THE TRICHOTOMY OF MAN
(1 Thes 5:23) Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Bible speaks for the trichotomy of man. That means every person has three parts to their makeup . . . spirit, soul, and body. Let’s define each one from scripture:
SPIRIT: (Eph 2:1) And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins. The spirit is that part of you that relates to God. Prior to knowing God, it was dead in sins. But when a person is born again it becomes alive to God through Jesus Christ.
SOUL: (Psa 103:1) Bless the Lord, O my soul . . . Your soul incorporates your mind, will, and emotions. It is the expression of who you are in your thoughts, your actions, and your feelings.
BODY: (1 Cor 6:19) Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? We all know what our bodies are but think of it as a temporary shelter (tent) for the real you that will live forever. (2 Cor 5:1-5)
Now, because man is sinful he has the whole trichotomy turned upside down from what it should be.
So, in that unregenerate state it looks like this:
Notice how the body is first. That means sinful man lives on a bodily (low, animal) plain, fulfilling its needs and cravings first and foremost. Then comes the soul with all of its impulses and rumblings. Then lastly there is the spirit, which we have said is dead to God. But when a person is born again there is a reversal of the trichotomy. It will now look like this:
See how the spirit is first, which means the things of Lord will dominate that person’s life and will bring into subjugation the soulish tendencies and the bodily cravings. This is why Paul says to walk in the Spirit, and he makes us realize there will be a battle for the reversal of the trichotomy. (Read Gal 5:16-26) Sound difficult? Don’t worry, because according to our theme verse it will be a work of the Lord to have us live in this manner this until His coming!