Biblical Psychology

Exploring human nature as spirit, soul, and body

Spirit, Soul and Body: Illustrated

At a popular level, Andrew Womack has been teaching on the benefits of discerning man as spirit, soul and body. His ministry has produced a DVD in which lessons are illustrated by animated graphics, and highlighted Scripture with his vocal teaching. The resources is described this way:

“Have you ever asked yourself what changed when you were ‘born again’? You look in the mirror and see the same reflection – your body hasn’t changed. You find yourself acting the same and yielding to those same old temptations – that didn’t seem to change either. So you wonder, Has anything really changed? The correct answer to that question is foundational for receiving from God. If you lack this basic understanding, you’ll forever ask yourself doubt-filled questions like: ‘How could God love somebody like me?’ and ‘How can I possibly expect to receive anything from the Lord? I don’t deserve it, I’m not good enough!’ Spirit, Soul and Body will help you to eliminate those and other doubt-filled questions that destroy your faith. This message has been made into a series of special illustrated videos that make it easier to understand than ever before!”

Although he places the conscience in the soul (instead of being essentially a spiritual faculty) and makes applications on guaranteed physical healing, the simplicity and visual animations have been helping many find more clarity and freedom.

Experiencing Jesus

John VanGelderen of Revival Focus Ministries just published an excellent small volume titled,  Experiencing Jesus. He accurately clarifies the soul/spirit distinction in explaining God’s provision for sanctification by faith. “Would you like to go from being regularly defeated and surprised by occasional victory to being regularly victorious and surprised by a rare defeat? Discover the possibility of experiencing Jesus–the reality of the Christ life, the Spirit-filled life–in a new way. This truly is life again–revival on the personal level. Watch a profound 3 minute video introduction here:

Your Source

We have appreciated the ministry of Jim Cymbala over the years, having visited the “Tab” and hearing him speak with Daniel Henderson at a renewal day in Knoxville.

In a sermon posted on February 13, 2018 Pastor Cymbala uses four scriptures as a starting point for this challenging message about experiencing real change in the Christian life (John 8:28-29; Romans 6:5; Romans 8:5; Galatians 2:19-20). The audio message, Your Source, can be heard online or downloaded here:

Additional clarity is included when pastor Cymbala makes the biblical distinction between mind (soul) and the believer’s spirit (1 Cor. 6:17),

The Way of Agape

Not only do Bible commentators and evangelical theologians endorse man as spirit/soul/body, but many leading Bible studies have this perspective. One prominent example is Nancy Missler’s study, The Way of Agape. (“Agape” is the New Testament Greek word for unconditional love.) These truths are not only gleaned from Scripture; they were confirmed in her personal journey and public ministry.

From The King’s High Way Ministries:

After God healed Nancy Missler’s marriage, she prayed for three years, asking the Lord to show her from Scripture what He had done. She not only wanted to understand what had happened, but also needed be able to explain it to others. The Way of Agape details that answer. In short, Nancy learned:
1. What God’s Love is and how it differs from human love. Most of us, even as Christians, are still functioning only on human love and this is why so many of us have become confused and disheartened.
2. What it means to love God with all our heart, will and soul and learning the difference between each of these terms. Learning what quenches God’s Love in our hearts and how practically to yield these things over to Him.
3. And, finally, what it means to love our neighbors as ourselves and how to put their will and desires above our own.
The only way we can do this is to love God first; to totally give ourselves over to Him. The Way of Agape is a completely new way of loving. It’s a way of loving that is opposite from the way the world teaches and probably very different from the way you have been used to showing love, even as a Christian.
Our human love is based on what we think and what we feel, what our circumstances are, and how that other person responds to us. God’s Agape Love, on the other hand, is an unconditional, two-sided, freeing and other-centered Love. If we are Christians, we have this type of Love in our hearts. The key is learning how to cleanse our hearts moment by moment so that we see that Love flow freely.
In essence, The Way of Agape shows us how we can transform the failures of human love into the victories of God’s Agape Love.

The God-conscious Part

from Ray Comfort’s blog

Sinners walk around on God’s earth, breathing God’s air and seeing God’s flowers, His birds, His trees, His sun—and yet they not aware of Him. There’s a reason for this. It’s because they are spiritually dead. The world is like an appliance with the plug pulled out. We are made up of three main parts: body, soul, and spirit. The body is the machine we walk around in. The soul is the self-conscious part—the area of the emotions, the will, and the conscience. But the spirit is our God-conscious part. If people are not aware of God, it is because their receivers are dead. They are, as the Bible says, “without understanding.” Yet from the moment they are plugged in through the new birth, they become aware that “in Him we live and move and have our being.”

An Exposition of 1 Thess. 5:23-24

by Dr. Jay Jackson
We began last week considering the faithfulness of God in terms our callings. We continue this truth today.

A. The Call for Sanctification  “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely…,” (cf. 4:7)

B. The Call for Preservation  “…may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Cf. Rom. 8:28-31  
The word “preserved” is a term which means “to guard, watch over, or protect.” Four times we find this same word in Christ’s High Priestly prayer from John 17. It was used of the disciples in verse 6 saying they had “kept” God’s word. Next, in verse 11 Jesus asks the Father to “keep” these men in His name. Jesus, in verse 12 declares He was “keeping” them in the Father’s name. Finally, in verse 15, Jesus does not ask the Father to take them out of the world, but to “keep” them from the evil one. We see two characteristics of this preservation.

1. The Completeness of This Protection   “…may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete….”
The word “complete” speaks of the wholeness of this protection. This term is used in connection with three components of man. Some say we are only made up of two parts, material and immaterial. Some combine spirit and soul to come to this conclusion. However, a rule of hermeneutics tells us that “and” used with each word singles out each term and emphasizes the significance of each. The spirit is the part of man which separates him from the animal kingdom. Animals have a body and soul but are governed by instinct. Man is a spiritual being who can have a relationship with God. Animals do not have that capacity. Man, when spiritually dead, is void of the life of God in his spirit. Regeneration makes a dead man alive in his spirit. The soul is the mind, emotions and will or the personality. Finally, we all can agree we have a body which relates to the physical world by our five senses. Notice all are included in this protection. The plea is that God will protect the spirit, the soul and the body completely or entirely.
There is no way we can protect ourselves from spiritual evil. We cannot protect ourselves from the attacks in our mind, the negative emotions we have each day, or the attacks against our will. We need the Lord. This should be our prayer each day-“Lord keep me today in my spirit, my soul and my body.” Every area of our life is covered by these three aspects. God will keep each area completely.
2. The Blamelessness of This Protection  “…be preserved complete without blame….”
Jesus is coming back and the protection will insure our blamelessness before Him. How good is that?!  We cannot insure a blameless life apart from asking Him to protect us. Who is doing the protection and producing a blameless life? It is the Lord Himself.
“He will bring it to pass” captures the capacity of the Lord. All that we have considered falls upon the Lord. Since He calls us to sanctification, then He must bring it to pass. Since He calls us to freedom over sin, He must do it. Since He calls us to serve Him, He must do it. Since He calls us to love the unloving, He must do it. Since He calls us to forgive our offenders, He must do it. Every demand the Lord makes upon us, He undertakes to perform.
Has He called you to some severe circumstance? He will sustain, because He is faithful as our capacity. Has he called you into a relationship that is difficult? He will love and minister to that person through you, because He is faithful. He is faithful as our capacity!
“He also will bring it to pass.”
The phrase “will bring it to pass” is one Greek word sometimes translated “do, perform, accomplish or to make happen.” So, if the Lord calls us to sanctification, He is responsible for handling the call and finishing the task.
We could illustrate this from Mark 4:35-41. Jesus called the disciples to go across the Sea of Galilee, “Let us go over to the other side” (v. 35). Jesus did the calling. Next, when the storm came up it appeared they would not make it. However, when the Lord awoke, He calmed the storm (v. 39). His capacity provided the way for them to make it to fulfill His calling. Finally, 5:1 states, “They came to the other side of the sea.” Jesus was faithful to insure completion of the calling. He is faithful for His callings. His capacity never fails, so we see He is faithful for the capacity of the calling. He is faithful for the completion. He will insure His desired result.
Oct. 20, 2017, Wales Goebel Ministry – Evangelism, Discipleship, Bible Study … 

An Exchanged Life

In this short video, pastor Dos Carter describes the “not I, but Christ” reality and opportunity through a trichotomous model of man.

Pressing On to Maturity

Nearly all seminaries seem to avoid the basic distinction between spirit, soul, and body.
Distinctions that the Apostle Paul and the writer of Hebrews clearly pointed out as an
underlying force in the personal understanding of what God has done on our behalf, and
how he is always pressing us forward toward maturity on the path of righteousness. This is
not something that we must wait for in the age to come, but much of that completeness
is for God’s people right now, today, as we rest in his faithfulness and promises of the
wholeness that he has given his children for this life. We must learn to express our trust in
God by releasing ourselves to follow through with the actions that are necessary to validate and express our true identity to the world around us.

let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God...(Hebrews 6:1).

This new book is available via here.

Discipleship Basics

discipleshipbasics_coverGrace discipleship is simply profound and profoundly simple. Here is a practical four lesson booklet, Discipleship Basics, by Dr. Phil Jones. These lessons are not intended to be comprehensive, but are foundational and user-friendly. Here is a free copy of the PDF notebook: Discipleship Basics – All Lessons Booket Format

Here is a four message downloadable audio series that corresponds with the lessons. They are at Grace Fellowship Internationals’ audio channel here.  These were produced and preached at First Baptist Church of Powell in Tennessee.

These lessons have added clarity through Dr. Jones teaching a spirit/soul/body model of man.

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