Man is a tripartite creature made up of Spirit, Soul and Body.
The bible says, “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. (1Th 5:23)
The bible also teaches us that the soul and the mind are one and the same thing.
The word “soul” in Genesis chapter two is translated from the Hebrew Nephesh” and means “mind or mental creature.” So, when we speak about the soul of man we are speaking about his mind.
Even the New Testament word for “soul” is translated from the Greek word “psuche” (pronounced psoo-khay) from which we get the words “psychic”, psychosis, psychotic, psychology, all referring to our mind or mental processes.
So, there’s nothing mysterious about your soul – It’s your mind, plain and simple!
Your soul or mind consists of your emotions, your intellect and your will.
What many don’t know is that every other part of you has a will of its own and a voice to express that will.
Your spirit, your soul and your body each has a voice to express it’s individual will.
The voice of your spirit is your conscience… Conscience tells you what is right and wrong.
The voice of your soul is reason… Reason tells you what makes sense and what doesn’t.
The voice of your body is your appetite… Appetite tells you what feels good and what doesn’t.
Conscience differentiates between right and wrong.
Reason differentiates between sense and nonsense.
Appetite differentiates between pleasure and pain.
For instance, every workday when your spirit tells your body to get up out of that nice warm, comfortable bed, go shower, get dressed and get to work, what does your body say?
Your body actually speaks to your spirit and expresses its will, doesn’t it?
The will of your body is to stay right where it is and not move one muscle, right?
In this illustration, when your spirit says, “get up and go to work” it is stating what it knows to be right!
This is a workday and we are expected to be on the job, we have a moral responsibility to be present at our place of work, this is the right thing to do.
In this scenario your mind or soul usually agrees with your spirit saying, we should get up and go to work because we have bills to pay and we need that salary at the end of the month.
So, it makes sense for us to get up and go to work!
But your body usually disagrees with your spirit and soul and declares: I’m staying in bed and sleeping for the next few hours because that feels good!
Therefore, your spirit and soul may have to gang up on your body and force him out of bed… is this not true?
Yes, I know there are those of us who have disciplined ourselves to the point where this is not a problem anymore but I’m referring to the average person.
In any given situation, your spirit, your soul and your body usually have something to say, and it is not uncommon to find them alternately opposing and agreeing with each other depending on the situation.
Which Voice Are You Listening To?
You must understand that when you become born again your spirit is divinely connected, perfectly transformed and always in agreement with the will of God.
So, the will of your born again spirit is the will of God… But not necessarily the will of your body and soul.
So it makes sense that the amount of times your body and soul agree with your born again spirit determines how successful you become in life.
The fact remains that each part of you has a will of its own; your spirit, your soul and your body… and a voice to express that will; your conscience, your reason and your appetite. Selah.
There are three distinctly different levels of salvation of which becoming ‘Born Again’ is part of the first!
Being Born Again means you have your spirit regenerated or recreated by the power of Almighty God. It means having your inner nature changed from mere human to incorporate the divinity of God.
The following verses from the Bible help substantiate the concept of men sharing in divinity.
“I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.” (Psalms 82:6)
“Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?” (John 10:34).
The purpose of becoming ‘Born Again’ is to regain something that was lost to the Human Race in the beginning of time.
Man was originally made in the image and likeness of God and connected to God through his spirit but when Adam sinned against his Creator the result was disconnection from God and a loss of identity.
This disconnection is called spiritual death, which is a separation from the life of God and an absence of the nature of God.
Now, because of God’s unchanging love for His children He created a way for us to be once more reconnected to Him and receive His divine nature. This happens through the process of being ‘Born again.’
How Exactly is a Person Born Again?
It happens like this. First, you hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
What is the Gospel?
It’s the good news that even though you were born spiritually separated from God and on your way to becoming permanently separated from Him in Hell, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, took the judgment of Adam’s sin upon Himself and died in the place of every human being.
He then rose from the dead three days later so that we could receive His righteousness in place of our guilt and be reconciled and reconnected to God, thus receiving His divine nature in order to live with Him forever in Paradise.
That’s the Gospel in a nutshell!
You hear it and when you do, God grants you the grace to receive it! You receive the message and it becomes a Seed planted in your spirit.
That Seed is the word you heard.
This Word-Seed contains the very nature of God because God and His Word are one; they cannot be separated. They are identical in nature. The bible says, “…The word was God.” (John 1:1)
Now, because the nature of God is inherent in His Word this means that His Word shares in His omnipotence; in other words, the Word of God has the power to create something out of nothing.
This is confirmed in the first chapter of Genesis when God was present and the Holy Spirit was moving upon the face of the waters but nothing happened until God spoke! The divine power inherent in God’s Word created everything we see.
So, the nature of God in the form of a Seed is planted in your spirit.
Now, God gives you the faith to act upon that Seed.
You act in faith by confessing out of your mouth the very thing He promised to do, believing He will do it as you totally submit to His will.
This is the application of your faith! Your confession (prayer) might go like this:
Prayer of Salvation:
Lord Jesus, you said in Revelation 3:20 that you’re standing outside the door of my heart, my life, and knocking for me to let you in. I now make a decision to open the door of my heart, my life and let you in. Please come in Lord Jesus and take complete control, forgive me and cleanse me from my sin and make me a child of God! I am sorry for every sin that I have ever committed. I believe in you and accept you alone as my Lord and Savior! Amen!
When you say these words from your heart totally believing they are true, it acts as a catalyst, germinating the Word-Seed or God-Seed if you will, releasing the life of God within you.
This process is such that the faith you apply acts on the God-Seed cracking it open, allowing the life of God to flow out into your spirit. The same thing happens when you plant a grain of corn into the ground.
The heat and moisture of the earth creates an environment that causes the corn seed to burst open releasing the life of the corn within and you have a brand new creation.
In this case your spirit is the earth and your faith and words are the heat and moisture, which creates the environment for the God-Seed to crack open releasing the life of God within you.
As this new life flows out, it completely pervades and engulfs your spirit transforming it. Where there was death there’s now life. Where there was old there’s now new. “…When this has taken place, then that which was said in the Writings will come true, Death is overcome by life,” 1 Cor 15:54. (Bible in Basic English)
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new,” 2Co 5:17.
Your old spirit ceases to exist and your new spirit lives! You have become a new creation.
Now, the life of God is synonymous with the nature of God, so as His life flows into you His nature is released. Receiving the life of God therefore, is the same as receiving the nature of God.
So, you now have a new nature. “…He has given to us the greatest and precious promises, that through these ye may become partakers of [the] divine nature,” 2 Pet 1:4 (Darby Translation)
The nature of God is Holiness, which means to be unique, other than everything else, sanctified, consecrated and set a part as extremely special. This is what God is and this is what you have become when you share in His nature.
You have become a different type of human being; one of God’s new creation.
You are unique, different, changed from natural to spiritual, from death to life… You are Born Again!
Now, here’s the key to this whole experience, if you miss this, YOU MISS EVERYTHING!
The release of your faith is what creates the miracle of the New Birth in you but faith is an action word. The bible definition of faith means doing something.
This is not to be confused with the works of the flesh or the works of the law but the bible does teach there is a work of faith.
It says, “Remembering without ceasing your work of faith…” (1st Thessalonians 1:3) So what is the work of faith which accompanies salvation?
In one word, it is…
If you repeat that prayer of salvation without repenting there’ll be no power released and no new birth.
You must repent, and repenting means a change of mind or exchanging one ideology for another.
Everyone has something they believe in that gives them a sense of spiritual security.
For most people that’s the purpose of their religion. It’s what provides the feeling of spiritual safety.
For the Atheist it’s the belief that God doesn’t exist.
If God doesn’t exist then there is no judgement to face at the end of time… that belief is what gives the Atheist the sense of safety from judgement.
Every human being has an ideological belief that gives them a sense of spiritual security and it is this very ideology that they MUST give up in order to embrace the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Salvation is a FREE GIFT but there must be an exchange to receive it .. This exchange is called repentance!
This is not to say that you can earn or buy your salvation but understanding this:
If your hands are already full, then you cannot grasp something new with your hands can you?
You’ve got to first let go of whatever you have in your hands before you can grasp something else.
Now, imagine salvation is a gift-wrapped present in a huge box and that box is being offered to you but your hands are already full with the huge box you are already holding on to… your current ideological belief.
This is what repentance is; it is a letting go of one thing to receive something else or a turning away from one thing to embrace something else, making a complete change of direction.
In my case 30 years ago, it was the belief in reincarnation, my belief in reincarnation was my spiritual support, it was the thing that gave me the sense of spiritual security from judgement.
So, when the Gospel of Jesus Christ was explained to me and the truth of it finally dawned on me, I found myself having a decision to make. Was I going to continue holding on to what I felt comfortable with or was I going to let go of that false doctrine and embrace the truth?
This is what every human being MUST face sooner or later.
Whenever we’re presented with the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ we must choose whether we’re going to let go of whatever we’re holding on to for spiritual security and embrace Jesus Christ fully or continue in the same direction we’re going, holding on to whatever spiritual crutch we have.
It doesn’t have to be a doctrine like reincarnation or something similar either; it could be anything that gives you a sense of spiritual safety.
Whatever the ideology, the essential aspect is… your will, are you going to surrender your will to God and let Him take control of your life?
If you do, your faith will bring the power of God on the scene and the miraculous will follow, if not, nothing will happen.
To sum this up, the power of God to effect miraculous change is activated only when we act in faith and acting in faith to receive salvation means turning your back on whatever you’ve been holding on to for spiritual security and embracing Jesus Christ and His sacrifice alone as your total means of salvation.
This, my friends, is what activates the power of God and causes a person to become “Born Again.”
As I said at the beginning, this is only the first level in the three-phased process of salvation but certainly the most important, because it guarantees you permanent entrance into the Kingdom of God and provides the foundation upon which the entire Christian experience is built.
This is why Jesus said, “You must be born again.” (John 3:7)
Understanding The 3 Levels of Salvation: Spirit, Soul & Body
“How could she act like that and still call herself a Christian?”
“Is he still saved, I heard he left his wife for another woman?”
You’ve probably heard these questions asked and maybe asked them yourself at some time. It’s true that people often act in ways that make you question their salvation.
And what about you?
Have you ever committed some really serious sin that has caused you to wonder if you’re going to make it into heaven? Have you backslidden from the Lord and can’t seem to find your way back?
Or are you searching for the truth and don’t know if Jesus Christ and Christianity is the way to go.
Well, I’ve got some good news for you, and it has nothing to do with your car insurance. (Maybe a little to do with your fire insurance)
Once you are born again your eternal destination is sealed! You’re bound for Heaven and you’re sure to get there!
Salvation comes in threes.
There are three levels to salvation, each affecting a different part of your being at a different time in a different way.
The three levels of salvation are:
(1) The regeneration of the spirit
(2) The restoration of the soul
(3) The transfiguration of the body.
In strictly biblical terms we call them:
1st Corinthians 6:11 says, “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”
Romans 8:30 says, “Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.”
The Three-Phased Process of Salvation goes like this:
When you believe the Gospel, repent, confess and receive Jesus as your savior your spirit is regenerated and you become justified or just as if you had never sinned!
Here, your personal salvation experience begins!
As you submit to the Lordship of Christ and obey His commands in your thoughts, words and actions, your mind becomes renewed and restored to the principles of God’s kingdom and you become more and more separated from the influences of Sin.
This is called sanctification, and your salvation experience continues!
As you learn to allow the nature of Christ within you to have dominion over your flesh, the holiness of His presence within you begins to manifest externally through a Godly radiance that is perceived rather than actually seen.
In other words, His Spirit within you glows with the glory of God and this spiritual light attracts others and exposes them to the character of Christ in you! “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven,” Mt 5:16.
Here, the process of glorification begins!
It will escalate during The Rapture when God eliminates your tainted physical body and instantly recreates a brand new, totally sinless body, so that the inner glory of God, which was limited in it’s outward expression by your tainted body can now be fully manifested through your new, perfect body that’s sinless and literally made in heaven! This prepares you to enter Heaven with your new glorified body.
After entering heaven, you will experience the Judgment Seat of Christ and assigned your permanent status in the kingdom of God! (2 Co 5:10) You will have a specific level of Divine radiance emanating from your spirit through your transfigured body, which is consistent with your level of submission and obedience to God while on earth! (Dan. 12:3)
Here the process of glorification is complete. And so is the experience of salvation as it pertains to this age!
At the close of the Great Tribulation period and just before the New Millennium begins, you will return to earth with Christ, justified, sanctified and glorified! (Jude 1:14; Re 19:14) At that time, a completely new phase of your salvation experience will begin!
Here is a summary of The 3 Levels of Salvation:
(1) The Salvation of the Spirit – This is known as Justification (separation from the penalty of sin, which is eternity in the Lake of Fire).
This is instantaneous and qualifies you for heaven by changing your nature from human to divine, from Adamic to Christlike. It is a permanent, miraculous work that God accomplishes through the regeneration of the human spirit or becoming Born Again!
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you” Eze 36:26
(2) The Salvation of the Soul – This is known as Sanctification (separation from the seduction of sin).
This is progressive and qualifies you to govern the earth with Jesus during His thousand-year reign by changing your character to resemble His. Since the soul and the mind are synonymous you accomplish this by renewing your mind in the word of God daily and by being consistently obedient to the Holy Spirit. This is what is meant by, “work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” It’s all about building Christian character day-by-day.
“Receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.” Jam 1:21
(3) The Salvation of the Body – This is known as Glorification (physical dominion over the effects of sin). This is progressive and qualifies you to reign with Christ in paradise on the New Earth for all eternity. The process of Glorification begins the moment you’re born again and continues every day you live in submission and obedience to God.
This gradual physical transformation is manifested in the ability to live above sickness and poverty in this present world. It will escalate during the translation of the body in the Rapture and will culminate after the Judgment Seat of Christ, ending in total victory over sin, sickness and death!
“Waiting for the time when we will take our place as sons, that is, the salvation of our bodies.” Rom 8:23 (Bible in Basic English)
Here’s a point to note: When a Christian falls into sin, no matter how grievous it is, it does not mean that he has lost his salvation.
You cannot lose your salvation!
All it means is that he still needs work done on his character (his soul). The salvation of his soul or mind is progressive; he’s in the process of becoming sanctified, just as his body is in the process of becoming glorified.
His new nature (born again spirit) means that he is saved (permanently bound for Heaven), but his character (soul/mind) needs more work done concerning the separation from the seduction of sin.
Another point to note: Knowing that our salvation is permanent and cannot be lost does not give us liberty to sin. It gives us a greater reason to live holy and please God our Father as a response to His amazing love.
Not only this, but we also understand that even though born again Christians are not in danger of hell, every one of us will still be judged by a Just and Holy God at the Judgment Seat of Christ!
We will all answer for how we lived our lives on earth and give an account of how we managed the gifts and resources God gave us.
If we’ve done well, great, but if not there’s going to be an evaluation of our lifestyle before God resulting in rewards or a lack of rewards accordingly.
The Bible says, “Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matt 22:13)
“But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matt 8:12)
This, my friends has nothing to do with the unsaved, notice carefully it’s the “children of the kingdom” that are cast into outer darkness. So, if you think the doctrine of “Once saved, always saved” is a license to sin, think again!
Every person that has ever lived on planet earth will stand before Almighty God and have their lives evaluated, one way or another.