God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness;
and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of
the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every
creeping thing that creeps on the earth." God created man in
His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female
He created them. (Genesis 1:26-27 NASB)
to the Bible, mankind is distinct from all the rest of creation,
including the animals, in that he is made in the image of God. As
God is a tripartite -- Father, Son and Holy Spirit -- so man is
three parts -- body, soul and spirit. In the most explicit example
from Scripture of these divisions, the Apostle Paul writes:
the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit
and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming
of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:23 NASB).
is made up of physical material, the body, that can be seen and
touched. But he is also made up of immaterial aspects, which are
intangible -- this includes the soul, spirit, intellect, will, emotions,
conscience, and so forth. These immaterial characteristics exist
beyond the physical lifespan of the human body and are therefore
immaterial aspects -- the spirit, soul, heart, conscience, mind
and emotions -- make up the whole personality. The Bible makes it
clear that the soul and spirit are the primary immaterial aspects
of humanity, while the body is the physical container that holds
them on this earth.
The Body (Greek,
is the entire material or physical structure of a human being --
it is the physical part of a person.
Apostle Paul, writing to the Romans again connects the body, the
mind (soul) and the spirit.
I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies
a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual
service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be
transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove
what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect
(Romans 12:1-2 NASB).
you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your
body (1 Cor. 6:20).
The Soul (Greek, "psyche")
2:7 states that Man was created as a "living soul." The
soul consists of the mind (which includes the conscience), the will
and the emotions. The soul and the spirit are mysteriously tied
together and make up what the Scriptures call the "heart."
writer of Proverbs declares, " Watch over your heart with all
diligence, for from it flow the springs of life." (Prov. 4:23
NASB). We see here that the "heart" is central to our
emotions and will.
natural (psuchikos -- soulish) man does not accept the things of
the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot
understand them, because they are spiritually appraised (1 Cor.
looking intently at the Council, said, "Brethren, I have lived
my life with a perfectly good conscience before God up to this day"
(Acts 23:1 NASB).
The Spirit (Greek " Pneuma")
16:22, Moses and Aaron, "…fell upon their faces and said,
'O God, God of the spirits of all flesh, when one man sins, will
you be angry with the entire congregation?'" This verse names
God as the God of the spirits that are possessed by all humanity.
Notice also that it mentions the flesh (body) of all mankind, connecting
it with the spirit.
key verse that describes the separation between soul and spirit
is Hebrews 4:12:
word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged
sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of
both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions
of the heart (Heb. 4:12 NASB).
see in this passage of Scripture that the soul and spirit can be
divided -- and that it is the Word of God that pierces our heart
to bring the division of soul and spirit, something that only God
beings, we live eternally as a spirit, we have a soul, and we dwell
in a body. We can rejoice with the Psalmist and declare,
You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother's womb. I will
give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful
are Your works, and my soul knows it very well (Ps. 139:13-14 NASB).