The spirit man is an important concept in Evangelical and Charismatic Christian theology that refers to the innermost part of a person that connects with God. As beings created in God’s image, humans have a spiritual component to their nature that allows them to relate to and interact with the spiritual realm. Understanding your spirit man is crucial for living a victorious Christian life and walking in the fullness of what God intends for you. In this comprehensive blog post, we will explore what the Bible teaches about the human spirit and how growing in the knowledge of your spirit man can transform your relationship with God.
- The spirit man is the innermost part of a person that connects with God.
- God created humans as triune beings – body, soul and spirit.
- Your regenerated spirit man is made alive in Christ at salvation.
- The Holy Spirit dwells within and communicates through your spirit.
- Your spirit man can be strengthened through spiritual disciplines.
- Walking according to your spirit defeats sin and overcomes the flesh.
- Growing in knowledge of your spirit man is crucial for victorious Christian living.
The Triune Nature of Man
The Bible teaches that human beings have a triune nature, being made up of body, soul and spirit:
“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 Thessalonians 5:23)
Our physical body is the outward part of our being, interacting with the natural world through the five senses. The soul comprises our mind, will and emotions – the aspects of our self-identity and personality. The spirit is the innermost part of our being that connects and communes with the spiritual realm.
When God created the first man Adam, scripture tells us that Adam became a living being after God breathed life into him:
“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.” (Genesis 2:7)
This breath of life from God imparted a human spirit to Adam. And so every human being inherits this spiritual component to their nature which enables them to relate to God.
The Condition of the Human Spirit
However, when Adam sinned, the spirit within him died or was separated from God. Whereas before Adam enjoyed perfect communion with God in the Garden of Eden, his rebellion brought spiritual death:
“By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” (Genesis 3:19)
This spiritual death was passed on to all of Adam’s descendants, as Paul explains:
“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned…” (Romans 5:12)
As descendants of Adam, every human being is thus born with a dead spirit – separated from God and unable to connect with Him. Our regenerated spirit is made alive when we are born again.
The Regenerated Human Spirit
When a person puts their faith in Christ for salvation, Jesus imparts His resurrected life to their spirit and makes it alive unto God. Scripture speaks of this as being “born again” or “born of the Spirit”:
“Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.” (John 3:5-6)
Through spiritual rebirth, the Holy Spirit regenerates our human spirit, restoring the broken communion with God:
“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:13-14)
With a regenerated spirit, we can once again relate to God and access the spiritual blessings Christ died to give us. Our reborn spirit is the conduit through which we experience God.
The Indwelling Holy Spirit
A key aspect of salvation is that the Holy Spirit comes to take up residence within our newly regenerated spirit. Scripture speaks of our body as a temple of the Holy Spirit:
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;” (1 Corinthians 6:19)
The presence of God within us through the Holy Spirit is what sets New Covenant believers apart from Old Testament saints. God now relates to His people through an inward dwelling rather than an external law. The indwelling Spirit testifies to our adoption as God’s children:
“The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” (Romans 8:16)
Thus the reborn spirit functions as a house and channel for the Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives. Our spirit man is where we most intimately commune with God by His Spirit.
How the Holy Spirit Communicates through Our Spirit
The primary way in which the Holy Spirit within us communicates to our consciousness is through the inner witness in our spirit. There is a intuitive knowing birthed in our spirit that goes beyond the rational mind. Paul refers to this as “the mind of Christ”:
“‘For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.” (1 Corinthians 2:11-12)
This inner knowing is a key source of guidance, discernment and revelation for believers. It gives insight into the will, ways and truth of God.
The Holy Spirit may also communicate to our spirit man through inward impressions, pictures, visions, dreams, prophecies, tongues and interpretation and other supernatural means. Learning to distinguish the voice of the Spirit from our own thoughts and discern the Spirit’s communication takes maturity and wisdom.
“For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears… For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” (1 Corinthians 13:9-10, 12)
But we can grow in our ability to hear and understand what the Spirit is speaking in our spirit.
How to Strengthen Your Spirit Man
Our spirit man grows and becomes stronger through disciplines and practices that train us to live from the spirit rather than from our mind, will or emotions. Here are some ways to strengthen your spirit man:
- Read the Word – Scripture enlightens our inner man to truth and wisdom from God’s perspective.
- Pray in the Spirit – Praying in tongues edifies our spirit and builds us up in faith.
- Worship – As we focus on God in worship, our spirit is lifted into His presence.
- Fasting – Fasting crucifies the flesh and amplifies our spiritual antenna.
- Solitude and Silence – Getting away from noise and distractions awakens our inward attentiveness.
- Practice Hearing God – Learning to distinguish God’s voice plant seeds in our spirit.
- Walk in Obedience – Acting on the promptings and guidance that come from within builds your spirit man. Like exercising a muscle, obeying the inner witness strengthens your spirit to hear more.
As we prioritize spiritual disciplines like these, our spirit becomes stronger and more capable of discerning the things of God. We must train our spirits to take charge over an untamed body and undisciplined soul.
The Flesh vs the Spirit
Much spiritual warfare takes place within us – between our reborn spirit and our carnal flesh. Paul describes the battle between flesh and spirit:
“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16-17)
In his letter to the Romans, Paul further laments how the fleshly and spiritual natures within him are at war:
“I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.” (Romans 7:18-19)
Walking in the power of our spirit means not giving in to sinful fleshly desires but ruling over them. Physical pleasures that wage war against the soul must be brought under the oversight of our renewed spirit (1 Peter 2:11).
As we feed our spirit man through spiritual disciplines, the flesh loses its power over us. Sin no longer has dominion over us when we live according to the spirit.
The Mind Set on the Spirit
An important key to victorious Christian living is setting our mind on the things of the Spirit rather than the flesh. Paul exhorts:
“Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.” (Romans 8:5)
Keeping our focus on spiritual things strengthens our spirit man. This might include meditating on scripture, praying in the spirit, worshiping, acting on God’s guidance, serving God’s purposes, etc. As we practice thinking from the perspective of our spirit, it gains precedence over the noisy clamor of the outer man.
The Voice of Our Spirit
One of the most important breakthroughs in walking in the spirit is learning to distinguish the voice of our own spirit. This inner knowing will always line up with the written Word of God but goes beyond rational analysis.
The spirit voice within us sounds different than the random thoughts and mental chatter that occupy our soulish realm. It operates on the frequency of faith, love, power, purpose and destiny. It has a present-moment wisdom we don’t arrive at just by thinking.
Learning to hear, discern and obey the voice of our spirit sets us on a path of supernatural living. Distinguishing the voice of God’s Spirit from counterfeit voices is also vital for our spiritual protection.
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1)
As we become finely tuned to the flow of Spirit within us, we walk in discernment and victory.
Benefits of Growing in Knowledge of Your Spirit Man
Understanding these biblical truths concerning our reborn spirit unlocks greater spiritual vitality and power. Here are some key benefits:
- Hear God’s voice more clearly
- Understand God’s will more fully
- Access supernatural guidance and discernment
- Walk in greater authority over sin and temptation
- Experience more victory in spiritual warfare
- Renew your inner strength and passion
- Discover more joy, peace and purpose
- Have deeper encounter with God’s presence
- Move in spiritual gifts more effectively
- Fulfill your destiny with greater anointing
The more we can disentangle our spirit man from the mixture of flesh, soul and worldly input, the more we walk in what Scripture calls “life and peace” (Romans 8:6). The spiritual life opens up to us at deeper and deeper levels as we learn to live from the spirit outward rather than from external things inward.
Understanding and growing your spirit man is a lifelong journey that launches us into the greatest adventure – intimacy with the living God and fulfillment of our purpose on earth. God designed us for victorious, supernatural living through the power of His indwelling Spirit. As we renew our minds and walk according to the spirit, we access realities greater than we can think or imagine. May God give us ever-increasing revelation and understanding of our reborn spirit – the dwelling place of His presence.