Man As Spirit, Soul, and Body

 
 

Excerpts from Man As Spirit, Soul, and Body

by John B. Woodward

 

Another example of how the trichotomous model of man clarifies the doctrine of progressive sanctification is the interpretation of 1 John 3:9, which states: "Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remins in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God." (p. 61)

For the trichotomist, the "seed" of God's Spirit would have its locus in the regenerate human spirit; sin would henceforth not originate from the believer's spirit, but from the flesh, the world and the devil. Because of this, Paul could declare "For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man [the new spirit]" (Rom 7:22). (p. 62)

. . . the biblical doctrine of trichotomy has a significant role in current biblical counseling ministries. If a counselor using this model of man is criticized on the basis of biblical psychology, the material presented in this book could equip him to respond on biblical, theological, and historical grounds. The rise of scholary treatments of trichotomy in the 19th and 20th centuries facilitated a more precise study of progressive sanctification. This development gave impetus to deeper life teaching and its subsequent counseling model. Psychology continues to explore man's "soul" through observable actions, thoughts, responses, and relationships. To interpret this data and remain faithful to God's Word, the Christian counselor needs an accurate understanding of man's constitutional makeup, personal needs, and the gracious remedy found in Christ. (p. 122)

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