. We don’t have to rely on the world’s guesses and opinions. We didn’t learn this by reading books or going to school; we learned it from God, who taught us person-to-person through Jesus, and we’re passing it on to you in the same firsthand, personal way.
The unspiritual self, just as it is by nature, can’t receive the gifts of God’s Spirit. There’s no capacity for them. They seem like so much silliness. Spirit can be known only by spirit—God’s Spirit and our spirits in open communion. Spiritually alive, we have access to everything God’s Spirit is doing, and can’t be judged by unspiritual critics. Isaiah’s question, ‘Is there anyone around who knows God’s Spirit, anyone who knows what he is doing?’ has been answered: Christ knows, and we have Christ’s Spirit,” (1 Corinthians 2:9-16 MSG, emphasis added).
I know that last passage is long but it describes the relationship between our spirits and the Holy Spirit so well. These scriptures tell us that the Holy Spirit reveals God’s plans to us, teaches us, and gives us gifts.
It is vitally important that we take responsibility and train our spirits to stay close to God. Especially in the climate that we are living in right now. It can be easy to get upset and harden our hearts (spirits) toward God. Our spirits need constant communion with God to stay healthy and keep growing.
“…Train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come,” (1 Timothy 4:7-8 NIV).
Train your spirit to be godly by:
- Praying. Relationships are about communication. It’s vital to our relationship with Christ that we speak with Him and then listen to what He has to say. I also love to pray in the Holy Spirit. “But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life,” (Jude 1:20-21 ESV).
- Reading the Bible everyday. Yes, everyday. Even when you don’t want to. “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success,” (Joshua 1:8 NASB).
- Worshipping. I believe this should be done alone, with family, and corporately in church with other believers. “Since we are receiving our rights to an unshakeable kingdom we should be extremely thankful and offer God the purest worship that delights his heart as we lay down our lives in absolute surrender, filled with awe,” (Hebrews 12:28).”
I would argue that that our spirits are the most important part of who we are. They are the very center of our identity and keep us connected to God. I’m praying that you prioritize your spiritual health and commit to growing closer to God everyday.