(This Bible Brief is the FIRST in a series of studies on the subject of THE DOCTRINE OF MAN.)
“What is man, that thou art mindful of him? And the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and Honor. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet” (Ps. 8:4-6). (See also Jn. 2:24-25; Job 7:17; Ps. 103:15-16; 144:3-4; Heb. 2:6-8.)
With this study, we begin a series of outline studies on the subject of holiness. It is truthfully said that, “The salvation of the soul is a miracle that takes only a moment of time, but to be experientially conformed to the “image of Christ” takes a lifetime.
Godliness is the result of God’s ability and will to glorify Himself by reproducing His holiness in the believer. In order for the believer to understand, pursue, and acquire a measure of sanctification-holiness-godliness in his life, he must first know something of man’s nature or makeup. He must know how God made man. He must know what assets God gave man in order for God’s holiness to be reproduced in man, i.e., to be godly. A godly person is one that has experientially set himself apart to the correct use for which he was created.
I. Man was created with a body, soul and spirit: (1 Thess. 5:23). This is called a “trichotomy.”
A. Man is one part material (body…Ps. 139:13-17; 1 Cor. 15:44) and two parts immaterial (soul and spirit…1 Sam. 1:15; Job 7:11; Isa. 26:9; Heb. 4:12).
B. Though each part of man is distinct and separate (Job 14:22; Dan. 9:15; Mt. 10:28; Acts 2:31; 1 Cor. 6:20; Jas. 2:26), they are sometimes used and spoken of interchangeably depending on the context (called a Synecdoche).
C. Man was created in the image of God (Gen. 1:27). The image of God is the ability to know, love, appreciate, worship and serve God “in spirit and truth.” Note: You can’t have eternal life without the “image” of God.
1. The “blood” is to the body what the “image of God” is to man (Gen. 9:6); i.e., you can’t have life without the “blood.”
2. The “woman” is to the man what the “image of God” is to the man (1 Cor. 11:7); i.e., the “woman” completes the man.
3. Man is completed by the “image of God.”
4. The “image of God” gave to man the dominion, authority, and headship over all the earth” (1 Cor. 11:1-16).
II. The Human Body is the house for the soul and spirit: (1 Cor. 5:1) … a temporary dwelling place.
A. The body is not the real person. The real person (personality) is inside. That with which we are most familiar and what we behold most often in the mirror is not the most important part of man. The body is only the coffer which holds the jewels (Mt. 16:26)
B. The body is a vehicle with which man can communicate externally that which is inside of him (Lk. 6:45). The soul and spirit design our behavior and the body executes it.
III. The soul is that part of man which gives him a consciousness of himself and the world around-about him: (Job 14:22; 1 Kgs. 17:19-23; Mk. 8:36-37; 1 Cor. 15:45-50).
A. The soul is the source of all behavior—good or bad.
B. The soul is generally identified as the mind, emotion, conscience, self-consciousness and will of man (2 Kgs. 4:27; Ps.107: 5, 9, 18, 26; Mt. 26:38; Mk. 12:33; Jn. 12:27).
C. The soul has the capacity to learn, understand, appreciate and behave in relationship to the world around-about.
IV. The spirit of man is the most important part of man: (Zech. 12:1). It is this human spirit which is the “image” of God—this spirit alone is what enables man to know, love, appreciate, worship and serve God in spirit and truth (Rom. 1:9; Phil. 3:3).
A. It is a fixed and clear fact of Scripture:
- “that which is born of Spirit is spirit” (Jn. 3:6);
- that “God is Spirit” (Jn. 4:24);
- that God the Father is the Father of our spirits” (Heb. 12:9);
- that “we are His offspring” (Acts 17:28-29);
- that only spirit can know spirit (1 Cor. 2:9-11);
- that only spirit can worship spirit (Jn. 4:23-24);
- that only spirit can serve spirit (Rom. 1:9; 7:6; 12:11);
- and that only spirit can receive revelation from spirit (Rev. 1:10; 1 Cor. 2:10).
B. The spirit is to the soul what the blood is to the body (Lev. 17:11, 14).
- Please notice the importance the Apostle Paul puts on the spirit of man by placing it first in rank and order (1 Thess. 5:23).
- Notice how the Apostle Paul illustrates this relationship “every part,” “knit together” (Eph. 4:16; Col. 2:19).
C. God the Holy Spirit is to the human spirit what the oil is to the oil lamp.
- Notice the intimate relationship God the Holy Spirit has with the human spirit (1 Cor. 2:9-16; Rom. 8:16, 26-27).
- God the Holy Spirit does many things:
a. He is the immediate source of all life, physical and intellectual (Ps. 104:30).
b. He is the revealer of all Divine truth. The Scriptures are especially the product of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 2:4-13).
c. He convicts man of sin (Jn. 16:8).
d. He aids in man’s repentance and faith (2 Cor. 4:13).
e. He regenerates the believer (Titus 3:5-6).
f. He comforts the believer (Phil. 2:1).
g. He sanctifies the believer (2 Thess. 2:13).
h. He testifies to the believer’s salvation (Rom. 8:16).
i. He baptizes the believer into union with Christ and other believers (1 Cor. 12:13; Rom. 6:3-4).
j. He calls the believer to various offices (1 Cor. 12:4-11).
k. He endows the believer with gifts and power for service (Acts 13:2, 4; 1 Cor. 12:4-11).
l. He seals the believer unto the day of redemption (Eph. 4:30).
m. He fills every believer who qualifies (Eph. 5:18).
n. He permanently indwells the believer (1 Cor. 6:19-20; 3:16-17).
- One of the most important things God the Holy Spirit does is to indwell the believer for the express purpose of guiding and empowering the believer to live a godly life (Eph. 3:16-21; Rom. 8:9-11; 1 Cor. 12:11-31).
… A godly man is one …
a. who is regenerated by the Spirit of God (Titus 3:5);
b. who possesses “the [human] spirit which is of God” (1 Cor. 2:11-16; Jn. 3:6; Eph. 4:23-24);
c. who appreciates and responds to the “things of the Spirit of God” (1 Cor. 2:14)…”things” refers back to verse 13 to the teaching of the Holy Spirit, i.e., the Word of God;
d. who is “led by the Spirit of God” (Rom. 8:14);
e. and who bears the “fruit of the Spirit” (Gal. 5:22).