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What about the Spirit?
A Pattern Page from the College Years
What about the Spirit?
The Spirit is the part of the human trichotomy that can have communion with God. As we are born in sin, that part is dead when we are born. It is our true conscience which is reborn at the point of salvation. Our spirit is what experiences the regeneration and the baptism of the Holy Spirit. This happens at salvation. The Holy Spirit indwells our spirit and becomes our life blood, spiritually speaking.
The spiritual realm is beyond the perceptions of the body and soul. Yet, even when our spirit is dead, our soul longs for it to be alive. For this reason, before salvation we make pseudo-consciences. We construct these false consciences. We construct these based on three basic areas.
1. Based on Family values. What our families tell us is right and wrong is what we base our perceptions on before we are saved. Though we are dead to God and His leading before salvation, we still know there is a right and wrong. So, we fill the void of spiritual direction with the customs and practices and traditions of our families.
2. Society is just an extension of family. It also fills in the blanks of what is right and wrong before salvation.
3. Then we also make our own determinations of what we choose to call right and wrong. We are our own god in this way before salvation.
This pseudo-conscience guides us and to some extent eases our desire for the true conscience that is dead in sin. Yet this false conscience is a projection of the soul and therefore cannot give any true spiritual understandings. After salvation, when the true spirit is reborn. We then have new spiritual perceptions that reveal true spiritual matters. But sometimes people do not learn to use their true spirit/conscience in more than a minimal way. Many people continue to function primarily on their pseudo-conscience.
The spirit does mature and grow stronger, but it is perfect in that it is sinless. I John 3:9 “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” The spirit, when it is reborn is made whole is washed. It is then free from all sin. For the Holy Spirit dwells therein. If it were not completely free from sin, God could not dwell in it. So, this is the part of our person that is perfect. That is how God looks at us and sees us without sin. He sees our spirit. Our soul and body are not perfected yet.
Grace is the power and the ability to do what is right. Rom. 12 says we have gift according to the grace given to us. A study of II Corinthians 8:1-8 and Rom. 12:6-9 shows that there are, in fact, seven graces. These seven gifts correspond to the seven graces.
Grace is the power of God to do what we should. Philippians 2:13 “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of [his] good pleasure.” It is spiritual energy like food is to your physical bodies. If we sin, this energy is not used. If we continue in sin, grace abounds (Rom. 6:1). When we use the grace, it produces a sense of satisfaction, just like a physical workout can give you a sense of satisfaction. So, grace when it is used produces joy.
Joy is not happiness which is dependent on circumstances and emotion. Even in bad times, you can have joy. Happiness is dependent on what happens. Joy is not. Joy is not a feeling that comes out of our soul, but out of our spirit. That is why an unsaved person cannot experience the joy of the Lord. Their spirit is dead.
When we do not use the grace, it changes. Just like a calorie is energy to be used for work. But if we do not use it, it turns to fat. So, if we do not use grace, it turns to guilt. Guilt is spiritual fat. Hebrews 12:15 “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble [you], and thereby many be defiled;” Just like fat can become infected in cellulitis, so grace can be turned to bitterness if we resist it. If you do not use grace, it turns to guilt. But if you resist God’s grace, it turns to bitterness.
There is a part of us as Christians that is already perfect and sinless. It is our spirit. When God dwells within us, He indwells our spirit, not our souls. II Corinthians 6:14 “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in [them]; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” God cannot dwell with sin. The blood of Christ has cleansed our spirits of all sin. The spirit dwells in our spirit and our spirit is completely holy and perfect. Now, that does not mean that our spirit will not mature and grow. It will if we allow it to, but it is perfect and holy. This is why God gives us grace. He wants us to grow in grace, not waste it.
God originally intended for us to have continual communion with Him. When Adam sinned, sin separated him from God and His Spirit. When we are saved, Christ’s blood cleans us from all sin, not only past sin, but future sins as well. That communion that we have with him will never end. You cannot lose your salvation. The only thing that I have ever heard anyone say that could make you lose your salvation is sin. Yet even if we sin, our spirit is still sinless. Christ’s blood has cleansed us of our sin forever even the future sins. Now, if we allow the law of sin at work in our physical bodies to dominate our actions, we will have problems. God will chastise us. Sin will destroy us. Satan will have a hold in your actions. But once Christ’s blood has washed away all our sins (past and future), then what can ever separated us from God’s Spirit. Romans 8:38 “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
The physical realm is not the spiritual realm, not the soulual realm. Both are contained in the spiritual realm. The realm of the soul and the realm of the body both have limits. No so the realm of the spirit. The body and soul dwell in their own reams but also in the spiritual. Anything that dwells in the physical or soulual is also in the spiritual. For the Spiritual realm is the context in which all reality exists.
by Andrew Grosjean 1992
This artical is the second artical in a series about the human trichotomy. This article was written during college around 1993, laying aside some recent editing. This was written during the when I was working for my BRe at Midwestern Baptist College. Don't worry, they thought I was strange back then too.
This article is a part of a series. The first one was "What about the Soul?" and then "What about the Spirit?" Then there was "What about the Mind and Memory?" Please refer to these articles as well.