The spirit, soul, body message resolves the problem for believers who will receive it. I am a spirit (that is my identity), I have a soul (mind, will, emotions), and I live in a body.
When you are Born Again, it is your spirit that is perfected as you receive the gift of God’s righteousness. That’s your identity, which becomes just like Jesus. Your identity is no longer as a sinner.
But your soul, which you perceive, is still influenced by the old programming of ways of thought and wrong teaching and bad habits. It’s a lifetime process of catching up with your perfected spirit, and happens only as you constantly renew your mind to who God says you are in Him, looking at the mirror of the Word and growing from glory to glory. That’s what “running the race” is all about. He reminds you of who you are, your great destiny, and you have the great hope to go forward in life.
Having this understanding, we have the motivation that comes from knowing our place in Christ, with righteous spirits, so that when we fall in the flesh, we have the courage and confidence to get up in faith, confess and go on, rather than giving up and living a defeated life. Discerning the difference between spirit and soul is key to victory or defeat in our day to day Christian walk.
“For the word of God is alive, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb. 4:12).
It is by the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, that we discern between our soul and spirit, like joints and marrow of the bone, the outer, working parts and the inner life. It is the soul that we use in our natural lives – mind, will and emotions.
The human spirit is something different, and is what is regenerated by supernatural rebirth, as revealed in the Word. It is God’s Word that reveals that your spirit is now perfected and in union with the Holy Spirit. And renewing your mind and becoming established in that great truth enables you to stand, and empowers you to grow strong in Him.