(This is the second in a series of health articles that are designed to help you gain a deeper appreciation for God’s amazing handiwork of the human body and a better understanding of how it works and how it can be better maintained by simple methods. George McDaniel is my father-in-law, and has been a registered nurse for many years, which, along with much research, has taught him many useful health principles. I pray that you are being blessed by these articles. Editor)
In the previous article we looked at the cell, the basic unit of all living organisms, and saw how amazingly complex it is. The human body is even more amazing. It is made up of trillions of cells, organized into tissues, organs, and systems under the control of the brain. If damaged, it can repair itself. In fact, it is continuously replacing worn-out cells by the millions every day. If it comes under attack by disease-causing micro-organisms, it can defend itself. It cleanses itself of toxic by-products of cellular metabolism as well as poisons that are inhaled or ingested.
Yet, as amazing as the physical body is, that is only one aspect of the human being. If man were only a living body, he would be no different from the other animals in the world. There is also a spiritual aspect of humanity. These two aspects are intimately connected. One can’t exist without the other. What affects one affects the other. In 3 John verse 2, John writes to his friend, Gaius, saying,“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.”
Some people say there are three aspects to humans: body, soul and spirit, but actually there are only the two. Genesis 2:7, telling of the creation of man by God, says: “And 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. Here we see that the soul is the combination of physical body and breath of life from God, which is the spirit. The body, without the spirit, is dead. (See James 2:26) The spirit, without the body, has no conscious existence. The brain is the organ through which man has a conscious existence. Ecclesiastes 12:7 tells us that when a person dies, the dust returns to the earth, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. Ecclesiastes 3:19-21 says that animals also have a spirit. They are, after all, living beings. But when they die, their spirit goes downward to the earth while the spirit of man goes upward. Another way to say this is that man’s spirit is given by God and returns to Him, while the animal’s spirit perishes with the body.
When God created man, He never intended that he should die. God wanted man to live forever, in constant communion with Him; Spirit to spirit. Sin interrupted this communion, but it was restored by the plan of salvation.
In Genesis 3:15, when God gave the promise of a Redeemer to Adam and Eve, He gave them back the ability to decide who they would choose to lead them; whether the Spirit of God or the rebellious spirit of the enemy of God.
I believe an understanding of the dual nature of mankind, along with an understanding of the conflict going on between God and Satan for the loyalty of humans, is helpful in knowing why it is important to keep the physical body in as good a condition of health as possible because of the close relationship that exists between the body and the spirit. What affects one can’t help but affect the other. To be Continued…