This teaching includes a free sermon outline to download for personal use, message preparation or Bible study discussion.
Our subject is going to be Bible psychology, which is really man’s inner nature. Let me suggest to you that there are three important things that man cannot know unless he receives them by divine revelation, by revelation from God. There are three things we cannot find out by science, by reason, by inference or any form of natural study. I’m not saying there are only three things but there are three important things. The first is the nature of God Himself. “Canst thou by searching find out the Almighty?” The question is asked in Job and the answer is no.
I was a professional philosopher; I was a teacher of philosophy quite a number of years at Cambridge University. Philosophy seeks to find the truth by reason, inference and the application maybe of scientific conclusions. And, I searched for God and never found Him because God cannot be found by the reason. That’s number one.
Number two, man cannot know the truth about his own origin. Science cannot tell it, archaeology cannot tell it; there is no science or form of human study that tells man how he came into being. If he will not receive divine revelation available to him in the Scriptures, he will not know it.
The third thing that man cannot know without divine revelation is his own inner nature. Man is a mystery to himself until the searchlight of divine revelation is shown upon his inner nature. There is no other way that we can know what’s inside us. We walk around with all sorts of things inside us, all sorts of processes at work that we do not understand and the only source of true understanding is the Scripture, God’s Word.
Now we’ll turn to the outline and we’ll begin with the first text which is in 1 Thessalonians 5:23. It would be nice, I think, if those of us that have the King James Version available were to read this together. It is a prayer, it’s a very beautiful and wonderful prayer and as we read it we might as well make it our prayer for ourselves. If you have some other version, don’t let that disturb you, just read your version while we read the King James:
“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.”
Let’s read the next verse, too.
“Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.”
Do what? What’s in verse 23? Sanctify us wholly and preserve us blameless unto the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is not an impossibility; it’s something that God wants and it’s something that God has promised to do if we will cooperate with Him.
Looking at verse 23 you’ll notice the phrase “sanctify you wholly.” Not holy. Wholly or entirely. This is the verse that has given origin to the phrase “entire sanctification,” which is a doctrine traced back in most instances to Methodism and to John Wesley. John Wesley in his own way believed in entire sanctification and so do I. John Wesley said, “If God didn’t mean it to happen, why did He put it in the Bible? Why did He tell us to pray for it?” He, of course, was criticized for preaching perfection but the Bible tells us to be perfect. If the Bible tells us to be perfect, it must be possible to be perfect. Jesus said, “Be ye perfect even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Some people say perfection just means maturity, but I don’t see that we can say that God is mature. God is perfect and we are told to be as perfect, as fully rounded, as complete in every respect as our heavenly father.
Someone challenged John Wesley on what it meant to be perfect in this sense, and he referred them to some verses further up in this same 5th chapter of 1 Thessalonians, verses 16–18. He said, “You want to know what it means to be perfect?” He said, “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks. When you can do that you’re not far from being perfect.” And I would agree.
The Bible tells us to do that. Isn’t it absurd to suggest that the Bible is telling us to do something that we can’t do? We know we cannot do it in our own natural ability, but you see, one great reason why God has given us the Holy Spirit is to enable us to meet His holy requirements which are impossible without the Holy Spirit but possible with the Holy Spirit.
So, in this verse 23 we have total man presented to us. And God desires total holiness, sanctification in every area. See, many, many Christians have the attitude some things are sacred and some are secular. Some things are important and other things are unimportant. Some places we have to behave well, as in church, other places it doesn’t matter how we behave. That is a ridiculous thought. The Bible says we’re entirely holy, every part of us belongs to God, every moment of our time belongs to God. That’s why I object to people putting on a special type of behavior when they come to church because it just proves that they’re not really living right. If you’re walking in holiness you don’t change your behavior when you walk inside the church building. You don’t have to suddenly get spiritual. The Bible says we are to walk in the Spirit. That means daily.
When God has His way in Jerusalem at the end of the book of Zechariah, we’re told that the bells on the horses will be marked “Holiness to the Lord.” The pots and pans in the ladies’ kitchens will be just as holy as the ones in the temple. That’s true holiness. If you can’t be holy in your kitchen, you’re not very holy. If you have to come to church to be holy, believe me, you have no idea what holiness is.
Paul goes on to explain what it meant by the word wholly. This is the basis of our study. It says, “May God sanctify you wholly.” And then he explains it. “I pray God that your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” That is the total you. It consists of three elements: spirit, soul and body. They are stated by Paul there in order of importance. The most important part of you is your spirit, then your soul, then your body. Spirit takes precedence over soul. It’s very interesting to me that Paul envisages the possibility that in every area we should be preserved blameless. Not merely in spirit and soul but in spirit, in soul and in body. That’s, to me, a challenge, to be totally holy.
We’re going to deal later in this study with the purpose for which God created the body and when we come to that I think it will be made absolutely clear why the body must be preserved blameless and holy because of its function. Now I want to deal with the three component elements that make us total man: spirit, soul and body. In this study I’m going to put my main emphasis on spirit and soul. One main thrust of this study will be to bring out the difference between spirit and soul. This I do for a practical reason. Because I’m personally convinced that in this present move of the Holy Spirit we will not progress any further until we learn to discern between the spiritual and the soulish. One main purpose of these studies will be to help you do that.
We’ll go back to the creation of man and this, as I pointed out, we understand through divine revelation. Without divine revelation we would just not know how man came into being. We’ll turn, first of all, to Genesis 1:26:
“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion...”
We do not need to read further. Notice the plurality of God is clearly brought out in that verse. The Hebrew word for God, the main Hebrew word for God is Elohim. Im is the plural ending. That word has got a singular form which is eloah, but the normal Hebrew word for the one true God is Elohim. It’s plural. So, right at the beginning of the Bible in the first verse of the Bible, we’re introduced to the paradox that God is one and yet more than one. The opening verse of the Bible, Genesis 1:1 reads:
“In the beginning God created...”
Hebrew verbs are both singular and plural, they have number. We’re confronted with a grammatical paradox right at the opening of the Bible of a plural noun followed by a singular verb. I’ll say it in Hebrew for you just as a matter of interest. ?Bareshith? “In the beginning”; bara “created”; Elohim. Elohim, plural; bara singular. So, right at the outset of the Bible we’re confronted with this paradox. God is one and yet more than one. In verse 26 of Genesis 1 it’s further unfolded.
“Let us make man in our image...”
And if you look on to chapter 3 and verse 22, I believe it is, you’ll find after the fall God said:
“Man is become as one of us...”
Notice again the plural is even more emphasized in that verse.
Going back to Genesis 1:26, first of all, the purpose for which man was created. He was created to have dominion; he was created to be a ruler. He was to rule the entire earth, if you look at that verse. He was God’s official appointed representative, exercising divine authority and projecting the very image of God to the lower creation. Tremendous purpose for which God created man.
In respect of the relationship between God and man, it’s stated in two words. “Let us make man in our image and after our likeness.” There are two words used: image and likeness. The Hebrew word for image is tselem, which is normally translated “shadow.” And it specifically denotes outward physical outline. It’s very interesting. Moses lived about 15 centuries before Christ and we are today approximately 2,000 years after Christ. The Hebrew language has a continuous history of 3,500 years. The same word tselem is used in modern Hebrew and in a compound form it means to have your photograph taken. So it has maintained that same meaning all the way through. It is essentially the outward form of likeness, the image. Man in his external form projects the likeness of God; he was created to do that.
Some people find that hard to accept because they’ve been brought up to have an idea of God as completely formless. I know. As a young boy growing up in the Anglican Church my picture of God, my mental image was a kind of vague mist that hung around in religious buildings somewhere. Of course, this is not scriptural and I’m not justifying it but that somehow was how I pictured God. Jesus said about the Father to the Pharisees, “You’ve never heard his voice and you’ve never seen his form.” God has a form. Man projects that form, an image. Don’t think about God as vague, mystic. God has a right hand and a left hand. He has hair, He has eyes, He has a nose, He has a mouth, He has feet. He sits, He stands, He walks. Jesus is at His right hand, not at His left. He sits on a throne. Let’s get away from this sort of pseudo-religious mystic image of God which is completely unscriptural. Man was created in the outward likeness of God. But also in the inward likeness of God. The likeness between God and man goes further than outward appearance. If you stumble over this statement about image—and I know from experience that many people do. I taught a Bible class in a Pentecostal Bible college. When I came out with these statements my students almost fell off their chairs, they were so surprised. I said it’s in the Bible; you just can’t get around it if you believe the Bible. Let me suggest this to you. When God was incarnated and took upon Himself flesh, it was appropriate that He be incarnated in the form of a man, not of an ox or a beetle. Can you see that? We cannot reverently picture Jesus taking on the form of an ox or a beetle or a lizard or anything else. But there was something about the form of man that was appropriate for His incarnation. Furthermore, the man—the male and not the female.
I feel that we should just turn to 1 Corinthians 11 for a moment because this is brought out again in the New Testament. And a great many New Testament clues and clues about whole life depend on this fact. If you look in verse 7 this is a direct reference to what we’re talking about.
“For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.”
If you go back to verse 3 the Father is the head of Christ, Christ is the head of the man, the man is the head of the woman. There is a descending chain of authority. The problem in American homes is the chain has been put out of order. The links are in the wrong order. That’s why there’s chaos in our homes. Never can it be restored till the right relationship is restored. It’s God the Father over Christ, Christ over the male, and the male over the female, and the parents over the children. This all goes back to creation. It doesn’t depend on a particular form of society; it has nothing to do with that. It’s an eternal fact about the nature of God and man that cannot be reversed.
But in verse 7 of 1 Corinthians 11 the man is the image and glory of God. He is specifically the representative in his outward appearance of God. Of course, man fell into sin and the image of God in man was marred by sin. The devil delights to attack God in man. He cannot directly reach God, but his enmity and his spite against God are expressed in defiling and destroying the image of God in man. You see a drunkard staggering down the street in his foolishness and in his filthiness and you see the devil’s handiwork to defile and destroy and pervert the likeness of God in that man. But it’s there somewhere in the background.
Going back to Genesis 1:26 and moving on from the outward image or external form to the inward likeness. On this we could spend a great deal of time but I do not wish to do so. Just let me point out what is stated in your outline. God created a triune man in the likeness of a triune God. God is one but three: Father, Son and Spirit. Man is one but three: spirit, soul and body. This is just one aspect of the likeness between man and his Creator, God.
Moving on in Genesis to chapter 2, verse 7, we have a description of the actual process of creation. In Genesis 2:7 we have the first time the use of the word in the King James Version “the LORD.” You’ll notice that in the King James Version it’s printed all in capitals. How many of you know what that indicates? See how many little treasures are under your feet that you have never availed yourself of? When the King James Version prints the word LORD all in capitals, it’s a translation of the sacred Hebrew name of God, which is normally amongst English speaking people called Jehovah. But, from about the time of the Babylonian captivity onwards, the name became so sacred to the Jewish people that they never pronounced it. Instead of saying the sacred name they substituted the Hebrew word Adonai, which means “Lord.” So, wherever in the Hebrew the sacred name is written, reading it today in Hebrew the Jews read Adonai, “my Lord”; and the King James Version has translated it “the LORD” all in capitals.
If you have “the Lord” (capital L and small other letters), that’s a Hebrew word adon, which means “Lord.” I think we ought to allow ourselves the luxury of doing this for a moment or two. There are certain areas of interesting things about the Hebrew language. Like all languages it’s made up of consonants and vowels. The vowels are not written. Can you imagine that? For instance, in Hebrew if they want to write my name they’ll write that, see? You have to know what to put in. If you never met me you wouldn’t know what to put in. You cannot read a Hebrew word unless you already know it. You’ve got to slip in a little e there and a little e there. See, Derek. Well, in Hebrew the name Jehovah is four consonants. I’ll write them out. A real religious Jew wouldn’t even write them. I trust if there are any Orthodox Jews here, they’ll forgive me. Hebrew is written from right to left, not from left to right. So, in modern Hebrew script, you have that which is basically—I’ll put them under and then we’ll reverse them. This is roughly like a Y, this is H, this is W and this is H. To get it into English you’ve got to reverse it so you write it YHWH. Now, the mystery is, what vowels do you put in? For sure, no one knows the answer. For reasons which we won’t go into, the King James and the old English Versions put a J instead of a Y and a V instead of a W and came up with Jehovah. Can you see that?
Now, again, for reasons which we won’t go into, it probably isn’t a J but a Y. It probably isn’t a V but a W and so you are left with YHWH. Modern scholars normally write in A and E: Yahweh, which means “He will be” or “He is.” So, this would fit in with the name that God gave to Moses, “I am that I am.” They make it third person, “He is what He is”—Yahweh.
I am not saying that that’s right, it’s not what I’m attempting to prove, but it gives you an idea of how modern scholars have arrived at the form Yahweh. In the book of the prophet Jeremiah, I think it’s somewhere around about chapter 44, somewhere like that, God told the Jews that went down into Egypt against His will, He said, “If you go down there my name will nevermore be pronounced in your lips.” This is a fulfillment of it. They cease to pronounce His sacred name.
Tradition records that for many years on the Day of Atonement the high priest pronounced the sacred name just once every year on the Day of Atonement. All that is in the past.
Coming back to Genesis 2:7, this is the first place in Scripture where this sacred name appears. It’s translated in the King James “the LORD God”: Yahweh Elohim. Elohim, God; Yahweh is a personal name. There’s a very good reason why this name is put in first in Genesis 2:7. Because a personal God creates a personal man for personal fellowship between them. Here it is person to person. It’s not an abstraction, it’s not some mysterious force at work in the universe, but it’s a person creating a person to have fellowship with that person. To me, this so vividly brings out the fact that one main reason why God created man was to enjoy fellowship with man.
Now we have the actual process of creation. Also maybe while we’re about it, before we go into the details we should turn to John 1 and read verses 1–3. Notice that John’s gospel takes us back to the same point as Genesis, in the beginning. Every time in the Bible you read, “In the beginning,” it always directs you back to Genesis 1:1. See, when Jesus was questioned by the Pharisees about marriage they wanted Him to answer them in terms of the law of Moses. He said, “No, I’m not going to take you back to the law, that’s on their level. I’m taking you back to creation.” In the beginning God created one man and one woman for personal fellowship between them just as one God created one man for personal fellowship between God and man. So wherever you read, “In the beginning,” remember that means Genesis. In Hebrew the name of the book is Bereshiyth, which is “in the beginning.”
I’m going to John 1:1:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God...”
The Greek word for with is “toward, face to face.”
“...and the Word was God...”
This, of course, is the Father and the Son in perfect, unbroken fellowship. Face to face. No man has seen God at any time the Scripture says. The only begotten who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him. The only one who can look the Father in the face is the only begotten Son. So, in the beginning the Father and the Son in perfect, unbroken fellowship. The Word was with, “toward,” the Father and the Word was God.
“The same was in the beginning with God.”
Then verse 3 referring to the Word:
“All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.”
He was the actual agent of all creation. It initiated with the Father, but it proceeded through the Son. When we come to Genesis 2:7, we are not envisaging the Father but we are envisaging the eternal only begotten Son, the one who performed all creation. With this background I want you to picture this scene. To me it is so very, very vivid.
“And Jehovah God [Yahweh God] formed man of the dust of the ground...”
The word for form is the Hebrew word that’s used of a potter molding clay. It always refers to something that’s done with great care and precision. In the book of the prophet Isaiah, God says He creates the darkness but He forms the light. That which is formed is the thing which God is really moving towards; it’s the thing His attention is focused upon; it’s the thing to which He devotes His total energy. So, the Lord God molded man with the greatest care of the dust of the ground. You cannot mold dust unless it’s moist. So you’d get a better picture if you used the word “clay.” The Lord God molded a body of clay. Let’s stop there for a moment.
It must have been the most perfect sculpture that history has ever seen. Greater than anything that Michelangelo or anyone else ever produced. A perfect body of clay. I envisage it stretched out on its back on the earth. I’m not saying that that’s how it was, but that’s how I envisage it. Yet, it was nothing but a lifeless body of clay. Until the next phase.
“...and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”
That’s the first use of the word soul. This is very, very vivid. If my picture is right and I want to keep the “if” there—I’m not presenting this as doctrine but opinion. The Son of God in the Garden molded a body of clay, and He must have been kneeling beside it. Notice that when God comes to man He stoops and stoops and stoops. He stooped in creation, He stooped lower still in incarnation when He actually entered the body that He Himself had once molded, and He stooped lowest of all at redemption when He put Himself under the feet of the men whom He had molded.
But looking now at creation it says He breathed into those nostrils of clay the breath of life. I was referring to this last night when we were dealing with the scene where Jesus appeared on the resurrection Sunday evening to His disciples in the closed room and then it says He breathed into them and said, “Receive holy breath”—receive the Holy Spirit. That was the new creation, and you see it’s exactly parallel with the initial creation. The initial creation was by the inbreathed breath of God.
I picture the Son of God stooping down over the lifeless body of clay, putting His nostrils against the nostrils of clay, His lips against the lips of clay and breathing. The divine breath, the Spirit of God entered the clay. Think of what happened to the clay alone without considering the inner spiritual reality. Consider that it became a living body. Hair, eyes, nerves, cells, glands, tissues. How was it formed? By the breath of God out of clay.
If you can understand how you were made, it makes divine healing the most natural, logical thing in the world. When your watch gets out of order you don’t take it to a boot maker, do you? You take it to a watch maker. When your body gets out of order, where should you take it but to the body maker? And that’s the Holy Spirit. Every function in your body was brought into being by the Holy Spirit. There’s nothing in your body that He can’t make or remake or restore if you’ll just accept it. It makes it so easy to believe in divine healing.
I heard something over the TV by the American Association of eye doctors that said, if I remember rightly, there are more than 2 million movable parts, working parts, in one human eye. Who made all that? The Holy Spirit, the breath of God, brought that into being out of clay.
Then there’s the inner nature that resulted. Man became a living soul. Now we have very clearly set before us the three elements of total human personality. From above, the spirit—the breath, the life breath of Almighty God. From beneath, the clay—the dust moistened and molded. And the union of spirit from above and clay from beneath produced, brought into being, a living soul. In a certain sense, the soul is the point of contact relationship between the spirit and the body. The body of clay, the spirit from above. The soul coming into being through the union of spirit and clay. Man became a living soul.
I think philosophers and sages of all ages have always been preoccupied with this strange fact about man that there’s something in him that reaches out and something in him that pulls down. Plato, the philosopher that I studied most, spoke about the two horses of the soul’s chariot. The white horse that was always seeking to go upwards, and the black horse that was always pulling the chariot downwards. I think this is true in the experience of all of us. There’s something in us that reaches up, but there’s something in us that pulls down. This is really the root cause of all inner conflict and turmoil inside humanity. There’s something that comes from God and wants God, reaches out to God and cannot be satisfied without God. But, there’s something that comes from beneath and tends all the time to pull us and drag us down. God, for reasons which I’m sure we will never fully understand, brought man into being in a state of what you might call potential tension. When man severed connections with God then the tension became very real and very actual.
I’m going to take for a few moments a study of the Hebrew words because they’re so fascinating. I believe that without learning Hebrew you can learn something from this. The Hebrew word for “spirit” is ruach and it has as its last letter that huh sound which doesn’t exist in ordinary English but is used by Scottish people. If you hear a Scot talk he has that soft, aspirated, outgoing H as in Loch Lomond, for instance. That’s one of the things that makes the Scottish dialect so attractive. All Semitic languages have this sound. The name for that letter in Hebrew is ?het?. It is essentially a steady, outgoing, continuing breath. Ruach. You have to learn how to adjust something inside your throat to make it. English-speaking people usually have some difficulty with that.
The word for soul is nefesh and, again, we’re brought face to face with the fact that in Hebrew you don’t write the vowels. Every Hebrew word, basically, is made up of three consonants. It’s a fascinating language. I don’t know whether I’m going to get some of you started in studying Hebrew but every Hebrew word goes back to a root of three letters and grows out of that root. This is too fascinating to go into now, but nefesh in Hebrew is like this (writing on board). That’s ne, fe and sh. This is a fascinating letter. This is sh and it’s the first letter of the Hebrew word for “almighty,” Shaddai. For Orthodox Jews this is a very sacred symbol which they place on their forearm. How many of you have ever seen a Jew binding his phylactery on his arm? They bind this Hebrew letter on their arm. Sh. And it’s the first letter of Shaddai which is one of the sacred names of God. Shaddai, the almighty.
Notice the trinity is in that, see the three growing out of the one? The Jews carry around with them all sorts of mysteries that they themselves don’t understand. That’s why they’re such fascinating people because all truth in some way or other is embodied in the Jewish people. I’m not a Jew so don’t get angry with me for saying that. Just bear in mind if there had never been any Jews there would never be any Bible, there would never be any prophets, there would never be any apostles, there would never be any gospel and there would never be any Savior. Just bear in mind what Jesus said in John 4:22:
“Salvation is of the Jews.”
No Jews, no salvation.
We’ll put this in English letters. It’s ne, fe and sh which is one sound but in English it’s two letters. We’ve got ne, fe, sh. In Hebrew they put a little e and a little e: nefesh. But we have here ruach. I’ll put them both up so that you can see them. Ruach. This is the continuing, outgoing breath. This is nefesh.
Now, I believe the Lord showed me that in these words there is truth. Spirit initiates all life. Spirit gives to all, receives from none. The Spirit is the continuing, outgoing breath of God. Ruach.
But nefesh, the soul, is dependent life. If you take these three consonants they make the sound of a person in deep sleep breathing. First breathing in and then breathing out. I think this is very clear, I don’t think I’m romanticizing. How does a person go asleep? You notice the order? First in, and then out. Soul is dependent. Soul must receive in before it can give out. Spirit originates, soul receives.
This is brought out by the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:45. This is one of the great examples of Paul’s logical writing where he is piling up the contrasts. In this one verse we have three deliberate contrasts.
“The first man Adam was made a living soul...”
Let me say about Adam: Adam is his name. The Hebrew for earth is adama. He’s Adam made out of adama. And the central word there is the Hebrew word for blood, dam. Everything has got something to tell you, see? He’s made out of earth and his life force is in his blood as we’ll see in a little while.
“The first Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening [but better ‘life- giving’] spirit.”
Let’s notice the three words that are contrasted. First is contrasted with last. Living is contrasted with what? Life-giving. There’s a difference between living and life-giving. And soul is contrasted with spirit. So, you see soul has life, spirit gives life. The initiating source of all is spirit: ruach, out it goes. Soul first breathes in and then breathes out. I’m not a doctor but I believe it’s true that every baby that’s born will never live unless the breathing process is deliberately set in motion. That’s when the soul operation becomes effective. I’m not saying when the soul becomes alive, please understand that.
The spirit is the source of everything. Turn to Romans 11 for a moment, verses 35–36:
“Who has first given to him [God], and it shall be recompensed unto him again?”
God never received anything from anybody first. God is the giver first, not the receiver.
“For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things ...”
All originates from God who is spirit. Spirit is the originating part.
Let me give you one other little piece of instruction which is the word for “to breathe.” Turn back to Genesis 2:7: “The LORD God molded man clay of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.” The Hebrew word for “to breathe” there is ?vie yip pach?. I’ll write it up on the board and at the end we have that outgoing letter again. This is a genuine double P. Do you know what I mean by that? In English we don’t have genuine double letters. If we have two letters together we only pronounce them once. Like stutter. It’s stu–ter. But a Hebrew would say stut–ter. Every double letter is a genuine double. So here is ?vie yip pach?. That’s breathed out, the breath of life. The letter P phonetically is called a plosive. Are you familiar with that? Just put “ex” on the front and you have explosive. It’s a sharp outgoing breath.
I used to teach my African students this by demonstration of how to make the basic English sounds. I pointed out to them that whenever you make a P sound a little explosion takes place and is expelled out of your mouth. I would hold a piece of paper in front of my mouth and say the word pip. I’ll do that word now and you watch the behavior of the paper. Pip. See that? Two explosions of air hit the paper. That’s it.
?Vie yip pach?. See what I’m getting at? It was not just a sort of general, balmy air, but it was an explosion of divine energy. ?Vie yip pach?. The Lord put everything into it when He created man. He breathed into him. You can’t say it in English. There was this sudden outgoing of divine energy that flooded this body of clay and produced a living man.
To me, that’s dramatic. I can in my mind see it as clearly as I’m saying it to you now. I believe it makes a great difference to our whole way of thinking and acting when we see what we’ve come from. It does to me.
Let’s just take the latter part of this study and then we’ll come to and end. Let’s take the Greek words for a moment. I really don’t need to put the on the board because they’re there in your outline quite clearly. We’re moving from Hebrew to Greek, the language of the New Testament. The Greek word for spirit is pneuma. The Greek word for soul is psyche. The Greek word for body is soma.
A lot of English words are built out of the word psyche. You have, for instance, a very clear example, the word psychosomatic, which is given there in your outline which means “something that relates between the soul and the body” and is a term for physical conditions diagnosed by doctors that have no physical cause. The doctor you go to with a strange headache and he does everything and puts you through all the tests and says it’s psychosomatic. It’s in your body but it’s caused in your soul.
For instance, the little boy who doesn’t like his teacher in school, used to like his teacher last year but doesn’t like his new teacher. Every time it is time to go to school he gets a tummy ache. You take him to the doctor and there’s no reason for the tummy ache. The doctor says it’s psychosomatic. It’s the reaction of his body to the attitude of his soul towards that teacher. The adjustment has got to be made in the soul, not in the body. That’s psychosomatic.
You will find in the English language there are many words beginning with psych. Psychology, psychiatry, psychiatric, psychic and so on. Interestingly enough, there are none beginning with pneuma except the word pneumatic, which simply means filled with air. Why is that? Because unregenerate man, no matter how learned and scientific he may be, knows nothing of the realm of the spirit. I’ll show you why in our next study, because he’s spiritually dead, his spirit is in darkness, alienated, cut off from God, has no life. He isn’t even aware that it exists, but he’s very, very much aware of his psyche, his soul.
As a philosopher I cultivated my psyche for years. I did everything I could with art, music, travel, study and pleasure. The more I cultivated my psyche the more miserable I became. When God saved me and baptized me in the Holy Spirit I discovered there was another realm inside me, the realm of the pneuma, the spirit. That’s where I was looking for the answer, but I didn’t even know that I had one, let alone what the answer was.
So, we have now this picture of man. We’ll sum it up.
Triune man: spirit, soul and body. The spirit from above brought into being by the inbreathed breath of Almighty God who is spirit. The body, the clay from beneath. The soul, somehow the product of the union of spirit with clay. That’s why your soul has so many problems because your soul is being pulled upwards by the spirit and downwards by the clay. The soul is the decision making factor in you. The soul is what says “I will” or “I will not.” Your spirit has to get its way in this life through your soul. Your spirit has to persuade your soul. That’s why David spoke so many times to his own soul. He said, “Come on, soul. Praise the Lord. Wake up my soul. Don’t be lazy. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name.” The spirit, in a certain sense, can only function in this life while in this body through the soul. The soul is the point of union between the clay and the spirit. Your destiny is settled by the decisions of your soul.
It’s your soul that’s saved. When you go to the Billy Graham crusade and Billy Graham calls for decisions for Christ, it’s your soul that makes the decisions. When your soul makes the decision your spirit begins to come alive. Then you’ve got to learn to move through the realm of the soulish into the realm of the spiritual. And, alas, that is where most Christians have made little or no progress whatever. In fact, I would say most Christians today are not even aware that progress is needed in that direction.
We’ll close the study at that point for today.