What happened when I became a Christian?
A human is made up of three parts, a spirit, soul (mind, will and emotions) and a body. You are a spirit, you have a soul and you live in a body (earth suit). “Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again.”1 Thessalonians 5:23 NLT This verse along with many others tell us that we are made up of three distinct parts, the spirit, our soul and body.
Discussion of Spirit, Soul and Body with Tim and Peggy Grisham
I used to think of myself as just the person in the mirror who has “God’s Spirit” living in me. But, the Bible teaches us that we are not just a soul that has God’s Spirit living in us but, we are a spirit that has a soul that lives in a body. You may think “what is the difference?” The difference is with or without God we will live forever because we were created as a spirit being. When we are born again it is our spirit that becomes a New Creation in Christ 2 Corinthians 5:17, “old things have passed away and all things have become new.” Pryor to the new birth our spirits were not alive unto God. Ephesians 2:1-2 AMP “And you [He made alive when you] were [spiritually]dead and separated from Him because of your transgressions and sins, in which you once walked. You were following the ways of this world [influenced by this present age], in accordance with the prince of the power of the air (Satan), the spirit who is now at work in the disobedient [the unbelieving, who fight against the purposes of God].” Scripture is very clear about our condition before being born again. Mankind will either live eternally in death separated from God in hell or live eternally with God in Heaven by putting their trust in Jesus Christ as Lord.
Understanding Spirit, Soul and Body set me free from feeling like a failure as a Christian. The question I had as a new believer was, “if I am a new creation in Christ why do I still struggle with thoughts that are not godly, feelings that are not full of love and desires in the flesh that are not from God?” What I didn’t understand was that the only part of me that was born again, born new instantly, was my spirit. Our spirit is who we really are. The soul (which is the mind, will and emotions) is programed by information it has been fed. The soul is like a computer, whatever you download into it is how and what it responds to. Proverbs 23:6,7 “as he thinks in his heart, so he is.”In other words how we think determines how we act and respond outwardly. God created us with a soul (mind, will, emotions) not to be ruled by them but that they would be ruled or led by the Spirit. Romans 8:14 “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” Our souls must be influenced daily by the word of God which is able to save our souls. Hebrews 10:38,39 “Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him. But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.” Our souls are continually being saved through the Word of God, Hebrews 4:12 NKJV“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” This is why many Christians are not experiencing more victories in their life. They are trying to live by and being led by their soul rather than their spirit man that is born again in Christ. We have the same spirit that raised Jesus from the dead living in us. “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 NKJV. We can choose to follow the Word of God and let God’s Word determine how we think, what we do and how we feel or we can let the soul and the body keep dictating its wants and desires. When we begin to follow Christ not just in theory but actually do what the Word of God says then we become His disciples, disciplined according to the will of God and not the will of our flesh.
Now this brings us to the body, the physical part of us that is most visible. It seems that the body if not disciplined will take over and become the one in charge so to speak. The body or the flesh only knows one thing and that is SELF! You can be going alone just fine and then all of the sudden experience a pain or discomfort and your body will rise up and tell you it hurts. Your body will immediately let you know when it does not like what it is experiencing, maybe it’s too hot or too cold! If we allow the body to have its way we would never do anything to cause us discomfort. It amazes me how some people will not allow their body to suffer any discomfort even for the sake of the gospel. I have heard people say they could never go to another country because of the conditions they may experience, not even for the sake of the gospel. Wow, hard to believe. I have had people on mission trips complain because of the discomfort, too hot, too cold, don’t like the food. Too dirty, too hard and on and on. That is when, as a disciple, you have to make the decision that your body will just have to suffer if that is what it takes to get the gospel to others. Let me encourage you! Don’t let your body have what it wants all the time, it’s good to tell it NO once in a while. Don’t let your mind be filled with ungodliness, with thoughts of worry and fear. Discipline your mind to think on the Word. That is what Paul the apostle wrote, cast down vain imaginations and every thought that exalts itself above the knowledge of God! Study these verses and let the Word of God be in charge, let the will of God reign. Jesus Himself said, not My will but Thy will be done. He did not say that because He did not know the Fathers will, Jesus said those words because He was declaring the Fathers will over His!