1 Thessalonians 5:23 says, “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole SPIRIT and SOUL and BODY be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  It is the spirit, soul, and body that constitutes a whole being.

On the sixth day of creation, we read in Genesis 1:26, “And God said, LET US MAKE MAN IN OUR IMAGE, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”  How are we created in God’s image?  God is a triune being(Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), and He made us as triune beings, (spirit, soul, and body.)  When a person accepts the Lord Jesus Christ as his savior, he is saved completely…spirit, soul, and body.  The spirit, soul, and body are different but work together to function as a complete being.

The SPIRIT is that part of us that gives us the ability to know and have a relationship with the Lord.  We read in Job 32:8, “But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.”

The SOUL is that part of us that defines the essence of who we are as individuals.  Genesis 2:7 tells us, “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a LIVING SOUL.”

The BODY is that part of us that houses the SPIRIT and SOUL.  When a believer dies, his spirit and soul immediately go into the presence of the Lord.  2 Corinthians 5:8 says, “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be ABSENT FROM THE BODY, and to be PRESENT WITH THE LORD.”  At death, the body is prepared for burial (or cremation) and is usually buried in the ground.  At this point the spirit and soul are separated from the body, but that is a temporary condition.

Let’s read 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”

This event is what is usually referred to as the rapture of the church.  When the Lord returns for His church, He will bring the spirit and soul of all who “sleep in Jesus.”  Their bodies are dead, or asleep, but their spirit and soul have been residing in the presence of the Lord without their bodies.  At the rapture, “the dead in Christ shall rise.”  The bodies of those believers who have died will be reunited with their soul and spirit and rise up to “meet the Lord in the air.”  It is at the rapture that the spirit, soul, and body of the believer who has died is reunited, never to be separated again.

So, we see that the spirit, soul, and body of a person is what makes us a complete person.  All three parts of a person are saved and are important to the Lord.  (373.2)