You are created in God’s image. All of mankind is. In Genesis 1:26 it says, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” This includes the fact that we are created as a spirit and we have a soul. Yet on earth we live in a physical body.
One of the first things I learned upon leaving my body following the horrific and deadly airplane crash written about in the book Flight To Heaven, is a truth that has served me well throughout earthly life. In a nutshell… I realized I am a spirit, I have a soul and I live in a body. The spirit and soul are eternal and never cease. However, our natural body is physical and therefore, temporary. This truth about how I am made, affects how I view and interact with everything and everyone in this life.
As I hovered over the crash site looking down at my body, new understanding about who I truly was hit me like a ton of bricks. I felt frustration and even shame when I understood what I should have known already. In my newly disembodied state, I simply knew I was a spirit. I was out of my body and yet I had never felt more alive.
Though I had always recognized myself and others by the body, I now knew we were all spirits temporarily living in a body. This new understanding wasn’t an idea nor was it up for debate – it was truth. This knowledge seemed to come with this new territory I had entered, a new dimension. Instantly I understood the difference between my body, my soul and my spirit. This important distinction between these three separate parts of me changed the way I had been thinking since I was born. My entire perspective was turned inside out.
In essence, you and I are a triune being. We are created as a spirit so that we are able to commune with God. We are taught in John 4:24, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”
Because God is a spirit being, He created us as spirit beings so that we could connect with Him. But it’s not enough to be a spirit. Only by accepting Jesus into our heart is our spirit reborn with God’s supernatural life… God’s divine nature. This divine life that energizes and gives God’s life to our spirit is what allows us to sense God, to get into sync with His Spirit. Only then can we have fellowship with our Creator.
It is not possible to connect with God—or have relationship with Him using only our soul—which is made up of our mind (intellect), our will and our emotions. It is also not possible to fellowship with God only using our body. Both of these parts of us—our soul and our body—can join our spirit in worship and fellowship. But our reborn spirit is the key to a relationship with God because it has God’s divine life in it.
God became a man so He could interact with us on a human level–guide us into spiritual awareness. Throughout the course of His human life, Jesus, God’s only Son, was the living complete expression of God. When we believe in Jesus and accept Him into our life, Jesus comes to live in our human spirit, regenerating it with His divine life. This is a supernatural experience and I experienced and is validated by countless individuals who I know personally. It is further confirmed by the lives of hundreds of millions of people from the time of Jesus’ until the present day. Once this new life occurs we have another source to live by—God Himself. True Christians can live with this supernatural source of life by developing and using their spirit.
As I mentioned above, each one of us have a soul. The soul is made up of our mind, our will, and our emotions. The soul is what gives us a personality. These various parts of our soul each enhance our spiritual experience as well as allow us to interact with those around us here on earth.
We live in a physical body that God has given us stewardship over. It is the vehicle we have been allotted to carry our eternal spirit and soul throughout our time on earth. Our body allows our spirit and soul to interact with the earth and the people around us in the physical realm.
So what does God’s Word have to say about our body, soul and spirit? In First Thessalonians 5:23 it says, “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” In this scripture, these three parts of us are acknowledged as parts of our whole being.
With a little study from the original Greek language, the conjunction “and” in “spirit and soul and body” illustrates the three are different from one another, yet part of the same whole. The Bible teaches that the body is separate and distinct from the soul, and the soul is also separate and distinct from the spirit.
You will find an even clearer distinction in the following verse. “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.” Hebrews 4:12
From this scripture, we can recognize that the soul and the spirit are so intertwined with each other that the two require the word of God to divide them, to separate them from one another.
Based on just these two verses, we can confirm that our soul and our spirit–though both eternal parts of us–are not the same thing. Evidently it’s not only important for us to see that they are separate components, but that we should also be able to discern one from the other.
I’ve lingered on this revelation because it had such a dramatic impact on me at the crash site and ever since. This truth is far better to understand before you die so that throughout your life you can view yourself and others accurately… as God does.
So you see, it’s true. When God made you–He made His very best–in His image.
With God nothing is impossible.
Dale and Paula Black
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