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Lyn Mize

(Gen 1:27 KJV)  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.  

Man was created in the image of God, which means that he is a tripartite or triune being, just as God is a Trinity. Man is made of spirit, soul and body, just as God is God the Father, God the Holy Spirit and God the Son. God is Three Persons in One, just as man is three persons in one.

When man fell in the Garden of Eden, he fell in all three persons. Consequently, when he is redeemed, he must be redeemed in all three persons—spirit, soul and body. It does not take much thought to realize that the bodies of Christians have not yet been redeemed. The redemption of our bodies will take place at the rapture (i.e., resurrection) of the Church.

It should not take much thought to realize also that the souls of Christians have not yet been completely redeemed at the present time. Our soul is our mind, will, intellect, emotions and personality. Our soul is who we are as a person. The Scriptures have much more to say about the salvation of our souls than the salvation of either our spirits or our bodies.

Simply stated, the salvation of the Christian’s spirit is a one-time event that has taken place in the past for Christians. Therefore, it is a past salvation that can never be rescinded, in spite of the behavior of Christians. That is why it is called Salvation by Grace. It is an unconditional salvation that is not dependent upon the Christian’s behavior—either before salvation or after salvation. Spirit salvation is eternally secure and can never be lost by the actions of the Christian. Spirit salvation guarantees a redeemed soul and a redeemed body at the resurrection, and all Christians will abide in the New Jerusalem forever. A redeemed soul means that the Christian will be like Christ in his thoughts and behavior. The redeemed body will also be like the redeemed body of Christ. It will consists of flesh and bone, and will be fit for dwelling in heaven and transporting back and forth between the New Jerusalem and the earth. It will also be indestructible and invincible—much like the body of the comic book hero Superman.

Even though every Christian is guaranteed a new soul and body at the Rapture of the Church, God has established a process whereby a Christian can realize soul salvation in the present life. Therefore, soul salvation is a present salvation, but there are requirements for attaining to this salvation in the present age. The Christian must put to death the old flesh nature and allow his new spirit nature to be in control of his life. The Christian must lose his soul now so that it can be saved at the Judgment Seat of Christ. If the Christian loses his soul now, then he will not lose it at the Rapture. Jesus explains this in the following Scripture:

Mat 16:24-27 (KJV) (24) Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. (25) For whosoever will save his life (psuche) shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life (psuche) for my sake shall find it. (26) For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul (psuche)? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul (psuche)? (27) For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

Please note that the Greek word psuche is the word for soul or life. Also note that soul salvation pertains to works and rewards at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

We have now seen that spirit salvation is a past salvation, soul salvation is a present salvation and body salvation is a future salvation. Consequently, when a Christian is asked if he is saved, he can truthfully say, “I have been saved, I am being saved and I shall be saved.”

Spirit salvation is referred to in the Scriptures as the Justification by Faith. Soul salvation is referred to as the Justification by Works, and body salvation is referred to as Glorification, since Christians will receive a glorified body.

Soul salvation is greatly misunderstood by the majority of Christians. Many Christians have taken the Scriptures that address the loss of soul salvation, and applied them to the spirit. They say that a Christian can fall away from the faith and end up in “hell” if he is unfaithful. The truth is that a Christian can fall away from the faith, but it is his soul that he loses at the Judgment Seat of Christ, and he loses his reward, which is his inheritance in the kingdom of God. THE CHRISTIAN CANNOT LOSE HIS SPIRIT SALVATION. He did nothing to earn it, so he can also do nothing to lose it. The following Scripture addresses soul salvation, but verse 13 confirms that even if the Christian is unfaithful (i.e., believe not), Jesus will remain faithful, since he cannot deny himself:

(2 Tim 2:10-13 KJV)  Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. {11} It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: {12} If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: {13} If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.  

 In this Scripture, Paul writes about working very hard, so the elect can obtain or realize soul salvation, which will result in glory for the coming age (i.e., eternal glory). If Christians die to self (i.e., be dead with him) then they will “live with him”, which means they will realize soul salvation at the Judgment Seat of Christ. If Christians also suffer with him, then they will also reign with him, which means they will enter the kingdom of heaven. If Christians deny Christ by their manner of life, then they will be denied at the Judgment Seat of Christ, which means the loss of soul salvation, the loss of glory and honor, and the loss of the reward of reigning and ruling with Christ in his millennial kingdom. THE LOSS OF SOUL SALVATION AT THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST IS VERY SERIOUS. It means the Christian cannot be the bride of Christ, cannot enter the kingdom to reign and rule, and cannot receive honor and glory because of his wasted life. The loss of the soul at the Judgment Seat of Christ means the Christian has wasted his life in the pursuit of earthly things. The Christian that loses his soul at the Judgment Seat of Christ is the Christian whose life consists of wood, hay and stubble. The Christian that realizes the salvation of his soul at the Judgment Seat of Christ is the Christian whose life consists of gold, silver and precious stones.

The soul is a person’s life. It will either perish at the Judgment Seat of Christ in the judgment fire of God, or it will pass through the fire and attain to glory, honor and immortality. THE ISSUE OF SOUL SALVATION IS REWARD.

The student of the Bible must “rightly divide the Word of truth” to determine if the Scripture is speaking of spirit salvation, soul salvation or body salvation. Most of the Scriptures in addressing salvation are speaking of soul salvation, such as follows:

(Phil 2:12 KJV)  Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.