THE INWARD AND THE HIDDEN PARTS
Let us now go on to see the details of the vessel of the Lord. In the previous chapter we saw that we were created purposely to be God’s containers, having God Himself as our content. For this purpose God has created us with many parts. Do not think that the term parts originated with me. In Jeremiah 31:33 God says, “I will put My law in their inward parts.” The inward parts are in our soul; they are not the outward members of our body. In the same verse God also says that He will write His law upon our heart. What, then, are the inward parts, and what is the heart?
If we compare Jeremiah 31:33 with the quotation in Hebrews 8:10, “I will impart My laws into their mind,” we will see a slight but important variation. Jeremiah says “in their inward parts,” but Hebrews renders it “into their mind.” This comparison proves that the mind is one of the inward parts.
The term inward parts is used in the Scriptures more than once. For example, Psalm 51:6 says, “Behold, You delight in truth in the inward parts.” The inward parts must have truth. Besides the inward parts there is another part in this psalm called “the hidden part”: “In the hidden part You would make known wisdom to me.” According to this verse, truth is in the inward parts, and wisdom is in the hidden part. We need to find out what the inward parts and the hidden part are.
THE THREE PARTS OF MAN—SPIRIT, SOUL, BODY
Some passages to which we will refer are very familiar. First Thessalonians 5:23 is a verse indicating that we are tripartite, or of three parts: the spirit, the soul, and the body. We can illustrate this by three concentric circles, as shown in the diagram on the next page.
Hebrews 4:12 also mentions the spirit and the soul and speaks of the dividing of these two parts. If we would know Christ and enter into Him as the good land and as the rest, we must discern the spirit from the soul. The spirit is the very place where Christ dwells in us (2 Tim. 4:22); hence, if we would know Christ in an experiential way, we must discern our human spirit from our soul. This verse mentions the difference not only between the spirit and the soul but also between the joints and the marrow of the body and between the thoughts and the intentions of the heart. The living word of God is a divider of the soul and the spirit and a discerner of the thoughts and intentions of the heart. This proves that in order to know the Lord in a practical and real way, we must discern all these matters. What are the thoughts of the heart and the intentions of the heart? And how many parts are in the heart?
In Luke 1:46-47 the soul and the spirit are again distinguished.
Philippians 1:27 says that we must stand firm in one spirit—not the Holy Spirit, but the human spirit—and strive together with one soul. Again, this verse shows that there is a difference between the spirit and the soul.
Finally, Mark 12:30 says, “You shall love the Lord your God from your whole heart and from your whole soul and from your whole mind and from your whole strength.” In this verse four different parts are mentioned: the heart, the soul, the mind, and the strength. If we put all these verses together, we will realize that there are quite a number of different parts within us besides the many parts of the body.
\First Thessalonians 5:23 indicates that we are composed of spirit, soul, and body, and Psalm 51 reveals the inward parts with the hidden part. The inward parts are the parts of the soul, which is proved by comparing Hebrews 8:10 with Jeremiah 31:33, where “their mind” is quoted as a variation of “their inward parts.” Just as the inward parts must be the parts of the soul, so the hidden part must be the spirit (1 Pet. 3:4). Of all our parts, the spirit is the most hidden one within us. This innermost part is not only hidden within our body but is even hidden within our soul. Hence, there are the outward parts of the body, the inward parts of the soul, and the hidden part of the spirit.
THE THREE PARTS OF THE SOUL—
MIND, WILL, AND EMOTION
There are three parts to the soul and three parts to the spirit. We must discover what the three parts of both the soul and the spirit are. Furthermore, we must also define the heart. First Thessalonians 5:23 indicates that we are a tripartite being—spirit, soul, and body—but it does not mention the heart. What is the heart, and how can we relate it to the inward parts and the hidden part?
God’s Word proves clearly and definitely that the soul is of three parts—the mind, the will, and the emotion. The shaded area in the diagram below illustrates the parts of the soul.
Proverbs 2:10 (cf. 19:2) suggests that the soul needs knowledge. Since knowledge is a function of the mind, this proves that the mind is a part of the soul. These two verses from Proverbs tell us that we need to have knowledge in our soul. Then Psalm 139:14 says that the soul knows. To know is something of the mind, which again proves that the mind is a part of the soul. Psalm 13:2 says that the soul takes counsel, or considers (ASV), which refers to the mind. Lamentations 3:20 indicates that the soul remembers. From these verses we can see that there is a part in the soul that knows, considers, and remembers. This part is the mind.
The second part of the soul is the will. Job 7:15 says that the soul chooses. To choose something is a decision made by the act of the will. This proves that the will must be a part of the soul. Job 6:7 says that the soul refuses. To choose and refuse are both functions of the will. First Chronicles 22:19 says, “Set your...soul to seek.” Just as we set our mind to think, so we set our soul to seek. This is, of course, the soul making a decision, which proves that the will must be a part of the soul. Then Numbers 30 speaks of binding one’s soul ten times (ASV). When we read this chapter, we understand that to bind the soul is to make a decision. It is related to a vow that is made with the Lord. To make a decision to bind the soul is to make a vow to the Lord. Thus, this is proof that the will must be a part of the soul. Psalm 27:12; 41:2; and Ezekiel 16:27 (ASV) translate the Hebrew word for soul into “will.” The prayer made by the psalmist is, “Do not give me over / To the desire (lit. soul) of my adversaries.” This proves clearly that the will must be a part of the soul.
The emotion is the third part of the soul. With the emotion there are many aspects, for example, love, hatred, joy, grief, etc. All these are expressions of the emotion. References to love in relation to the soul are found in 1 Samuel 18:1 and Song of Songs 1:7. These verses show that love is in the soul, proving, therefore, that within the soul there is such an organ, or function, as the emotion. Concerning hatred, 2 Samuel 5:8, Psalm 107:18, and Ezekiel 36:5 speak of hating, loathing, and despising in relation to the soul. Since these are expressions of the emotion, these verses also prove that the emotion must be a part of the soul. As seen in Isaiah 61:10 and Psalm 86:4, exultation and rejoicing also are related to the soul. Since these are of the emotion, this again proves that the emotion is a part of the soul. Grief, another expression of the soul, is mentioned in 1 Samuel 30:6 and Judges 10:16 (ASV). First Samuel 20:4, Deuteronomy 14:26, Ezekiel 24:25, and Jeremiah 44:14 mention desire in relation to the soul. Concerning Ezekiel 24:25 and Jeremiah 44:14, the right meaning is reached when the American Standard Version is checked with Young’s or Strong’s Concordance. These verses show that desire, an element of the emotion, is in the realm of the soul.
These verses establish the ground to verify the three parts of the soul: the mind, the will, and the emotion. In the Scriptures it is difficult to find any additional parts of the soul, for these three parts cover all the functions of the soul. The mind is the leading part, followed by the will and the emotion. These are the verses that best reveal what the three parts of the soul are.
THE THREE PARTS OF THE SPIRIT—
CONSCIENCE, FELLOWSHIP, AND INTUITION
It is interesting to note that there are three persons in the Godhead, three parts to man’s being, three inward parts to the soul, and also three parts to the spirit. All are in three parts. The Scriptures also reveal three parts in the tabernacle, the building of God. Three is the basic figure or number. Even in Noah’s ark there were three levels. With the tabernacle the number three is used many times. For example, the width of one board was one and a half cubits. When two boards were joined as a pair, the total width was three cubits. This means that the number three signifies a whole unit.
Therefore, the spirit is a complete unit, composed of three parts, or functions: conscience, fellowship, and intuition. The shaded area in the diagram below illustrates the parts of the spirit.
It is easy to understand the conscience. We are all familiar with this. To perceive right from wrong is one function of the conscience. To condemn or to justify is another one of its functions. It is also easy to comprehend the fellowship. The fellowship is our communion with God. Within our spirit such a function makes it possible for us to contact God. In a simple word, fellowship is to touch God. But it is not easy to understand the intuition. Intuition means to have a direct sense or knowledge. There is such a direct sense in our spirit, regardless of reason, circumstances, or background. It is a sense without reason, a sense that is not “reasonable.” It is a direct sense of God and a direct knowledge from God. This function of the spirit is what we call the intuition. Thus, the spirit is known by the functions of the conscience, the fellowship, and the intuition.
But these three parts in the human spirit must be proven from the Scriptures. First of all, the conscience is found in Romans 9:1: “My conscience bearing witness with me in the Holy Spirit.” By comparing Romans 9:1 with Romans 8:16, it is evident that the conscience is located in the human spirit. Romans 8:16 says, “The Spirit Himself witnesses with our spirit.” On one hand, the Holy Spirit witnesses with our spirit; on the other hand, our conscience bears witness in the Holy Spirit. This proves that the conscience must be a function of our spirit. In 1 Corinthians 5:3 the apostle Paul says that in his spirit he judged a sinful person. To judge means either to condemn or to justify, which are acts of the conscience. The fact that the apostle judged in his spirit confirms that the condemning or justifying function is in the spirit; hence, the conscience is in the spirit. Psalm 51:10 speaks of “a right spirit within me” (ASV). A right spirit is a spirit that is right. Knowing right from wrong is related to the conscience; thus, this verse also proves that the conscience is in the spirit. Psalm 34:18 refers to those who are “contrite in spirit.” To be contrite means to realize that we are wrong. In other words, it is to accuse and condemn ourselves, which is a function of the conscience. This shows that the conscience is related to the spirit. Deuteronomy 2:30 says that God hardened the spirit of Sihon the king of Heshbon, which means that Sihon’s conscience was hardened. To be hardened in the spirit means to be careless with regard to the conscience. When we cast off the feeling in our conscience, we become hardened in our spirit. These verses offer the strongest ground for the fact that the function of the conscience is in the human spirit.
Let us go on to find the scriptural ground for saying that the fellowship is a part of the spirit. First of all, John 4:24 tells us that we must worship God in our spirit. Thus, to worship God requires us to worship in our spirit. To worship God is to contact God and fellowship with God. This verse proves that the function of worship, or of fellowship, is in our spirit. In Romans 1:9 the apostle Paul said, “I serve [God] in my spirit.” To serve God also is a kind of fellowship with God. This too proves that the function of fellowship is in our spirit. In Romans 7:6 Paul added that “we serve in newness of spirit.” In other words, our service to the Lord is essentially our fellowship with the Lord in our spirit.
Let us consider Ephesians 6:18. In this verse Paul says that we should pray “at every time in spirit.” There is no article before spirit, nor is the word capitalized. The word spirit here does not refer to the Holy Spirit but to our human spirit. To pray is to fellowship with God. To pray in spirit indicates, then, that fellowship with God is a matter in our spirit. In Luke 1:47 Mary said, “My spirit has exulted in God.” To exult in God means that the human spirit has contacted God. Once again, this verse indicates that fellowship with God is a function of the spirit. In addition, Romans 8:16 says, “The Spirit Himself witnesses with our spirit.” This verse is very clear, because it shows that fellowship with God must be both in our spirit and in the Spirit of God. First Corinthians 6:17 says, “He who is joined to the Lord is one spirit.” Real fellowship means that we become one spirit with the Lord. This fellowship is in our spirit. The above verses are sufficient to prove that the function of fellowship is in our human spirit.
Now let us consider the intuition. Although it is difficult to find the scriptural ground for this function, there are some verses. First Corinthians 2:11 reveals that the spirit of man can know what the soul cannot. Our spirit can discern that which the soul cannot discern. This proves that something extra is in our spirit. Our soul can know things by reason and by circumstantial experiences, but the human spirit can discern things without these. This direct sense in the spirit shows that the intuition is in our spirit. Furthermore, Mark 2:8 says that Jesus knew in His spirit, and Mark 8:12 says that He groaned deeply in His spirit. John 11:33 says that Jesus was moved with indignation in His spirit. To know, to groan, and to be indignant in our spirit come from a direct sense of discernment that is not dependent upon reason. This we call the intuition, the third function of our spirit.
Now we have the scriptural ground for these six parts: the three parts of the soul and the three parts of the spirit.
THE FOUR PARTS OF THE HEART—
MIND, WILL, EMOTION, AND CONSCIENCE
What, then, is the heart? The heart is not a separate part in addition to the soul and the spirit; rather, it is a composition of all the parts of the soul and the first part of the spirit. It includes the mind, the will, and the emotion plus one part of the spirit, the conscience. The shaded area in the following diagram illustrates the parts that compose the heart.
Man does not have more than three main parts in his being. As a human being we have a body, a soul, and a spirit. We do not have a fourth and separate part that is called the heart.
Now we need to confirm that the mind, the first part of the soul, is a part of the heart. In Matthew 9:4 Jesus said to the scribes, “Why are you thinking evil things in your hearts?” This indicates that one can think in his heart. Since the thinking processes are in the mind, this proves that the mind is a part of the heart. Genesis 6:5 refers to the thoughts of man’s heart. The thoughts are of the mind, but Genesis 6:5 speaks of the thoughts as being of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 also refers to the thoughts of the heart. These three verses are ample proof that the mind, an organ of the soul, is a part of the heart.
Acts 11:23 refers to the will. In this verse Barnabas encouraged the believers in Antioch “to remain with the Lord with purpose of heart.” To purpose is a function of the will, but in Acts it is referred to as being of the heart. This shows that the will also is a part of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 speaks of the “intentions of the heart.” The intentions correspond to the purposes, which are of the will. Again, this proves that the will is a part of the heart. There are more verses, but these two are sufficient. According to the scriptural standard, only two witnesses are required (Deut. 19:15; John 8:17).
In John 16:22 the Lord said to His disciples, “Your heart will rejoice.” To rejoice is an element of the emotions, but here the Lord said that the heart rejoices. This confirms that the emotion also is a part of the heart. In the same chapter the Lord said, “Sorrow has filled your heart” (v. 6). Sorrow also is something of the emotion. Hence, these two verses verify that the emotion is a part of the heart.
Concerning the conscience, Hebrews 10:22 says, “Having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience.” Here we see that the conscience has much to do with the heart. In order to have a pure heart, we must have a conscience that is without offense. Our conscience must be sprinkled with the blood of Christ in order for us to have a pure heart. Thus, without a doubt, the conscience is a part of the heart. First John 3:20 says that “our heart blames us.” To blame is a function of the conscience. Hence, this verse proves that the conscience is a part of the heart.
Scriptural ground has thus been given to prove that all the parts of the soul—the mind, the will, and the emotion—and the first part of the spirit—the conscience—composed together equal the heart.