To be Christian involves the whole person: Spirit, Soul and Body.
One cannot be divorced from the other two. "Christ in you, the hope of glory" is not for the Spirit alone, but for the soul (mind, thinking, patterns of thought, emotions, will) and the body (flesh, bone and the urges of the flesh). All must be brought into holy order, or sanctified.
When did Christianity become merely an educational exercise in spiritual matters?
Yes, the new birth begins in the spirit, but immediately overflows into the soul and the body. The awakening of the spirit causes and awakening of the mind, which flows into the actions of the flesh, for the flesh acts out on the contents of the spirit and soul. The spirit may be the leader, but the soul and body always follow the leader.
Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NKJV)
Upon the completion of creating mankind, God said that it was "very good." Would God not want the whole man redeemed and restored? Would God only save the spirit to send the soul and flesh into hell? There is no evidence in the scriptures that God disregards the flesh that He called "very good" nor is there evidence that he disregards you will, thoughts, emotions, and patterns of thought.
We must resolve to join the scriptures in presenting ourselves as living sacrifices.
IN REGARDS TO THE SPIRIT.
That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (John 3:6 NKJV)
IN REGARDS TO THE MIND.
For "WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD THAT HE MAY INSTRUCT HIM?" But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16 NKJV)
IN REGARDS TO THE FLESH.
For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. Indeed, we put bits in horses' mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. (James 3:2-3 NKJV)
Let us be whole, earnest followers of Jesus, eager and desirous to serve Him with our entire being, Spirit, soul and body! AMEN and AMEN.
Brett Heintzman is passionate about the spiritual formation of God's people. These writings are designed to draw us close to God and to help us live out of the riches of His presence. It's all about being in the world but not of the world.