June 11, 2017: Living By the Spirit/The Tripartite Man

1 Thess. 5:23  May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit (pneuma) and soul (psuche) and body (soma) be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

3 parts of man – made in God’s image, God is 3 in 1.

  • body – flesh, blood, bone
  • soul – mind, will, emotions (thinkers, doers, feelers)
  • spirit – conscience, communion, intuition (infused with Holy Spirit)

Man has a spirit and because of this is unique from all other created beings.

God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. John 4:24

…but the one who joins Himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him. 1 Cor 6:17

The conscience is the discerning organ which distinguishes right and wrong; not, however, through the influence of knowledge stored in the mind but rather by a spontaneous direct judgment. Often reasoning will justify things which our conscience judges. The work of the conscience is independent and direct; it does not bend to outside opinions. If man should do wrong it will raise its voice of accusation. Intuition is the sensing organ of the human spirit. It is so diametrically different from physical sense and soulical sense that it is called intuition. Intuition involves a direct sensing independent of any outside influence. That knowledge which comes to us without any help from the mind, emotion or volition comes intuitively. We really “know” through our intuition; our mind merely helps us to “understand.” The revelations of God and all the movements of the Holy Spirit are known to the believer through his intuition. A believer must therefore heed these two elements: the voice of conscience and the teaching of intuition. Communion is worshiping God. The organs of the soul are incompetent to worship God. God is not apprehended by our thoughts, feelings or intentions, for He can only be known directly in our spirits.  

~ Watchmen Nee

How do we overcome the sin and live by the spirit?

Religion teaches us to make our soul stronger (know more, feel more, do/will more)

Christ teaches us to deny our soul.

“The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances.” Elizabeth Elliot

Psuche – where we get the word: psychology – mind, will, emotions

*See pdf download below for scriptures used in this episode.

Scriptures Tripartite Man


CHRIST IS DOING EXACTLY WHAT HE ASKS OF US  – Take up your cross and follow me.

The issue with religion and institutional christianity isn’t that it “does church” wrong. It is that the source of the church is wrong. The source of institutional christianity is the soul. Just because you meet in a home, don’t have a pastor, and let everyone share in the meetings doesn’t mean that source is Christ. Those things can be done out of the soul-life just as easily as other forms of church. The source of the ekklesia is Christ/His Spirit.

The spirit and the soul act independently and, until the spirit has established the ascendancy and absolute dominion, they are constantly in conflict and contradiction. – T. Austin-Sparks

Scriptural evidence of spirit (pneuma).


Christ is the Word of God who is living right now, active right now, and is dividing between what is of the soul and what is of the spirit.

Faith is complete confidence or trust in a person or thing.

Hebrews 11

Now complete confidence in Jesus Christ is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. for by complete confidence in Jesus Christ we gain approval…by complete confidence in Jesus Christ we understand…by complete confidence in Jesus Christ we offer sacrifices…by complete confidence in Jesus Christ we do not see death…without complete confidence in Jesus Christ it is impossible to please God…by complete confidence in Jesus Christ we become heirs of righteousness…by complete confidence in Jesus Christ we obey…by complete confidence in Jesus Christ we receive the inheritance…by complete confidence in Jesus Christ we live as aliens in this world…by complete confidence in Jesus Christ we conceive Life…by complete confidence in Jesus Christ we offer up all things…by complete confidence in Jesus Christ we bless…by complete confidence in Jesus Christ we worship…by complete confidence in Jesus Christ we die…by complete confidence in Jesus Christ we do not fear…by complete confidence in Jesus Christ we refuse this world…by complete confidence in Jesus Christ we remember…by complete confidence in Jesus Christ we bring down walls…by complete confidence in Jesus Christ we do not perish…for we fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our complete confidence in Jesus Christ.

What does it look like to live by soul vs. spirit?

  • The soul-life will always seek to divide and conquer. Ex: individualism (don’t give others say in your life)- only spend quality time with certain saints
  • The spirit will always seek unity, peace, and oneness. Ex: allowing others to speak into your life, allowing others a say in the church
  • The soul-life will always do things with selfish intentions and motives. Ex: will I gain from this?
  • The spirit regards others as more important than itself. Ex: will Christ gain from this?
  • The soul-life will always seek to tear down and destroy to make itself look good. Ex: pointing out other’s faults
  • The spirit will always seek to restore and edify (build up). Ex: guarding each one’s dignity
  • The soul-life will always seek revenge, self-restitution, and will refuse to forgive when wronged. Ex: telling others when someone has wronged you, holding on to hurts from someone (which can interfere with creating true relationship with that person)
  • The spirit will not take into account a wrong suffered. Ex: forgiving at the expense of self
  • The soul-life will always promote itself. Ex: defend your side to those not directly involved
  • The spirit will always promote Christ and the church. Ex: the spirit will see situations with spiritual eyes and promote the eternal things, casting aside the temporal
  • The soul-life reacts emotionally. Ex: takes into account how my feelings are affected. reaction vs. response
  • The spirit responds in love. Ex: lays aside first reactions and negative emotions and responds in a way that puts others above self
  • The soul-life wants to move quickly and is impatient. Ex: unwilling to wait for the whole Body to move together, unwilling to bear with a brother or sister
  • The spirit desires God’s purpose and will wait for Him to move. Ex: moves by the pillar and cloud
  • The soul-life attempts to remove God’s glory for itself. Ex: spiritual successes (gifts) creating a box: I have the gift of prophecy/I have a deeper revelation
  • The spirit seeks to promote God’s expression and glory. Ex: Focuses on the Giver of gifts, encourages all to share the revelation of the Lord they have
  • The soul-life knows intellectually. Ex: only willing to accept our own opinion and view of things
  • The spirit accepts by faith. Ex: believes God no matter what
  • The soul-life never wants to die, ie. become lesser, decrease, abdicate its control to the spirit. Ex: unwilling to ask for forgiveness, admit when wrong
  • The spirit always embraces the cross. Ex: willing to lay down their lives
  • The soul-life always wants to be first, greatest, and most prominent. Ex: withdraws after making a mistake, doesn’t admit a mistakes
  • The spirit always takes the position of the lowest and the least. Ex: acknowledges their mistakes
  • The soul-life will judge and condemn others – reading into their words and actions. Ex: doesn’t take time to get to know others but makes snap judgements
  • The spirit always thinks the best of others and doesn’t jump to conclusions. Ex: gives everyone the benefit of the doubt, doesn’t judge intentions

2Co 4:16-18 NASB 16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. 17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.


4 thoughts on “June 11, 2017: Living By the Spirit/The Tripartite Man”

  1. Each week, just when I think “you can’t top this”, you explode my expectations. I will be listening to this one over and over. Thanking God for every one of you!!!

  2. so true, how the soul-life fails.
    about the “3-part man”, you may find to check further and deeper still?
    ψυχη [psuche] is an effect (an aftermath), not a “thing”; defined literal as a cooling-effect — as-like the spirit-breath cooling the body.
    Long ago in Greece and Rome, philosophers began to speak of the soul as if an entity.
    If you’ve ever mixed baking soda with vinegar, you’ve seen the effect produced by bringing these 2 together. Or as when the wind blows through a tree, so “effecting” leaves to flutter or fall.
    It was the Catholic Church in Rome that further promoted the idea of a soul as a thing… a thing to be tormented forever in the fires of Hell, or to be confined to a purgatory. So strong their influence, Protestants has often translated the Hebrew “nephesh” as “soul”, while nephesh more directly means “creature”. The admixture through history goes pretty deep. Worth a further look?

    1. Thanks, brother, for listening and sharing. Not exactly sure what you’re asking here. Regardless of whether the soul is a “thing” or an “effect”, it doesn’t change what was shared in this program. More to the point, it doesn’t change what Jesus said: “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life (psuche) will lose it, and those who lose their life (psuche) for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.”
      Thanks again for listening!

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