Humankind in His Total Concept
The Nature of Man:
The Bible speaks about three kinds of people: The Natural, the Carnal, and the Spiritual.
The Natural Man:
The natural Man may know about God intellectually but has never entered into a personal relationship with God. The natural Man sits on the throne of his own Life. Although Satan rules and controls him, he believes himself to be the master.
Humankind is born in this condition, 1 Cor. 2:14; the natural Man lives Life from the outside, from the external to the internal. Outward circumstances & worldly philosophies influence his soul. Thus, his mind, will, and emotions are misguided. The natural Man’s decision-making processes are often in error because he makes no allowance for God and has no Holy Spirit to guide his thinking.
The Carnal Man:
The carnal Man knows the Lord but is still trying to govern his Life. He wants Jesus to be the co-pilot, not the Lord of his Life. He makes choices based on his old sinful nature and ends up doing the very thing from which God is trying to deliver him. He makes decisions contrary to God’s Will. 1 Cor. 3:1-4
The Spiritual Man:
The Spiritual Man is transformed by the Word of God and begins to reflect the very mind of Christ. He learns to allow the Holy Spirit to control the innermost parts of his Life. He dies to himself so that God can live His Life through him, Galatians 2:20. The spiritual Man lives his Life from the inside out, meaning from the internal to the external. The Spirit of God controls his soul and body, allowing him to live out the principles and commands of God. Without the Word, Prayer, and Obedience to God’s commandments, a spiritual man easily slides to the middle chair of carnality.
To escape carnality, one must be a:
- A disciple who knows who he is – John 15:16
- A disciple who knows why he is here on earth –
- Eph. 1:11, 12
- A disciple who knows what he is to be doing –
- Mat. 28:18-20
- A disciple who is carefully trained to do the work of the Ministry – Mk.6:12-13
- A disciple who the Holy Spirit empowers – Acts 2:1
- A disciple who is willing to die for the objective –
- Acts 7:58-59.
The Key Thought on the nature of Man: – Genesis 1:26-27
The scripture makes it clear that the original Man was the direct result of God’s creative act. The Man was created in the image and likeness of God as a tripartite being consisting of Spirit, soul, and body. God made us to have a relationship with Him, to be made into His image and likeness, to share in His function of dominion, and to be fruitful and reproduce himself. In beholding the glory of the heavens, the Psalmist asked, “what is man?” – Ps. 8:4, Job 7:17-18. The answers are:
- Man is a created being – Gen. 1:26, 27, 2:7; Rev. 4:11
- Man is a dependent being – Acts 17:23-31. Man depends on God for his breath; in God, Man lives, moves, and has his Being.
- Man is an intelligent being. He has reason, intelligence, imagination, and the ability to express his thoughts in language – Gen. 2:15, 1:26-28, Isa. 1:18, Rom. 1:21.
- Man is a moral being: God created Man with free will and the ability to choose. It makes Man a moral and responsible creature. God desired a creature that would respond to Him willingly and freely. God placed within a man a conscience, which gives him a moral sense, distinguishing right from wrong. Conscience means knowledge of self concerning a known law of right and wrong. It is a faculty that no animal has. In Man’s upright state at creation, his Conscience was inactive until Man sinned. The moment he sinned, his Conscience began to work, and his thoughts began to accuse him.
- Man is a Love Being: this shows the very purpose and reason for the creation of Man. God is Love, and Love must not only have an object but must have that which can reciprocate that Love – 1 John 4:16-19. The Man was created by Love for Love to reciprocate Love. Without such LoveLove, Man’s heart remains empty and void. A love relationship with God is more important than any other single factor in your Life, so we must learn to love God more dearly, pray more faithfully, trust God fully, and wait on God with anticipation. Everything in Your Christian Life, Knowing Him and Experiencing Him, and Knowing His Will depends on The Quality of Your Love Relationship with God. To be loved by God is the highest relationship, achievement, and position in Life.
- Man is a Triune Being consisting of Spirit, Soul, and Body – 1Thess 5:23, Heb. 4:12, 1Cor. 2:14, 3:4. These are the three centers of consciousness within the total personality of Man.
Faculties of the Human Soul:
- The Will or Volition is the organ of decision, the power to choose; it expresses Man’s willingness to do or not to do – Deut. 21:14, Gen. 24:5, Rom. 6:16
- The Mind or Intellect is the seat of learning and the instrument of Man’s thoughts. It manifests Man’s intellectual power. Here lies the seat of Man’s acquired knowledge, human wisdom, and reasoning. When not trained or exercised, it makes a man foolish or dull. When a human’s mind moves, it is called ‘thought .”Thought’ is the mind in motion – Ps 139:14, Jeremiah 29:11. Knowledge, thinking, and thoughts are all activities of Man’s intellect or mind, which emanate from the soul of Man.
- Emotion or Feeling is the organ of likes or dislikes, LoveLove or hate. Humans can express LoveLove, hate, joy, and sadness through this faculty. Lack of it will render Man insensitive. Through this faculty, Man expresses affection or LoveLove. Deut. 6:5, 2 Sam 5:8, Deut14:26, 1 Sam. 30:6, John 10:11, 1 Cor. 15:44, Rom. 8:1, 2 Cor. 5:17, Mat. 16:26, Luke 9:25; Heb. 4:12
Faculties of Human Spirit:
- The Conscience is like God’s own policeman. It is the discerning organ that distinguishes right and wrong. It is not controlled through human senses or guided by stored-up or acquired knowledge. It acts spontaneously by direct intuitive knowledge or judgment. It is that faculty by which Man apprehends the will of God. The work of the Conscience is independent of human reasoning. It is not influenced by outside opinion or reasoning. If a man should do wrong, his Conscience will condemn him or raise a voice of accusation as that designed by God to govern humans’ lives – 1 John 3:19- 20, Rom. 2:15, 1 John 3:21-22, John 9:31. The relationship between Conscience and intuition is that Conscience judges according to intuition.
- The Intuition – God speaks to man by intuition; Intuitive knowledge is that revelation knowledge from God; Mark 2:8, 1 Cor. 2:11
- Communion is the faculty of worship. Man worships God through the organ of communion; John 4:23, 1 Cor. 6:17, Rom.1:8, 9
Man, On Three Realms of Life:
In the New Testament, three different words are employed in Greek to designate the three kinds of Life – spiritual, soulical, and physical.
BIOS: The Physical Life
Physical Life is the basest or lowest kind of Life. It is the general Life of all living things, including plants and animals. It is used in the scriptures in three aspects:
a. Denoting the duration of Life, notably the Life of the flesh – 1Peter4:3; 2Tim. 2:4; Luke 8:14.
b. The manner of Life: Life regarding its moral conduct. Paul exhorts Timothy – 1 Timothy 2:1,2; John speaks on this kind of Life – 1 John 2:16.
c. The means of Life; regarding livelihood, maintenance, living or existence; Jesus said of the widow – Mark 12:44; of the woman with the issue of blood – Luke 8:43; Jesus used it to refer to worldly possessions – 1 John 3:17
2. PSUCHE – Soulical Life:
Psuche refers to natural or soul life. The Bible uses this term to describe the natural Life of the fallen Man. Besides its meaning as mind or soul, it denotes the Life of the fallen Man; it is also used in four other respects
a. The breath of Life, or the natural Life. God speaks to Joseph – Matt. 2:20; Jesus speaks – Mark 10:45; God told the children of Israel
– Leviticus 17:11
b. The seat of personality: Jesus says – Luke 9:24, 25
c. The seat of the sentinent element in Man, by which he perceives, reflects, feels, desires, etc. Jesus says – Matt. 11:29
d. The seat of Will and Purpose – Matt. 22:37
The soul is the Man himself, the seat of Man’s personality with organs of volition, emotions, and intellect. In James 5:20, saving a soul is considered to mean saving a sinner (Luke 12:19). Jesus confirms that the soul of Man is Man himself in two different gospels – Matt. 16:26; Luke 9:25
3. ZOE Spiritual Life
At new birth, Man receives the very Life of God called “Eternal” or “Everlasting life .”It is called “Zoe” in Greek. In the NT, Zoe is used to Living Life in the absolute sense. It is Life as God has it; that which the father has in Himself, and which He gave to the Incarnate son to have in Himself – John 5:26.
That is the Life the son manifested in the world – 1 John 1:2,3; John 3:15, Col.3:4, John 6:35. Eternal Life is the present actual possession of the believer because of his relationship with Christ. Jesus says in John 5:24, 1 John 3:14, 2 Cor.5:4, 1 Cor. 2:14, and John 3:3. Zoe is Life intensive; Bios is Life extensive. In Scripture, Zoe is a great word. The nobler word expresses as it continually does all of the highest and best, which the saints possess in God; Life in the absolute sense. The work of regeneration begins with God and ends with God – Ezekiel 36:25-28, John 1:12,13; John 15:3, Eph. 5:25- 27; Heb. 9:22,28; 10:1-4; Heb. 10:5-10, 23. A new spirit requires a new heart – Matt. 9:17, 1Pet. 1:22-25, John 6:63, 1Pet. 2:1-3, Ezekiel 36:27
The New Spirit Needs Training
God promised to put his Spirit beside the Spirit of Man to enable him:
– Walk in the statues of God
– Keep Hisjudgment
– Do His Will and Live in obedience – John 14:16-18; 14:26; 16:13-14
The Spirit Needs Guidance
The Spirit will also guard the children of God against sin unto righteousness and away from judgment. John 16:8-11; Romans 8:1
The Spirit of God leads all Children of God – Romans 8:14-16; 8:26-27; 1 Cor.
2:14-16; Prov. 20:27; John 10:50b; Mat. 6:33
The laws of the Spirit:
- The weight of the Spirit – Spirit should be kept in a very free condition and constantly be light as though soaring in the air; –The weight of the Spirit is from Satan, and the sole purpose is to cause believers to suffer; Satan uses the weight to suppress believers.
- The Blockage of the Spirit – once a believer’s Spirit is blocked, he loses his vigor; when he reads the Bible, he does not seem to have any words to say; when he preaches, he does not sense any result and feels that he is only going through the motions;
- The poisoning of the Spirit – a believer’s Spirit can become poisoned by evil spirits – sometimes Satan causes our Spirit to become hard, stubborn, narrow, selfish, wild, and disobedient. Consequently, the Spirit is not able to cooperate with the Holy Spirit and carry out God’s Will;
- The Depression of the Spirit – Believers become depressed in their Spirit mostly when they turn inward to look at themselves;
- The Burden of the Spirit: the burden of the Spirit is from God; its purpose is to make known God’s will and secure the believers’ cooperation;
- The Ebbing of the Spirit means that God’s Life and power can ebb away in the believers’ Spirit like the ebbing away of the tide. Once a believer feels that his spiritual Life appears to be ebbing away, he should find out where it is blocked;
- The Negligence of Responsibility of the Spirit – The human Spirit is like an electric light. When the Spirit deviates from its normal condition, it becomes isolated from the Holy Spirit and loses its light. If the Spirit is troubled by outward circumstances, it immediately becomes useless and unable to cooperate with the Holy Spirit. Once the Spirit has neglected its responsibility, victory becomes impossible.
Some common misunderstandings in the work of the Holy Spirit are as follows:
- Waiting for the Holy Spirit – indeed, the Lord Jesus commanded the disciple to wait for the Holy Spirit to be upon them. Still, after Pentecost, we do not find anywhere in the Acts or the Epistles where the Apostles commanded the believers to ‘wait’ to receive the Holy Spirit. After Pentecost, ‘receive’ is used instead of ‘wait’ (Acts 19:2). The Holy Spirit cannot be called on directly, neither does He come through our beseeching because He is a gift of God (John 14: 16);
- Obeying the Holy Spirit – once a person goes a little beyond the Bible, he faces many dangers; and
- The Holy Spirit Being the Master – the best expression is that the Holy Spirit works within us, making us obey God.
Some aspects of Spiritual living include:
- Memory – John 14: 26
- Love – the LoveLove of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit;
- Humility; and
- God’s order