Man a Trinity (Spirit, Soul, Body)
Study By: Lehman Strauss
The Christian doctrine of immortality cannot be understood apart from the right conception of the tripartite nature of men. many think that man is a physical being only. there is a great danger of any man thinking thus of himself. In his desire to satisfy the needs of the body there is the tendency on man’s part to lose sight of the fact that he is immortal. there have been persons who have lived all of their lives either in ignorance or willful neglect of a life after death, but upon their death-bed they suddenly realized that they were more than physical beings.
There is an idea also that prevails largely today that man consists of only two component parts: namely, body and spirit. In the thinking of the writer this view appears to be one that might create confusion in the minds of any Christians. While soul and spirit are so closely related that it is sometimes difficult to distinguish accurately between them, there seems to be only one logical conclusion: namely, that “soul” and “spirit” are not the same. the Bible does make a distinction.
Man is a triune being because he is created in the image of God. “God said, Let us make man in Our image” (Genesis 1:26). We know that God is a Trinity. the Holy Trinity is clearly set forth in the Apostle Paul’s benediction that closed his second Corinthian Epistle: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen” (2 Corinthians 13:14). Our Lord Himself said, in what we call “The great Commission”: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 28:19). Created in the image of God, man is likewise a trinity. He has a spiritual nature that is separate and distinct from the body in which it dwells.
The two following passages from the Bible clearly establish the fact that man is a triune being composed of spirit, soul, and body:
I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:23).
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow (body), and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).
In spite of the erroneous teaching of “Jehovah’s Witnesses” and of other false sects that “no man has a soul,” the Bible states emphatically that man was created a trinity of spirit, soul, and body even as the eternal God is Himself a trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. the trinity of man is an essential part of the image relationship between him and God. Life is not ultimately physical and the body is not the whole man. and we might add that neither the body in itself, nor the soul in itself, nor the spirit in itself makes up the whole man, but he is “spirit and soul and body.” this must be seriously considered and definitely agreed to before we can comprehend with any accuracy the subject of life after death. In this opening chapter we shall confine our material to the spirit and the soul inasmuch as the body will be considered in succeeding chapters on the resurrection.