IN SPIRIT, SOUL AND BODY
© Carlos Padilla, September 2010
...Now may the God of peace
Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be
preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians
We know that our
target as Christians is to accomplish the Great Commission instructed by our Lord Jesus
Christ, that we go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in
the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to
observe all things that the Lord has commanded us because He is with us always
until the end of times. Trusting, therefore, that He holds all powers in Heaven
as well as on earth, let us go eagerly and urgently because there are
many around us who do not know the Lord, Who is with us, because this is the
best cause, the biggest mission in the Bible in Matthew 28:16-20.
Knowing that our
objective as Church is to go out to the world and win souls for the
Kingdom of the Lord by preaching the Gospel, let's go out and evangelize and
conquer lives for God, following the strategies, revelations and signs of the
Lord. Let us use the media, prayer, fast and all the projects that every
Bible-based and evangelizing church may plan for their members to participate
in, which is reflected in the conquer of the promised land when Joshua led God's
In order to do so, we
have to conquer our own life first or, better said, let ourselves be
conquered by the Lord. Our life has three different battlefields: the spirit,
the soul and the body; and the three of them can become our
tools and means for the spiritual conquer led by the hand of the Holy Spirit.
For those three components not to become an obstacle, we can learn to understand
ourselves in terms of the structure that our Father and Creator has designed and
made so that we are not dominated by others physically, sentimentally and
spiritually and we remain free to serve the Lord efficiently. Only by doing so
we will be able to understand others and serve them with patience and hope in
the Gospel of the Kingdom of the Lord.
Spirit, Soul and Body is a spiritual Bible study to look for the aim, purpose
and mission of our life taking into consideration each of the three components
of the human being, created by God to His image and likeness, for a blessed
Christian life for the Lord, for ourselves and for those around us; in order to
do so, we will put ourselves in the hands of the Holy Spirit, who sanctifies our
bodies, in the hands of Jesus Christ, Teacher of our souls and in the hands of
the Father, Who gave us the Spirit.
text quoted in the first paragraph, Paul of Tarsus, inspired by the Lord's
Spirit, provides us with the keys of the Christian purpose and how to put the whole
of our being to work consciously in the Spirit. Other texts in the Bible, inspired
to other Biblical authors, and from the Lord Himself, must be used as the base
to find our spiritual calling and destiny in Church and in life.
was a Jew and also a Roman citizen, a doctor in the Torah - the Hebrew
Scriptures - taught by Gamaliel, he was a Pharisee and called by Jesus Christ in
a supernatural way to convert to the true Light of the Son of God when he
persecuted Christians, being transformed by the Holy Spirit so he could
understand Christian life, the life that truly pleases God. It is only when we
know God in a personal relationship - through internal religion and not by
merely participating in external religion of tradition and practices - that we
are transformed through faith in the work of the Cross of Christ. Through a
daily life with God, Christians - just like Paul did - come to understand
themselves to share their life with the Lord and their brethren, inside the
Church for the Great Commission and also outside the Church where they will
accomplish their mission, and to keep themselves for eternal
life in His coming.
story is not just another one in the list, since it shines with
God's grace but, just like each of our own individual stories, we can establish
a personal starting point. In fact, God Himself is Who calls us at a specific point in our lives to serve Him
with a specific purpose, and God is also Who enables us and provides us with the
gift or gifts that we will need. But before we go ahead, we need to understand
how we work inside and how there is an effect in what we do in each part of our being, and
in the set order that they appear: spirit, soul and body.
former Bible studies: Virtue about the seven gifts of the Spirit, and
also David and Goliath about the Faith and the Five Stones, have been
of great help to explain how each and every one of us have been called by the
Lord in Christ, like the young and inexperienced David was, and we need to put
our spirit, our soul and our body in the hands of the Lord and in order so that
we look for the guidance of the Holy Spirit, from whom we receive our teaching and in whom we trust, through a personal
relationship with our best friend, faithful friend and Almighty, our Lord Jesus
these studies we learn that our spirit must be born again of the Spirit of God
and that our soul is the target of God's salvation and the centre of our
feelings, emotions and mind's thoughts and that the body must be the Temple of
the Holy Spirit, where He should be the one to rule our feelings, where many of them are against holiness, but He gives us
instinctive discernment to walk away from them.
this brief exposure about the way the internal life of a
Christian works, where salvation occurs, we become conscious of how important the call
to holiness is, a concept that many think is something reserved for
superheroes but it is rather a quality which God provides to everyone He calls
His child, a gift from the Spirit, the willpower that
comes from God for spiritual life hand in hand with the living God, which becomes
a platform for another life, the external life of a Christian, the one that
produces fruits of the Spirit. The first life is for oneself with God, the
second life is for the neighbour with God. If you really want to serve God in
your life, carry on reading in spirit, soul and body.
OF OUR LIVES. CHANGE OF CHARACTER FOR THE GIFT OF GOD
we have understood how we work inside, it is easy to understand that under the
Spirit of the Lord we will be able to share the task with God of working in
ourselves. Only by doing so we will be able to have a deeper
and more spiritual personal relationship with God, and we will also be able to
accomplish our personal spiritual mission, our specific and individual calling
in our life, in serving the Lord and the Church by means of a change in our
character that only God can do inside us and that He reveals to our Spirit,
which in the Scripture is known as the anointment and the baptism of fire.
order to understand the teaching in the Bible regarding the transformation which
the Spirit of the Lord does in our character, we will study the lives of our
brethren in the faith and relevant characters in the Bible. Just like the twelve
tribes have a symbolic reference in the twelve apostles, we also find in the
patriarchs a symbol of the Trinity in Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, as the Father,
the Son and the Spirit. We also find a parallel between God's Trinity and the
trinity of our being, in three apostles that are the pillar of the Church. If we
pay attention to the change in their character when they were born again to the
Spirit we will be able to understand it very clearly. I am talking about John,
Paul and Peter.
is the apostle of the Spirit, the symbolic one, and the one of God's love in
his Gospel, letters and Revelation. The "beloved disciple" who was at the feet
of the Cross. Paul is the apostle of the soul and the mind, due to his
theological education, knowledge of the Greek language, Hellenic
culture and philosophy and his personal experience in his supernatural
conversion. Peter, the apostle of the body, because he received from the Father
the gift of faith on His Son Jesus Christ, and that faith was the rock of
foundation on which the Body of Christ - the Church - is built; the belonging to
God in Christ, to preach to the Jews who have the belonging to the
people of the Lord through Abraham's descendants and they need to receive
Yahshua the Messiah, Jesus Christ, for salvation, like the Gentiles.
character of these three men we will also find three bases of Christian
mission and ministry. John was transformed in his character from being an
aggressive young man, known together with his brother as the Bonaerges "sons of thunder" Mark
3:17, which was clearly shown when they wanted to make fire come down on the
Samaritans who did not receive the Gospel. John was transformed into the apostle
of love, John 3:16 and 1John 3:16.
was transformed from being the zealous scholar of the Law of
Moses, of rabbis' traditions and interpretations, to the apostle to the
Gentiles. His supernatural conversion made him the apostle whom the Lord would
use to take the Gospel everywhere, in every culture, and above all to be the one
who was most zealous in his understanding of the Gospel and thus he would do his
utmost to teach salvation through God's grace, without the religious and
traditional efforts, observances, practices and works. The protestant reform
started by Luther and Calvin had, in Paul's letters, the confirmation of the
grace of God's love, Just like Paul himself, the reformers and every Biblical
Christian we find the way to salvation without personal merits, but through
Christ's merits on the Cross, for God so loved the world that He gave His only
begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have
everlasting life. John 3:16.
was transformed from being a fisherman who had no education, to the apostle to the Jews,
leading over the Sanhedrin, the high priest, the priests, the rabbis, the
scribes, the pharisees and the synagogue. Peter shows us how despicable our
in the three denials he did of the Lord, fulfilling Jesus' prophecy the night
when they delivered Him. He denied Him three times: in spirit, soul and body. But
his repented heart, the same one that received the revelation of the faith, like
Abraham, turned him into the apostle that would lead the Church at the beginning
of the book of Acts, in the election of the apostle who would replace Judas, in
his speech about a great conversion on the day of Pentecost. Peter himself would
teach that every Christian is rock of faith and together with Jesus -
the cornerstone - we make up the Temple of the Lord.
Lord will always reveal to us aspects of our heart and character that we would
not ever even think of. If someone had told me before I converted that I would
become a Christian writer dedicated to symbolical, prophetic and spiritual
interpretation of the Bible, that I would pastor a congregation or have a ministry of Christian websites in two languages, I would have
told that person that he was absolutely crazy. I am now a servant of Christ
through the foolishness of the Cross, by His Grace and, God willing, for His Glory.
BIBLE TEXTS OF THE THREE APOSTLES IN SPIRIT, SOUL AND BODY.
going to see three precious Bible Texts that will take us to three
fundamental Texts of each of these three apostles, once their characters were
transformed, in terms of the revelation that God gave them through the Spirit.
new birth of our spirit, of the Spirit of the Lord, John 3:3.
...Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you,
unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of
salvation of our souls, 1Peter 1:9
...That the genuineness of your faith, being much more
precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be
found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,
8 whom having not seen
you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy
inexpressible and full of glory, 9
receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your
Christ, our body is Temple of the Holy Spirit, 1Corinthians 6:19
...But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.
18 Flee sexual immorality. Every
sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality
sins against his own body. 19 Or
do you not know that your body is the temple of the
Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not
your own? 20 For you were bought
at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are
these three Bible Texts are the base of the following three Texts of the three
apostles that are symbolic in spirit, soul and body.
3:3 teaches us how man must be born again from the Spirit in order to see
the Kingdom of God:
and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless
one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can
a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb
and be born?” 5 Jesus answered,
“Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he
cannot enter the kingdom of God.
reveals God's love to us: ...For God so loved
the world that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have
everlasting life. 17
For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the
world through Him might be saved. 18
“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is
condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten
Son of God. 19 And this is the
condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness
rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
provides us with the three convictions of the work of the Holy Spirit: ...He will
convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of
judgment: 9 of sin,
because they do not believe in Me; 10
of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more;
11 of judgment, because the ruler
of this world is judged.
shows us the Spirit in the new birth, John 3:3; God's love, John 3:16 and the
work of the Holy Spirit, 16:7.
12 reveals to us the structure of the Church starting with the renewing of
our mind. ...I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies
of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to
God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And do not be conformed to
this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your
mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect
will of God. 3 For I say, through
the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself
more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to
each one a measure of faith. 4
For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the
same function, 5 so we, being
many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.
6 Having then gifts differing
according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us
prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7
or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching;
8 he who exhorts, in exhortation;
he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy,
with cheerfulness. 9 Let love be
without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.
10 Be kindly affectionate to one
another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;
11 not lagging in diligence,
fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12
rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly
in prayer; 13 distributing
to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.
reveals to us rationally the spiritual functioning of the
Body of Christ, thus we know how a Bible-based and sound-doctrine filled church
is built, a guide to turn to always. To do so, Paul, again, explains to
us three components: the diversity of the gifts of the Spirit, the diversity of
ministries of the Lord to rationally organize the efficient functioning of the
Church and the diversity of activities which the Body of Christ performs,
and to do so its members, Christians, have had to be anointed with the gifts in
our spirit, comprehend, accept and assume the ministries and accomplish the
concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant:
2 You know that you
were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led.
3 Therefore I make known to you
that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can
say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.
4 There are
diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
5 There are
differences of ministries, but the same Lord.
6 And there are
diversities of activities, but it is the same
God who works all in all. 7 But
the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all.
8 for to one is
given the word of wisdom
through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same
Spirit, 9 to another faith by the
same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit,
10 to another the working of
miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another
different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.
11 But one and the same Spirit
works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.
you are the body of Christ, and members individually.
28 And God has appointed these in
the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that
miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.
29 Are all apostles? Are all
prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles?
30 Do all have gifts of healings?
Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?
31 But earnestly desire the best
gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.
activities in the love of God:
activities will be accomplished with the most excellent of gifts: God's love. We
will speak the Word of God, that will be the sound of our spirit with love; we
shall prophesize, understand, know and we shall have faith to belong to God in our soul, in our mind; and we shall live our life and serve the poor
with God's love in our deeds and actions. The Text in chapter 13 goes on to say:
...1 Though I speak
with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not
love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.
2 And though I have the gift of
prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all
faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not
love, I am nothing. 3
And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to
be burned, but have not love, it profits me
nothing. 4 Love
suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is
not puffed up; 5 does not behave
rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;
6 does not rejoice in iniquity,
but rejoices in the truth; 7
bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails...
is the key Text of this Bible Study that reveals to us the composition
of our being: ...Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely;
and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be
preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1Peter 2:9 reveals to
us the unique belonging to the Body of Christ and calls us chosen
generation, he calls us royal priests, he calls us a holy nation; this is what
He calls the Church,
because this is what the Lord has bought in exchange for His son's work on the
Cross, and this Church has two basic purposes: announcing the Gospel and good
works: ... But you are a chosen generation, a royal
priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the
praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
10 who once were not a people but
are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained
mercy. 11 Beloved, I beg you as
sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul,
12 having your conduct honorable
among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by
your good works which they observe, glorify
God in the day of visitation.
1Peter 5 provides us
with another three key foundations for a solid Church, under the symbol of the body
represented by Peter so that in the Church one can feel that the brethren are
taken care of willingly, eagerly, being examples to others and to do so we will be
perfected, established, strengthened and settled by God in the Spirit of Jesus
Christ.: ...The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder
and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that
will be revealed: 2 Shepherd the
flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but
willingly, not for dishonest gain
3 nor as being lords over those
entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock;...
... But may the God of all grace, who called us to His
eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while,
perfect (you) (in the spirit, after the new
birth, through the baptism of fire), establish
(you) (the mind, convinced of the need or Christ's Salvation, for
salvation and to evangelize) , strengthen
(you) (the soul in the character, with feelings of God's love), and
settle you (in the Body of Christ, i.e.: in
the congregation you belong to and in the mission for which the Lord has created
you). 11 To Him be the glory
and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
2Peter 1:3 concludes
the teaching in spirit, soul and body, by speaking about God's divine power in
our spirit, that comes through the knowledge of God also in the mind renewed by
Him, having the hope in our souls of His promises, so that our body also takes
part in the divine nature in life and in the belonging to the
His divine power has given to us all things
that pertain to life and godliness, through the
knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,
4 by which have been given to us
exceedingly great and precious promises,
that through these you may be partakers of the divine
nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through
lust.5 But also for this very
reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge,
6 to knowledge self-control, to
self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness,
7 to godliness brotherly
kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.
8 For if these things are yours
and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our
Lord Jesus Christ.
The result of these
three Texts of the three apostles is the raising of the Church, Ephesians 2:21:
...Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens
with the saints and members of the household of God,
20 having been built on the
foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief
cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole
building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord,
whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
And through God's
love for us, for calling us to be part of His Church is how the first
Commandment takes place in us. Mark 12:30...
him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God,
the Lord is one. 30
And you shall love the Lord your God with all your
heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’
This is the first commandment.31
And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Whose origin, as we
have seen, takes us back to John 3:16:...
God so loved the world that He gave
His only begotten Son, that
whoever believes in Him should not perish but have
And God's love makes
us look for the mission of our life in order to bring to others what we have
experimented ourselves - conversion through faith - and we put ourselves in
God's hands so that He transforms our character, after our change of mind called
We have seen that our
spirit receives spiritual gifts from the Father to serve God in the Great
Commission, every Christian's main purpose. The spirit receives direct
revelation, it does not depend on reasoning or understanding, it works by
spiritual intuition, one simply knows what is from the Lord, because the faith on
the Cross of Christ is foolishness for man and we can see this in the Bible,
1Corinthians 1:18, to learn and trust the Lord who guides us and to look for
our discernment and revelations to know whether they are the Lord's
or not. And thus be able to love God with all our heart.
We have seen that the
mind starts to understand God's issues a while after the
spirit does, some things will take years. Love cannot be understood, it comes
from the heart, it is spiritual. One falls in love with God spiritually, not
rationally. But is is through the Spirit that our own spirit discerns so that
our mind can understand God's Word, this is why we cannot go to the Bible with
our reasoning, with our intellectual capacity only, it is essential to have the
heavenly interpreter, God's Spirit. And thus be able to love God with all our
We have seen that our
soul, when we feel saved and trusting God to remain in salvation, rests
on the feelings and learns to rely on God, leaving revenge, judgment, hatred and
all feelings that the enemy used to control us. Now, it is God's love that will
provide us the light in our feelings. And thus we will be able to love God with all our
And we have seen that
our body, with its physiological needs, can be conducted and provided with its
needs and be looked after in a way that it is not an obstacle for us to serve
the Lord. We have, additionally, the tools of fasting and self-discipline with which
we can enjoy a healthy and orderly life. And thus we will be able to love God
with all our strength. And our neighbour as ourselves, fulfilling the main and
greater Command in the whole Bible that is from God.
In the second part of
this study we will learn to develop our gifts in the Church, the natural
abilities as well as those that we do not have and are granted supernaturally by
God. The Great Commission is made up of many ministries and we have the
challenge before us of discovering our personal mission within the Great
Commission in a brotherly and unanimous way inside the church we belong to, to
provide our joint to the Body of Christ and develop our life in spirit,
soul and body.
The final words are
by Paul to the Hebrews: ...May the God of peace, who through the blood of the
eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd
of the sheep, equip you with
everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to
him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.