Spirit, soul and body – and the power of trinity
To understand the power of trinity it is good to look first at how God reveals Himself.
God is a Trinity.
God reveals Himself in Himself, in Jesus and in the Holy Spirit.
In the introduction to the ten commandments God says:
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. (Deuteronomy 6:4)
God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are a perfect unity.
This perfect Trinity can be interpreted as ‘spirit, soul and body’:
- God – the soul: the Initiator, the Creator and Inspirator, the great I AM.
- Jesus – the body: the Word made flesh, Who has made God known to the world as Father.
- The Holy Spirit – the Spirit: the channel through which God communicates with mankind.
a. God has revealed Himself in creation.
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, … (Romans 1:20)
More about the meaning of ‘being understood from what has been made’ in a separate study.
b. God is revealed in His Son Jesus.
(when Jesus is transfigured on the mountain) … a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” (Matthew 17:5)
Jesus said: When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. (John 8:28)
The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him. (John 8:29)
… he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me. (John 14:31)
whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say. (John 12:50)
I and the Father are one. (John 10:30)
Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. (John 14:9)
c. God and Jesus are revealed in the Holy Spirit.
But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. (John 14:26)
… when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. (John 16:13)
He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. (John 16:14)
The Holy Spirit does not speak on His own, but proclaims what He hears from Jesus.
Jesus and the Holy Spirit are involved in everything God says and does, thereby supporting and confirming one another in everything.
Therein lies the power of God, but also of Jesus and of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
An example of the power of trinity.
Jesus said: I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)
a. The Way:
The Way Jesus is referring to is the spiritual way to God, when He says: No one comes to the Father except through me..
- Jesus does not show the way, He IS the way.
- ‘through me’ is the translation of the Greek word ‘dia’, which translates as: through.
It is often supposed that Jesus shows the way.
One then attempts to go one’s own way, with the help of the directions He gives.
But Jesus IS the way, or, as He says with other words:
Remain in me, as I also remain in you. (John 15:4)
Whoever allows Jesus to lead his life, and involves Him in all life’s facets, notices that he experiences deep peace on that ‘WAY’ in this life.
This is accompanied by a tremendous promise, for whoever follows Jesus in this life, will be with God forever after this life.
b. The Truth:
… the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. (John 18:37)
If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. (John 8:31-32)
Jesus spoke the truth, but He is more than someone who gives good advice.
He also said:
Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:3-5)
Jesus longs not only to be believed, trusted because He speaks the truth.
He longs to be trusted as a Person, because He IS the Truth.
This is explained in more detail in this study, under point 3.b ‘The building of the house of life’.
c. The Life:
When Jesus said:
I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)
He meant two things by this:
- Life with Jesus means walking on the way to the Father, and eternal life after death, as Jesus says: I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die. (John 11:25)
- It also means receiving the true life during this life, as Jesus said: I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Jesus is the Life!
These three facets: the Way, the Truth and the Life, are bound to one another inseparably, door Jesus’ powerful personality.
These three are an indissoluble truth, like a trinity, contained in this one Person: Jesus.
Man as trinity.
God, as Trinity, created mankind ‘in His image, in His likeness’. (Genesis 1:26)
He created mankind threefold, i.e. as spirit, soul and body.
Read about this in the study ‘God created mankind’, which is a section of the study ‘The origin of the world’.
A clear illustration of a trinity and the power it contains, is found in Ecclesiastes 4:12, which states:
– … A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
The image of a threefold cord is explained in a separate study.
The threefold cord is a good illustration of the power and the stability when spirit, soul and body are ‘aligned’ in a person’s life, so that they form a trinity, as God is also a Trinity.
A human being, as a soul, as a personality, will receive the right insights if he orients himself, in his soul, towards the spiritual world, and receives wisdom in his heart through the Holy Spirit. This is life as a duality.
It becomes a trinity if he also applies these insights, this wisdom to his body, to his speech and behaviour, as a result of which he will be powerful in life.
Man, as spirit, soul and body, is thus aligned and acts from a trinity. With the right inspiration he will do good in this world and achieve the full potential, to which God created him.
A few texts that illustrate this truth:
a. Marriage is intended to be a trinity.
A double trinity can be discovered in marriage:
The study on ‘Marriage’ shows that husband and wife become a unity in a marriage, whereby soul, spirit and body are involved.
It is God’s intention that a man and a woman attune their soul, feelings, desires and imaginations of their heart during their engagement.
This is how they become a duality of soul and spirit.
When this spiritual unity is confirmed in a public vow of mutual faithfulness, they may transform this duality to an even stronger relationship, as a trinity, by their acting together in this world and through the physical union.
Two other forms of a trinity in marriage are explained in the study on ‘The third person in a marriage’.
There it is explained how God is the binding third Person in a marriage.
A marriage is strengthened even more when both the husband and the wife live in the right relationship with God, so that He becomes the third Person present in their marriage.
Marriage becomes a threefold cord when this happens – a trinity, which will not be quickly broken.
b. Conversion is like a trinity. Paul wrote:
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
A person who believes in his heart, his soul, believes that Jesus is risen from the dead, believes to justification. By doing so he gives, in his soul, in all his imaginations, the place to Jesus that He deserves.
This believing in the soul (1), this trust, is an orientation, by the spirit (2), towards Jesus in the spiritual world. This is believing to justification, believing as a duality.
When belief in Jesus is confessed, i.e. is spoken out through the mouth (3), spirit, soul and body are aligned, as a trinity.
This confession with the mouth makes the believing soul saved.
c. Authoritative teaching as trinity.
When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law. (Matthew 7:28-29)
The Bible can be studied in a purely intellectual manner and it is possible to know everything about God and the Bible, without believing in God.
The spirit is not active when purely intellectual knowledge is gathered at soul and body level. The Bible is studied as a duality in that case.
Jesus taught from a trinity.
Jesus knew God, the Father, for He had come from God.
After His baptism in the Jordan He was filled with the Holy Spirit.
Jesus was oriented towards God the Father throughout His whole life, in everything.
Jesus lived in this world as a perfect trinity, of spirit, soul and body.
His teaching was authoritative, because He knew the Father and, as a result, He testified to divine truth. As a result of this Jesus’ teaching was also confirmed in the hearts of His listeners by the Holy Spirit.
What was true of Jesus’ teaching is true of everybody.
Teaching, given from a heart, a soul that is oriented towards Jesus, will be confirmed by the Holy Spirit in the spirit of the listener and, as a result, be experienced as being authoritative.
d. The building of the house of life.
As for everyone who comes to me and hears (understands, comprehends) my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. (Luke 6:47-48)
An immovable foundation is elementary for a strong building.
In this parable they are building on a rock.
That rock is Jesus Himself, as He says: everyone, who comes to me.
Because Jesus’ teaching is authoritative, anyone who hears (1) Jesus’ teaching with his spirit oriented towards Jesus (2), will have it confirmed (3) in his soul by the Holy Spirit.
This does not guarantee that the building of a house will be able to withstand the storms of life, however, for the soul, in the spirit oriented towards Jesus, is only a duality.
It becomes a trinity, when the words of Jesus truly influence life. This happens when the soul directs the body and the person in question starts living in accordance with Jesus‘ teaching. Think, in this connection, about what has already been written in this study about Jesus as the Truth.
Jesus then also warns:
But the one who hears (understands, comprehends) my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.
- The house does not collapse because it has been badly built.
- It collapses because it has been built on a weak foundation.
Someone who understands Jesus’ teaching but does not act accordingly, builds upon his own insights or upon the world’s teaching.
This is life in a duality, a weak foundation.
In life’s storms this foundation will be seen being washed away from under the house, so that it collapses, even if the house itself was built strongly.
e. True worship emanates from a trinity.
… a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth. (John 4:23-24)
In their soul, true worshippers are oriented towards the spiritual world, towards God, the Father, towards Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
They worship in truth, because they have allowed Jesus into their life, and into the imaginations of their heart, and in their behaviour in this world are oriented towards the Truth, towards Jesus.
In their spirit, soul and body they are like a trinity in their worship, oriented towards Jesus, Who is the way to the Father.
Jesus said of the people of His time:
These people honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules. (Matthew 15:8-9)
Worship as a result of teaching or commandments or regulations imposed by people is worship whereby the heart, the soul of the worshipper, is not oriented towards God.
This is worship as a duality.
This worship does not reach God and is to no avail.
The study ‘Man as spirit, soul and body’ is continued in the study ‘Adam and Eve in paradise’.
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Spirit, soul and body – and the power of trinity.