Christian Worldviews 103: What People Are

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Who God Is

Man is unique among the creatures

God created us in His image (Genesis 1:26-27)

  • Our reflecting His image gives humanity an inherent value
  • We can see humanity’s intrinsic value in how we experience a universal loss from suicides, abortions, miscarriages, murders, and wars

Animals, in a sense, also possess a soul like people (Genesis 1:30)

  • We are uniquely special compared to animals (Genesis 9:6, 2 Peter 2:12)

The Bible never indicates that people are angels, spirit beings or somehow a part of God

As God’s created image, we have a type of “trinity”

  • Every human being has a body, a soul, and a spirit
  • To attain fullness in Christ, we must develop all three (Romans 12:1-2, 1 Thessalonians 5:23)

The body is flesh, bones, and blood

The body is the dominating force for a newborn baby

  • Newborns haven’t developed much of a soul or spirit

Science can measure all aspects of the body, including the brain

  • Our bodies carry out physical works (1 Corinthians 6:20)

We must restrain our bodies from a wide variety of lusts (Romans 6:12)

The soul is an immaterial essence where we make decisions

The soul is also known as “sentience”

The soul is the dominating force for most adults with an undeveloped spirit

The soul consists of the mind, will, and emotions

God created the mind to gather sensory data (e.g., feeling, touch)

  • The soul weighs the data and processes it logically and rationally
  • God designed us to use our minds to think about His plans, purposes, and power
  • He also created us to understand and internalize His word
  • The quality of our lives and the start of many sins come directly from what our mind is thinking

The will derives desire from emotions to make decisions with the mind’s data

  • Desire is more than an emotion; it’s the foundation of consistent decision-making and behavior
  • Desire comes from consistent focus, not one-time circumstances
  • Desire creates decisions far more than feelings or the mind

Emotions are intended to support thinking of a renewed mind

  • God wants us to feel excitement, enthusiasm, and determination about what He calls us to do
  • God wants us stirred up and righteously indignant at the enemy of our soul
  • God made emotions to be the most powerful motivator of consistent and stable behavior

Emotions can cause psychological instability

  • Consistent and stable behavior comes through learning how to control and direct our feelings
  • Unrestrained passions kill faith and obstruct the mind’s beliefs
  • Without understanding emotions, many people believe they’re faithful while keeping a dead faith without works

The spirit is uniquely distinct but as immaterial as the soul (Hebrews 4:12)

The spirit is the dominating force for mature Christians and is developed by internalizing God’s word

  • A person’s spirit is separate from God’s Holy Spirit
  • However, the Holy Spirit communicates with us through our spirits

The spirit consists of intuition, communion, and conscience

Intuition is spiritual intelligence that the mind couldn’t have learned (Hebrews 11:1)

  • Intuitive thinking doesn’t learn from sensory data or the senses
  • Intuition is God’s direct way of leading people
  • We can only understand God’s will and desires through our intuition

Communion, also known as worship, is fellowship with God and other spiritually developed Christians

  • Communion only takes place in both spirit and truth (John 4:24)
  • We can’t think or feel God and can only perceive Him through our spirits and with our spirits through Him

Conscience is the spiritual counterpart to the will and gives the means to make morally right decisions

  • Everyone has the choice to act with or against the conscience
  • Performing against the conscience is also described as walking in the flesh (Romans 8:5)

A spirit is dead at birth and made alive in Christ (Colossians 2:13)

A non-Christian’s dead spirit can still be moved and inspired by outward life circumstances

The only way to discover whether someone is a Christian is to know them long enough to see how much their spirit influences their lifestyle

Next: The Simple Gospel Message