The Human Trinity

It is my firm belief that God made humans in His image, does that mean four limbs, a torso and a head? I don’t think so. I believe the trinity that exists in God was the blueprint from which God designed our being. I believe that we have a spirit, a soul, and a body just as God has all three parts (Holy Spirit, God the Father, and Jesus Christ) but they are not separate or inseparable, they all are parts of the whole.

I believe this teaching is important to believers in any stage of maturity and it can help them understand their failures and successes in their walk with the Lord. Just like reading a car manual helps you know the ins and outs, the dos and don’ts of your car as we study the Word of God and put it in to practice we can live an effective life under God and for God.

Diagram showing the roles and activities of each part of the human being

Body

This is our physical shell, our atoms and organs, our bones and chemicals. There is nothing supernatural about it except its intricate design! In fact this is the one area of God’s creation that us humans have been able to wrap our minds around more and more as technology allows. Our body is the tool that we interface with the physical world with. Think of it as our outward shell that contains the other two-thirds of our being.
Many deny the existence of the supernatural realm and thus the physical is all that they know so they elevate their physical senses (and carnal nature) to the guiding force and primary discernment in life, this is a dangerous position to live in. The physical realm is not all that exists, in fact our allegiance and citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20), or the supernatural realm. Our body is temporary whereas our soul and spirit are not (Matthew 10:28, Ecclesiastes 12:7). We are supernatural beings with a physical body and thus we should aim our allegiance to God and not man or self. Our body should be honored and taken care of, but we should not see this as all that exists because all that is physical is simply temporary (2Pet 3:12, Rev 21:4).
Our body can also be pictured as the outer courts of the tabernacle of God where sacrifices are made, songs are sung, people scurry about doing duties and traditions – the busy active place. It is all to common that people live their Christianity out only in the body and not from their soul or spirit, thus leading to dead religion similar to that of the Pharisees.

Soul

The soul is our natural and inner self which is sinful (Romans 3:23). It may be called the mind which contains our reasoning, thoughts, emotions, desires (good and bad), and our free will. When a Christian lives only by what they feel they are a soulish Christian, they act carnally and are misled by their desires (Rom 8:7, Jam 1:15).
Our soul is also the middle man or the interface between physical and supernatural. Our soul can allow our spirit man to operate or interact with the natural realm and visa versa. Desires originate from our soul – our natural ones such as happiness, love, and curiosity, and our sinful ones such as lust, malice, and pride, as well as our holy desires such as forgiveness, purity(of mind), and hunger for God’s word.
God’s Holy Spirit can influence our soul through our spirit if we are walking with God or if God is breaking through and changing us. However when we are not living “right” our soul is influenced more dominantly by sources other than God. We are instructed to “not walk in the flesh” (Gal 5:16), to “crucify our flesh” (Gal 5:24) and that our weapons of warfare are “not carnal” (2 Cor 10:4).

The 9 fruits of the Spirit are another thing that resides within the confines of the human soul and develop there as we mature in Christ. The fruits of the Spirit are not supernatural things like the Gifts of the Spirit, they are evidence of a born again life. These are not bestowed in a completed form suddenly but we must put forth effort and action to grow these 9 fruits of the Spirit in our lives as we imitate Christ (Eph 5:1-2).
The soul is the evident life of a person, the Greek word used in the New Testament is “Psyche” which is translated as life, mind, heart, and soul in the King James Version. In Genesis 2:7 we see that God made mans body out of the dirt breathed His Spirit the breath of life into Adam and he became a living soul. We should pray daily that our soul would continually be cleaned out by the Holy Spirit and convicted of sin (John 16:8) unto repentance, and that we would escape temptation. The struggle to replace evil purposes with holy ones within our soul is a life long pursuit but it should never be put on the back burner.

Spirit

This is a special part of the human construction and the most mysterious. A spirit may be the dividing line between man and animals since we do not see God establishing a relationship with the animal kingdom nor is God recorded breathing His Spirit in to them. The spirit of man is a foreign concept to most because it is unseen and not dealt with typically, science cannot account for it. For the believer this is the place through which supernatural things come about in our lives and the avenue through which we can have access to the Holy Spirit and visa versa. When God speaks to us we hear with our “spirit ears”, when He shows us visions or reveals unseen things such as angels or demons we see with our “spirit eyes” (2 King 6:17, Ezekiel 1:4, Act 11:4) and so on with the rest of the senses. And to answer the question you’d probably feel dumb asking- yes we can taste, smell, and feel spiritual things as well, all thanks to us having a spirit of our own which can perceive spiritual things that our natural body cannot. Gifts of the Spirit are received by our spirit and reside there either permanently or temporarily depending on the gifts and situation. The flip side to the spirit of man is that it is not reserved for God only. I believe Satan can have just as much access to ones spirit if one has given him the rights to do so. Although both parties may not have direct or total access at the same time (Rom 6:16). Satan wants to infect your spirit so that it will not be inhabited by Gods Spirit. Make sure you pray daily that God would protect you from ALL evils – evil attacking your body, soul, and spirit. For the record I do not believe a true Christian can be demonically posessed but I do believe they can acquire demonic attachments, I don’t believe these take place in the spirit but are external whereas posession is internal within ones spirit. It would seem that some emotions that dwell in the soul crossover into effecting your spirit, this may simply be a poetic device in the Old Testament, or it could be that strong, continuing emotions effect your spirit man such as in Exo 6:9, Psa 143:3, Pro 15:13.

Take care of your body and do not use it for sin, guard your mind from perversion and self glorification, and use your spirit to worship God and let Gods Spirit it completely to form you into Christ’s likeness

1 Thessalonians 5:23 and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord

Hebrews 4:12 sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit

Genesis 2:7 God formed man [of] the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being

Ephesians 3:16 to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man

Luke 1:46 Mary said: “My soul magnifies the Lord”

Application

So why the heck does all of this stuff matter? How is it applicable?
I call it, “rightly dividing your self”. When one realizes the divisions of their being and what God intended for each piece we can work in harmony with ourselves and thus with God not be counterproductive as we live our our faith.
For example: if we think we hear from God and want to know if it was Him we can think like this: It either came from my spirit and it’s from God, from my soul and it’s just me, or from Satan trying to throw me off. Now of course when you hear from the Lord it must line up with scripture. You can also ask yourself: “Was I walking in the flesh or the spirit?”. Basically – we do not want to be what is called a “soulish” Christian, or walking according to ones own reasoning, emotions, or will. Now I don’t mean we should be zombie Christians but we lean on God through trust, we walk by faith, and the Holy Spirit is our guide not our own minds.

Concerning the spirit if you have ever been involved to any degree in anything of the occult – Tarot cards, Ouji board, seances etc. you need to first repent of those sins because they are indeed sins, they are practices that are against God’s will and dangerous to Christians. I believe that when you take part in these practices you give demons access to your spirit and soul to some degree and you can obtain demonic attachments that can become generational curses. This is not demonic possession but a spiritual bond made between you and a demon that will effect your life until you rebuke it fully in Jesus’ name, repent, and walk in victory over the enemy.
Deu 18:10 – There shall not be found among you [anyone] who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, [or one] who practices witchcraft, [or] a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer,
1Cr 10:21 – You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons.
Mat 28:18 – And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.

The spiritual world primarily effects your spirit so any connections made with the enemy have to be dealt as such, a spiritual attack or attachment. However, a believer has access to power of God over the enemy and the blood of Christ will always defeat any demonic presence or power.
2Cr 10:3 – For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.
2Cr 10:4 – For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,

In order to walk in the Spirit and not the flesh (Galatians 3) we must read the Word as our bread of life that keeps us alive. We must constantly keep our thoughts and actions based around Christ and God’s kingdom. Feeding your carnal soul will only strengthen it and thus pose a threat to your spirit man being your prominent feature. You can only obey one at a time (Luke 16:13).
Rom 8:1 – There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
Gal 5:16 – I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

Another revelation that comes from “rightly dividing yourself” is that your flesh is only a temporary tool and it is not your eternal identity. Therefore death really is not that big of a loss at all, instead it’s a gain for the believer for they will then enter in to eternal life and their true home.
Mat 10:28 – And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

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17 thoughts on “The Human Trinity

  1. In order to understand the composition of man, it is necessary to go to Moses’ account.

    * God (who is a manlike deity who lives in the sky) sculpted dirt into a statue that looked just like himself;

    * God breathed his own breath into the statue’s nostrils and animated it;

    * thus the animated dust became a living being (not “soul”);

    So, in the scriptures, the breath of God gives life and is called “the breath of life.” All references to “spirit” are bogus. PNEUMA refers to the breath of life.

    • First of all can you give me evidence the God is a manlike deity who lives in the sky? Surely the image that we were made in refers to much more than just the shallow parameter of outward looks.
      Do you deny that there is a spiritual side to man that is beyond his carnality and beyond his physical frame?
      You cannot simply discount the many mentions of man’s spirit (ruwach/pneuma) being separate from God’s Spirit by just saying they are bogus.

      • Every description of God in the scriptures is that of an ancient “Suzerain.” In Genesis, he walks in the garden looking for the man, he hears about things like the tower and the Sodomite behaviors from his deputies (who are also clearly men) and has to “go down” from his home in the sky (above the firmament and the waters above it) to see if it is so. He stops for lunch with Abe to consult with him…. flash forward… God speaks to Jesus from the sky. Jesus speaks of “our father in the sky, hallowed be your name” and he ascends, rocket like to God’s chair. Daniel and John both describe the meeting:

        Daniel 7:
        9 ¶ I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.

        Rev 5:7 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.

        He sits in a chair. He has white hair on his head. He wears clothes. He keeps notes in a book. He gives a book to Jesus, who is seated next to him in the chair.

        I could go on and on…

        But the most obvious graphic fact is that man was made in his form and appearance.

      • Thanks for that Wounded.. very.. interesting.
        Has it ever occurred to you that IF the Biblical God did exist that He would have predated the creation of all those human gods such as the ones you continue to describe and cite. And therefore man in His wayward ways at one time knew of the True God but later polluted the concepts of Him thus anthropomorphizing Him in to silly myths?

      • I’m not sure I understand the question.

        Are you saying that maybe Moses’ account is a silly, anthropomorphic description of a real, Biblical god who is not like a human?

      • My mistake I thought that by “suzerain” you were referring to some pagan idea of God or some deity, but it’s more of a political word.
        God is not a man, nor was He created, but He is a spirit. Jesus Christ was a human directly filled with God Himself.
        I do believe that making God in to a human is narrow minded although it is a possibility that God does express some traits, actions, and emotions that we as humans do. However it could easily be that God revealed Himself to the prophets (who you cite most) as engaging in actions and things that make Him appear as a human. I don’t mean that He lied but that He made Himself, to some level, understandable and graspable through the poetry and imagery of prophecy.
        And “made in Our/His own image” could mean physical form, visual image or possibly something more, something deeper.
        God gave us will which He has, He put eternity in our hearts, He put authority in our hands, He (as I believe) gave us three basic construction blocks to which He also has, He gave us emotions which are demonstrations of will and being which He has as well. There is much more to what we are than simply looks and form.
        Do you believe in the God of the Bible?

    • >>>…God is not a man, nor was He created, but He is a spirit…

      Do the words translated “image and likeness” denote “similar emotional characteristics?” Or do they mean “similar in shape and appearance?” Please look them up. See how they are actually used.

      Now, what is a “spirit?” (Scriptural definition, please, thanks).

      • Sorry for the late response! I have been tied up in other discussions elsewhere!
        Ok so – the Biblical definition of a spirit being:

        Luke 24:37 – But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed they had seen a spirit.
        Luke 24:38 – And He said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts?
        Luke 24:39 – “Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.”

        A spirit being which the disciples supposed Jesus to be, is not physical, it can’t be handled, touched, it does not have atomic anatomy. However Jesus was not in spirit form, He was in physical form.

        Now if the English “spirit” is a mistranslation of the words “Pneuma” and “Ruwach”, this sure seems strange in the light of scriptures which would then infer that breath can speak (demons spoke), multiple evil breathes could fill a man (legion), breaths can physically abuse someone (the sons of Sciva got beaten by a demon), God has a breath that hovered over the Earth, God’s breath comforts us, teaches us, empowers us, transforms us to Christ, this breathe draws us the Christ, etc. look up my list of the Activities of the Holyspirit. How does this even make sense unless this spirit of God is truly God’s Spirit. A Spirit is like the wind in that it is not normally visible to the human eye yet it exists and influences things but it is not literally a movement of air.

      • >>>…A spirit being which the disciples supposed Jesus to be, is not physical…

        So did they get this notion from the scriptures or from Egypt, Babylon or Hellenistic Rome?

      • What the disciples thought is not my point, my point is that Jesus himself explained a spirit in a very simple way. – Not physical, yet still existing. I am pretty sure Jesus would not promote pagan spirituality.
        I can’t think of any scriptures or narratives at the moment concerning Jewish theology of body, spirit, and afterlife locations but that doesn’t mean a lot since I have been studying the NT much more extensively in the last 3 years than the OT.

      • In other words, what in Moses’ writings about the composition of a human being would suggest to their mind that when a person died, some manifestation of themselves might appear?

      • >>>…I can’t think of any scriptures or narratives at the moment concerning Jewish theology of body, spirit,…

        I believe that Moses’ “anatomy” defines man for both the OT and the NT. According to Moses, man is composed of two elements:

        * dirt
        * breath

        Paul, likewise, speaks extensively of the “flesh wars against the breath.” He is referring to the body, taken from the dirt, and the breath that came from God. Likewise James:

        James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit [breath] is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

        Do you think James thought that there was a third part of man, animating his flesh, other than “the breath of life?”

        Consider Ezekiel:

        Ezek 37:
        8 And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them.
        9 Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.
        10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.

        The breath of life gives life to the otherwise inanimate clay:

        John 6:63 It is the spirit [breath] that quickeneth [makes alive]; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit [breath], and they are life.

        What the disciples thought was that the breath of Jesus had left his body/flesh/clay. That is why it would not be able to eat. Now John’s assertion that God is breath is like the assertion that one must be born of the wind:

        John 3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit [breath].

        The thing is that the ancients believed that the breath was an intelligent, dynamic force from God, rather than just air, since God animated dirt with it and it became sentient.

      • Well is the wind sentient and living? Or is it movement of molecules? Therefore there must be a spiritual side to this: the supernatural realm which can, to some measure, be taught to us by what we know in the natural world (wind).

        Also the mention of wind + being born of the Spirit is a seperate narrative from when Jesus says God is Spirit. The context gives them different meanings. Why are you separating them, removing context, and giving them the same meaning? Because of the wind/breath issue?

      • Well is the wind sentient and living? Or is it movement of molecules? Therefore there must be a spiritual side to this: the supernatural realm which can, to some measure, be taught to us by what we know in the natural world (wind).

        Also the mention of wind + being born of the Spirit is a seperate narrative from when Jesus says God is Spirit. The context gives them different meanings. Why are you separating them, removing context, and giving them the same meaning? Because of the wind/breath issue?

  2. One of the many things about God’s creating us, is His breathing His own life into Adam. That ‘one breath’ was enough to cause the same thing to happen for virtually every human ever born thereafter! I’ve heard it said also, that since God is the Giver of life, He only breathes one direction: OUT.

  3. >>>Well is the wind sentient and living? Or is it movement of molecules?

    We know it to be non-sentient, but to the ancients, it was a mysterious invisible force that “blows where it wills.”

    >>>Therefore there must be a spiritual side to this: the supernatural realm which can, to some measure, be taught to us by what we know in the natural world (wind).

    That kind of reasoning makes you a judge of scripture, rather than a reader. That is not exegesis but rather eisegesis (pronounced “I-see-Jesus”!)

    >>>Also the mention of wind + being born of the Spirit is a separate narrative from when Jesus says God is Spirit. The context gives them different meanings.

    Actually, the theme is “borderlessness” in each of the contexts.

    >>>Why are you separating them, removing context, and giving them the same meaning? Because of the wind/breath issue?

    Paul specifically refers to the “the air of the breath” that “operates in the sons of disobedience.” He clearly believes that the air/breath is intelligent, just he imagines the heart to be:

    Rom 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

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