The Spirit of a Man...

by Dick Ward

Did you know the SPIRIT of a man is responsible for both his mental and physical actions? One popular doctrine taught by some men argues the BODY of a Christian sins but not his SPIRIT! Well, such might be popular with men but it is foreign to the Truth as revealed in the New Testament. No, Sir! the Word of God no where hints at the idea your spirit is free from guilt while your body engages in sin. Such an idea is like the saying Flip Wilson used, “The Devil made me do it!” The implication is man is not responsible for his actions (because the Devil made man do it). In like manner, this false doctrine contends that the person’s spirit is not to be held accountable for the actions of that person’s body. If you believe and teach that, you believe and teach error.


First of all, God’s Word teaches that the body knows nothing; it is the spirit of man that knows: “For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God”. (1 Cor 2:11 KJV). Paul taught the spirit was responsible when the spirit let sin “reign in the body”. "Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.” (Rom 6:12 KJV). Also, Jesus shows outward sins (acts of the body) “proceed from man’s heart.” Murder, adultery, fornication, stealing, and misuse of the tongue are chargeable to the “heart” of man (Matthew 15:19, 20). Friend, we encourage you to understand the body of a man, whether he be saint or sinner, is but the “instrument” through which his “spirit” acts: “I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.” (Rom 6:19 KJV). God teaches the spirit of man is to put to death the evil deeds of his body and replace such with good. "Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live." (Rom 8:12,13 KJV)

Besides all this plain and logical teaching from the Scriptures, God actually demands our “bodies” to be “holy” and this “transformation” is accomplished by a “renewing of the mind” (Romans 12:1-3). The Bible believer learns the body of a Christian is a “member of Christ”; has been "bought with the blood of Christ;” and is to be used in service to God (I Corinthians 6:15-19; Romans 6). Folks must come to understand that if a man’s “body” belongs to the devil so does that man’s “spirit”.

Men advance false doctrine in an attempt to justify preconceived ideas which are foreign to the Scriptures. Without this false doctrine (man’s spirit is not responsible for his bodily acts) the once saved, always saved idea falls flat! Maybe, that is why false teachers blindly contend for this unscriptural theory. -Dick Ward

(EDITOR'S NOTE: Thanks to Dick Ward for the article! He can be reached at 18 El Dorado East, Tuscaloosa, AL 35405; (205) 556-2407).

Email the Editor at