Holding to Truth

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How God Created You with a Body, Soul and Spirit to Contain Him

How God Created You with a Body, Soul and Spirit to Contain Him as Life

Have you ever considered what was God’s intention in creating you? The first two chapters of the Bible give the answer. He made you in His image–with a body, soul and spirit–to contain Him.

Genesis 1:26 says, “And God said, “let us make man in our image after our likeness…” Image and likeness indicate purpose.

For example, a glove is made in the image of a hand with the purpose of containing the hand.   Similarly, a guitar case is made in the image of  a guitar for the purpose of containing the guitar.

However, your being made in God’s image is not so simple. God made you as a container with three parts—body, soul and spirit—so that you can be filled with Him in order to express Him.

So in this post, we’ll consider how God made us with three parts so that we can contain Him and be filled with Him as life in order to express Him.

God made you with three parts—body, soul and spirit—to contain Him 

In The Economy of God, Witness Lee says,

“For what purpose did God create man? Only that man might be His container…It is clearly seen in Romans 9:21, 23 and 2 Corinthians 4:7, that God created us to His containers. We are only empty containers, and God intends to be our only content.” (pp. 43-44)

Genesis 2:7, describing the procedure God took to create us as His containers, says:

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

God formed man from the “dust of the ground”—the human body

First, the Bible indicates that God formed man from the “dust of the ground.” We all know that our physical body is of the same elements as the earth.

It is with our body that we are able to live in this material universe. Our body gives us our outward form and is the organ for us to contact the material realm (note 3 on Gen. 2:7 in the Recovery Version) .

We also know that our body is a container for food, water and air. We need to breathe in the air, drink plenty of water, and eat nutritious food. In this way, we can have a healthy body with a proper expression.

God breathed into man’s nostrils “the breath of life”—the human spirit

Second, God breathed in this earthen container “the breath of life”—the human spirit. This Hebrew word, neshamah, is the same word as for “spirit” in Proverbs 20:27 where it says,

The spirit of man is the lamp of Jehovah, searching all the innermost parts of the inner being.”

Part of a footnote on the expression “breath of life” in the Recovery Version says,

“Man’s spirit is his inward organ for him to contact God, receive God, contain God, and assimilate God into his entire being as his life and his everything…The spirit of man is for man to worship God, to be regenerated by God, and to be joined to God that man may walk and live in an organic union with God to fulfill God’s purpose.” (Gen. 2:7, note 5, par. 1)

So our human spirit is the center of our being and the crucial part that enables us to contact God, receive God and contain God so that we can express God and fulfill His purpose in making us. For a deeper understanding  of your spirit, you may also want to read, “What is the Function of Your Spirit?

It’s really good to stop and thank God for creating you with a spirit to contact, receive and contain Him. Simply tell the Lord,

“O Lord, thank you for creating me with a spirit so that I can contact You, receive You, and contain You. Lord, I’m empty inside. I open to You. Lord Jesus, come into my spirit  right now and fill me with Your divine life.”

Man became a “living soul”—the human soul

The issuing of God breathing the “breath of life,” the human spirit, into man’s physical body is that man became a “living soul.”  I can’t express this point any better than the footnote does,

“Man’s soul, which is his person, his very self  (Exo. 1:5; Acts 2:41), was not formed from a certain element but was produced by the combining of the human spirit and the human body. The soul, composed of man’s mind, emotion, and will, has the psychological consciousness to contact the psychological realm.”

How wonderful, that God made you a living soul with a mind, emotion and will for His purpose. With your mind, you can receive and understand the words in this post. With your emotion, you can love the wonderful Lord who made you to be filled with Him. And with Your will, you can choose to contact Him, receive Him and contain Him.

Again, just stop for a moment and thank God for making you in such a wonderful way for His purpose.  Please pray,

“Lord, I thank you for creating me as Your container with three parts—body, soul and spirit.  Thank you for showing me that You desire to dispense Yourself into me so that I can be filled with You in order to express You. Lord Jesus, fill me with Your life. I love You.”

Practical Points on How to be Filled with God as Your life

Here are a few practical pointers on how to use each of your three parts—body, soul and spirit—to be filled with God in order to express God:

  1. Your body open your mouth each morning to call on the name of the Lord Jesus, pray and thank Him. In Psalm 81:10b, God says, “…Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.” Then in Romans 10:12, it says, “The same Lord is Lord of all and rich to all who call on Him.”
  1. Your spirit – As you open your mouth to call on the Lord, exercise your spirit, that is, from the depth of your being, to contact the Lord, receive Him to be filled with Him. Eph. 5:18-19 says, “Be filled in spirit, speaking…” Remember, your spirit is connected to your mouth. When you use both together, you will be able to receive and contain God. Singing is also an excellent way to be filled in spirit.
  1. Your soulSet your mind on the spirit, by minding the things of the Spirit, the things revealed in God’s word. Romans 8:6 says, “The mind set on the spirit is life and peace.” By musing on God’s Word throughout the day, you’ll “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly” and your soul will be saturated with God’s life.

 If you’ve been helped to see how God made you with a body, soul and spirit to contain and express Him, please confirm with a short comment. 

References and Further Resources:

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. Shelly

    I thank God for laying this on your heart today and sharing this with us. May God continue to bless you and yours.

  2. Prisicilla

    I loved this! God bless you.

  3. Erica

    **In tears**…I hear the Lord so clearly in this…God bless you for letting Him fill you with this simple yet rich word!

    1. Tom Smith

      I’m glad you found the post helpful. To see how God made us with three parts–body, soul and spirit to contain Him is a basic foundation we need in order to experience and enjoy God and give Him the true worship He is seeking. When we know our human spirit as the proper organ to contact God who is Spirit, we can have fellowship with Him and He can grow in us and make His purpose known to us. This makes our human life full of meaning! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Adrian H

    Was the breath of life that Adam received created ex nihilo? Was it a ‘slice’ of the Holy Spirit, the giver of live who proceeds from The Father?

    1. Tom Smith

      Adrian, the breath of life that Adam received in God’s creation was ex nihilo. It was not something made from the existing physical universe.

      It was the human spirit created by God and imparted into His creature man as the spiritual organ by which we can contact God who is Spirit (John 4:24).

      It was not a “slice of the Holy Spirit” but only that organ with the capacity to receive the Spirit through regeneration—the divine birth. John 3:6 says, “that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” The first spirit is the Holy Spirit of God and the second spirit is the human spirit of man.”

      When the human spirit contacts the divine Spirit, at the moment we’re saved, the divine birth takes place. It is from that time that “The Spirit witnesses with our spirit that we are children of God” (Rom. 8:16).

      Such an indwelling Spirit could only be imparted to us after passing through the processes of Christ’s incarnation, human living, crucifixion and resurrection. It is now, in Christ’s resurrection, that we can experience the Spirit’s indwelling (John 14:16-20; Rom.8:9-11).

      I hope you’ll check out the referenced verses with their related footnotes. This may enrich your appreciation for the relationship between the human spirit and divine Spirit in God’s plan. Thank you for your thoughtful comment.

      1. Mpangazitha

        wow this is the truth said in such plain and easy to understand language! Thank you

        1. Tom Smith

          Glad you enjoyed the post. It is a great discovery to realize that God made us with three parts—spirit, soul and body to contain Him. If we are to experience Christ we must learn to contact the deepest part—our spirit, since it is the organ within us to contact and receive Him. Second Timothy 4:22 says, “The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.” If we are to experience Christ, we must know where He. As a believer, He dwells in our spirit. By calling on His name, “Lord Jesus!” we touch Him in our spirit and enjoy Him as grace we need to live the Christian life. Thanks for sharing your appreciation in a comment.

  5. Ren McDearis

    This is reassuring and reminds me of why I exist.

    1. Tom Smith


      Yes, knowing how God created us with a spirit, soul and body to contain Him gives real meaning to our human life. Without this realization, our life would be full of vanity and emptiness. But, seeing that we are made to contain God in order to express Him, gives profound meaning to our life. Every morning we need to open ourselves to the Lord, to allow Him to fill us with Himself. I’ve found that calling on the name of the Lord— “Lord Jesus!”—is such a practical way to be filled with Him. As Rom. 10:12 says, the same Lord of all is rich to all who call on Him.

      Then the more we are filled with Christ, the more we express Him in our daily life, family life, Christian life and church life. In this way others are drawn to Him through us.

      1. Jing

        I have been believer for years. But I never know this until read it. God is great! I am exited to learn more about God’s creation. Thanks for sharing. God bless you!

        1. Tom Smith

          Glad you enjoyed the article. For more on this subject you may also enjoy reading two posts: What is the Difference Between the Soul and Spirit of Man? and How Your Spirit, Soul, and Body Can Be Wholly Sanctified by God Thank you for your comment. May the Lord lead you into the experience of Himself as the life-giving Spirit in your spirit for your growth in His life and for the building up of His Body the church.

    2. Randy Rowley

      Excellent article! There is one typo – the verse attributed to Genesis 2:9 should actually be Genesis 2:7.

      1. Tom Smith

        Thanks for reporting the typo. Correction completed. Thanks for sharing your enjoyment of the blog.

  6. Emmanuel Valencia

    Thank you for sharing this with me and the world please continue God has given you great wisdom

    1. Tom Smith

      Emmanuel, I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I would also like to invite you to check out a wonderful book entitled The Economy of God by Witness Lee. It gives more details concerning our spirit, soul and body and how we can be filled with Christ inwardly. You can order a free copy from Bibles for America in the USA, download a free PDF here or read it online ministrybooks.org.
      Thank you for your comment.

  7. I wonder if you could elaborate me what is inside the Spirit of God. That is to mean that what are the elements or the tiniest components of God’s Spirit? what is there inside the Spirit?

    1. Tom Smith

      Mesfin, I’m sorry for not getting back to you sooner. But that does not mean that your question is of any less importance. Rather, my being away at a training made it difficult for me to find time to address it in a timely way.

      The wealth of reality in the Spirit of God is something every believer should seek to know both in vision and also in experience. One of the greatest helps in knowing the Spirit is to see the type of the compound anointing ointment in Exodus 30:23-25. The messages (157-166) on this ointment in the Life-study of Exodus by Witness Lee are superb in opening up this matter and they can be freely read online at ministrybooks.org

      For example, this ointment was made of olive oil plus four spices. Olive oil in the Bible typifies the Spirit of God. The four spices typify the various aspects of Christ’s process. Myrrh typifies the sweet death of Christ and cinnamon signifies the effectiveness of Christ’s death. Calamus signifies Christ resurrection and Cassia, the power of Christ’s resurrection. Now, in the Spirit of Jesus Christ (Phil. 1:19), we enjoy not only the Spirit of God as in the Old Testament but the Spirit enriched with all the elements of Christ’s Person and work for our experience and enjoyment.

      The linked ministry sample will give you an appreciation for what I have briefly introduced and also what you can expect to find in a fuller way in the Life-study Messages of Exodus that I have referenced.

      1. Corey Crone

        Keep it coming brother! What a ministry this is! The all-inclusive Christ is the Life giving Spirit that we can partake and enjoy in our daily lives!

        1. Tom Smith

          Yes, it is as the life-giving Spirit that this all-inclusive Christ can spread to all of our three parts–spirit, soul and body. It is as the life-giving Spirit that the Lord first regenerates our spirit (John 3:6; Rom. 8:10). It is as the Life-giving Spirit that the Lord transforms our soul (1 Cor. 3:17-18). It is also as the life-giving Spirit that the Lord gives life to our mortal body (Rom. 8:11). For Him to do this, we need to see God’s desire for us to contain Him as His vessel and then to cooperate with Him by using our spirit to contact Him as the Spirit all the time (Rom. 8:4).

  8. Elmira Holley

    I thank you for writing this post. I look for subjects to write my sermons on and this subject is perfect. Good research. I’d good and I learned something new from reading this post. Thank you again. From Minster Holley

    1. Tom Smith

      The view of the three parts of our being opens a window to help us, as believers in Christ, to discover the difference between the soul and the spirit. This helps us to focus on our spirit as the unique organ for us to contact God and receive Him into us. I would also recommend a chapter by the title The Key to Experiencing Christ – the Human Spirit. You can read online at ministrybooks.org, download the PDF (it’s the last chapter in Basic Elements of the Christian Life, Vol. 1)

  9. Bethany Lystila

    I found this an amazing read. Thank you for your interpretations. How magnificent and beautiful…God is amazing !!!

    1. Tom Smith

      Bethany, glad you enjoyed the post. I would hope every believer would make the awesome discovery that God made them with three parts–spirit, soul and body. Then by knowing our spirit and exercising it to pray (Eph. 6:18) we find the real key to experiencing Christ (2 Tim. 4:22) in our daily life. Thanks for your comment.

  10. Darrel

    What makes up the soul. Please be more specific.

    1. Tom Smith

      For a more detailed presentation of what makes up the soul, you may want to read this post on what is the soul

  11. Bil Manduca

    Hi Tom,

    I really appreciate your simple clarity in this post. We tend to make simple things complicated. Your post brings to mind a discussion I am having on a quote by the French philosopher, Teilhard de Chardin, who said, “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, but spirit beings having a human experience.” Our discussion is centering on our default mindset of being human or being spirit. This was related to the comment, “We don’t want to be so heavenly minded, we are not earthly good.” My response was that this is a lie that we are not guilty of. Please comment with your post in mind.



    1. Tom Smith

      Hi Bill,

      God made us with three parts–spirit, soul, and body–for His eternal plan. Yes, His focus is our human spirit. As such, God made us as His vessel, His container, with a spirit to contact Him, receive Him and contain Him. Yet we still need a physical body to exist in this physical universe so we can exist for His purpose. We also need a soul with our mind, emotion and will to apprehend all the things in the psychological realm (to even be able to understand this comment).

      However, God is Spirit (John 4:24) and His eternal purpose is to gain something spiritual within humanity to express Himself with all the wealth of He divine being. He wants to express all His divine attributes, including love, light, holiness, and righteousness, through our human virtues in a normal human life. In fact, the church, the Body of Christ, is the dwelling place of God in spirit (Eph. 2:22).

      Actually, to set our mind on the spirit, to mind the things of the spirit (Rom. 8:5-6), enables God impart His divine life into us. It is like switching on the “heavenly electricity” which empowers us to live out a God-expressing human life through our human virtues. Rather than “becoming of no earthly good” a person who lives in their spirit and walks according to the spirit spontaneously lives a life that fulfills God’s righteous requirement (Rom. 8:4), not by self effort but by remaining in union with Christ.

      Living in such a union with Christ in spirit (1 Cor. 6:17), makes us the most proper human beings with a spirit of power, love and sobermindedness (2 Tim. 1:7). We become properly human in our family, workplace, school and church life.

      Hope this helps,


      1. downunderwriterdavid

        Thanks Tom. Where are the Scriptures that show that God gave man his spirit. davidgeorgecarr@gmail.com

        1. Tom Smith

          Genesis 2:7 says, “Jehovah God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.” This points to God’s creation of man with three parts, body [formed from dust of the ground], soul [became a living soul] and a human spirit [breathed into his noatrils the breath of life]. The Hebrew word for “breath” of life, neshamah, is translated spirit in Prov. 20:27, ” The spirit [neshamah] of man is the lamp of Jehovah, / Searching all the innermost parts of the inner being.” This indicates that the breath of life breathed into man’s body became the spirit of man, the human spirit (cf. Job 32:8). Zechariah 12:1 also says, “…Thus declares Jehovah, who stretches forth the heavens and lays the foundations of the earth and forms the spirit of man within him.” I consider this an important matter because it is with our spirit that we contact God who is Spirit (John 4:24), and are born anew (John 3:6). It is also in our regenerated spirit that we are one spirit with the Lord (1 Cor. 6:17) enabling us to walk according to spirit (Rom. 8:4) to live a life in union with Christ.

          Thanks for your comment. It is a very thoughtful question. I hope this helps. Feel free to contact me further if you would like more explanation.

  12. Yao Dumenu

    Thanks to Yahweh for His Knowledge and Understanding given to you.
    For this is the way to Eternal Life.

    1. Tom Smith

      It’s good to see that we are vessels, containers (Rom. 9:21, 23; 2 Cor. 4:7) created by God with three parts—spirit, soul and body (1 Thes. 5:23). First, we need to receive Christ into our spirit (Rom. 8:10) and contact Him in our spirit every day (2 Tim. 4:22). Calling on His name, “Lord Jesus,” is a simple way to touch Him. Then we need to allow Him to spread into our soul (of which our mind is the leading part, Rom. 8:6). Setting our mind on the spirit is really practical, when we let the word of Christ dwell in us (Col. 3:16). Finally, by the Spirit, we apply Christ’s death to all the practices of our body (Rom. 8:13). This is not asceticism but our cooperation with His Spirit in us. In this way, God gives life even to the members of our mortal body (v. 11). Thanks for sharing a confirming comment.

  13. Kritika saxena

    Hi Tom,
    It was a great piece of information. Can you please clarify me the difference between spirit and soul?

    1. Tom Smith

      Our spirit is our deepest part, the organ for contacting, receiving and containing the Lord (John 4:24; 3:6; Rom. 10:9; 2 Tim. 4:22). Our soul, with our mind, emotion and will is the organ that enables us to understand, feel and choose (Prov. 2:10; Job. 7:15; S.S 1:7). It is also through our soul that we are able to express the Lord. You may want to read my post on the difference between the spirit and the soul. In addition, i would recommend a booklet, The Parts of Man or a book The Economy of God, (especially chapter 6) by Witness Lee. Both can be read for free online at: ministrybooks.org. For the free e-book download of the latter you can go to: BiblesforAmerica.org/books/ Thank you for your comment.

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