Walking Before God – By Lewis Williams

Chapter 8

Man’s Threefold Nature

A fourth point to which we wish to call attention is: Man is a threefold being. God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our own likeness.” God is a trinity, consisting of Father, Son and Spirit. Man consists of spirit, soul and body. God made the house, then put man in it; He first rolled the dust together and then “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life,” and “man became a living soul.”

The spirit is the man himself. The soul, or heart, is that with which man hates or loves — the seat of his affections. When you say you have given your heart to God, you mean you have transferred your affections to Him. The body is the house man lives in.

Man is three-sided almost any way you look at him. His life is three-sided; there is the public side of his life, with which many who live about him are more or less acquainted; there is the private side of his life, that only his family and perhaps a very limited number of his closest friends know anything of; and then there is the secret side of his life. That makes his life three-sided. Of the last-mentioned side, little or nothing may be known except by three persons, i. e., God, the devil and himself; and there is his threefold character again.

While his life is threefold in its character, comprising his public, private and secret side, it is made up of just three things, and three things only; i. e., actions, words and thoughts; his public actions, his private actions and his secret actions; his public words, his private words and his secret words; his thoughts as he ponders over them in public, his thoughts as he ponders over them in private, and the thoughts that find a lodging-place in his bosom when he is alone.

My brother, when you place your head on your pillow tonight, and pass off into that state of unconsciousness called sleep, the books containing the record of your actions, words and thoughts, making a complete and final record of your life for this day, will have been forever closed. Tomorrow, if you shall live to see it will bring a new page of the book that is being kept of your life’s record; but the record of today will have been completed and filed away until the day of reckoning comes, when every man shall render unto his Maker a record of the deeds done in the body while he lived here upon earth.

“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God, and the books were opened.” (Rev. 20:12) Books, books containing a record of our public, private and secret actions; books containing the account of our thoughts. God will need no other witnesses then. The precious Holy Ghost who, through all the years of our accountability, endeavored to woo us away from Sin and lead us to purity and to God, will stand there to confirm the records made in the books. He will testify of the truthfulness of the records.