When God created man, God made him spirit, soul and body. (I Thessalonians 5:23). i.e. Man has a spirit, a soul and a body. All of us are aware of what our body looks like, because we can see it. The soul is that part of us, which has our mind, our will and our emotions. It is the inner part of us from which our thoughts, choices and emotional feelings originate. The spirit is the real life giving` part of us.
Spirit: The life giving part of us.
Soul: The part which consists of our mind, will and emotions.
Mind———-Thinks———Thoughts come out.
Will————Decides——-Decisions come out.
Emotions—–Feel————Feelings come out.
Body: The physical body.
LIFE WITHOUT CHRIST
All men are sinners by birth. Since Adam sinned, the whole of humanity which sprang from him are sinners. So when we were living without Christ, we were living a sinful life separated from God. Our spirit, soul and body were all sinful
Our spirit was sinful and was separated from God. The following Scriptures portray this.
Dead in trespasses and sins
Being alienated from the life of God.
Though physically alive, we were spiritually dead because our sinful spirit was separated from God’s Spirit on account of its sinfulness.
Our mind, will and emotions were all ruled by wicked lusts. The Bible explains this in the following verses.
Enemies (of God) in your mind by wicked works
We all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of the flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind and were by nature children of wrath just as others.
Our body was a slave to the law of sin. This law of sin, pulled our body to do sinful and selfish things.
The law of sin is in my members
So, when we were living without Christ, our Spirit, Soul and Body were totally sinful.
LIFE IN CHRIST
When we accept Lord Jesus Christ as our personal savior and are baptized, and continue to abide in Christ by obeying His commandments, we are said to be “in Christ” (i.e. we are inside Christ) or “Christ in us” (i.e. Christ is inside us). When we are in Christ, not only our past sins are forgiven, we are also made into a new creation
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; Old things have passed away; behold all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ.
(2 Corinthians. 5: 17, 18)
The above Scripture says that when we are in Christ, we are a new creation and that all things have become new, and now all things are of God.
We will now look in detail how our spirit, soul and body have become a new creation.
The Scriptures show, that when we are in Christ, we have a new spirit, and that our spirit is one with the Lord’s Spirit. Our spirit is hence a new creation.
Thus says the Lord God, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.
(Ezekiel 36: 22, 26, 27)
He who is joined to The Lord is one spirit with Him.
(1Corinthians 6: 17)
We now have a new spirit, and God puts His Spirit within us and cause us to walk in His statutes.
We will now see how our Soul becomes a new creation. We know that our soul consists of our mind, our will and our emotions. Romans chapters 7& 8 vividly portray the inner life of a believer. Let’s study in depth to know, how as a believer we have a new mind, new will and new emotions.
- New Mind:
The following verses show the mind of a believer.
I thank God through our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God
(Romans 7: 25)
I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind
(Romans 7: 23)
The Lord says: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts
(In Romans 7:23, we read about the law in my members, and about the law of my mind. What does a law mean? A law is something which is always the same or consistent, like the law of gravity. We know that gravity pulls all bodies downwards all the time. Hence gravity is a law. Similarly there is a consistent power called sin in my body. And in my mind I have a consistent desire to obey God)
So, from the above Scriptures we know, that when we are in Christ, there is a law in our mind to serve the law of God. We have a consistent desire to obey God.
- New Will:
The following Bible verses show how the will of a believer is.
For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice
From the above verse, we can observe that,
I will to do good (I am willing to do good)
I will, not to do evil (I am not willing to do evil)
To will is present with me.
(Romans 7: 18)
So when we are in Christ, our will is in accordance with God’s will.
- New Emotions :
The following verses portray the emotions of a believer.
I delight in the law of God according to the inward man.
(Romans 7: 22)
I hate evil.
(Romans 7:15, 19)
(But what I hate that I do …..Romans 7: 15
But the evil I will not to do, that I practice……Romans 7: 19)
So, when we are in Christ, our emotions are tuned to God.
It is clear now, that when we are in Christ, we have a new Soul. Our new Soul has the new mind, new will and new emotions which are all God ward. Our mind has God’s law written on them. Our will and emotions are also in tune with God. We want to do good and we delight to do good. We don’t want to do evil and we hate evil.
In our new mind
God’s law has been written
We know what is good and evil.
There is a law in our mind to serve God’s law
In our new will
We want to do good.
We don’t want to do evil.
In our new emotions
We delight to do good.
We hate to do evil
OUR SOUL CAN ONLY URGE US; IT CANNOT PERFORM ACTION
Our Soul has only the power to urge us. It does not have the physical power to perform an action.
Romans 7:18 says,
I can will what is right but I cannot perform it. (I have the intention and urge to do what is right, but no power to carry it out.)
Words inside brackets from The Amplified Bible.
Think about the condition of a fully paralyzed person. He may think of moving his limbs or desire to walk, but he is unable to do any of these things because his soul can only think, desire and decide. It has only the intention and urge to do anything. The power to carry out any action lies only within the body.
We will now have a look into how our body becomes a new creation when we accept Christ.
I see another law in my members warring against the law of my mind and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members
(Romans 7: 23)
Our body can be compared to a slave under a master called sin, which makes the body commit sin always. Like the force of gravity which always pulls anything downward, the law of sin always pulls the body to do sinful and selfish things.
As we have already seen, the soul has only the intention and urge to do anything. The power to carry any action lies within the body. Sin is that power within the body which drives the body to sin.
But when we accept Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior and are baptized, the Bible says,
“We were buried with Christ through baptism into death”
(Romans 6: 4)
“Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Christ, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin”
(Romans 6: 6)
We now know that the old sinful body was crucified with Christ.
Romans 8: 10, 11 says,
And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness (that He imputes to you)
But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
(Words inside brackets from The Amplified Bible)
When Christ lives in us, though our sinful body is dead, the Spirit lives in us, because of God’s righteousness that He imputes to us. And that Spirit, Who raised Jesus from the dead, will also restore to life our mortal body.
So when Christ lives in us,
- Our sinful body dies.
- God’s righteousness is imputed to us.
- Because of God’s righteousness, the Spirit of God lives in us.
- The Spirit of God restores to life our mortal body.
Romans 3: 21, 22 says,
But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and Prophets,
Even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference.
Just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works.
When we believed in Christ, God imputed His righteousness to us. The word ‘imputes’ means ‘attributes’. That is, God attributes His righteousness to us. God’s righteousness becomes our attribute. The word ‘attribute’ means the quality regarded as a natural or typical part of somebody. So God’s righteousness becomes a natural or typical part of our body.
So when Christ lives in us, the sinful body is dead. But now we have a body where God’s righteousness dwells. And the Spirit lives in us because of God’s righteousness.
In a nutshell, when we are in Christ,
- The body of sin is dead.
- The body with God’s righteousness imputed is raised up by the Spirit of God who lives in our body because of God’s righteousness.
When we are in Christ, our name hence changes from a “sinner” to a “righteous” person because our sins were nailed to the cross and God’s righteousness was imputed to us.
For by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous
(Romans 5: 19)
Thus the divine exchange which took place on the cross, where Christ took upon Himself our sins and gave us His righteousness becomes effective.
God made Him (Christ) who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God
(2 Corinthians 5: 21)
Also by that divine exchange, our sinful spirit has gone away and a new spirit with God’s righteousness is given to us. The Spirit of God fills that new spirit. Since our spirit is now one with God’s Spirit, our spirit becomes alive – (as discussed earlier under “new spirit”)
Also, our soul with its sinful nature has gone away and a new soul imputed with God’s righteousness and hence filled with God’s Spirit has been given to us. Therefore our mind, will and emotions are all Godward – (as discussed earlier under “new soul”)
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation; Old things have passed away; behold all things have become new. Now all things are of God
(2 Corinthians 5: 17 & 18)
Body’s new Master – God’s Righteousness
Now sin the power which drove our body is gone.
God’s righteousness is the new power inside our body now.
Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death or of obedience leading to righteousness
But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered.
And having been set free from sin, you have become slaves of righteousness”
(Romans 6: 16 – 18)
When we just present ourselves as a slave to obey Christ (not try to be a slave but just present ourselves as a slave), sin is no longer our master; but God’s righteousness is our new master. When sin was our master it drove our body to do sinful and selfish things. When God’s righteousness is our master, it drives our body to do righteous and loving things. The Spirit of God who raised Jesus from the dead is now living in us.
Now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness
Just as God’s righteousness is our master, God’s Spirit is also our master
To present ourselves as a slave to obey Christ means to pray whole heartedly, “Lord I surrender myself to you to obey you totally, all the days of my life”. When we do this and continue to live a surrendered life, God’s righteousness and God’s Spirit becomes our master driving our spirit, soul and body in paths of righteousness.
Our body imputed with God’s righteousness is a temple for The Lord.
Now the body is for The Lord and The Lord for the body
Your bodies are members of Christ
Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God
Ephesians 2: 4 – 10 also explains how, when we were dead in trespasses, God raised us up together with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly places.
God Who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ ( by grace you have been saved ) and raised us up together and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus
That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves. It is the gift of God not of works, lest anyone should boast.
For we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. We are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
We are God’s workmanship or God’s project created in Christ Jesus. It is all by grace lest anyone should boast.
Grace is the freely given, undeserved favor of God. We were unworthy sinners, and there is no merit in us that deserves being blessed by God. All the blessings that we receive from God are purely by His grace and grace alone.
Imagine you have a promise card inside your Bible. The card will go along with your Bible, wherever you take the Bible and go. Similarly,
You were inside Christ when He was on the cross and was crucified along with Him.
You were inside Christ when He was made alive.
You were inside Christ when He was raised up.
You were inside Christ when He sat down with God.
Your life is now hidden in Christ.
So when we are in Christ, we are a brand new creation. Our old spirit, soul and body has passed away; all things have become new. Now our spirit, soul and body are full of God. We are righteous now with God’s imputed righteousness and Christ lives in us. This is called as Justification. (i.e.) When we put our faith in Christ and on His finished work on the cross, we are clothed in God’s righteousness and we stand justified or righteous before God.
Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
This is the real depth of the salvation offered to us by our Lord and Savior Lord Jesus Christ.
To know what this means to you, imagine you were a poor person with no resources for livelihood. For sustaining yourself you kept borrowing money from a moneylender. Slowly your debt accumulated with the interest became very high, that you could never repay it. You have literally sold yourself to the moneylender and he becomes your master. He starts harassing you and forces you to be his servant. He comes to you at any time of the day and commands you to do laborious tasks. You become totally fed up. But you cannot say a word, because you are a debtor to him. You have no other choice, but to obey him and do what he commands.
Then one day a great king comes along. He takes pity on you and pays back all your debts and redeems you from the moneylender. He then takes you to his palace and adapts you as his child. He lovingly transfers all his wealth worth trillions and trillions of rupees into your account. Oh! How you will you rejoice over this sudden turn of events and be profusely thankful to the king, who is now your loving dad.
Now you are a wealthy prince. You have abundant money to buy any valuable thing you desire. At this point of time with all that wealth at your disposal will you ever go to the money lender to borrow some money, say a thousand rupees? Never. And can that moneylender now come and harass you and make you do menial jobs as he did before? And if he ever comes to trouble you, will you feel helpless as you felt before? No, Not at all. You know you are a rich prince now. You will rise up boldly and chase that fellow away.
Similarly, when we were slaves to sin, we had no choice but to obey its demands and live a sinful life. But we are no more a debtor to sin. We now have the righteousness of God. God’s righteousness is the greatest righteousness, which is 100% righteous. With that greatest wealth with us, we can reign like a king, rise up boldly and say no to sin.
For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
Most of our lives are driven by feelings. When we feel good, we feel God is with us. When we feel low, we think that God is not with us. But the Word of God should drive our lives. God’s Word says that when we are “In Christ”, we are a new creation with Christ living in us. Let us imagine in our mind that we have got a new spirit filled with God’s Spirit, a new soul with godly desires, godly intentions and urges and a new body imputed with God’s righteousness. Christ is dwelling inside us. We are holy and blameless and above reproach in God’s sight now. (Colossians 1:22). We are as righteous as Christ is and we are accepted as God’s beloved children. That should give us joy, immense joy. Let us live our life everyday with such an imagination till it becomes a part of us.