Spirit, Soul, Body | The Institute for Creation Research
Spirit, Soul, Body

"And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Thessalonians 5:23)

The threefold nature of mankind reflects, to a degree, the triune nature of the Godhead. Just as each member of the triune God is complete and wholly God, yet distinct, so each aspect of mankind is also the whole, yet distinct. The body of man comprises the entire man, yet he also possesses certain soulish emotions, desires, and propensities; and finally, the total man is endowed with a spiritual, eternal nature, somehow reflecting the image of God.

These three reflect the three great creative acts of God during creation week, identified by the three usages of the Hebrew word bara, or create. "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth" (Genesis 1:1); i.e., physical material. Later, certain of this physical material was granted consciousness (1:21), which man shares with animals. On the sixth day, man was created as a spiritual being "in the image of God" (1:27), setting him qualitatively distinct from the animals, though he shares body and consciousness with the animals.

As in our text, when the "God of peace" sets about the task of sanctifying representatives of sinful, fallen mankind, restoring such ones to a measure of Christ-likeness, He does so in the order mentioned, beginning with a spiritual awakening. Then, through the transformed spirit, the soul is reached, and finally the body, with its appetites and lusts.

The wisdom of man says just the opposite, claiming the inner man can be improved by changing outside influences, a mentality all too often reflected even in evangelistic efforts. God's way is to start with the inner man--the root of the problem--and then affect the outer man. JDM

The Latest
NEWS
Supersaurus-Sized Dinosaur No Match for the Flood
Scientists are still trying to out-do each another by finding the biggest dinosaur. Brian Curtice, from the Arizona Museum of Natural History, recently...

NEWS
Inside December 2021 Acts & Facts
How can we understand Christ’s role as our mediator from a scientific perspective? Why was ICR's first dinosaur excavation significant for...

APOLOGETICS
Christ’s Providence Is Clearly Seen in Bird Migrations
Just as monkeys can’t accidently type Shakespeare texts, birds can’t migrate by evolutionary luck, despite imagined eons of time for “lucky”...

ACTS & FACTS
Creation Kids: Snowflakes
by Christy Hardy and Susan Windsor* You’re never too young to be a creation scientist! Kids, discover fun facts about God’s creation with...

ACTS & FACTS
The Gift of God Himself
Each Christmas we remember how deeply God loves us. His wondrous plan of salvation—first set in motion in the Garden of Eden—was miraculously...

ACTS & FACTS
Early Land Plant Evolution?
In a recent Science article, two evolutionists consider land plants (embryophytes) to have evolved from stoneworts (charophyte algae).1 A...

ACTS & FACTS
Biblical Creation and Intellectual Foolishness
In a recent interview discussing his new book In Quest of the Historical Adam, philosopher and Christian apologist William Lane Craig acknowledged his...

ACTS & FACTS
Are Birds “Cousins” to Reptiles?
Are today’s birds genealogical “cousins” to today’s reptiles due to a shared evolutionary ancestry? No. However, birds and...

ACTS & FACTS
Haleakala National Park: One of Many Young-Looking Volcanoes
You can start the day atop the cold peak of Mt. Haleakala and end it on a warm beach on Maui. The sprawling volcanic mountain rises 10,000 feet above...

ACTS & FACTS
The Oceans Point to a Young Earth
by Jeffrey P. Tomkins, Ph.D., and Tim Clarey, Ph.D.* Over 70% of Earth's surface is covered by water, most of which is marine and contained in...