The Parts of Man in the Bible
“May your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23
The Bibles shows us that God created man as a vessel with three parts: the spirit, the soul, and the body. See diagram below:
The Body is simply the physical body which contacts the things of the physical world. It is the most superficial part of man.
The Soul is the mental faculty which contacts the things of the physiological world. It is a deeper part of man.
The Spirit is the deepest part of man which contacts the spiritual world and the things of God.
The Difference between the Soul and Spirit
"For the word of God is living and operative and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit and of joints and marrow, and able to discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart." Hebrews 4:12
In Hebrews 4:12 we see there is a difference between our soul and spirit. This is why Christians may be going through outward suffering, yet we still have a sense of deep inward peace. We need to know these parts of our being.
In the universe there are three different worlds: the physical, the psychological, and the spiritual; and because man is of three different parts, he is able to contact these three different realms. First of all, there is the physical world, with so many material things. We contact the physical world through the five senses of our physical body: hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting, and feeling. Then there is the spiritual world. Is it possible for us to contact the spiritual world by the five senses of our body? Of course not. The spiritual world can only be contacted by our spirit. In our spirit we have the spiritual sense by which we can sense God.
Basic Elements of the Christian Life, Volume 1, by Witness Lee & Watchman Nee, Living Stream Ministry, Chapter 5, pg. 38
How to Care for the Parts of our Being.
- For problems of the Body we may need to see a doctor.
- For problems of the Mind we may need to see a psychiatrist.
- For problems of the Spirit only God can solve them.
You can read more about the parts of man in Basic Elements of the Christian Life, Volume 1. Request Your Free Copy.