There is a teaching you need to be aware of. It is a combination of two misunderstood verses. One is about our ‘spirit man’. The other is your walk or behavior.

I have written on this in the past. Still, I must elaborate a little at first to make things clear. Don’t worry if you miss the segway as the two points merge together. You may have heard that we are not one but three parts, body, soul, and spirit. This comes from something Paul said.

 "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." 1 Thessalonians 5:23 

It is easy to think Paul said we are body, soul, and spirit. Read it again. That is not what Paul said. It is easy to miss the intent within the context of the conversation at the moment.

The word ‘spirit’ in this dialog does NOT refer to a supernatural or non-terrestrial part of man. It refers to our character or attitude! Remember the pep rallies at school and the talk about school ‘spirit’? It’s the same meaning. Think about it and read the verses that come before and after 1 Thessalonians 5:23. Is Paul talking about creation? No. He’s talking to the Thessalonian believers about their walk!

Paul prayed that their character, being, and flesh be holy, righteous, and spotless before Christ when he returns. Again, examine the context. Paul mentions parts AND the whole to make it clear our santification must be entire and complete.

We are a flesh body with the breath of God in us. This makes us a living soul. It is this simple. Let’s view our proof text.

 "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." Genesis 2:7

Genesis 2:7 says God formed a body and breathed life into it. And that body became a living soul. Let’s be very clear. We are not a spirit that lives in a body and possess a soul. Genesis does not make us a spirit man in any way, shape, or form!

See Hebrews 2:7 and 9. God made us a little lower than the angels. This means we are not spirits as they are. We are flesh! Nothing more!

 "For he remembered that they were but flesh; a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again." Psalms 78:39
 "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." 1 John 3:2
 Jesus said, "Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have." Luke 24:39

Jesus was flesh, not a spirit man, when he came, lived, died, rose from the dead, and ascended into Heaven. He will be flesh when he returns. We will be flesh when we see him and live as flesh for eternity. Not flesh and blood mind you, but flesh and bone!

We can’t claim the law of first mention in other places and ignore it in this case to fit our personal theology. Review my article, Body, Soul, and Spirit for more details.

We’ve established by God’s Word we are created flesh and not created spirits. Let’s look at another verse.

 "To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect," Hebrews 12:23

Any teaching (the point of this article) that says your ‘spirit man’ is made perfect before God according to Hebrews 12:23, so no matter what you do in the flesh, you are good to go, is false. Such doctrine will keep you a slave to sin in your flesh and you will be lost when Christ returns! Not to mention, it is a lie that the spirit cannot sin. Is Satan not a spirit? Did God not make him perfect? Did he not sin? Hmm…

Again, the context is about the behavior or character of the Hebrew believers, not their ‘spirit man’. Remember my reference earlier about school spirit? We will make mistakes in the flesh, but our walk and attitude before God must mirror Christ. Again, this is the spirit Paul refers to.

God wants us to understand that while we are flesh, we will make mistakes. Yet, like Christ, we are still able to walk upright and without sin before the Father. It takes practice, but if Jesus did it and asks us to do it, we can by the Holy Ghost!

2 Corinthians 13:11, Ephesians 4:13, Phillipians 3:15, Colossians 1:28 and 4:12, 2 Timothy 3:17, Hebrews 13:21, James 1:4 and 3:2, 1 Peter 5:10

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