The spirit is the real person

A human being is identified as comprised of three components; the spirit, soul, and body. As a neutralizing agent, the soul serves as a moderator between the body and the spirit. An average person requires a balance between the works of the spirit and the body, whose aspirations are opposed to each other. The apostle Paul perfectly illustrated this condition in the Book of Galatians:

“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. They conflict with each other so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law” (Galatians 5:16-18 NIV).

Both the body and the spirit are necessary for the physical human’s existence. Their factor in opposing each other reveals that the spirit focuses on life, while the flesh leads towards death. Without the spirit, the body succumbs to death. Without the physical body, the spirit cannot communicate with the physical universe.

For illustration purposes, we can use the analogy of the functionality of electricity. The negative and positive currencies are observed as necessary to generate electricity. Either of the two currencies is incapacitated without the other. To continue surviving as a physical human, there has to be balance, between the two forces.

A person, who indulges in physical desires, ceases to be human but can be justified as humanoid. The adjective term, “Humanoid,” refers to the condition of displaying the appearance or the characteristics of a human. Normal humans appreciate the existence of those people who commonly engage in activities that take away their humanity.

For instance, in the extreme case, when a person behaves like an animal, raping or killing women and children, he qualifies as a humanoid. The spirit would then get defeated and take the position of servitude. The defeated spirit would support the destructive nature of the physical condition. An illustration of a humanoid was perfectly projected by Paul when describing the works of the flesh:

“The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, and debaucher; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21 NIV).

When the spirit overcomes the physical body, the physical body becomes the servant of the spirit, leading to life.  The spirit is the real person, entrusted with practicing humanity. This portrays Ubuntu, or Hunhu, in Shona. That person feels good when treating other people with dignity. In his optimum provision, that person projects the condition highlighted by Paul:

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other” (Galatians 5:22-26 NIV).

This reflects Godliness, describing the quality of God’s children. Humans, created in God’s image, resemble God’s character. I like the last part where Paul advises God’s people: “Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other” (Verse 20).

Conceit and envy are real obstacles to human deliverance. Those created in God’s image display humanity (Ubuntu/Hunhu), but pride removes humanity. The followers of Jesus become blended with God, to project the Fruit of the Spirit, which reflects God’s mind. According to Jesus, such people are not different from Him, as undefeatable by the flesh.

Their flesh becomes the servant of the spirit, at the time of being defeated by the spirit. Defeating the flesh is as exciting, as granting freedom. The freed people become spurred by God’s Spirit, to be no longer fearful of anything, but identifiable as God’s children.

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me’” (Matthew 25:37-40 NIV).

The righteous are shown as being different from Jesus’ brothers, projected as not having lived a comfortable life on earth. When alive during their Christian lives, Christ’s brothers would have behaved as unfazed by death. They would not have been worried about death, or the aspect of losing possessions, as Jesus’ followers.

The difference is that the righteous mentioned above would have not overcome anything. These would generally be considered as good people, treating fellow humans with dignity. But they would not be the blessed ones, earmarked to rule with Christ, during the millennium, as highlighted in John’s prophecy (Revelation 20:4-6).

The projected truth is that all humans, created in God’s image, reflect Godliness, in their normal condition. The difference between the referred brothers of Jesus and the considered righteous people is that such righteous people would have not sacrificed anything to follow Jesus. One could be tempted to suppose that some of them would have heeded Jesus’ warning:

“Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is unable, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for peace terms. In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple. Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is thrown out. “He who has ears to hear, let him hear” (Luke 14:31-35 NIV).

The most terrifying thing is observing those who commonly take comfort in pride when associated with Christianity. They would be unaware of the package that goes with Christianity. The majority of them feel honored, but completely oblivious of what that entails. Christianity should never be regarded as granting an entitlement of honor, where one feels privileged when receiving respect from those of this world.

The story of Lazarus and Rich Man provides proof that it is impossible for those granted honor to be part of dignitaries with Jesus. I do not think that understanding God’s word is a special talent. I consider it to be a dedicated commitment to follow Christ, rather than anything else. Those truly following Christ can never carelessly take Jesus’ words, which are a matter of life and death, for true Believers. Misinformation will never serve anyone.

As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,’ they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and the end of the age?” Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many” (Matthew 24:3-5 NIV).

The most regrettable condition of deception is that it does not leave room for the consideration of human fallibility. Jesus is gracious but certainly appears as being ruthless to pretenders. Scriptures are not vague about what happens to pretenders. The treatment of those people is shown as being worse than ordinary sinners.

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” (Matthew 7:21-23 NIV).

A person classified as an evildoer is a reject. There is no hope for such a person, even during the Last Great Day of Judgment. The Book of Revelation shows that such people’s fate is sealed, already. Except for God’s unforeseen miracle, there doesn’t appear any acceptable negotiation, possible, in trying to persuade God to be considerate.

This is different from ordinary people, without attachment to God. Their cases will be considered on merit. There is nothing as dangerous as playing games with Christianity. Carelessness in Christianity is commonly driven by pride.

“But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters, and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death” (Revelation 21:8 NIV).

The cause of misunderstanding emanates from not knowing the real person created in God’s image. The spiritual component in humanity requires despising death. Without despising death, it seems impossible for ordinary humans to leave everything to follow Christ. Jesus expressed His understanding of human weakness, at the Garden of Gethsemane.

“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak (Matthew 26:41 NIV).

The weakness of the flesh arises from the body’s inability to tolerate pain, which is a reminder of death. Focusing on life, unconditionally, invalidates physical pain. The death condition is not different from the soil. If the spirit is willing, the person stops listening to the physical flesh. The only reason for having committed one’s life to Jesus is to sacrifice the physical body, as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1-2). Accepting the call of Jesus is similar to physical death.

A person who becomes aware of being God’s child does not identify himself, according to humanly designated classifications. This reality was projected by Jesus, identified with titles that had nothing to do with Him. On posing the question of who ordinary people assumed Him to be, Jesus knew, exactly what ordinary people thought about Him:

When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked. “who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.

“I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosened in heaven.” Then he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ. (Matthew 16:13-20 NIV).

The above Scripture reveals the seal of Christianity. The moment a person becomes aware of being God’s child, he ceases to conform to human opinions. The idea of designating humans according to general opinions did not start with Jesus. In our societies, leaders are chosen according to their appearance in posture. This includes charisma and the ability to speak well, without considering ethical conditions.

The foundation of God’s Church starts with appreciating being God’s child. The reason Jesus warned His disciples not to tell anyone is the significance contained in the realization of being God’s child. This world is filled with falsehoods. Imagine several identities that had been attached to Jesus. The same applies to any of us, today. People will always form opinions based on their experiences, concerning whoever they observe in this world.

However, being black or white should not cause anyone to assume to understand God’s children. God knows those who belong to Him as His children. God’s children, also know God and Jesus without any shadow of a doubt. However, most of those claiming to know God can easily be identified as humanoid.

The person’s true identity is his spirit. The physical body is a false identity. If ordinary people held to the false identity of Jesus, what more those coming from despised conditions? People claim to know each other when the truth is that they do not even know themselves, let alone knowing their children. The true identity of a person is spiritual, before which, that person is humanoid.

Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from the current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing relief to those having witnessed the strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. Most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long-awaited providential oasis of hope, in a simple conversational tone.

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