The Bible tells us in John 4:24 that “God is spirit” (NASB), which simply means that God does not have a “physical” body; He is an invisible Person. All three Persons who make up the Godhead (the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit) are spirit. When God created man, He said (in Genesis 1:26), “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.” Though God created Adam with a physical body, He also gave him a “spirit” and in that sense man is made in God’s image and likeness. Man’s spirit gives him the ability to know and communicate with God; it gives him “God-consciousness.” Man was also given a “soul,” which is also invisible. The soul is the emotional part of man. The apostle Paul speaks of man’s tri-part being in 1st Thessalonians 5:23: “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your SPIRIT and SOUL and BODY be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

When Adam was first created, his spirit allowed him to have intimate fellowship with God. (God had created animals with a body and a soul, but because they lack a spirit they can’t know or communicate with God.) But on that fateful day when Adam sinned, HIS SPIRIT DIED! God had warned Adam in Genesis 2:17 not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and that “in the day you eat from it you will surely die.” The moment Adam ate of the tree he died “spiritually” and was no longer in fellowship with God, and everyone that has been born is spiritually dead and thus they need to be “born again.” Jesus said in John 3:6, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” We learn in that verse that the Holy Spirit is the One who brings about the New Birth and He uses the Word of God to do it. 1st Peter 1:23 reads, “Having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever” (NKJV). When this occurs the “spirit” in us is no longer dead towards God, but ALIVE! The apostle Paul wrote of this in Ephesians 2:1: “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins.”

You asked if the Holy Spirit and the spirit of man “operate with each other.” I’m happy to tell you that after one is born again, the Holy Spirit assures our spirit that we have indeed become children of God. We see this in Romans 8:16, “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God.” He does this primarily through leading and guiding us by the Word of God. “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God” (Romans 8:14).

The Spirit also leads our spirits to worship God. I will now quote all of John 4:24: “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him IN SPIRIT and in truth.” This simply means that when a believer worships God it is his human spirit that contemplates who God is, which produces praise to God. We do use our voices to praise Him in prayer and in song, but the praise is coming from within our spirits. We also learn in Philippians 3:3 that we “worship by the Spirit of God” (DARBY). The Holy Spirit draws our hearts out in praise to God; in other words He leads our spirits to worship God who is a spirit.

There is one more point I’d like to make. We saw that the Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God and that we worship God in spirit by the Holy Spirit’s power. It is vital to see that THE HOLY SPIRIT also TEACHES OUR SPIRIT about God. I would encourage you to read about this in 1st Corinthians 2:9-16.  I will close by quoting some of that passage: “For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches” (NKJV).  (218.3)  (DO)