I recently did a couple of teaching posts on “Three Gods or One God” in which I used the “Triune Human Being” as an example of how God can be Three Persons and yet be One God. Today I want to pick up again on that subject, as I think it is very important that we understand our salvation in terms of our triune being.
I want to look at the three individual parts of us which combine to make us a whole person. First of all we have the body, the part of us that people see, in fact this is the part of us which most people think is really us. In actual fact it is not the real us, it is only the house which the real us lives in. The body is made up of skin, muscle, bones and blood etc. We use this house we live in to translate our thoughts, our emotions, our likes and dislikes and so on, into concrete actions which can be felt and heard and seen by ourselves and by other people.
The soul is the emotions, mind, and will. The emotions are things like love, hate, jealousy, peace, joy, sadness, and all the other things we feel inside of us. The mind is the part of us that reasons and calculates and thinks and even dreams up ideas and solutions and so on. The will is the part of us that determines which thought, idea or dream we will go ahead with, and which ones we will abandon. However, none of these things can be expressed, or accomplished without the body; we need a body to make them become a reality, and to give expression to all these inner feelings, thought, dreams and ideas. We can feel them inside of us, imagine them so vividly, see the finished product so clearly in our minds, or, we can become so emotional it feels like we are going to burst, but it requires the body to progress all these things into a tangible or concrete form.
The emotion of love is put into concrete action by the words of love and affection we speak with our tongue, or by giving with our hands, by the smile on our face and the joy that shines in our eyes. Hate is put into concrete action in the same way, but with words of anger and rage, the expression of hate on our face, the black looks we shoot at the person, and so on. Our thoughts and emotions are combined with our will to do, or not to do, as we decide. So the spirit and the soul is the real us, it is the person who we really are, but it is bound up inside our body, and it requires the body to give tangible, or concrete expression to itself.
Our Spirit is the Life Force, it is the spark, the electric current, that breath of life without which we would die. “Ecc 12:7 Your body came from the earth. And when you die, it will return to the earth. But your spirit came from God, and when you die, it will return to God.” We do not know very much at this point in time about the spirit, except for the fact that at salvation our spirits are renewed by God as part of the new creation we have become.
When we become Christians and repent and turn away from our sinful ways, and we put our faith in Jesus as God’s Son, and in His sacrifice for our cleansing and salvation from sin, the Bible tells us we are made “New Creatures” in Christ Jesus because we have been “Born of God” and have become His children. Unfortunately, at this point in time, that only applies to our “Spiritual Being” and not to our flesh. Our “Flesh” will not be renewed until the First Resurrection, or the Rapture. Until that happens the “New Creature” we have become, remains imprisoned, locked up inside our bodies of flesh, which continue to sin, corrupt and rot.
As Christians, our flesh (body) continues to be subject to all kinds of temptations from the world, from our workmates, or friends, from Satan and often from our own fleshly desires, which can spoil our lives, spoil our relationship with God and with each other. Our flesh can still get us into trouble with our parents, friends, teachers, boss, or the police; in fact it can even cause us physical problems with health or mental issues being caused by the way we live. Our flesh is under constant attack from all sides, so there are bound to be times when we sin in our flesh. Here is a thought from the Apostle Paul on the matter.
Eph 2:8 “We have been saved by grace because we believed. We did not save ourselves; it was a gift from God. We are not saved by the things we have done, so there is nothing to boast about.” So we can see that it is only God’s “GRACE” that gets us to heaven, and that grace is given to us as a result of our faith in Jesus Christ. Nothing else. Rom 3:23-25 “All have sinned and are not good enough to share God’s divine greatness. But we are made right with God by His grace. This is a free gift. We are made right with God by being made free from sin through Jesus Christ. God gave Jesus as a way to forgive people’s sins through their faith in him. God can forgive them because the blood sacrifice of Jesus pays for their sins”
We are now free from sin. All of our sins, past, present and future have been paid for by Jesus’ blood sacrifice on the Cross. But this does not mean that we should continue living in sin. God has saved us from sin and given us a new life that has the power to overcome the temptations of our sinful bodies. The more we sin, the more we hurt God who has suffered enough already from our sins. No Christian will ever be completely free from sin until we receive our new bodies at the resurrection, but we should at least be trying to overcome sin in our lives every day.
God wants us to be like Him, to hate all that is evil, and to love all that is good, and this means war with ourselves. Our unregenerate body wants to continue pleasing itself, it doesn’t want to give up all the sins which have given it pleasure in the past, so our body fights for control over the “new creation”, now living inside us, and the “new creation” inside us, fights for control over the body, to not give in to sin.
Where to from here then? I believe that our journey will unfold in several stages. Stage 1. True faith will be proven by genuine repentance. Stage 2. A true love relationship with God will be experienced through our prayer and Bible study. Stage 3. True obedience to God’s word will be revealed through how we live our life. God has adopted us to be His children, He has already forgiven all our sins. God loves us far more than we can ever love Him; all He asks is that we love Him in return, not just through our spiritual worship, but in a way that is tangible, and gives concrete expression through our bodies, by the things we do and the way we live.
Summary. All our sins have already been forgiven. We are not perfect yet. We must keep on trying to be perfect.