A tripartite being is one that consists of three distinct parts. Although they are distinct parts, they are also a part of the whole and not one of them can be separated without changing its very state of existence. The root core of man is a tripartite being. Mankind is made complete because all men have a body, soul, and spirit; 1 Thess.5:23, “…..sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved…..” Not one of these three parts can be removed and the individual continues to retain his natural state. In order to eliminate some of the confusion, let’s look at the different parts of which a man consists.
First, we start with the soul: The soul is the part of a man that identifies him as an entity. The soul is like DNA; it’s unique in every individual. The soul is like a ghost; you acknowledges its presence, but you cannot see it, feel it, or touch it The soul is man, before he was formed in his mother’s womb; Jer.1:5, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee…..”
Next, we will discuss the body. The body is the part of man where the soul resides. God made Adam’s body from the dust of the ground; Gen.2:7, “….. the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground…..” This is the part of man that is actually seen and touched. God give every seed its own body: 1Cor.15:38, “…..God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.” This is exactly the same with man. He gives every man a body with unequalled characteristics; whereby he is identified. The body is merely a dwelling place for the soul. The soul alone is invisible, but a soul with a body gives substance to the soul; making it readily identifiable.
Finally, we will address the spirit. The spirit is the part of man that causes his body to come alive; Gen. 2:7, “…..and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Notice the body was already formed but was not alive until after God blew the breath of life into it. The spirit part of man is like electricity; it is the energy; the life force that produces life.
We conclude that man is indeed a tripartite being. He has a body, a soul, and a spirit. Compare the soul to a ghost; the body to a house; and the spirit to electricity. God creates a soul (ghost); places that soul inside of a house (body); adds electricity (spirit) to that house, and man becomes a living soul (house becomes a home); Gen. 2:7, “…..the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”