3.3.4 Man as an entity consisting of body, soul, and spirit

God created man as both a physical and spiritual being (that is with a spirit and soul). The human body is mortal, whereas the spirit and soul are immortal (see 9.1).

The body comes into being through procreation and thus shares in the nature and form of the parents. The soul, on the other hand, is not the result of the human act of procreation, but is created directly by God. In it God's present-day creatorship becomes evident.

In the Bible, spirit and soul are not definitively distinguished from one another. [2] They enable man to partake of the spiritual world, to recognise God, and to communicate with Him.

Spirit, soul, and body should not be understood as being independent from one another. Rather, they are interconnected. They permeate and influence one another because man is a unified entity: for as long as he lives on earth, he is an entity comprised of spirit, soul, and body (1 Thessalonians 5: 23), which exist in close interaction with one another. After the death of the body, this entity consists of spirit and soul.

Death does not put an end to human personhood. This personhood is then expressed through spirit and soul.

At the resurrection of the dead, spirit and soul will be united with a resurrection body (see 10.1.2).

SUMMARY

The evil one tempts human beings. The latter are quick to succumb to temptation and thereby violate the God-given commandments: sin has entered into the existence of human beings. (3.3.3)

The consequence of sin is separation from God. Beyond that, the original liberty of mankind has been decidedly restricted. Human beings may well endeavour to live a life in accordance with God's will, but they will fail again and again. Even as sinners, human beings do not remain without God's comfort and help. (3.3.3)

God created mankind with both a physical and a spiritual nature: the body is mortal, but the spiritual being–spirit and soul–live on forever. Death does not cancel out a human being's personhood. It is from then on expressed in spirit and soul. (3.3.4)

[2] The immortal soul should not be confused with the human "psyche", which is also more colloquially designated as "soul". Likewise, the spirit, which is also part of man's eternal essence, should be distinguished from the intellect (colloquially called the "human spirit").

See also