Pastor Dr. John K. Mathew
According to the Bible, mankind is distinct from all the rest of creations, including animals, in that he is made in the image of God.
It reads in Genesis ” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them”(1:27). As God is tripartite – Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit, so man is with three parts – body, soul, and spirit.
Apostle Paul writes, May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess.5:23). This statement is in total harmony with the Genesis account, “Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being” (Gen.2:7). But a natural man does not accept the things of the spirit of God or they are foolishness to him and he can’t understand them.
In his book ‘The Holy Spirit in Christian Theology’, George Hendry makes the case that biblically and theologically, it is in the human spirit that we find the one true, original image of God. In support of Hendry, it is not hard to see that in the two creation narratives in Genesis, God is characterized pre-eminently as Creator and as self- relational Spirit doing the creating.This observation, together with Jesus’s statement that, ‘God is Spirit’ (John 4:24), form the first general premise of this case. Thus to be made in the image of God is to be made, in a similar sense, Spirit.
Without any grain of ambiguity, the Bible says that the spirit in man is eternal. Believe it or not, it is true. Miguel de Unamuno, the great Spanish philosopher, said – what distinguishes human beings from other creatures is that humans have a unique practice of burying their dead. We speak our words over the dead body. We will not let death have the last word. This is a mark of the human spirit that something in us knows we can overcome this thing. Death stops the heartbeat but does not quench the human spirit; its inherent logic tells us that there is a way to transcend and transform death. Even when the spirit itself chooses death it is in hope of a better life. Here arises a critical question. How do we get spiritual healing? In his book, ‘The Logic of the Spirit’, James E.Loder writes, “Although distinctly different in origin, destiny, and magnitude, the human spirit and the divine spirit are made for each other, according to a relationality ultimately designed to replicate the relationality of the divine and the human in the person of Jesus Christ”.
The ultimate solution of the healing of the spirit lies in the atonement of Christ. He is the only way as it is recorded in the epistle of Timothy. “For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people” (1 Tmo.2:5,6).
The words of St.Augustine provides a perfect conclusion, “Thou hast made us for Thyself, O God and the heart of man is restless until it finds its rest in Thee”.