The Complete Man
“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 (NKJV)
The topic of spirit, soul and body is a teaching I have often called the inner man. However, when properly understood, a more accurate way to label it would be the complete man. 2 Timothy 3:16 (ISV) reads like this, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good action.” Simply put, when you spend time in the Word of God you are stepping into training for righteousness. The Word of God is a washing agent (Ephesians 5:26), not to make you more righteous moment by moment because we are already made clean by Jesus (John 15:3 NKJV “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.”), but rather, it is a mind-washer that ultimately causes the renewing of the mind as seen in Romans 12:3. Training your heart and mind in the ways of the Lord by reading His Word with faith will unlock understanding within your inner man that will manifest to your outer man. Who you are in the natural is not the whole picture. We must also understand what is going on inside and how we actually function. Having this understanding will cause you to recognize that you are a complete man based on what Jesus did.
Let’s look at the inner man and the outer man. Each and every one of us is made up of three different components: spirit, soul and body. We are a spirit, we have a soul (this makes up the inner man) and we live in a physical body (the outer man). As three-part beings we have different functions to our individual existence.
Starting with our spirit, our spirit is what connects us to God. As we know, in the beginning God’s holiness was violated by what took place through Adam. In Genesis 3:3 we see that God told Adam that if he was to eat from the Tree of Life he would die. Shortly after this statement from the Lord we see that Adam and Eve made the decision to eat from the Tree of Life, yet Adam did not drop over dead; why not? Because the death the Lord was referring to could not have been a sudden, physical death, but instead it was in reference to a spiritual one. This spiritual death did not mean that Adam suddenly ceased to live in the spiritual part of himself, but rather, it means that he was separated from God and could no longer walk with God in the cool of the day.
On a side note: it is my opinion that this potentially may be the point where human language began because in the garden the language wasn’t hebrew, greek, or english. I believe there was no language at that time; the conversation was a heart to heart conversation. Adam thought it and God knew it. God thought it and Adam knew it. It could be that when Adam ‘died’ he lost that form of spiritual communication with God, thus resorting to the crude natural form of interaction used for the created things of this natural world… speech. Man for the first time may have had to communicate to God from his natural tongue instead of spiritually. It may not be the case, but it is very interesting to think about.
When Adam died, or was separated from God, it was a direct result of taking the devil’s word over God’s. This caused Adam to give over his dominion, all of his rights and to rule the natural world, to the devil. It was this action that caused spiritual death/separation to take place for all of mankind. It was through this action by the first Adam, that sin entered the world and mankind was separated from our spirit-to-spirit connection with God. In order for God to reconnect mankind to Himself, there needed to be payment for the sin that had taken place. We see in 1 Corinthians 15:45 that the Word says, “And so it is written, ‘The first man Adam became a living being.’ The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.” Jesus was the second and the last Adam. What He did through His death on the cross was the highest achievement in all history. God made the impossible possible through Jesus’ perfect payment. Now, all that needs to take place is for you and I to simply believe in the One that God sent - Jesus! We are living in an age of grace where redemption from this fallen world is made possible through the sacrifice that Jesus made. When we believe and receive this, we are going back to the original state again. This is why His sheep hear His voice because we are reconnected in the Spirit. This is a picture of the meaning to be born again, or back to our original connection with God, and it is even better today because it is all based on Jesus!
Now the second part to this is our soul. Our soul is made up of our mind, will and emotions. It is our driving force, it’s where we feel emotions, where we process thoughts and make decisions. We cannot rely only on our soul because it is carnal and it heavily relies on the things of this world. It is where we feel things; it wants to be comforted, to feel good and have what it wants. It is important that we understand that our soul is not automatically regenerated when we receive Jesus. When we receive Jesus, we are given all things that accompany salvation, but now it is our responsibility to uncover and understand what we have been given! This makes it necessary for us to train our soul to line up with the Word of God as Romans 12:2 teaches.
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2 (NKJV)
Renewing our mind to God’s Word is how we line up our soul and better understand what was done for us in the spirit through the death on the cross. That is why it is so important to express to believers the understanding of our life after the cross. Yes, you have been saved from your sin - but now, there is a maturing and growth that needs to take place. When we align our soul with the spirit, the spirit begins pouring into our natural life. John 4:24 says that God is a spirit; He is not man. He doesn’t talk like we talk to one another. As you read earlier, God talks in the spirit and has desired that from the beginning. Talking in the spirit means that He talks heart-to-heart with us. When God’s Spirit speaks, our spirit knows it. It is important for us to keep our soul renewed so that we can clearly hear what His Spirit is saying. Then, our flesh must also follow suit! The third aspect to our make-up is our flesh, and in this context it is speaking of our natural body. When we discipline our flesh according to the Word of God and consistently keep our mind, will and emotions renewed, our lives become an open channel for the Holy Spirit to flow through! You will see lives changed around you because of these simple truths. The love and power of God actively inside of you will radiate out of your life and will demand an explanation! This is God’s best for you and I - that we learn to fire on all three cylinders, being a complete man and walking in the fullness of what He has done.
By knowing what your inner man is made up of, it begins to give you the ability to have the spiritual life of God manifest in your natural world. Another way of saying it would be that the super gets on your natural. I hope this blessed you today! Continue to transform your mind to the Word of God and keep on walking in God’s promises for you! Be the complete man!
For the Glory of Jesus,