Summary: Have you ever wondered why you do the things you do? Why do you say the things you say and think the way you think?
This morning, I want to talk to you about yourself. Have you ever wondered why you do the things you do? Why do you say the things you say and think the way you think?
Sometimes, I think the hardest person in the world for us to understand is ourself. Have you ever felt that way? Well, we’re going to examine and paint our self-portraits today. We’re going to examine the way our minds work and what motivates us. And we’re going to expose ourselves to ourselves.
I. The Three-fold Nature of Man
To begin this study we have to understand how we were created and how God works in us. Genesis 1:26 and 27 tell us two important facts. “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him, male and female created he them.”
The first thing this verse tells us is that we were created in the image of God. The second thing it tells us is that God is a triune, or three-fold being. Notice the use of the pronouns “us” and “our” in verse 26. So, logically, we can deduce from this that man must also be a triune, or three-fold being. And we are.
The Apostle Paul makes mention of this fact and actually names the three parts in 1 Thessalonians 5:23 “And the very God of peace, sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
I’ve included a handout in your bulletins that illustrates this teaching for you.
A. The Body
The first part of man is the part that everyone sees. It is our physical body. Our earthly “suit.” It is the part of us that will someday die. The Apostle Paul refers to it as our carnal self.
1 Corinthians 3:2-3, “I have fed you with milk, and not with meat; for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?”
Though it is the part that we are most familiar with and recognize the easiest – it is also the frailest and the crudest part of us. Our body responds to the world around us with our five senses. Hearing, smell, sight, taste and touch are the gateways to our carnal self. This is how we relate to the world around us. It is also how we are able to function in the physical world. Truly, it is nothing much more than a shell, and yet it’s the part we often concentrate on , rely on, and listen to most.
B. The Spirit
The second part of our three-fold makeup is the spirit. We are spiritual beings, just as God is, just as angels are. Our spirit is eternal. Once it was created by God it will continue on forever.
Our spirit permits us to relate to and interact with the spiritual world. The problem comes with the fact that we were all born with a spirit that is “dead”. Now I know that sounds like a contradiction, how can our spirit be eternal and yet be dead, right? Well, consider this.
By dead, I don’t mean that our spirits ‘cease to exist’, I mean that they are separated from God. By being born with a spirit that is dead, I mean that we were born with a spirit that has been separated from God.
Adam was created with a spirit that was alive. That means, his spirit was capable of communicating with God. But when Adam sinned, his spirit “died”. He became spiritually dead. Meaning he became separated spiritually from God. His spirit could no longer communicate with his Creator as it was intended. – And you and I were born in this same state – spiritually dead or separated and unable to communicate with God as He had originally intended.
This is why God had to send His Son to die for us. Jesus brings us to life spiritually. He gives us access to the Father once again. When we accept Christ as our Savior, we are said to be born again. We aren’t reborn physically. We are reborn spiritually. Our spirit comes to life. The Holy Spirit, the very Spirit of God comes into our spirits are restores us relationally to God. The spirit of the believer is where the Holy Spirit resides.