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Body, Soul and Spirit

A Commentary by Constance Vanides

“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.” (1 Thessalonians 5:23)

Do you know the difference between the soul and spirit? When I first began to read the Bible I began to wonder about this. The more I tried to analyze the word, “soul” and then “spirit”, the more confused I got. Scripture seems to use the words interchangeably at times. Sometimes I found the “body” mentioned along with the “soul”, but where does the spirit fit in?

Then I found the above scripture from Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians. This blessing to the brethren emphasizes body, soul and spirit together as three parts of the one whole! Sounds a bit like when the Holy Trinity is explained!

I must give credit to the late Reverend Dennis Bennett with his wife, Rita, for clearly describing a being’s three parts, in their book, Trinity of Man. The Three Dimensions of Healing and Wholeness.

Briefly, man is described as having three parts: BODY, SOUL and SPIRIT.

BODY, is the physical, including also the five senses of touch, taste, smell, sight, hearing, which allows man to relate to and communicate with the physical world.

“Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth—for your love is better than wine. Because of the fragrance of your good ointments…” (Song of Solomon 1:2, 3)

“The blind receive their sight and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear…” (Matthew 11:5)

SOUL, (psyche) the intellect, emotions, will, form the personality wherein man can function within the psychological realm.

“Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me?” (Psalm 42:5)

“To everything there is a season…a time to love, and a time to hate…” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 8)

“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” Philippians 4:4)

“He answered and said, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he regretted it and went.” (Matthew 21:29)

SPIRIT, (rhema) is where renewed man communicates with God. Is it any wonder why Jesus emphasized these words to Nicodemus?:

“Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, (born from above) he cannot see the kingdom of God… That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3:3, 6)

“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.” (1 Corinthians 2:12)

Are you yearning for more of Christ’s indwelling Holy Spirit so that you might know more of Jesus? Is your human spirit receiving all that God is telling you about the abundant life in Him, to have the power to be able to minister to a lost and dying world? Do you feel something missing in the spirit part of your tripartite being?

Jesus says, “And I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” (Luke 11:9, 10)

“Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you…” (Luke 24:49)

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© Constance Vanides
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