© Carlos Padilla, September 2010


...Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 5:23.


We know that our target as Christians is to accomplish the Great Commission instructed by our Lord Jesus Christ, that we go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that the Lord has commanded us because He is with us always until the end of times. Trusting, therefore, that He holds all powers in Heaven as well as on earth, let us go eagerly and urgently because there are many around us who do not know the Lord, Who is with us, because this is the best cause, the biggest mission in the Bible in Matthew 28:16-20.


Knowing that our objective as Church is to go out to the world and win souls for the Kingdom of the Lord by preaching the Gospel, let's go out and evangelize and conquer lives for God, following the strategies, revelations and signs of the Lord. Let us use the media, prayer, fast and all the projects that every Bible-based and evangelizing church may plan for their members to participate in, which is reflected in the conquer of the promised land when Joshua led God's people.


In order to do so, we have to conquer our own life first or, better said, let ourselves be conquered by the Lord. Our life has three different battlefields: the spirit, the soul and the body; and the three of them can become our tools and means for the spiritual conquer led by the hand of the Holy Spirit. For those three components not to become an obstacle, we can learn to understand ourselves in terms of the structure that our Father and Creator has designed and made so that we are not dominated by others physically, sentimentally and spiritually and we remain free to serve the Lord efficiently. Only by doing so we will be able to understand others and serve them with patience and hope in the Gospel of the Kingdom of the Lord.


In Spirit, Soul and Body is a spiritual Bible study to look for the aim, purpose and mission of our life taking into consideration each of the three components of the human being, created by God to His image and likeness, for a blessed Christian life for the Lord, for ourselves and for those around us; in order to do so, we will put ourselves in the hands of the Holy Spirit, who sanctifies our bodies, in the hands of Jesus Christ, Teacher of our souls and in the hands of the Father, Who gave us the Spirit.


In the text quoted in the first paragraph, Paul of Tarsus, inspired by the Lord's Spirit, provides us with the keys of the Christian purpose and how to put the whole of our being to work consciously in the Spirit. Other texts in the Bible, inspired to other Biblical authors, and from the Lord Himself, must be used as the base to find our spiritual calling and destiny in Church and in life.


Paul was a Jew and also a Roman citizen, a doctor in the Torah - the Hebrew Scriptures - taught by Gamaliel, he was a Pharisee and called by Jesus Christ in a supernatural way to convert to the true Light of the Son of God when he persecuted Christians, being transformed by the Holy Spirit so he could understand Christian life, the life that truly pleases God. It is only when we know God in a personal relationship - through internal religion and not by merely participating in external religion of tradition and practices - that we are transformed through faith in the work of the Cross of Christ. Through a daily life with God, Christians - just like Paul did - come to understand themselves to share their life with the Lord and their brethren, inside the Church for the Great Commission and also outside the Church where they will accomplish their mission, and to keep themselves for eternal life in His coming.


Paul's story is not just another one in the list, since it shines with God's grace but, just like each of our own individual stories, we can establish a personal starting point. In fact, God Himself is Who calls us at a specific point in our lives to serve Him with a specific purpose, and God is also Who enables us and provides us with the gift or gifts that we will need. But before we go ahead, we need to understand how we work inside and how there is an effect in what we do in each part of our being, and in the set order that they appear: spirit, soul and body.


My former Bible studies: Virtue about the seven gifts of the Spirit, and also David and Goliath about the Faith and the Five Stones, have been of great help to explain how each and every one of us have been called by the Lord in Christ, like the young and inexperienced David was, and we need to put our spirit, our soul and our body in the hands of the Lord and in order so that we look for the guidance of the Holy Spirit, from whom we receive our teaching and in whom we trust, through a personal relationship with our best friend, faithful friend and Almighty, our Lord Jesus Christ.


From these studies we learn that our spirit must be born again of the Spirit of God and that our soul is the target of God's salvation and the centre of our feelings, emotions and mind's thoughts and that the body must be the Temple of the Holy Spirit, where He should be the one to rule our feelings, where many of them are against holiness, but He gives us instinctive discernment to walk away from them.


With this brief exposure about the way the internal life of a Christian works, where salvation occurs, we become conscious of how important the call to holiness is, a concept that many think is something reserved for superheroes but it is rather a quality which God provides to everyone He calls His child, a gift from the Spirit, the willpower that comes from God for spiritual life hand in hand with the living God, which becomes a platform for another life, the external life of a Christian, the one that produces fruits of the Spirit. The first life is for oneself with God, the second life is for the neighbour with God. If you really want to serve God in your life, carry on reading in spirit, soul and body.






Once we have understood how we work inside, it is easy to understand that under the Spirit of the Lord we will be able to share the task with God of working in ourselves. Only by doing so we will be able to have a deeper and more spiritual personal relationship with God, and we will also be able to accomplish our personal spiritual mission, our specific and individual calling in our life, in serving the Lord and the Church by means of a change in our character that only God can do inside us and that He  reveals to our Spirit, which in the Scripture is known as the anointment and the baptism of fire.


In order to understand the teaching in the Bible regarding the transformation which the Spirit of the Lord does in our character, we will study the lives of our brethren in the faith and relevant characters in the Bible. Just like the twelve tribes have a symbolic reference in the twelve apostles, we also find in the patriarchs a symbol of the Trinity in Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, as the Father, the Son and the Spirit. We also find a parallel between God's Trinity and the trinity of our being, in three apostles that are the pillar of the Church. If we pay attention to the change in their character when they were born again to the Spirit we will be able to understand it very clearly. I am talking about John, Paul and Peter.


John is the apostle of the Spirit, the symbolic one, and the one of God's love in his Gospel, letters and Revelation. The "beloved disciple" who was at the feet of the Cross. Paul is the apostle of the soul and the mind, due to his theological  education, knowledge of the Greek language, Hellenic culture and philosophy and his personal experience in his supernatural conversion. Peter, the apostle of the body, because he received from the Father the gift of faith on His Son Jesus Christ, and that faith was the rock of foundation on which the Body of Christ - the Church - is built; the belonging to God in Christ, to preach to the Jews who have the belonging to the people of the Lord through Abraham's descendants and they need to receive Yahshua the Messiah, Jesus Christ, for salvation, like the Gentiles.


In the character of these three men we will also find three bases of Christian mission and ministry. John was transformed in his character from being an aggressive young man, known together with his brother as the Bonaerges "sons of thunder" Mark 3:17, which was clearly shown when they wanted to make fire come down on the Samaritans who did not receive the Gospel. John was transformed into the apostle of love, John 3:16 and 1John 3:16.


Paul was transformed from being the zealous scholar of the Law of Moses, of rabbis' traditions and interpretations, to the apostle to the Gentiles. His supernatural conversion made him the apostle whom the Lord would use to take the Gospel everywhere, in every culture, and above all to be the one who was most zealous in his understanding of the Gospel and thus he would do his utmost to teach salvation through God's grace, without the religious and traditional efforts, observances, practices and works. The protestant reform started by Luther and Calvin had, in Paul's letters, the confirmation of the grace of God's love, Just like Paul himself, the reformers and every Biblical Christian we find the way to salvation without personal merits, but through Christ's merits on the Cross, for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16.


Peter was transformed from being a fisherman who had no education, to the apostle to the Jews, leading over the Sanhedrin, the high priest, the priests, the rabbis, the scribes, the pharisees and the synagogue. Peter shows us how despicable our flesh is in the three denials he did of the Lord, fulfilling Jesus' prophecy the night when they delivered Him. He denied Him three times: in spirit, soul and body. But his repented heart, the same one that received the revelation of the faith, like Abraham, turned him into the apostle that would lead the Church at the beginning of the book of Acts, in the election of the apostle who would replace Judas, in his speech about a great conversion on the day of Pentecost. Peter himself would teach that every Christian is rock of faith and together with Jesus - the cornerstone - we make up the Temple of the Lord.


The Lord will always reveal to us aspects of our heart and character that we would not ever even think of. If someone had told me before I converted that I would become a Christian writer dedicated to symbolical, prophetic and spiritual interpretation of the Bible, that I would pastor a congregation or have a ministry of Christian websites in two languages, I would have told that person that he was absolutely crazy. I am now a servant of Christ through the foolishness of the Cross, by His Grace and, God willing, for His Glory.






We are going to see three precious Bible Texts that will take us to three fundamental Texts of each of these three apostles, once their characters were transformed, in terms of the revelation that God gave them through the Spirit.





The new birth of our spirit, of the Spirit of the Lord, John 3:3.



...Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”





The salvation of our souls, 1Peter 1:9


...That the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, 8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.





Of Christ, our body is Temple of the Holy Spirit, 1Corinthians 6:19


...But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. 18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 19 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? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.


And these three Bible Texts are the base of the following three Texts of the three apostles that are symbolic in spirit, soul and body.





John 3:3 teaches us how man must be born again from the Spirit in order to see the Kingdom of God:

...Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.


John 3:16 reveals God's love to us: ...For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.


John 16:7-15 provides us with the three convictions of the work of the Holy Spirit: ...He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11 of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.


John shows us the Spirit in the new birth, John 3:3; God's love, John 3:16 and the work of the Holy Spirit, 16:7.




Romans 12 reveals to us the structure of the Church starting with the renewing of our mind. ...I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. 3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. 4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. 9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.


1Corinthians 12 reveals to us rationally the spiritual functioning of the Body of Christ, thus we know how a Bible-based and sound-doctrine filled church is built, a guide to turn to always. To do so, Paul, again, explains to us three components: the diversity of the gifts of the Spirit, the diversity of ministries of the Lord to rationally organize the efficient functioning of the Church and the diversity of activities which the Body of Christ performs, and to do so its members, Christians, have had to be anointed with the gifts in our spirit, comprehend, accept and assume the ministries and accomplish the activities:


...Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant: 2 You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led. 3 Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. 4 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all.



The gifts:


8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.



The ministries:


27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. 28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.


The activities in the love of God:


The activities will be accomplished with the most excellent of gifts: God's love. We will speak the Word of God, that will be the sound of our spirit with love; we shall prophesize, understand, know and we shall have faith to belong to God in our soul, in our mind; and we shall live our life and serve the poor with God's love in our deeds and actions. The Text in chapter 13 goes on to say: ...1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. 4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails...


1Thessalonians 5:23 is the key Text of this Bible Study that reveals to us the composition of our being: ...Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.





1Peter 2:9 reveals to us the unique belonging to the Body of Christ and calls us chosen generation, he calls us royal priests, he calls us a holy nation; this is what He calls the Church, because this is what the Lord has bought in exchange for His son's work on the Cross, and this Church has two basic purposes: announcing the Gospel and good works: ... But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. 11 Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, 12 having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.


1Peter 5 provides us with another three key foundations for a solid Church, under the symbol of the body represented by Peter so that in the Church one can feel that the brethren are taken care of willingly, eagerly, being examples to others and to do so we will be perfected, established, strengthened and settled by God in the Spirit of Jesus Christ.: ...The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: 2 Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; 3 nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock;... ... But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect (you) (in the spirit, after the new birth, through the baptism of fire), establish (you) (the mind, convinced of the need or Christ's Salvation, for salvation and to evangelize) , strengthen (you) (the soul in the character, with feelings of God's love), and settle you (in the Body of Christ, i.e.: in the congregation you belong to and in the mission for which the Lord has created you). 11 To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.


2Peter 1:3 concludes the teaching in spirit, soul and body, by speaking about God's divine power in our spirit, that comes through the knowledge of God also in the mind renewed by Him, having the hope in our souls of His promises, so that our body also takes part in the divine nature in life and in the belonging to the Church:

... As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.


The result of these three Texts of the three apostles is the raising of the Church, Ephesians 2:21:


...Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.


And through God's love for us, for calling us to be part of His Church is how the first Commandment takes place in us. Mark 12:30...


Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Whose origin, as we have seen, takes us back to John 3:16:...


...For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.


And God's love makes us look for the mission of our life in order to bring to others what we have experimented ourselves - conversion through faith - and we put ourselves in God's hands so that He transforms our character, after our change of mind called repentance.






We have seen that our spirit receives spiritual gifts from the Father to serve God in the Great Commission, every Christian's main purpose. The spirit receives direct revelation, it does not depend on reasoning or understanding, it works by spiritual intuition, one simply knows what is from the Lord, because the faith on the Cross of Christ is foolishness for man and we can see this in the Bible, 1Corinthians 1:18, to learn and trust the Lord who guides us and to look for confirmation of our discernment and revelations to know whether they are the Lord's or not. And thus be able to love God with all our heart.


We have seen that the mind starts to understand God's issues a while after the spirit does, some things will take years. Love cannot be understood, it comes from the heart, it is spiritual. One falls in love with God spiritually, not rationally. But is is through the Spirit that our own spirit discerns so that our mind can understand God's Word, this is why we cannot go to the Bible with our reasoning, with our intellectual capacity only, it is essential to have the heavenly interpreter, God's Spirit. And thus be able to love God with all our mind.


We have seen that our soul, when we feel saved and trusting God to remain in salvation, rests on the feelings and learns to rely on God, leaving revenge, judgment, hatred and all feelings that the enemy used to control us. Now, it is God's love that will provide us the light in our feelings. And thus we will be able to love God with all our soul.


And we have seen that our body, with its physiological needs, can be conducted and provided with its needs and be looked after in a way that it is not an obstacle for us to serve the Lord. We have, additionally, the tools of fasting and self-discipline with which we can enjoy a healthy and orderly life. And thus we will be able to love God with all our strength. And our neighbour as ourselves, fulfilling the main and greater Command in the whole Bible that is from God.


In the second part of this study we will learn to develop our gifts in the Church, the natural abilities as well as those that we do not have and are granted supernaturally by God. The Great Commission is made up of many ministries and we have the challenge before us of discovering our personal mission within the Great Commission in a brotherly and unanimous way inside the church we belong to, to provide our joint to the Body of Christ and develop our life in spirit, soul and body.


The final words are by Paul to the Hebrews: ...May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.


  • For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Prophecy of Isaiah 9:6.

  • I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6. Words of Yahshua - Jesus Christ.
  • You want to know God, but you know the way is not through organized religion, nor by sects, nor by society. The world has failed. ...I pray for them;  I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours... John 17:9. Prayer of Yahshua - Jesus Christ.

  • If you really seek God, begin today the new life though the true hand of God. The Gospel is the message for all nations, no matter their race, their origins or culture. God is the saviour of those from humanity who open their hearts to Him.

  • ...Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.  1Corinthians 15:58.

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