1 Thessalonians 5:23, “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
I have read through the entire Bible many times, but each time I do I find new insights and old truths that capture my attention in a powerful way. This happened to me recently when I read First Thessalonians 5, and God drew my attention to the topic of sanctification in a way that captivated me and led me to a deep study in His Word. It is clear to me that God wants us to be sanctified—to be wholly holy—and that in order for us to do that, we must be sanctified in our spirit, soul, and our body.
Genesis, chapter one, gives us the account of God’s creative genius on display. God spoke and the worlds came into existence. Then God created the difference between the oceans and the dry lands, and it appeared according to His word. God then created the beautiful rivers and lakes and the mountains and the valleys and all of nature in its great beauty. God made the great creatures for the sea, those that would fly through the air, and those animals that would roam the land.
We see the likeness of the Trinity in God’s creation of man. When He came to the sixth day of His creation, God paused and He did something other than just speak the word. He said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (Genesis 1:26). Unlike everything else in creation, man was created from something. The Bible declares in Genesis 2:7 that God “formed man of the dust of the ground.” I love this thought— we are just dirt…but in the hands of God, dirt becomes very special! When God breathed into Adam’s nostrils the breath of life, “man became a living soul” (Genesis 2:7).
God did not just create Adam and Eve; He created you and me as well. The Psalmist said God “made us.” It is just as true to say that God made me as it is to say that God made Adam. God is still in the “making business.” God makes every human being. The prophet Isaiah used the analogy of a potter shaping a vessel out of clay to describe our relationship with God. “O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand” (Isaiah 64:8).
You are no accident! God did not design the process of reproduction and then abandon it to random chance. Your genetic code was uniquely designed by God. Your height, hair color, eye color—it is by His design. Understanding this truth changes everything. If you and I are nothing more than advanced animals, then why not live like animals? Animals have soul life and physical life, but they do not have spiritual life. They are not held morally responsible for their actions. We are not just evolved animals; we are human beings uniquely created by God Himself. God told Jeremiah, “Before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee” (Jeremiah 1:15).
Not only is it true that we are created by God, but all three Persons of the Trinity are involved in the process. God the Father created us. Malachi 2:10 says, “Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us?” God the Son also created us. Speaking of Christ, Scripture says, “All things were made by Him and without Him was not anything made that was made” (John 1:3). God the Holy Spirit also created us. “The spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life” (Job 33:4). The complexity of design to the existence of a Creator. There is no rational reason to suppose that such an intricate set of systems that must function both individually and together would happen by chance. God’s design applies to all parts of our makeup.