Neil Anderson gives a summary of the spiritual life with spirit, soul and body discernment.
See Galatians 5:22-23: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
The spiritual person also has a body, soul and spirit. Yet this individual has been remarkably transformed from the natural person he was before spiritual birth. At conversion, his spirit became united with God’s Spirit. The spiritual life which resulted from this union is characterized by forgiveness of sin, acceptance in God’s family, and the realization of personal worth.
The soul of the spiritual person also reflects a change generated by spiritual birth. He can now receive his impetus from the Spirit, not just from the flesh. His mind is being renewed and transformed. His emotions are characterized by peace and joy instead of turmoil. It is our responsibility to choose not to walk according to the flesh, but to walk according to the Spirit. As the spiritual person exercises his choice to live in the Spirit, his life bears the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22, 23).
As a spiritual person, your body is the dwelling place of God. We should offer our bodies as a living sacrifice of worship and service to Him. The flesh, conditioned to live independently from God under the old self, is still present in the spiritual person. But he responsibly crucifies the flesh and its desires daily as he considers himself dead to sin.
“That all looks and sounds great,” you may say. “But I’m a Christian and I still have some problems. I know I’m spiritually alive, but sometimes my mind dwells on the wrong kinds of thoughts. Sometimes I give in to the deeds of the flesh. Sometimes I entertain the desires of the flesh instead of crucifying them.”
The description of the spiritual person is the ideal. It’s the model of maturity toward which we are all growing. God has made every provision for you to experience personally the description of the spiritual person in His Word (2 Peter 1:3). You will grow as a spiritual person and glorify God in your body as you learn to crucify the flesh and be filled by the Spirit.
Prayer: Loving Lord, it is liberating to know that Your Spirit actually dwells in me. I choose to walk as a spiritual person today.
from Daily in Christ, by Neil and Joanne Anderson, June 17. Bold added for emphasis – JBW