By Ryan Shaw
Every human being is made up of three components, we are: spirit, soul and body. We are a spirit, who has a soul which lives in a body.
Generally we are very aware of the components of our souls and bodies. The body is the easiest to recognize as it is our physical selves. It is ruled by the five senses of touch, taste, sight, sound and smell.
Secondly, the soul is made up of our personality including our mind, emotions, will, thoughts, desires and longings. We daily experience the soul’s reality through often intense feelings.
Believers tend to think the soul primarily affects how a Christian lives. Instead, our spirit most defines who we are as human beings.
The spirit, however, is less detected within and much less understood then the other two components. It is the human spirit that communes with God as God Himself is Spirit.
In Colossians 3:3 Paul declares a seemingly strange statement – “For you died and your life is hidden in Christ in God.”
What does this expression mean? Didn’t Jesus come to give us life and yet Paul tells us that we’ve died. This understanding of a believer’s old ways having died is a common theme throughout Paul’s writings.
We have been made a new creation as believers in Christ. It does not matter how much sinful baggage we have in our lives and past. When we are born again a miracle takes place within our spirit.
The old things that once dominated our spirit are gone as condemnation, darkness, powerlessness and every hindrance keeping us out of relationship with God is done away with.
No longer rejected and condemned by God. We are now the beloved of God because of Jesus taking our place so that we could be made innocent before God.
A new spiritual nature is placed in our spirits. Understanding this enables living in spiritual victory against the onslaught of the evil one. We can overcome addictions, depressions and every other attack as a result of having been made new within our spirits through the Holy Spirit.
This is the idea Paul is communicating in stating that we have died. He is not talking about dying in relation to our bodies or souls but in relation to the sinful nature previously indwelled in our spirits.
Paul declares believers have died to deriving all sense of inner satisfaction, significance and value from the world and its ways. Instead knowing Jesus and walking in His prescribed ways for life and Godliness are to be our standard for obtaining significance.
Jesus declares us of matchless worth as His own prized possession. God has created the human spirit to find its significance and sense of value only in Himself.
Jesus’ righteousness has been transferred to us and our spirits are made alive and united with Christ in all things. We are considered dead to the characteristics of the old life.
Yet, we must cooperate daily with this truth, diligently embracing our being “dead” to these things. In doing so, we receive spiritual power to overcome temptation that comes our way. This is something we were unable to do before receiving the new life in Christ.
Many believers are not aware such enabling and overcoming power has been given to them through the new birth. They can identify with Jesus by having the sinful nature “crucified”.
We have been given the ability to live in every level of holiness God calls His children to. This comes through our daily applying His victory through receiving the spiritual nature only available in Christ Jesus.