There’s one thing that makes Christian life much less confusing: realize that you have more than one self, just like God has three parts. So when you think and speak, you need to realize which self you are speaking about.
Our body may or may not count as a self. It really is a container, a living container for our spiritual self. It is attached to you for now. It is meant to be our slave. We should not be subject to our bodies, it is supposed to be the other way around. Our body is more of a pet, really. You need to keep it alive and care for it but you must dominate it.
Our soul is our personality and will. We have a soul-mind , often called the “flesh” even though it is not the body of flesh. Our soul can be childish, immature and needy. It likes to satisfy itself in every “carnal” way possible, using the five senses. The soul is very connected to the natural realm. It cannot be trusted to be wise spiritually; it is like a bratty child. Don’t live your life guided by your soul. The sou l must be told what to do as well. Psalms confirms this as we often see verses and songs saying: “bless the Lord oh my soul!” So the body and soul are parts of our self that must have a parent to direct them.
Our spirit is the parent to the other two selfs. However the spirit is “dead” when we are born. Separated from hearing God. Like a telephone with the line cut or a cell phone without a cell tower. It’s dead. Not “dead” as in not alive but inactive, dormant, deaf, dumb. A baby cannot be spirit-led until his or her spirit is turned on – spiritual birth. So get your kids and grandkids born-again as early as possible. If you ask people to become connected to God by turning on their dead spirit you might find it easier to help people become born again. Repentance and spiritual birth go together in that we need to decide that following our soul is not what we want. Repenting is to say “I’m tired of listening to my soul; please turn on my connection to God!” When we become born-again, spiritually alive, we can start being spirit-led. Then the spirit is the parent to the body and soul. The Word of God renews our mind to help us recognize our re-newed spirit-self. We are perfectly sound in spirit. Our born-again self (“in Christ”) is righteous, healed, free from evil. It knows all things; it is the mind of Christ.
Saying “I” can be very confusing. It’s true to say “I’m perfect” if your focus is your spirit. It’s true to say “I’m healed, saved, righteous, sinless and I know all things” when speaking about your spirit-man. Whatever you identify with will manifest in the body. So if we stop focusing on our soul and body, and think about ourselves spiritually, we will truly prosper and be in health.
Gal 5:16 says ” Walk in the spirit and you will not fulfill the flesh.” You could also say “think in the spirit and you will overcome the soul and body” Amen!