Perfect Peace. Hmmm. What is perfect peace? I often wonder what it would be like to live in perfect peace? Is it possible to live in perfect peace? Maybe for you its a thought of heaven when all the “things” of this world fade away. Isaiah made a statement that hopefully will challenge the way you think. He said “YOU will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts You. Really Isaiah! Is it that simple? Yes! The answer is that simple, but the process is the challenge. Have you ever tried to keep your mind fixed on “one” thing for just 5 minutes? Try it. How about an hour? What about a day? How about the process of keeping your mind on Him continually with a day full of distractions?
He ends his last statement with he trust in You. Not only is my thought life of utmost importance, but now there is this trust or believing in Him that must be part of my faculties. You have power over what you believe, but what you believe has power over you. If my beliefs are grounded on faith in his ways, then his ways (faith) have power over me. If my beliefs are rooted in fear, then fears ways will have power over me. Proverbs 23:7 says “for as a man thinks in his heart so is he. 3 John 3:2 says “I would that you be in health even as your soul (psuche/mind) prospers”.
So the soul sits right at the intersection of spirit and body. What is the soul? Well, you have probably heard the definition of mind, will and emotions which is a pretty good description. Genesis 2:7 “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.” The verse says spirit entered body and it became a living soul. For me this not as much about what man is composed of and all of the nuances of theology that cause divisions, but what is the function of spirit, soul and body.
There are two main points of theology that are based on the composition of man. These two theologies are known as dichotomy and trichotomy. The dual nature of man and the three part man. There are great men of God that have studied, argued and made their findings on this discussion as to the composition of man. Once you study these then someone wants to know are you at dichotomist or a trichotomist. It has always been the nature of man to label each other. I don’t want to be labeled with divisive terminologies but desire to just reveal what God has given to me according to the “function” of man. End of intermission.
The Living Soul
So God breathed (naphach) into the dust of the ground (Adam) and he became a living soul. The breath of God is believed to be the form of the Spirit (Ruwach). Both are interchangeable with wind and breath. The best definition that I can give you for the breath of His Spirit is the breath or wind of heaven. We see three times that God breathed on creation. First, we see this amazing breath into Adam creating mankind, a living soul. Second, we see this breath come from the lungs of Christ and they received the Holy Spirit. And lastly, we have Paul telling us that the scripture or word of God is God-breathed.
We are to be set apart “whole” spirit, soul and body according to Thessalonians. The body of Adam was formed from the dust of the ground and the original creation of the earth. This part of his being was his world conscience. After the fall we see its influence to carnality and death on a physical realm. It is in this part of man that sickness and disease has infected the system. The Spirit is the ruwach that was breathed into Adam. We also know this word later translated as pneuma of God. In John 6:63 Jesus says, “It is the spirit who gives life”. Proverbs 20:27 says, “The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord.” This is the God conscience of Adam. It was in this place that intimate union or communion was made with God. It’s always been by His Spirit. It was the fall of man where intimate union was lost, but through the cross of Christ that intimacy was restored.
A Divine Intersection
So what about the soul? For me a functioning understanding of the soul is the intersection of body and spirit. Where spirit intersects with creation of man it becomes a living soul. So yes for the purpose of function it is at this intersection where the mind, will and emotions are displayed. I believe He knew me by spirit and flesh before I was in my mothers womb and designed me with perfection. At the center of this intersection between my spirit and my body is the greatest thing He could intrust to mankind and that is our free-will. It is in the likeness of Him that He granted me the freedom to choose. I could not worship the Living God without free will and freedom of choice. Wow! Made in His likeness. It is the intersection between the most complex neurological system created (the brain) and the spirit that we have been given a “mind” (next blog we will discuss).
It was this intersection that Adam standing in the garden was faced with a choice. God said I’ve placed two trees in the garden, one you can eat and the other you should not eat. Did Adam have intimate union with God (perfect spirit) before the fall? I believe he did. Did he have a perfect body before the fall? I believe he did. Yet at this intersection of his spirit and his brain he had the ability to be manipulated by the serpent and choose the tree of knowledge of good and evil. I think we must remember that before this he chose to walk in the Garden with God. He chose intimacy over rebellion. His battle is the same battle we have today to chose the tree of life over the tree of knowledge of good and evil. After the rebellion by Adam, did his spirit become broken or marred? Yes. After the fall did Adams’ flesh become susceptible to corruption? Yes.
It's not that Adam had an inferior spirit or an inferior body. They were both created and designed by the most amazing Creator. They were designed in perfect peace. But it was that intersection of spirit and body where God gives us freedom to chose that He trusted and risked his creation. Only a God of love would risk so much on the choice of others that would undo all His handiwork. Not only did He risk and not only did He allow the fall but He also restored mankind through Jesus Christ, the life giving spirit.
The Life Giving Spirit
I Corinthians 15:45-49
And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.”The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual. The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.
First the Word, who is eternal became flesh. He was chosen by the Godhead to become flesh and the Bible says in Colossians in the fullness of the Godhead dwells him. He had a body. He is the incarnate deity. He lived a sinless life and there was “no beguile upon Him”. One amazing account is there no occasion of a story in His life where He needed healing from sickness or disease. Saving us from perdition is only the remedial step to bring us back to Gods original plan. God’s purpose was to be in communion with our lives. Jesus was in the Garden in the tree of life. In dying He releases His divine life on creation, and in resurrection he becomes a receivable spirit. He needed to die, not only to redeem us but to release His divine life that was contained in the shell of humanity. He referred to himself as the one grain of wheat that must fall into the ground to produce many heads of wheat. It was this event that changed the economy of mankind. It was this event that made him a life giving spirit to you and I. He is the living water from the smitten rock. If you drink of Him you shall become a new creation and you will be joined in communion with the life giving Spirit.
You are more than a living soul, you are a life giving believer. Through the new birth, we repent, believe and are born again into the life giving spirit. I believe that you are saved Spirit and Body. Will this body stay here at death? The scripture is constantly speaking of the resurrection of the body. I believe in the resurrection of you completely body and spirit. Jesus is the example. He died, was buried and was resurrected.
The Temple of God
You are the temple of God. God never wanted to live in “golden boxes” and temples but His heart was to be in communion with you. Don’t be more impressed with Indiana Jones stories of finding the ark of the covenant when he has chosen to tabernacle inside you; Christ in you. You can’t afford to have an evil thought about yourself when God has chosen you as His habitation. Quit trying to get out of the body He has chosen to come into. He must see something of perfection and goodness of His creation to make you His “abiding place”. We are the temple of the life giving spirit and that makes me happy.
What is my purpose? Your purpose is to live like a King in your spirit, a steward in your soul and a servant in your body. See your born again spirit now houses the spirit of God. He is a part of your nature now. Your spirit has been given “the mind of Christ” and contains all truth and communion with God. You have complete access to the heavenly throne and its resources. Now that’s how I want to live. Your soul (mind) now must become a steward to the spirit of God. You still have that amazing gift of free will to chose and that is what makes our relationship with God so wonderful. Your mind must steward information from the realm of heaven and the realm of earth and make wise choices. We have this amazing advantage of “having the mind of Christ” to confer with on a constant basis. My body must come in line with the stewardship of the soul. Your body was never intended to rule your spirit. Your body is to serve you, serve God and serve others.
You are more than an amazing creation, you are the sons and daughters of the King. You are royalty and must realize your position as royalty. Perfect peace is to live in complete, daily communion with God. At the center of our thoughts is the ability to chose our destiny. It says again “YOU” will keep him (me or you) in PERFECT PEACE whose mind stays on “YOU”. The rulership of the mind is my job, giving me perfect peace is His.