THE IMAGE OF GOD’S ATTRIBUTES
AND THE LIKENESS OF GOD’S BEING
We all have the image of God’s attributes. That is, we have the imitation of God’s attributes. God is love, and we also have love. God is light, and we also have something within us that is bright. God is holy, and we also like to be holy. We do not like to be low or common; rather, we like to be separated from being common. God is righteousness, and we also like to be right. Our love, light, holiness, and righteousness are all imitations of God’s attributes. What we have is just a photograph of God’s attributes. This is God’s image.
Although we have the imitation of God’s attributes, we may not have the likeness of these attributes in our behavior. We may lose our temper or become angry with our parents. We may also do many other improper things. This behavior is our likeness. We are not what we should be. We have the image of God, but in our behavior, we are not like God. Thus, we all have the image of God, but we may not have the likeness of God.
MAN’S SOUL COMPRISING
HIS MIND, EMOTION, AND FREE WILL
When the body and the spirit were combined together, the soul of man was produced (Gen. 2:7). The soul is our self, our very person. When we walk, we use our body. When we think, we use our mind, a part of our soul (Psa. 13:2). When we pray to God from the depths of our being, we exercise our spirit. Thus, man is a soul with two organs—the body and the spirit. Hence, he is tripartite, having a body, a soul, and a spirit. The worldly teachers, both in China and in the West, teach people that man has only the outward part, the physical body, and the inward part, the soul. The outward part, man’s body, is the physical part and is visible. The inward part, man’s soul, is the psychological part and is invisible. To these teachers man has only two parts. But according to the Bible, man has three parts (1 Thes. 5:23; Heb. 4:12b).
Before we were saved, our inward person was our soul with the body as its outward organ and the spirit as its inward organ. Our soul was the inward person with two organs. But when we were regenerated, Christ came into our being to be our life and our person. Thus, in regeneration our spirit was made a person, and our soul as the old man was crucified (Rom. 6:6; Gal. 2:20). Through regeneration, our spirit, which was an organ to our soul, became the person, with the soul and body as its organs. The mind, will, and emotion of the crucified soul became our inward organ, and the body remained as our outward organ. Our soul as the old man was crucified (Rom. 6:6). In other words, the life of the soul was terminated, but the faculties of the soul still remain. The three faculties of the soul—the mind, emotion, and will—should not be put aside; rather, they should be renewed. This is proven by Romans 12:2, which says, "Be transformed by the renewing of the mind." If our mind as a part of our soul should be renewed, our emotion and will should be renewed also. The three faculties of our soul should remain to be renewed, but in our living, we must learn to deny our crucified soul, which is the soulish life, the self (Matt. 16:24-26; Luke 9:25).
(The Central Line of the Divine Revelation, Chapter 6, by Witness Lee)