Summary: Sermon #1 of a two part sermon dealing with humans being made up of body, soul, and spirit, and explaining what God does for all three when a person is saved.
Life in the Spirit #1
What are folks made of?
CHCC – December 4, 2011
Have you heard this old nursery rhyme:
What are little boys made of, made of?
What are little boys made of?
Snips and snails and puppy-dog tails;
That's what little boys are made of.
What are little girls made of, made of?
What are little girls made of?
Sugar and spice and everything nice;
That's what little girls are made of.
That’s actually part of a longer --- 13 stanza --- poem that Robert Southby wrote in 1820 called, “What are Folks made of?” That’s what we’re going to talk about today. We’re going to talk about how the Bible answers the question - What are folks made of? (This sermon is more like a lesson than most of my sermons)
I Thessalonians 5:23 says, May your whole spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. According to scripture, folks are made of: Body, Soul, and Spirit.
I want to spend time examining this because it helps us understand what salvation means. When you read scripture with this construct in mind, it will help you understand more fully what changes when you place your trust in Jesus Christ.
We’ll start with the BODY:
This is the obvious part of what folks are made of. The human body consists of flesh, bone, muscle, blood, organs, brain, neurons, chemicals, hormones, etc. I read that the body contains copper, zinc, cobalt, calcium, manganese, phosphates, iron, nickel and silicon. Genesis 2:7 says God formed man from the dust of the earth. For all other animals, God spoke them into existence, but God personally formed the human body.
The Bible says that when you put your faith in Jesus, your BODY becomes the temple of the Holy Spirit. We know that God strengthens and heals the body. But salvation doesn’t mean your body is instantly transformed.
The body you brought to church this morning is a temporary dwelling. In fact, I read that --- if you’re over 30 --- your body has already started shrinking in height. Even more depressing - most people have lost 50% of their taste buds by the time they reach the age of 60!
Here’s the good news. Philippians 3:20 says that on that day, Jesus will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. These temporary bodies are going to be transformed into the perfect, eternal bodies … the kind of bodies Adam and Eve had before the fall. The kind of body that Jesus had after his resurrection! That’s what salvation means for the body.
But folks are made of much more than the physical body.
Human beings are made of both BODY and of SOUL.
While animals have “instinct” humans have “soul.” A scientist named Rich Deem said, Compared to our closest "relatives" in the animal kingdom, scientific research indicates that humans are unique on many fronts, including creativity, personality, abstract thinking, and moral judgment. (www.godandscience.org)
The SOUL is often called personality. It’s made up of Mind, Will, and Emotion.
• The MIND refers to our creativity and ability to reason intellectually. The mind works through physical brain cells --- but it is more than chemical activity.
• The WILL can also be called volition. God has given every person free will. We have the innate ability to choose what we will believe, and to choose what we will think, say, and do.
• EMOTION includes desires, appetites and all sorts of feelings (anger, happiness, anxiety, peace, fear, etc)
Here’s what a neuroscientist at New York University wrote: ". There is as yet no neuroscience of personality. We have no idea how the hunk of gray matter called our brain make us who we are." Joseph LeDoux, Horgan, J. 1999. The Undiscovered Mind; and Jim Holt. 1997. Science Resurrects God
Well, scripture tells how our brains make us who we are. Genesis 1:27 says, God created mankind in his own image; in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. The “image of God” refers in part to the human soul. Many scriptures talk about God’s creativity and reasoning, about God’s will, and about God experiencing anger or joy. God created a human SOUL that is fashioned after His own attributes.
The SOUL is what makes us free agents. It’s with our WILL that we choose to believe in God … or choose to reject God. Our free will allows us to direct our thoughts and to choose our course in life.
One of my favorite examples of this is in Psalm 42:5 where David said, Why, O my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your trust in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. This must have been one of David’s favorite sayings because he repeats the exact same words two more times: Psalm 42:11 and 43:5