Did you catch the title? Is it really possible to be blameless before Christ? Before we assume the impossible let’s see what the Scripture has to say.
1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 (NIV) “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.”
Now that’s a mouth full! Those who belong to Him are blameless, but what about this “spirit, soul and body” part? We know we have a body, and we know we have a soul, but what’s this spirit part? Isn’t that the same thing as the soul? The simple answer is no, it isn’t. Let me explain.
At death our body separates from our spirit and soul, it is the reversal of what happened to Adam. He was lifeless until the Lord breathed into his nostrils and at that moment man became a living being (Genesis 2:7). Some versions say God breathed the spirit of life. So man was created with a physical body, God breathed the spirit of life into him and he became a living being or soul (the KJV uses the word soul).
Let’s break it down a little further. We are not who we are because of our body. Our body is nothing more than a container for who we really are. The apostle Paul spoke of being away from the body and at home with the Lord in 2 Corinthians 5:8-10 (NIV). “We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”
Paul says we will all leave this physical container and stand before the judgment seat of Christ. How then do we get to that place where our spirit, soul and body are blameless? How do we keep it blameless at the coming of our Lord? Is that even possible? We know we are not sinless as long as we are in this body.
Let’s see if we can break this down in a way that makes sense. Take a look at the diagram.
This will give you a better understanding of what Paul is saying. When you become born again your spirit is instantly saved. This is what our Lord said in John 3:5-8 (NLT). Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. So don’t be surprised when I say, You must be born again.”
The spirit: Once you believe and invite Christ into your heart your spirit is sealed by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14). Maybe this will help. When you go to the meat section at the grocery store you notice the packages of meat are sealed tight with plastic. No matter how many people handle that package you are confident of its purity because it is sealed. The same is true of your born again spirit, The seal keeps impurities out and the good remains in.
When we sin only our body and soul are affected. Our spirit does not participate because it is sealed. For this reason the Holy Spirit moved on John to write in 1 John 3:9 (NKJV) “Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.”
Look at it this way. If two pigs fall into to a pool of mud and one is a born again Christian, though both fell in the mud only the born again pig will feel out of place because something has changed on the inside. He now has the DNA of God (Divine Nature of the Almighty). There is a conviction, an awareness that he is dirty. However the other pig will feel right at home.
Remember, the spirit is sealed; covered in plastic as it were. The spirit part of you cannot sin. The flesh part can and will continue to sin. So when John says whoever is born of God cannot sin, it is obvious he is not talking about the body, but rather the spirit which has been sealed.
The soul: This is where your mind, will, and emotions along with your conscience lives and operates. Your sinful nature that you inherited from Adam dwells here. Your soul was not transformed instantly like your spirit. You can think of the soul as the realm of your senses. Your thoughts, attitudes, perceptions; everything that makes you who you are comes from your soul. If you are a jerk and get born again today, tomorrow you will be a born again jerk. However your spirit is saved and sealed by the Holy Spirit.
This is the point where our struggle begins. Our flesh or sinful nature wants to continue doing evil, which is the opposite of what our born again spirit wants. Our soul has always followed the desire of our flesh, but now something is different. Our born again spirit wants to honor God. A transformation must take place to line our soul (thoughts, emotions, attitudes, desires) with the Word of God. The obvious question is, how? After all, our soul has been programmed to satisfy the desires of our flesh from birth. How do we change it to now honor God? Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
How do we renew our minds? We get in the Word and allow the Spirit of God to transform us. Over time we will learn not to let our emotions rule our lives. Doing God’s will becomes a priority over our own will. We begin to reject our knowledge and replace it with God’s knowledge, reject our ways and adopt God’s ways and yes we reject our conditional love and replace it with God’s unconditional love, our unrighteousness for His righteousness and we begin to experience the Holy Spirit leading us and transforming us day by day into the image of Christ. The more we submit to what Scripture says the smoother the transformation.
It should come as no surprise that this transformation is a life long pursuit. We will never arrive as long as we are confined to this physical body, but when we make the Word of God the ultimate authority in our lives, it becomes much easier.
The body: What more can we say about this hunk of dust except that we are thankful for the plan of salvation which includes a new glorified body. Until then we are at war with the flesh constantly fighting to bring our body under subjection. The body is on one side, the spirit on the other, and the soul caught in the middle. The concept is simple. The “majority wins.” The Holy Spirit wants to conform us to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29) and our flesh wants to continue having its own way. When our soul is focused on our own will, emotions, thoughts, and attitudes our flesh wins. The flesh and soul are a majority. It’s two against one as it were with the body and soul lined up against the spirit. However, when we align our thoughts, attitudes, and emotions with our spirit, then the Holy Spirit causes His fruits of joy, love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control to be released into the body and out to the physical realm. Again, it’s two against one; spirit and soul against the body.
It’s a lot to take in, but if you will open yourself to the Holy Spirit He will begin to teach you. Our prayer for you is the one with which we began this post. “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 (NIV)
God’s Word will stand into eternity! Begin today to make it the authority in your life.
Please email us today at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions. We’d love to hear from you.
Fruitbearers Outreach Ministry