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Body - Soul - Spirit

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Genesis 1: 27 -- So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Genesis 2: 7 -- And the Lord God formed man [man's body] of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Isaiah 43: 7 -- Even [For] every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.

We all like to think that we are right in our understanding of the Bible.  I have read that there are over 22,000 different "Christian" denominations.  Each thinks that they are the ones that are right.   Being convinced that you are right is no guarantee that you are.   There is only one that is always right.  God.   God has provided us with his word which is precisely correct when rightly divided. 

The bible interprets itself if we allow it to.  Most use the Bible as a grab bag of sayings to prove preconceived notions.   The principles of rightly dividing the word allows us to see and understand the simple yet profound truth of God's love mercy and grace.  We can appropriate the power and promises of God if we are willing to rightly divide the word and allow it to interpret itself.

There is much confusion among the "Christian" denominations concerning the very basic concepts of Christianity.  For instance there is great debate whether or not a person can be "saved" and then become not saved.   There is debate and misunderstanding over the soul and whether the soul is the same as the spirit.    These debates are really the froth on top of a much deeper lack of understanding.   

Much of the confusion stems from not understanding the difference between body, soul and spirit.   There is a distinct difference.  Many believe that the soul and spirit are the same thing, yet the Bible makes a clear distinction between them. Three distinct aspects of a Christian are pointed out in this verse.  Spirit, Soul and Body.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:23 Paul writes: "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."  In the beginning the first man's body was formed from the dust of the earth.
Genesis 2: 7a -- And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground ...

The Hebrew word for "formed" is yatsar which means "to fashion out of something that is already in existence." God formed man out of a substance which already existed, which was dust. The word "man" is adam which means "red earth". Our bodies are composed of the same elements that are in the dust of the earth.
Genesis 3: 19 -- In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
The human body was formed (yatsar) from the dust of the ground.  Everything must finally return to it's original state. Therefore, the body must return to dust.  This is true for mankind and also of animals.
Ecclesiastes 3: 20 -- All go unto one place; all are of dust, and all turn to dust again.

Now let's consider the Hebrew word "nepesh" which is translated "soul." The soul is that which gives the body its life.   Look at Genesis 2: 7 again with particular attention to the second part of the verse.
Genesis 2: 7 -- And the Lord God formed man [man's body] of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
"Breathed into his nostrils" is the figure of speech condescensio where human characteristics are attributed to God.  When God bestowed life into Adam, He MADE man a living SOUL.  The word "made" in Hebrew is asah and means "a substance required of which the thing made consists."   The soul is  that which gives life to the  body. The soul has nothing to do with whether you are born again or not.   As long as a person breathes, he or she has a soul.
I Peter 3: 20 -- Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

During the flood, these eight souls were spared. Were they Christians? They couldn't be since Christ had not yet come.  Noah, his wife, their three sons and their wives were eight alive souls.   Let's look at a New Testament example:
Acts 27: 37 -- And we were in all in the ship two hundred threescore and sixteen souls.
Paul and Luke were sailing to Rome on this ship and they were the only believers. But the Bible states there were 276 souls on board. There were 276 "alive people" on that ship including Paul and Luke.
Soul is that part which gives life to the body. When soul is confused with spirit, all sorts of misunderstanding results.   Some Christian and Eastern religions talk about the immortality of the soul and  the transmigration of the soul.   But the Bible does not agree. 
 Not only do men have a soul, but every animal also has a living soul. This remains true while a man or an animal is alive. Note that the word "life" in the following verses is the same word as "soul".

Genesis 1: 30a -- And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life (soul), . . . . .
Genesis 1: 20a -- And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life (soul), . . .
Animals have soul life or breath-life.  In the following verses, the word "creature" is "nepesh,"  the same word used for "soul".

Genesis 1: 21a -- And God created great whales, and every living creature (soul) . . . .

Genesis 1: 24a -- And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature (soul) . . .
Body and soul are not eternal.  When the body dies it reverts back to the earth.  When the body dies the soul ceases to be alive.  Only the spirit is eternal and continues to live.   So, what part of man was created?  His spirit was created.  God is Spirit.  He created first man in his image: Spirit.  God formed a body for the man to habitate, bestowed soul life  to the body and called it adam which means "red earth."  Body and soul were formed and made to be first man's earth suit.
Since the fall of Adam, mankind has been what Paul calls the "natural man" or the "old man:"   Just body and soul.   The natural man has no spirit because Adam and Eve's spirit died when they ate of the forbidden fruit.  The "red earth" body continued to live because it had soul life but began to deteriorate due to the lack of spirit.  So in essence after the fall of Man, a mere shell of Adam and Eve were turned out of the garden where they could no longer function because they were no longer spirit.  Natural man is a mere shell of what man was intended to be.
I Corinthians 2: 14 -- But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Genesis 1: 1 -- In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
The literal meaning of "to create" is "to bring something out of nothing" or "to bring into existence something which never existed before."    After God formed, made, and created the earth and it's inhabitants (animals, fish, snakes, mosquitoes, etc.), He created man.

Genesis 1: 27 -- So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.   What is the image of God? 

John 4: 24a -- God is  Spirit: . . . .

God created man as spirit, His image.   In the beginning:     

                God created the spirit man.
                     God formed the body of man.
                             God made the soul of man.

We are born as "natural man" body and soul.  We inherit the characteristic traits and body style of our ancestors, all the way back to Adam and eve.   We also inherit the tendency to sin and the effect of sin which ends in death.     As "natural man" we are the living dead, walking through this world as grass that will soon wither and be gone.  The natural man is subject to the god of this world and is trapped with no hope, waiting to die. 
The natural man has soul, breath life.  Most of the world religions are soul centered religions.  Transcendence of the soul, reincarnation, the study of chi are all soul based.   Much of so called Christian religion is soul based with the focus on performance and attaining a higher level of consciecness or elimination of "sins."   Paul calls this soul-religion the weak and beggarly elements.  (Stoichea in the Greek)
There are many born again believers who have Christ in them, with power from on high tricked into following after body and soul focused religion.  In doing so they quench the spirit and pass up the blessings of living like a child of God.  It was already happening in the time of Paul:
Gal 4:8  Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods.
Gal 4:9  But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
Gal 4:10  Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. Gal 4:11  I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.

Those of us who God has called out of the devils world and into his family have Christ in us:  The spirit recreated in us.  We have regained what Adam and Eve lost:  The spirit.   We are once again spiritual beings, with eternal life who have a body and soul for our earth suit.
Joh 3:6  That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Eph 2:10  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

1 Peter 1:23: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. (KJV)

We are a distinct people of the spirit.  We should no longer focus on the beggarly elements of this devilish world but instead we should be pursuing the words of the spirit:

Rom 12:2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Eph 1:12  That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

Eph 1:13  In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
Col 1:27  It's Christ in you, The hope of glory.
Gal 5:1  Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.


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