Spirit to Spirit

20140802-104725-38845595.jpgThe Bible says that every person is of a tripartite nature, that is, spirit, soul, and body (1 Thessalonians 5:23). The body is the shell and is considered by God to be good (as opposed to Greek thought and several Eastern religions). The soul is commonly considered to consist of mind, will, and emotions. This is the dimension one’s personality is located. And then there is the spirit, the final frontier, the deepest part of our being, what Freud was probably picking up on when he wrote of the subconscious (Bro. Dan mentioned this once in a small group).

Most people live controlled by their body and/or soul. When a person comes to Christ, the Holy Spirit enters that person at the spirit level. Paul writes, “But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him” (1 Corinthians 6:17). In other words, at salvation, the Holy Spirit literally (as opposed to metaphorically) enters a person and is joined with that person’s spirit. It is a sacred marriage. Two have become one. A Christian’s spirit is married to God’s Spirit.

The deepest, most powerful ministry in a person’s life is when they are being ministered to on a spirit level. There is a place for body and soul ministry, but spirit is deepest. Think of sin, pain, bondage, etc. as being obstacles between the spirit and the other two dimensions of our nature. The ideal picture is God ministering to our spirit and then that which happens in our spirit flows unhindered and unobstructed to the remaining two parts of our nature.

Let me make this a little more personal now. Though I have a horrible voice, I love singing to my 5 month old son. He cannot yet understand my words. To say it differently, on a soul level, my song is undifferentiated to him. The song is nothing more than mumbo-jumbo. However, at the deepest level, especially as the spiritual authority in his life as his father, I’m singing into his spirit. Out of my spirit, into his. Spirit to spirit. When you understand this pronciple, faith will spring up in your heart. A person doesn’t necessarily have to understand everything you are saying. You can deeply impact your son/daughter before he/she possesses understanding in a particular language. And assuming the Christian worldview is true, spirit-to-spirit ministry is the deepest.

Read the following:

Mark 1:21-25 NIV
[21] They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. [22] The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. [23] Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an impure spirit cried out, [24] “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” [25] “Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!”

Is it not ironic that Jesus rebuked this man though they he was speaking truth? He had correct understanding (soul) and his body (the tongue specifically) was speaking truth. So what was the problem? The spirit was the problem. From a body and soul perspective, the man was fine. This passage makes a strong, philosophical case for the tripartite nature of a human as opposed to a singular or bipartite view. If all there is to a human is body or body/soul, then one would not have the philosophical tools to properly analyze Jesus’ move here. But with a three-tiered view of human nature, though the man’s body and soul response was fine, there is still a third part remaining, his spirit, wherein we can locate Jesus’ reason for rebuking him. His spirit was off. His spirit needed to be set right.

Returning to the more personal aspect of this article, I want to tell you what I’m singing into my son’s spirit. Here goes:

You don’t have to do anything for my love.
I already love you,
I love you so.

I’m depositing in his spirit that God’s love is unearned, unmerited, Uncaused by any human behavior (or the lack thereof). Essentially, I’m preparing him to understand Grace.


Published by B.J. Condrey, PhD

Dr. Condrey holds a Bachelor of Arts in both Philosophy and Psychology from the University of Missouri-KC, a Master of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Southern Mississippi, and a Ph.D. in Ethics & Practical Theology from the University of Edinburgh. He is ACSI certified. Dr. Condrey writes courses and teaches Psychology, Bible, and C.S. Lewis at Enlightium Academy, where he began working in 2016. He has served as a youth, young adult, and small group pastor in the local church, and currently teaches Ethics at the University of Southern Mississippi. He has a book published by Wipf & Stock (Breaking Ground) along with other publications. In his spare time, he enjoys reading and writing, spending time with his family, traveling, trout fishing, family hikes, and drinking coffee! He is passionate about helping young people construct a biblical worldview so that their faith involves both the mind and heart. He has been married since 2009 and has two children.

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