“And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:23).
“Your whole spirit and soul and body,” says scripture. This shows that man is threefold just as God is three (1 John 5:7). After all, man is created in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26-27).
The soul is the mind, feelings, and the will. When God created man, He breathed into him breath and man became a living soul (Genesis 2:7). The man’s mind began to work and reason; he began to feel, to feel hunger, warmth and cold. He gained a will and began to decide and to act. Man gained individuality and at that moment he can say “I”. God communicated with man and gave him the commandment: “Of every tree of the garden thou mayest feely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt die” (Genesis 2:16-17)! The man understood this, decided what to do, and did as he wished- this shows him as an individual person. God also has a soul (Isaiah 1:14) (Hebrews 10:38), man was created in the image and likeness of God.
The soul is the person’s individuality. It is responsible for the whole person, for his day, for his salvation.
The soul of man always has a spirit in the conscience. The conscience always holds a living spirit within the person: either the Spirit of God or the spirit of the devil. The soul is responsible for who lives within the conscience: either Jesus Christ or the devil. The soul can act independently and “try” not to obey the conscience, that is, the spirit that lives within. The soul decides and it depends on the soul which spirit it will believe in, which spirit it will give a place in his conscience.
The core of the soul is spirit – conscience
A question may arise; why is the conscience necessary when the soul is responsible for salvation, as an individual, and can act independently?
The soul is in need of a foundation, of support, of leadership, and can only get it from the conscience. If the conscience is evil, then the soul holds onto the letter of the law with its mind and fights against its own conscience (this is the religious situation where a person struggles with himself, wanting to be good, kind, truthful, but it doesn’t work!). When man dies for this world, for the evil, for the lies, and the Lord Jesus Christ becomes his conscience – The mysteries of eternal life also settle into his conscience and now the soul can fully rely on the conscience and let it control and direct the person. Instead of a continuous struggle, now the soul can come to rest and the fruits of the Holy Spirit are revealed (Galatians 5:22-23). This state of being is called: “The law of the Sprit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:1-2). “But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit” (1 Corinthians 6:17).
The human body
The human body consists of blood, flesh, and bones; it does not inherit the Kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 15: 50). The future for the earthly bodies decay (2 Corinthians 5: 1-2). Therefore it is not worth living for desires, lusts and passions of the flesh (Romans 8:12-13). But we have these bodies for what is necessary and natural. And nothing should be turned into lust (Romans 13:12-14).
The scripture reveals: “It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body…”(1 Corinthians 15: 44-58!). On this basis, it becomes very clear that man should not sow into the flesh for he will reap corruption, he will reap death and darkness. He should sow into the spirit and then he will reap eternal life (Galatians 6:7-8). The exterior body gets older and starts to fall apart, and no one can stop it. So what foolishness it is to live for this flesh and to sow into it!
The spirit, soul and body. Each has its own function, cannot function without each other, and make a person.