So, after more than a month of me getting a little lost in the brutish currents pushing my numb being about, God managed (by His supreme grace alone) to weave enough random clues and events alongside this raging river to deliver a much needed message; He finally poked me hard enough to realise that I needed to delve into the riddle of how the body, soul and spirit are stitched together.
There are lots of interpretations out there of our triune nature, all more or less in the same ballpark, but I couldn’t find any (yet) that gave me black and white answers where a single scripture lays it all out perfectly. So all of the below is the answers I’ve settled on (for now); the majority is based on scripture but there are one or two points where I’m simply trusting the authors of articles God made me stumble upon. So if you’ve got a scripture to prove me (or any of the authors I quote) wrong, please help me out. I’m no perfect teacher.
For people who don’t want to read hundreds of scriptures, I summarize in short the bulk of everything I learned under the heading below.
The Compressed Version:
Human beings consist of three parts, I quote a simple statement, and if understood, might give you the insight you require to understand the general idea of the three terms: “you are a spirit, you have a soul, and you live in a body”. I will give my understanding of the general meaning of the terms, but the simplest of words (like “spirit”) can be interpreted in completely different ways based on the context of the verse containing the word.
The body is rather obvious 😛
The Greek word for soul, psuché, indicates: a person’s distinct identity (unique personhood), i.e. individual personality. “Your soul is who you are: your will, your intellect, and your emotions”. “The soul facilitates between the body and the spirit.” The soul is the direct aftermath of God breathing (blowing) His gift of life into Adam, making him an ensouled being.
Your spirit is your ability to communicate with God and be able to function in the spiritual realm.
Our bodies hunger after unholy things. God is completely holy so we must therefore sanctify ourselves and be holy. This is accomplished when we are born of God’s incorruptible seed “which liveth and abideth for ever”, and by “purifying our souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit”. This implies that we need to be born again, we also need to sacrifice our own will (and the desires of our flesh) and rather be loyal to the guidance of the Spirit which enables God to form us.
God loves to delve into and search within your fearfully and magnificently breathed soul your body carries around, He also states in scripture that you should know that your soul is worth more than any worldly possession! Your soul was made to love and be loved, it was also made experience the roller-coaster of emotions that ravage through your daily life. If you want to get down and dirty and fill your soul with mighty pleasure; let “wisdom enter your heart, knowledge will be pleasant to your soul”. The word of Christ is a divine source of wisdom.
A challenge we face is that we need to discern whether things being stirred up in our souls are temptations from the flesh or birthed from the spirit. So apart from being a source of wisdom; the word of Christ is also “powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Thus, one aspect this scripture touches is that: the word helps you to discern whether the thoughts popping up in your head came from your spirit or from your soul (because God will never ever contradict His word) and it will give you clarity on what the intention of your heart is.
We are also constantly tempted by our flesh, and we abstain from these fleshy lusts by renewing our mind. A great tool to counter/minimize the temptations of our flesh is to constantly hunger (or be after) the things of the Spirit. God also encourages the growth of our souls by letting our thoughts constantly dawdle around quality stuff: “whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
So to talk a little about the spirit: “The first person, Adam’s, relationship with God is characterised by the fact that he walked and talked with God; that he received instruction from Him; that there was relationship. The ability to hear God’s voice was a spiritual ability. It occurred on an intimate level – the words “to know” are also used in Hebrew in the context of intercourse.”
After eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve died spiritually, literally their spirit became dormant, and thus their ability to hear God pretty much came to an end.All of humankind has thereafter inherited the same condition as Adam. This means that everyone after Adam has thus learnt to know God at soul level – and that is the enormous danger that we fall into – it brings about religion. Religion is the external act that people do on the levels of soul and body to simulate a relationship with God. If you practice your religion through emotion, through a decision of the will, or through intellectual reasoning, it’s merely a soulish experience – it cannot become a relationship with God. :O
One’s spirit is only revived out of a dormant state when you are born again.But you don’t just randomly become ‘born again’; conversion first happens (or needs to happen). Conversion precedes being born again. To elaborate a little on conversion: if you get to the point where you reach out to God, turn yourself towards Him, turn away from the path that you have walked till that point – that is your initial conversion. How you get to this point of conversion is ONLY by God drawing you:
“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him”John 6:44
Conversion is your choice; God answers with your rebirth. In this way He brings you from the kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of Light (Col 1:13).
So to come back to what happens when we are born again: “when you are born again your spirit, soul and body are integrated so that you can get to know Him on all levels of your existence.” Your spirit and God’s Spirit becomes one, and that’s the same for all our spiritual brothers and sisters! We are unified within Him and together we, as a spiritual family, form God’s body!
Things to expect when you are born again (these will start reflecting through your soul and body): “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance”. It is only through Jesus that God the Father can form us, and it is only by abiding in Him that we can bear fruit – without Him we can do nothing. Without the spirit, you will also not receive or actually grasp the deepest secrets of God – for it will be foolishness to you.
“For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.”Rom_8:13
The Uncompressed Version:
The nature of our flesh (or body) is given in Gal 5:19-21:
“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like…”
So what happens if we give in to these cravings? (Gal 5:21):
“…of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”
But why is that!? (1Co 6:15, 20):
“(15) Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of a harlot? God forbid. (20) For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit (pneuma, breath), which are God’s.”
“For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”Lev_11:44
We become holy by:
- Being born of God’s INCORRUPTABLE seed (which only happens on His word/command, and when it happens it permanently changes our spiritual DNA) and thereafter,
- Purifying our souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit (these two points come from 1Pe 1:22&23).
Thus, we need to let the desires of our flesh die off by listening intently to the guidance of our spirit – which communicates/works through our soul (thoughts, emotions and will) and doesn’t contradict scripture.
Rom 12:1-2: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”
The Greek word for soul, psuché, indicates: a person’s distinct identity (unique personhood), i.e. individual personality. The soul is the direct aftermath of God breathing (blowing) His gift of life into Adam, making him an ensouled being.
“There is very often confusion between soul and spirit. Your spirit is your ability to communicate with God and be able to function in the spiritual realm. Your soul is who you are: your will, your intellect, and your emotions. The soul facilitates between the body and the spirit.”
I relay some of the things mentioned in one of the articles , the soul:
- Can experience pleasure. “For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.” (Proverbs 2:10).
- Reading Proverbs 2:1-10 gives a little more insight into how “the wisdom…enter(s) your heart”: God gives it freely, and it must be pursued! That’s also why God gave the invite for “us [to] reason together” (Isaiah 1:18).
- The bible is also a great source for this wisdom: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” (Col 3:16)
- Another note about God’s word: “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
- Is more valuable than any worldly possessions. “What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26).
- Can be depressed. “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death, he said to them. Stay here and keep watch.” (Mark 14:34).
- Has the ability to love, for it is commanded to love God. “He answered: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’…” (Luke 10:27).
- Is continually tempted by the flesh. “Dearly beloved, I beseech you… abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;” (1 Peter 2:11). We must abstain from those fleshy lusts by renewing our mind: “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Rom 12:2). We must also hunger (or be after) the things of the Spirit. “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.” (Romans 8:5).
- Is searched by God. Proverbs 20:27 indicates that God searches the inmost being of man, his soul.
Our soul is commanded to:
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.Php 4:8
“When God warned Adam not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the garden of Eden (Gen 2:16-17), he also warned him that, should he do it, he would surely die. After Adam and Eve ate of the tree, they did not die physically. Adam lived long thereafter (Gen 5:1-2). What did the warning actually mean then? It means that they died spiritually, literally their spirit became dormant, and thus their ability to hear God pretty much came to an end. God is spirit and when one worships Him, one needs to do so in spirit (John 4:24).
All of humankind has thereafter inherited the same condition as Adam. All people have inevitably died in the same way as Adam did (1 Cor 15:22). We have all sinned and do not have the ability to have a relationship with God. There is no-one who seeks God. “They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable. There is none who does good, no, not one.” (Rom 3:11-12).
Everyone after Adam has thus learnt to know God at soul level – and that is the enormous danger that we fall into – it brings about religion. Religion is the external act that people do on the levels of soul and body to simulate a relationship with God. If you practice your religion through emotion, through a decision of the will, or through intellectual reasoning, it’s merely a soulish experience – it cannot become a relationship with God. Shocked!? Read John 4:24 again.
One’s spirit is only revived out of a dormant state when you are born again. When you are born again your spirit, soul and body are integrated so that you can get to know Him on all levels of your existence.
Perhaps to consolidate what we have learnt, let’s go over the main points of the wonderful process that God has put in place to enable us to know Him thus far: We have learnt over the past few days that God has called you to follow Him, and this precedes your salvation. Jesus makes this awesome statement in John 6:44: “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him”. Thus if you react to His voice, it is because you have reacted to His direct appeal to you: Follow Me.
This call comes to all people (Tit 2:11), not just specific people as some theological views present: “the saving grace of God has appeared to all people”. God always “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim 2:4). Although the call comes to all people, you have to personally receive Him (John 1:12) – you must react positively to the call to follow Him. The Kingdom of God must be taken by force, Jesus says in Matt 11:12, and only those who do so, who want it very badly, will receive it.
Before we got to know God, we most probably knew a lot about Him. Because our spirit dimension was dormant, we could not know Him in spirit, and thus “we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way” (Is 53:6). But when you became aware of God’s call to you, you answered –this we call conversion. Conversion is thus the concrete choice that you make to answer God’s call to you.
If you get to the point where you reach out to God, turn yourself towards Him, turn away from the path that you have walked till that point – that is your initial conversion. Conversion precedes being born again. Conversion is your choice; God answers with your rebirth. In this way He brings you from the kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of Light (Col 1:13).” 
According to one of the articles , the simple word used for spirit can be interpreted different ways based on the context of the verse. So it’s very hard (if you’re like me: not a top Greek scholar) to know what exactly is pointed to when the word spirit is used in a scripture, but I can at least try and decipher some of the scriptures.
So how on earth does our spirit connect/relate to God’s Spirit? 1 Corinthians 6:17 shoots the arrow right through the apple: “But he that is joined(“kol-lah’-o” – glued) unto the Lord is one spirit (pneuma).” And Jesus prayer reveals that we are to be found IN Him: “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.”(Joh 17:21). The next piece also sheds light on the subject:
“The first person, Adam’s, relationship with God is characterised by the fact that he walked and talked with God; that he received instruction from Him; that there was relationship. The ability to hear God’s voice was a spiritual ability. It occurred on an intimate level – the words “to know” are also used in Hebrew in the context of intercourse.” 
So what does man’s spirit and the Holy Spirit do exactly?
Well “…the fruit of the Spirit (ruach, pneuma) is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance…” (Gal 5:22, 23). So when the fruit start showing up, you know you’ve allowed the Spirit to form your soul and/or body.
“Man’s spirit influences his mind and behavior. His patterns of choices and behavior become his character. In essence, man’s spirit is responsible for influencing his character. If man will allow, God’s spirit will influence his character.”
Scriptures tell us when we are baptized we die to the old man and is born a new. But we play a part in the process as we struggle with making the right choice for the right reasons. God’s spirit helps us to make Godly choices. He acts as a guide and counselor when we are tempted.
The spirit of God can only dwell in us by our choice. This is the choice of baptism. He dwells in us through his love and by our faith. God’s love completes us and he dwells in us because of his perfect love.”
It’s only through Jesus that God the Father can form us, and it’s only by abiding in Him that we can bear fruit – without Him we can do nothing:
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. (2) Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. (3) Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. (4) Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. (5) I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. (6) If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. (7) If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. (8) Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.”Joh 15:1-8
We need to remember that God is Spirit, so it’s clear that our spirit must stay firmly rooted within His (by keeping our souls pure in obeying the truth through the Spirit) if we want our Spirit to bear fruit.
(A lot of the scriptures I list below tie in nicely with the last scripture given above, I hope it gives you a silly smile like it gave me when I tied the strings between them. )
According to one of the authors  “the natural desires of the body places limits on man’s spirit. The spirit cannot go where the flesh is not willing or able.”
There is a ‘war’ between our flesh and Spirit. Choosing to follow the one usually limits the other: “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit(pneuma), and the Spirit(pneuma) against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” (Galatians 5:17)
The deepest things of God are only revealed through His Spirit:
“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit (pneuma) of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually (“pneumatikōs” – non-physically, that is, divinely) discerned.”1Corinthians 2:14
“For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit (pneuma) of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit (pneuma) of God.1 Corinthians 2:11
The following scriptures also highlight the importance of involving our spirit, and not our flesh or simple mental capabilities:
“God is a Spirit(pneuma): and they that worship him must worship him in spirit(pneuma) and in truth.”Joh_4:24
“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit (pneuma), and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;”Eph_6:18
“For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit(pneuma) do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.”Rom_8:13
The Spirit causes us walk the path God wants us to walk: “And I will put my spirit(“roo’-akh” – wind; by resemblance breath) within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.”Eze 36:27
The Spirit is also VERY unpredictable! “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit(pneuma).”Joh_3:8
There isn’t a different Spirit for each person; those that are spiritually reborn are unified by God’s Spirit:
“Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit (pneuma), he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. (6) That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit(pneuma) is spirit(pneuma).”Joh 3:5-6
“For through him we both have access by one Spirit(pneuma) unto the Father.”Eph_2:18
“For to one is given by the Spirit(pneuma) the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit(pneuma); To another faith by the same Spirit(pneuma); to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit(pneuma);”1Co_12:8,9
“That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; (23) And be renewed in the spirit(pneuma) of your mind; (24) And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. (25) Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.”Eph 4:22-25
On the side, the Spirit also intercedes for us: Rom_8:26 “Likewise the Spirit(pneuma) also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit(pneuma) itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”
There are also false spirits, which must discern between:
“Beloved, believe not every spirit(pneuma), but try the spirits(pneuma) whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. (2) Hereby know ye the Spirit(pneuma) of God: Every spirit(pneuma) that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: (3) And every spirit (peuma) that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit (the word spirit here was just randomly added in the King James Version)of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.”1Jn 4:1-3
God can also give us a spirit of slumber:
“(According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit(peuma) of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.”Rom_11:8
What This All Meant for Me Personally
The core of what I learned was that I need to start sacrificing my own will and start discerning between my thoughts and emotions so that I can be led by the spirit and not be driven by the desires of my flesh. How the body, soul and spirit are all stitched together gave me the insight and clarity to know that the thoughts popping up in my head might not originate where I always thought they did.
I had gotten to a point where I realized that I had gotten detached from my spirit; I rather pursued the desires floating around in my own heart. I desired the love of others and many other things more than I desired the love of my Creator. I’m just glad He made me realize that I was busy forsaking the only source of true love and life..
 The source website is no longer available,
 http://christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/11940/what-are-the-differences-between-the-spirit-of-god-and-spirit-of-man (a nice explanation of what is meant when the word “Spirit” is used in the bible.)
 One of the daily devotionals I occasionally read titled “Manna”. You can ask me personally if you want more specifics.