Tuesday, September 30, 2014

P2 The full story of man: spirit, soul and body

1 Thessalonians 5:23 "Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord
Jesus Christ."

Today's post will conclude the complete saga of man we began to tell yesterday in terms of how man is a soul with a spirit clothed in a body.  We are doing this short series through five main points covered in scripture: creation, fall, redemption, death and resurrection. In yesterday's post we discovered:

1. Man as a soul, with a spirit clothed in a body at creation.

2. Man as a living soul, clothed in a body, died in his spirit at the fall

3. Saved man is a soul who has a resurrected spirit and lives in a body

Today's post will cover this idea of man's three-fold nature as viewed through the final two points of death and resurrection.

Saved people are souls, with living spirits who die and leave behind a dead human body and go to heaven.  Unsaved people are souls, with dead spirits who leave behind a dead human body and go to hell to await judgment
So what occurs at death?  For the Christian, the Bible states in 2 Corinthians 5:6 "Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord"  The Christian as a soul with a spirit goes immediately into the hands of the Lord in Heaven, where he is welcomed with a glorious entrance. (2 Peter 1:11-12)  The body, called by Paul (2 Corinthians 5:1-5) and Peter (2 Peter 1:14) a tent, refers to the frail and temporary nature of our current physical body that eventually returns to the dust from whence it came.  Unbelievers, when they die, are souls with dead human spirits who immediately go to a place called Sheol, Hades or hell, as exampled by the Rich Man in Luke 16:29-31.  

Contrary to pop culture today, when a person dies, it is a one way trip to the immediate presence of God for believers and Hell for sinners.  With those sober realities outlined, we must understand that scripture reveals one more point in its saga of believers/unbelievers in the body, souls and spirits....

There is to be a resurrection for the righteous and a resurrection of the unrighteous
Though a Christian in their souls and spirit go immediately into the presence of the Lord, the totality of His salvation for them is not yet complete.  Yes they are free from the penalty of sin in their spirit - thus in that respect they are instantly saved.  Concerning their souls, they are progressively saved by the Spirit's sanctifying work, making them more and more like Jesus while they excercise their mind, emotions and will in His Word - hence the removal of sin's power.  

And even when they get to Heaven, believers certainly enjoy a dimension of existence whereby they are set free from the presence of sin - i.e glorification.  However the Christian in that state is looking forward to the day they get a resurrected body like their Lord.  At His return, Christ will resurrect every believer, Old and New Testament, transforming their bones and decay into a glorified resurrected body - setting the body free from the putrification of sin. (Daniel 12:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51-57; 1 John 3:1-3)  The ressurrection represents the goal of redemption, a hope that was first revealed to men such as Job (Job 14:14; 19:25-28) and Abraham (Hebrews 11:19)

Sadly for unbelievers, they await the final judgment which will occur a thousand years after the resurrection of the righteous.  Though not spelled out in near the detail as that of believers, unbelievers evidently will have a resurrected body capable of withstanding eternal judgment. Daniel 12:2b tells us that the resurrection of the wicked will receive a body that is "disgraceful, existing in everlasting contempt".  Christ at that final judgment will cast them into the Lake of Fire, along with the Devil and his fallen angels. (Matthew 25:31-46; Revelation 20:11-15)

The past two posts attempted to tell the complete saga of man, a soul with a spirit clothed in a body, through five main points covered in scripture: creation, fall, redemption, death and resurrection.  My prayer is that this will aid you in your study of the scripture and perhaps shed light on both your own life and your dealings with others.  Remember, what is done on this earth will pass, what is done for Christ will last. 

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