Holding to Truth

holding to truth in love for the building up of the Body of Christ

How Your Spirit, Soul and Body Can Be Wholly Sanctified by God

spirit, soul, and body sanctified whollyThe Bible clearly reveals that God made you with three distinct parts—spirit, soul and body.

In my previous post, “Is there a difference between the soul and the spirit?” I presented these three parts with a particular focus on  the difference between spirit and soul.

A key verse on these three parts is 1 Thessalonians 5:23 which says,

“And the God of peace Himself sanctify you wholly, and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

In this post we’ll consider how each of your three parts can be wholly sanctified by God…


First, God created you with a spirit, soul and body for His eternal purpose:

Genesis 2:7 says,

“Jehovah formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul.”

  • “dust of the ground”—from the dust God formed a body, with five senses for man to contact all the things of the physical realm so that he could exist in the physical universe.
  • “breath of life”—then God breathed into his nostrils the “breath of life”  imparting a spirit into man, as a spiritual organ to contact and receive God and to realize all the things in the spiritual realm.
  • “living soul”—finally, God made man with a soul, a psychological part, with  mind, emotion and will so that he could understand, like and choose, that is to have his personality.

Second, Satan damaged your spirit, soul and body through the fall:

Satan did not want God’s eternal purpose with man to be fulfilled and craftily deceived  man to disobey God’s command (Gen 3:1-7).

Man did not merely disobey God but received the poisonous element of Satan into him and was thus ruined in each of his three parts—body, soul and spirit:

  •  “dead in your offenses”—through the fall, man’s God-contacting spirit was deadened—losing its function to contact God—Eph. 2:1.
  • “enemies in your mind”—man’s soul, especially the mind, was contaminated and became at enmity with God—Col. 1:21.
  • “body of sin”—man’s God-created body was ruined and became a body of sin and death unable to fulfill God’s purpose—Rom 6:67:24.

Third, God sanctifies your spirit, soul and body in three steps of His complete salvation:

To “sanctify” means to make holy not only by being separated unto God in position, but also by being saturated in your disposition with the nature of God’s holiness—Rom. 6:19.

  • “born of the Spirit is spirit”—firstthrough regeneration, your deadened spirit is  enlivened and recovered to its function of contacting God; by the adding of the divine life with God’s holy nature your spirit is sanctified—John 3:6.
  • “transformed by the renewing of the mind”—second, in transformation, your contaminated soul, is metabolically renewed by the spreading of God’s Spirit from your spirit into your soul to saturate and transform your soul. In this way your soul is sanctified—Rom. 12:2.
  • transfigure the body of our humiliation—finally, through transfiguration, your mortal body will be “conformed to the body of [Christ’s] glory.” In this way God will wholly sanctify your entire being—spirit, soul and body with Himself—Phil 3:21.

How you can cooperate with God’s sanctifying of your spirit, soul and body

 God’s way to recover man for His purpose is from the inside out.

 First, receive the Lord Jesus, to be regenerated in your spirit.

 Simply confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead (Rom. 10:9-10).

When you call on the Lord Jesus, believing that God has raised Him from the dead, you’re saved and God justifies you in His Son. As you call on the name of the Lord from deep within, your spirit contacts His Spirit and His Spirit enters and mingles with your spirit.

To be regenerated strongly call on the Lord and pray,

O Lord Jesus!  Lord Jesus! Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins, and for rising from the dead. I believe into Your name. I  receive You as my Savior and Life. Come into my spirit. Fill me with Your Spirit. Thank you for regenerating my spirit. Praise the Lord, I am born anew to be a child of God! Lord Jesus, I love You!” 

The issue of praying in this way is that Christ as the life-giving Spirit enters your spirit making your spirit and His Spirit, one mingled spirit (1 Cor. 6:17). As a new believer it is good to declare in faith, “I am one spirit with the Lord!”

By being reborn  of the Spirit in your spirit (John 3:6), your spirit is sanctified by the presence of the Holy Spirit. For more on regeneration you may want to read my previous post on this subject.

Second, set your mind on the spirit by reading, singing and musing on God’s Word with prayer.

Romans 8:5-6 encourages us to mind the things of the Spirit and to set our mind on the spirit which is life and peace.

Ephesians 5:26 gives us a practical way. It says,

“That He might sanctify her, cleansing her by the washing of the water in the Word.”

Practice to set your mind on the things of the Spirit, by frequently contacting God’s Word  by means of all kinds of prayer (Eph. 6:17-18).  In “12 Tips on How to Pray-read the Word of God to be Spiritually Nourished,” I talk in more detail about this helpful practice.

The more you cooperate by setting your mind on the things of the Spirit, the more the Spirit will spread into your mind to renew it. In this way, your soul will be gradually sanctified by the transforming work of the Spirit.

Third, by the Spirit, put to death the practices of your fallen body.

Romans 8:13 says,

“If by the Spirit you put to death the practices of the body, you will live.”

It is in this way that His Spirit can give life even to your mortal body today.

For example, you may have a bad habit of  spending too much time in vain talk, gossiping, or hanging out on social media. The Lord may remind  you that you haven’t prayed or read His Word today.

Stop. Turn to the Lord, and check with Him saying, “Lord, do you want me to stop watching this and pray?”

When you go along with His moving within your spirit, He’ll impart more life to your mortal body. In this way the sanctifying of His Spirit will spread into your body enabling you to do God’s will.

Ultimately, such a sanctifying work will spread to point that you will be sanctified wholly–spirit, soul and body–awaiting the transfiguration of your body at the Lord’s coming back.

If your appreciation for God’s sanctifying of your spirit, soul and body has been uplifted through this post, feel free to share your appreciation in a comment.

Further Resources:

  • The full salvation of God in three stages is more thoroughly covered in 1 Pet. 1:5, footnote 5 in the Recovery Version.
  • You can get your own free copy of the New Testament Recovery Version from Bibles for America.
  • For a further appreciation, I strongly encourage you to follow the Bible verse links as many of them also have excellent footnotes to enrich the point being covered.

About Tom Smith

Hi. My name is Tom Smith. I'm the writer behind Holding to Truth in Love, and I love the Lord Jesus and His life-giving Word. Please feel free to send me an e-mail through the contact page if you have any questions. I hope you'd take a moment to subscribe to the Holding to Truth blog. Then you'll be sure not to miss a post. Thanks!

42 Replies

  1. Thanks for this simple yet thorough overview of sanctification!

    1. Tom Smith

      I pray that such a view of sanctification, will stir up an appetite and seeking for the subjective experience of sanctification in the daily lives of the readers.

      May Christ have the way not only to separate them to Himself, but to bring them into the life-long process of being saturated with the Spirit in their spirit, soul and body to be prepared to meet the Lord in His soon coming.

      Thanks for your encouraging comment.

    2. priscilla benjamin

      please also include waters of baptism as it is fulfilling the righteousness of God.

      1. Tom Smith

        Yes, the waters of baptism separate us unto God and fulfill God’s righteousness for man. Even the Lord Jesus, standing in the position of a man, was baptized to fulfill all righteousness. He would not live by His own life. Rather, he put even His perfect human life into the death waters of baptism so that He might live in a way of doing everything in dependence on His Father. May it be the same with us today. This is part of the positional sanctifying we should all experience from the time we believe and are baptized.

        This post however focuses on the inward, dispositional, aspect of sanctification—the sanctification of our being by regeneration (born anew), transformation and God’s giving life to our mortal body. As such we did not have the space to also touch the positional side of God’s complete sanctifying work, even though it is of great importance. Thank you for your comment.

    3. William Zamora

      I love what you said it was from Gods spirit, can you talk on how to remove a curse from your life?

      1. Tom Smith

        William, outside of Christ, all mankind is under the curse of sin.

        In Genesis 3:17 God said to Adam after he sinned, “Because you listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree concerning which I commanded you, saying, You shall not eat of it; Cursed is the ground because of you; / In toil will you eat of it / All the days of your life. 18 And thorns and thistles will it bring forth for you, / And you will eat the herb of the field;
        19 By the sweat of your face / You will eat bread / Until you return to the ground, / Because from it you were taken; / For dust you are, / And to dust you shall return.”

        The only way to enjoy the antidote to the curse is to receive Christ who bore the curse for us on the cross and who became the blessing to us as the Spirit in His resurrection.

        In Gal. 3:13-14 Paul said, “Christ has redeemed us out of the curse of the law, having become a curse on our behalf; because it is written, “Cursed is everyone hanging on a tree”; In order that the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”

        I would encourage you to pray Gal. 3:13-14 back to the Lord, repeating and claiming every word: “Lord, thank you that You redeemed me out of the curse. You bore the curse. You became a curse on my behalf. Hallelujah! You bore the curse in order that the blessing might come! In Christ Jesus, there is blessing! We receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Lord, as the Spirit, You ARE the blessing. Lord, I just receive You.

        Whenever, you feel some curse in your life. Call on the name of the Lord Jesus strongly. No one can say “Lord Jesus!” or “Jesus is Lord!” except in the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:3b). In this way you can enjoy the Spirit as the blessing anytime and in any place.

        Then, as the Lord’s leads, confess to Him and deal with anything in your life that disturbs your fellowship with Him.

        Thank you for your comment.

        1. Marissa

          Thank you very much I’m so bless by this post, glory be to God love you Jesus

          1. Tom Smith

            Glad you were blessed by the post. Realizing God’s intention to spread Himself from our spirit, through our soul and even into our body is a real help to our Christian life. No longer are we merely trying to live as good Christians. Rather, our continual desire is to give the Lord the opportunity to spread Himself into all our inward parts to sanctify and transform us to His image. May the Lord enlighten all His children to experience and enjoy this divine truth.Thanks for your confirming comment.

  2. Lucy

    Thank you Tom and God Bless! I have been enlightened and Spritually blessed this day. Praise God eternally!

    1. Tom Smith

      I’m glad you were blessed by this post. May the vision of our being a vessel with three parts–spirit, soul and body–cause us to enter into a daily experience of being sanctified wholly and being preserved complete as a preparation for the Lord’s coming. Praise Him!

  3. rose

    I loved this post. It is a great synopsis of everything I have been teaching this past year and it really simplifies the facts so anyone can understand. I was so blessed by this please continue to teach the world the truth that will set them free. GOD bless you!

  4. Am highly blessed by this word this morning,have been asking the lord to sanctify me but i discover that am still going back to what am trying not to do again, even though the holy spirit whispers to me immediately that you just lied or any other things , and i will feel very bad and ask for forgiveness. But, cant i stay sanctified? That how i got to this site this morning looking for a way to stay sanctify am tired of rising and falling.

    1. Tom Smith

      Yemi, I’d recommend that you read another post, “How can we be freed from the law of sin and death?

      It’s not by our self determination that we overcome the law of sin in our fallen flesh. It’s by the operation of the law of the Spirit of life. When we “switch on” this law of the divine life by setting our mind on the things of the Spirit, this powerful law works to free us. This is a great deliverance! We don’t need to stay in a vicious cycle of trying and failing as Paul did in Romans 7. We can enjoy the freedom in Romans 8 by enjoying the Spirit of life.

      1. Thanks. l will go through the topic of how can we be free from sin n death now.

  5. tess

    it make more sense and easy to understand, i like your way of describing, very thougtful and inspiring..be blessed and keep up the good work

    1. Tom Smith

      Tess,

      It is really a blessing to know that people like yourself are discovering that they are a vessel of three parts–spirit, soul and body and then learning to discern their spirit from their soul so that they can contact and enjoy the Lord Jesus who is with their spirit. “The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.” (2 Tim. 4:22)

  6. Henry Ugochukwu

    I enjoy your teaching about santification and regeneration of our spirit, I want to ask you if water baptism is necessary in our salvation, after the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Thanks!

    1. Tom Smith

      Henry,

      Thanks for your comment expressing appreciation for our post on sanctification and regeneration of our spirit. You also asked “if water baptism is necessary in our salvation, after the baptism of the Holy Ghost.” Actually in normal experience of salvation, baptism in water and in the Spirit should transpire at the same time. The footnotes on Mark 16:16 in the online Recovery Version address both of your concerns. Note 1 addresses both the relationship between water baptism and Spirit baptism based on 1 Cor. 10:2 and 12:13. Note 2 points out that believing is sufficient to be saved from God’s condemnation, that is, “he who does not believe shall be condemned.” Then it reaffirms as does the first note that believing needs baptism as an outward affirmation of the inward salvation. I believe that if you will prayerfully read and thoughtfully consider these Bible verses with their related footnotes, you will get the answer you are seeking. Please let me know if this answer was helpful and if you need further explanation.

  7. Thank you for dedicating your life and time to spread the goodnews of Christ to the world, I pray for more of His grace to enrich you and your ministry in Jesus name, Amen.

    1. Tom Smith

      Israel, glad you enjoy the Holding to Truth blog. It is my prayer that the posts on this blog will give spiritual food the Lord’s seekers helping them to hold to truth so that they grow in Christ (Eph. 4:15) and come to the full knowledge of the divine truth concerning Christ and His organic Body, the church (1 Tim. 2:4).

  8. Felix

    Mr Tom, I really appreciate you for this post. I’ve been struggling with anger and pornography until I got this post. With this post of yours I have received a total sanctification. Thank you very much. May you never fail God.

    1. Tom Smith

      Felix,
      I’m glad you enjoyed the post. After receiving the Lord Jesus to be born again or regenerated, we need to come to God’s word daily for nourishment. The present process of sanctification in our soul–our mind, emotion and will–is a matter of God’s living word saturating our inward parts with Himself. Then, as we are being supplied with Christ, we will be strengthened inwardly to put to death by His Spirit all the practices of our fallen body including the items you mentioned. Keep feeding on His living word every day!
      Thank you for the encouraging comment.

    2. Stalley Marcus

      Amen.

      1. Tom Smith

        Glad you were touched by the post. May our Lord bring you into a richer experience of His sanctification of your spirit, soul and body every day. We simply need to cooperate by exercising our spirit (1 Tim. 4:7), denying the self (Matt. 16:24) and applying the effectiveness of His death to all the practices of our body (Rom. 8:13). Thanks for the comment.

  9. Titi

    Thank God for this beautiful and clear explanation of how we can really be sanctified as Christians. It is very practical and exactly what I needed to know. The Spirit of God flows through our spirit, first to our soul (mind) and then impart our mortal body. What will help accomplish this is the WORD of God.

    Thanks and God bless you Tom.

    1. Tom Smith

      Titi,

      Thank you for your confirming comment!

      Yes, God will accomplish the sanctification of our three parts–through the effective operation of His living Word (Heb. 4:12). First, it was the hearing of God’s word that generated faith in us (Rom. 10:17) that we might be regenerated in our spirit (1 Pet. 1:23) Second, as we daily come to feed on God’s word we are sanctified in our soul by the “washing of the water in the word” (Eph. 5:26) Third, by the Spirit we receive through the word, we put to death the practices of our fallen body (Rom. 8:13). Thank you Lord for your living word!

  10. Godspower

    Thanks alot may the grace of God continue to guide you. I just wish young youths and teenagers would find sites such as this and build themselves spiritually.

    1. Tom Smith

      Yes, we do depend on God’s grace, even Christ Himself as the grace to minister these truths to meet the needs of God’s hungry seekers in this world. I join you in praying that many young people would find the riches of Christ through this site and others like it. Do pray for us to be one with the Lord in this matter. Thank you for sharing your appreciation in a comment.

      1. Edward Wiredu

        Sir, please send me a link to your email please

        1. Tom Smith

          Edward, you can communicate with us directly via the HoldingtoTruth “Contact”page.

          Just use the form to send an e-mail. I’ll be happy to respond as soon as I can. Thanks!

  11. Edward Wiredu

    Please sir, how can I have a passion for prayer, and does the minutes or hours I pray matters and lastly, how to pray fervently? Anyway thanks for you post. And I believe it will improve my Christian life.

    1. Stalley Marcus

      Yes By His Grace .We are to live holy and righteous life which is accepted by Lord Jesus..When you live righteous life and santify your self with His words..it does nt really matter the hours to pray..you can even pray in your bathroom and wll be answered.Because God wants us to live righteous that is More important in the sight of God ,MATHEW 6 :3

  12. Ubi

    Encouraging, simplifying and enlightening post
    Bro Tom. Jesus is Lord

  13. sunny joseph

    could you pls explain as to how we get sanctified of our spirit, soul and the body? is the blood of jesus only sanctifies the body or all three,i.e. Spirit soul and body.

    1. Tom Smith

      Sunny, In the concluding section of this post I mentioned three steps of how you can cooperate with God’s sanctifying of your spirit, soul and body.

      First, receive the Lord Jesus, to be regenerated in your spirit (John 3:6).

      Second, daily practice to set your mind on the spirit by reading, singing and musing on God’s Word with prayer (Rom. 8:5-6). To this end it is very helpful to set up a definite time each day to read God’s word with prayer.

      Third, by the Spirit, put to death the practices of your fallen body (Rom. 8:13). For example, we may have a bad habit of staying up too late. The Lord may touch us to go to bed earlier so that we can rise earlier to spend time with Him. When sense the Spirit’s touching us, we should turn to our spirit, and choose by Spirit, put to death that practice so that we may be sanctified in the matter.

  14. Betty Erastus

    Thank you very much brother Smith, you have helped me understand the God’s purpose of creating man. God created man by His Pure Love. I have today understood who I am. The three parts of me. Thank u very much for u have thought me how to cleanse my body bring spirit and sour by the word of God and meditation. Thank you and may the lord bless you. I am not the same old me, I believe by the revelation I got now my spiritual life will grow. 🙏🏼

    1. Tom Smith

      Glad you enjoyed the post. We need to see that the intention of our holy God is to have a holy people to express Him. That is why He wants to sanctify our entire being–spirit, soul, and body(1 Thes. 5:23). Ultimately, He will gain a corporate expression of Himself, the “holy city, New Jerusalem…prepared as a bride adorned for her husband (Rev. 21:2). To cooperate with God’s intention, we need to contact Him daily by enjoying the renewing of the Holy Spirit (Tit. 3:5) and the washing of the water in His holy Word (Eph. 5:26). In this way we’re being prepared to part of His glorious bride (v. 27). TO enjoy more of the renewing of the Spirit and more washing from His Word you may enjoy reading a couple of other Holding to Truth posts: 12 Tips on How to Pray-read the Word of God to be Spiritually Nourished and 10 Short Morning Prayers We Can Pray to the Lord Thank you for your comment.

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