PAUL'S REVELATION OF CHRIST

  By Bill Stephenson


Let's go back to the triune breakdown of man as we continue our study in the Pauline revelation of Christ.

First we see the division in 1 Thessalonians 5:23; "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."

As we said before the real us is our spirit man. We are a spirit - this is exactly who we are created in the image and after the likeness of God Himself according to the scripture. We are spirit, have a soul (mind, will, emotions and intellect), and live inside a physical body.

Why is this so important? Because if we don't rightly divide the tripartite man we will "co-mingle" spirit, soul and body. In other word we will become confused as to who we really and truly are. When we mix and mingle spirit, soul and body we come out a great big mess as how we see ourselves. When we do this, we will never live in the victory as a son of God which Jesus bled and died to give us in union with Himself.

We're talking about Paul's revelation and it is in this very triune division of man we see where the true victory is as believers.

Paul said concerning our spirit, "For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers."

Paul says we serve God in our spirit!  "...whom I minister in my spirit" the Aramaic says."...whom I serve in my spirit" Young's Literal Translation states.

We again recall the words of Jesus in John chapter three, "...that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit."

The Phillips translation states "...spirit gives birth to spirit"

Here we see Jesus tells us which part of us gets born again- it's our spirit - this is the real us!

Paul says in Romans 2:28 "For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he [is] a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision [is that] of the heart, in the spirit, [and] not in the letter; whose praise [is] not of men, but of God."

Weymouth translation states "But the true Jew is one inwardly, and true circumcision is heart-circumcision--not literal, but spiritual; and such people receive praise not from men, but from God."

"… a spiritual thing.."
20th Century NT

"...according to the spirit…" Knox Bible

This word inwardly here in the Greek is "en" and denotes "being or remaining within with the idea of rest and continuance." In other words our real man is within us, our spirit.

In 1 Corinthians 14:14-15 Paul says under inspiration of the Spirit of the living God, "For if I pray in an [unknown] tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also."

Two things we see here. First, there is a manifestation of spirit and soul in these two verses. Spirit and soul are two different things for Hebrews chapter 4 says "For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. The word divide here means "a separation." Spirit and soul can be and must be separated. Why? Because it is not our spirit that is the problem in Christianity - it is our soul. The word soul is psuche and the word psychology and psychiatry come from this word meaning "the study of the mind." Also soul is said to be "the seat of the feelings, desires, affections." The mind is the seat of our reason and will. Although the spirit has a will, that will is Christ in us as believers.

Therefore, we in the Christ life must, according to Paul's revelation, "present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." The issue according to Paul is to renew our mind to what we already have and already are in Christ. In other words the problem is between our two ears! You see why it is important to rightly divide our spirit, soul and body? Failure to do so has brought horrible consequences. Mainly, we do not enjoy our salvation which Christ so lovingly paid for with His very life. Now, if you agree we must renew our minds, what we must also agee upon is how to do just that. And that is why we are sharing Paul's magnificent revelation! This is the only word of God that has the power to renew your mind- to save your soul!!

Paul said the preaching of the cross of Christ is THE POWER of God to those of us who ARE already saved! Power to renew our mind. So, for the next several weeks we will venture out into those deep and sure waters of Paul's revelation and, get our minds renewed!! Get ready!!

Second thing we see in 1 Corinthians 14:14-15 is the fact our spirit is the real us! "For if I pray in an [unknown] tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful." Paul says his spirit is his "I" - do you see this? Let's read it again; "For if I pray in an [unknown] tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful"

Break it down:

For if I pray: my spirit prays. He is saying that he and his spirit are one. Our spirit is the real us. The inward man. The hidden man of the heart. This is where the trinity of God dwells, Father, Son and Holy Ghost. We are ONE spirit according to 1 Corinthians 6:17; "But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit."

"Forms a single spirit"
Shonefield states.

We are not our mind nor our body. Our old man has been crucified with Christ and is dead and gone. We do not know our old man is dead yet and this is where renewing our mind through the Pauline revelation comes in! Get ready!!