Man, created in God’s image, was made to have three main elements to his being. This is outlined in the Scriptures as “spirit, soul and body”. (I Thess. 5:23) These three areas of our existence each have three parts, reflecting the Trinity ‘dimensions’ within themselves.
The spirit of man is the part of man that touches the supernatural realm, or the spiritual realm. To one who has not yet received the new birth, which comes through faith in Jesus Christ, his spirit is separated from God. This produces within him a sensation of a ‘vacuum’, an insatiable hunger driving him to try to fill it with anything that will give some relief. Just a moment of ‘inspiration’ from a movie or a walk in the park, or wherever he has tasted just a hint of God’s goodness (which is evident all around us), keeps him constantly searching for the next high, or 'fix', that will quell this aching pain within himself. What he is not aware of is the fact that God is actually leading him to Himself by His goodness. (Rom.2:4)
Some people are lured into the negative power of the spirit realm through the occult, not realizing that spiritual forces can be destructive. The misconception is that just because something is spiritual, and thus higher and more powerful than the natural realm, that this makes it automatically good. Falling into this trap produces nothing but failure and destruction.
To the Christian, however, our spirits are joined to the Holy Spirit, united with Him. We are “blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3)
Our soul is formed by the ‘merging together’ of our spirit and our body. It is the ‘middle’ part of our being, characterized by our mind (or reasoning capabilities), emotions (or affections) and volition, or will (decision making ability). Every person has unique strengths and ‘giftings’, based upon how these three areas of their soul function. One person will have a very quick mind. Someone else will be the ‘life of the party’ with emotional effectiveness, and yet others can make quick decisions that, more often than not, are correct and good. These are known as the personality temperaments of our lives. We each have varied combinations of these three elements, producing within us our own uniqueness. The body also affects our soul and the kind of personalities we have. According to the field of embryology, the three main aspects of our bodies, formed within the womb, are the Mesoderm, Ectoderm and Endoderm. In broad terminology, this is the Structural system (bones, muscles, tendons, etc.), the Nervous system (or communication system) and the Fueling System (turning food into energy for the body). Each of these three parts of our body relate to the Trinity ‘dimensions’ as well.
Following is a discussion of the attributes of man: spirit, soul and body, in more detail.
(for more study, see the Trinity Concepts Key)