First, it’s important to recognize that we are a 3 part being made in the image of God.
1. God is spirit/Holy Spirit – We have a spiritual body.
2. God the Father is a soul “the will of God.” – Our soul is made up of our mind, will, emotions.
3. Jesus/God came to earth in the flesh – We have a physical body.
God 3 in 1 – Jesus came in the flesh. 1 John 4:1 The Holy Spirit descended on Him. Matt 3:16 And He came to do the will of the Father who sent Him. John 6:38.
“For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” John 3:17
Our spiritual condition
In Christianity, when you choose to ask Jesus Christ to enter into your heart, the two become one. It is by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ that He brings life to our spirit. In Him, we are made complete. Like in a marriage, we now have what He has. Note here too, He has given us His Name – Jesus. John 14:13-14
“Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.” Romans 6:8
“When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Cor 5:17
Yet, our soul man (mind, will, and emotion) still must be renewed to come into alignment with the Word and the will of the Father.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Roman’s 12:2
“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Cor 3:18
3. Our physical body –
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;” 1 Cor 6:19
“Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. They are buried as natural human bodies, but they will be raised as spiritual bodies. For just as there are natural bodies, there are also spiritual bodies.”1 Cor 15:43-44
So here we see that the soul and body are ultimately brought into completion with our Spirit in Christ.
“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” Philip. 1:6
“I am in them and you in me--so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” John 17:23
With all this in mind, how does Christianity differ from other religions?
Faith in works or Faith in Jesus Christ.
We are all (our body, soul, and spirit) born under the law of sin and death. separated from God. “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins.” Eph 2:1
In other religions, the Gnostics for example, people seek to become “like God” or “God like” through things such as good works, prayers, rituals, invoking secret knowledge, or other forms of enlightenment. All which may have an effect on the soul man, but does not result in eternal life.
Only in Christianity do we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and savior. Thus Christians are referred to as the Bride of Christ (two becoming one) and the body of Christ. The law was brought so we would acknowledge our need for a saviour, repent, and open our hearts allowing Jesus to live in, with, and through us.
But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit. 1 Cor 6:17
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” John 5:24
In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Romans 6:11
“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Cor. 5:21
….But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Cor 6:11
Again, many religions deal with matters of the soul man (mind, will, emotions). But they can never create us to be “good enough” or to be “like God” to overcome the law of sin and death. To be separated from God is to be separated from life itself, and there is only one way back to the Father and that is through His Son.
“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
“For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” 11Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.” f 12The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.” g 13Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.” h 14He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.” Gal 3:12-14
“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Eph 2:4-10