Hebrews 4:12 (NKJV) For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Man Is First and Foremost a Spirit. Genesis 2:7 (NKJV) 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 being.
Even after God formed man’s body from the dust of the ground, Adam had no life within him until God imparted the spirit, or breath or spirit into his body. It is the spirit of man that animates the body. We could say that our spirit gives life to our bodies as we give life to the clothes that we wear. The body cannot live apart from the spirit within it. James 2:26 (NKJV) For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. John 6:63 (NKJV) It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.
God is a spiritual being, and God a Spirit created all matter by the creative power of His word. (Genesis 1, John 1) Because God is a Spiritual being, when He created man in His likeness, after His image, He breathed into him the spirit in order that man could commune with His Creator. John 4:24 (NKJV) God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” Proverbs 20:27 (NKJV)The spirit of a man is the lamp of the LORD, Searching all the inner depths of his heart.
When man was created he lived in perfect harmony spirit, soul, and body. He was at peace with himself, peace with his surroundings, and at peace with God. It was not until sin entered the spirit of man that he was cut off from the life of God that flowed from his inner most being. As soon as sin entered Adam he was filled with fear and guilt, and rebellion. His nature was suddenly changed, as sin began to work corruption within his spirit, mind, will and emotions.
Because sin entered the spirit of man it became necessary for God to transform man’s spirit in order to bring us back into right relationship with Himself. As a result of sin working in the human spirit, man’s entire being became corrupted, and utterly bankrupt. Romans 3:23 (NKJV) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
God’s plan has always been to change the corruption of man’s heart, not simply his outer appearance. God’s intention was that He would remove the source of corruption from man by changing his inner most being. This change of heart would make it possible for us to walk in the life of God just as Adam, and Eve had done before sin entered the human race. Ezekiel 11:19-20 (NKJV) Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them,and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh, 20 that they may walk in My statutes and keep My judgments and do them; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God.
In the Gospel of John, chapter three, Jesus as he always does, goes right to the heart of the matter. John 3: 1-3 (NKJV) There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
This new birth that Jesus was referring to was a spiritual birth, not physical. He was simply elaborating on what had been revealed to the prophet Ezekiel. Verse 4-8: Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
The only way to enter into the physical world is to be born into it. However physical birth cannot bring forth spiritual reality. Therefore Jesus was telling us that in order to enter God’s Kingdom we must experience a spiritual rebirth. We must be born of the Spirit of God, or the breath of God. When we call upon the Lord Jesus Christ, and surrender to His saving work of the cross, God by His Holy Spirit takes out of us the stony heart of sin, and replaces it with a new spirit recreated in the image of God, with His very life and nature. We become a brand new person inside. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.