New Defender's Study Bible Notes
5:23 spirit and soul and body. This verse proves that man is a tri-unity of soul, body, and spirit, patterned in a sense after the divine Godhead, in whose image he was both created and made (Genesis 1:26,27). The spirit and soul often seem to be the same, in many contexts, but that they are not the same is evident by the fact that the Word of God can divide them asunder (Hebrews 4:12). They are both invisible, representing the reality of which the body is only the outward expression. The fact that it is so difficult to distinguish between them has led many to assume they are synonymous; but this verse and others (especially Hebrews 4:12) make it certain they are not identical. Perhaps the non-physical part of man could be called the soul/spirit complex. Although probably too simplistic, it is convenient to think of the soul, body and spirit as representing the mental, physical and spiritual components of man, respectively. Another way is to look at the human tri-unity as one’s essential nature, his bodily person, and his spiritually influencing personality. In any case, all three aspects of our being—soul, body, spirit—are eternal.