Created in the image of God? How so? For years I believed that the true essence of man is that he is a spiritual being. This seemed logical since we ultimately will share eternity with God, and the Bible clearly tells us that “God is spirit.”(John 4:24) Only later did I begin to realize that God’s purpose for man demanded that he be fashioned in quite a different way. So God added another aspect to man’s immaterial nature, a soul. And He also gave us a physical element to our being, a body. These three elements of our nature—body, soul and spirit—are clearly laid out in Scripture.(1 Thes. 5:23)
Yet for me the threefold nature of man raises a question. Why would God bother to create a physical universe at all? Since God is spirit, why not merely fulfill His plan strictly within the bounds of some sort of spiritual order? Well, the obvious answer is that God created all that He has in order to fulfill His special purpose for man. And mandkind had to be fashioned in a specific way to achieve that objective. In reality, the more closely we look into our design, the more apparent the brilliance of God’s plan becomes. Here we are; just look at us!
Being human means much more than simply putting up with a physical body for a time before it is cut loose by death to allow our spiritual being to inhabit eternity with God. We need to understand that man is an inextricable mixture of body, soul and spirit, and that anything less simply means being less than human.
Excerpted from: Free from the Power of Sin: The Keys to Growing in God in Spite of Yourself