Man is a Tri Fold Being (composed of a body, soul (mind, will, emotions, heart) and a spirit)
The word "soul" is mentioned over 450 times and the word "spirit" over 500 times in the Bible, by multiple writers. This alone is powerful evidence that these two words cannot mean the same thing. The body of a person is the biological housing of the soul, which allows the soul to maintain a connection with the material world, through the use of the five physical senses and a biological brain but it is also able to communicate with the spirit realm, God, devils, angels, and of course itself. The spirit of a human being is not something that can be intellectually understood. In other words man’s brain through the use of the five senses can never understand the composition and characteristics of the spirit. However, though the soul cannot understand or influence our spirit, our spirit can and does exert a certain kind of god like inspiration to the soul, creating within the soul a rather crude image, in the natural, when compared to what God is in spirit.
The bible says the spirit of a man is the candle of the Lord. Through close study of God's word, I visualize Christ's Spirit as that flame which lights that candle at the very instant we confess Jesus Christ as Lord of all. (Pro.20:27, Rom.10:9) There is no indication in scripture that before the new birth, when the "breath of life spirit" unites with Christ's redemptive Spirit, is a human being a fully functioning self aware spirit being. On the contrary, scriptures suggest just the opposite especially when scriptures gives us the reason for God not allowing Adam to become exposed to the "tree of Life" after sinning. (Gen.3:22) Adding strength to those "tree of life" scriptures is the scripture which states that the first man Adam was made a living soul and the last Adam was made a quickening Spirit. This scripture is contrasting Adam with Jesus Christ.(1Cr.15:45). If Adam had indeed been made a living spirit wouldn't it be more important to list that fact here before listing a fact about the soul, especially since this is contrasting the difference between the nature of mankind to nature of Jesus at his natural birth? All I'm saying is that I simply cannot find scriptures supporting the belief of many Christians that says Adam was a fully formed self aware spiritual being whose spirit became corrupted when he sinned, thus passing on a corrupted spirit to every other human being who came after him. Simply put, This commonly accepted theological idea makes a lot of seemingly rational assumptions which I cannot find scriptures to back them up. Yet, there is strong evidence that the spiritual part of Adam was not a fully formed "self-realizing" being in the first place. The strongest in my opinion, can be gleaned from that description of the tree of life but there are others which speak just as convincingly as much by what they don't say as by what they do say. Ecclesiastes 12:7 doesn't say that mankind's spirit goes to hell. It says that it returns to God who gave it. In Mat. 10:28 Jesus mentions the soul going to hell but not the spirit.
The bible says God formed the first man Adam from the dust of the ground, breathed on him, and he became a living soul. However, the bible says nothing about God’s spirit becoming a part of our spirit, at that point. (Zec.12:1) Legally, that would be a violation of our will. To be perfectly holy, God must never violate another being’s freedom of choice. He gives every angel, creature and man complete freedom, to choose within the limits of their created bounds. The Bible makes it very clear that we do not automatically have the Spirit of God at birth. Jesus, himself, said a man must be born again. First, we must be born in the flesh and secondly, born in spirit to see the kingdom of God. (Jhn.3: 3-5) The bible reinforces further the fact that man’s spirit is different from God’s Spirit, before we are born again. The Bible says very clearly, that the spirit of man is limited to only knowledge pertaining to man and is incapable of understanding anything that pertains to the Spirit of God. (1 Cr. 2:11)
Although our spirit is different from God’s Spirit, it is created in the image of God and designed to unite with the Spirit of God. (Pro.20:27) This union does not happen automatically, though. It only happens when God knows that he has our approval, more precisely put, when we confess Jesus, as Lord of all, and choose to believe that God raised him from the dead. (Rom. 10:9) Our spirit is not alive to the things of God, until that union with Christ's Spirit takes place (Rom. 8:9), much in the same way that a female egg only becomes a unique human being, after it unites with a male sperm. I can find nowhere in the bible where Adam is described as being initially formed, with the Spirit of God living within his spirit. Only the man Jesus was conceived fully formed, as a quickening Spirit, while Adam was made a living soul, with just the spirit of a man. (1 Cr. 15:45)
The Bible says God created man in his own image. (Gen. 1:26-27) The Hebrew word for image here is “tselum” and comes from a root word “to shade”. It also means “phantom”. Here, the bible is describing our soul as being a reflection of God’s Spirit, which has no real spiritual life within itself, to become a son of God, without first, having our spirit united with the Spirit of Christ Jesus. (Jhn.1:12) As a shadow has no real material substance, our soul has no real spiritual substance, to be able to function, in the spiritual realm as the angels do. At the natural birth, mankind is given material substance (flesh) and a soul (mind, will, emotions), but no where in the bible can I find where man is given a fully functional spiritual conscientiousness. The 1st chapter of Genesis seems to confirm this idea, because it goes on to describe God, giving mankind authority over the material creation, but mentions nothing about giving mankind any type of spiritual authority. How could he give spiritual authority to some one who is not a fully functional spiritual being? Remember, a candle is not functional until it is lit. At the time of his natural birth, mankind is not a fully functional spiritual being, just a spiritual egg waiting to be joined with the Spirit of Christ.
Angels provide further evidence for what I am saying. We know angels are spiritual beings, because the Bible says they are. Psalms 104:4 says, “The Lord makes His angels spirits”. There is no mention in the Bible of an angel dying, who has sinned. They are chained up, thrown into a bottomless pit or a lake of fire forever, but there is no indication that they die, nor is there any indication that they receive forgiveness or even have a provision for the forgiveness of their sins. Is it possible that angels are incapable of receiving forgiveness for their sins? God said partaking of the tree of life, which was a provision outside of Christ, to receive eternal life, would cause Adam and Eve to live forever in their sins, as it seems, is the case for angels. There is no indication anywhere in the bible that supports forgiveness of sins for fully self aware spiritual beings. Man is special. He, alone, was made a little lower than the angels, because God only gave him a spiritual receptor capable of being made fully functional in spirit, either by the tree of life, or the spirit of Christ. But only the spirit of Christ could provide justification and redemption and make him a son of God. Had he partaken of the tree of life, he would have become a spirit being but would have lacked the ability to become a son and would have had no provision for sin. I believe this is why God did not give Adam a fully functional living spirit. It would have been a vain and irresponsible act to have done so knowing what the future had in store. God is not vain nor irresponsible. If God had given man a fully formed spirit, man, like the angels who sinned, would have been forced to live in his sins forever, which is evidenced further by the short discussion the Trinity had between themselves about the reason for expelling Adam and Eve from the garden. In Genesis 3:22, “The Lord God said, behold the man has become like one of us, to know good and evil. And now, least he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever-”. God realized, if Adam and Eve had eaten of the tree of life, after sinning, they would have become alive in spirit and then lived forever in their sins. I believe the reason they would have lived forever in their sin is because the tree of life would have given them spiritual life outside of Christ, which would have condemned them to live in sin forever, as Satan lives forever in his sin.
It makes sense, that God would have created man in this fashion, for at least three reasons. The first reason was to protect his most prized creation from sin and the devil. Secondly, legally, he needed to respect man’s freedom to choose (will) by providing another sinless choice to gain spiritual life, through the tree of life. This choice prevented God from forcing his will on man, by giving him another way to gain spiritual life, himself. Thirdly, he was planning to have, not just more servants, but a family.
The very nature of God, himself, supports my thoughts on this matter also. God is immutable, incapable of being changed from without. He also knows everything that has happened and everything that will happen down to the finest detail. Therefore, Satan could never hope, on his best day, to ruin God’s plans. Yet, I believe that is exactly what would have happened, if man had been made a spiritually alive being, by eating from the tree of life and then sinning. There would have been no provision for redemption from sin. After sinning, he would have lived forever in his sins, as the angels do. Therefore, God devised a plan, before the foundation of the world, to cause the resurrected spirit of his first begotten son, to join with the spiritually inanimate spirit of man, which not only gives man spiritual life, but also becomes the propitiation for all his sin, past, present and future. Christ’s Spirit joined with our spirit makes it not only possible for us to be alive spiritually and forgiven of our sins, but it also provides the means for us to become the sons of God and joint heirs with Christ in the family of God, with no possibility of ever being separated from the living God by anything. (Rom. 8:39)
I believe the process I am describing here is exactly what Jesus saw in his mind, when he uttered on the cross, “It is finished” and then died. His death on the cross finished what he had started long before the beginning of time.
Why does it matter whether Adam was a living spirit or not when he was created? For one reason, if we believe otherwise, it weakens our faith in God and strengthens a false belief in the power of Satan. To think that man had it all in the garden, and lost it, promotes a mindset of defeatism. If Adam started out sinless in the garden, and was defeated by Satan and sin, how could we, who are born into sin, ever hope to become over comers, ourselves. On the other hand, if we realize that we have the spirit of God living within us, as Christians, and also realize that Adam did not have Christ living in his spirit, we can start to form a basis for understanding how much more empowered we are to live under the new covenant, than Adam was, who lived a short time, as a sinless soul, walking and talking with God on earth, but never really knowing God like we have the ability to know him, in spirit and in truth. It is a foundational truth like this that helps us understand who we are in Christ. As we gain a better understanding of what I am saying here, it greatly helps us operate in more and more of his supernatural power, during our time here on earth.
This is just an introduction to my teaching on Spirit, Body and Soul. There is much more to be said which is very important to know if one hopes to understand the deeper truths in the word of God as they apply to one's own endeavors in life.