Understanding who God is is very important to do, especially if we are to understand who we are and what Christ did on the cross. Atonement for sin, the gifts of the Spirit, when we are born again, what happens to our soul at death, and other important doctrines cannot possibly be understood until we understand more about God.
It is very clear that all three components of God were there:
1. The Father
2. The Word
3. The Spirit
Most Christians agree on this premise. But what most people don’t understand is that God has a soul, spirit, and body just like we do. Of course one could immediately shout, “blasphemy!” or call me a “cult leader” for saying God himself has a soul. But I am certain after you read this, you will see that it is very clear God has all three, and that they are all three very distinct from one another just like the Father, the Word, and the Spirit are.
So how can these things be? Well, we know that the Word became flesh (John 1:14). I am assuming for brevity, that most Christians agree that the Word became flesh. We also know that the Holy Spirit is the spirit (multitudes of verses). This is a no brainer.
Now comes the lesser understood doctrine of the soul of God. What is the soul of God? Well, we know that God has a soul (nephesh) as can be observed in the below three verses of several. In the below three verses, God speaks and says:
“And I will set my tabernacle among you: and my soul (nephesh) shall not abhor you.”
“And I will destroy your high places, and cut down your images, and cast your carcases upon the carcases of your idols, and my soul (nephesh) shall abhor you.”
“Three shepherds also I cut off in one month; and my soul (nephesh) loathed them, and their soul (nephesh) also abhorred me.”
Now one could say these are prophecies or promises about the future, and this soul is talking about Christ, who will become a living being (after this promise). That would be a logical argument, but there is more. In the below verse, we see all three parts of God in the same prophecy about Christ. In this prophecy, it is clear that the Soul of God is not the Son, but it is the Father Himself.
Behold my servant, whom I uphold; my elect, in whom my soul (nephesh) delights; I have put my Spirit upon Him: He shall bring forth judgment to the gentiles.
In the above verse, there are three different components mentioned. First we have Christ (my servant, who was upheld, my elect, delights the soul of God, and will judge the gentiles). Then we have the Spirit which is called by name (my Spirit). And then we have the Soul of God, which is from the one doing the talking. All three parts of this prophecy talk about 3 separate parts of God interacting with each other.
When was this prophecy fulfilled? At the baptism of Christ. Please see below:
“When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.’”
Notice that the Father was talking from heaven saying “with you I am well pleased.” This is a fulfillment of the Isaiah prophecy that says “in whom my soul delights”. The Soul cannot possibly be Christ, because Christ was on earth, and the voice from Heaven was speaking about Christ in the third person. The Spirit descended like a dove and Jesus was the one receiving the Spirit. This fulfills the Isaiah prophecy and makes abundantly clear who the three parts of God are:
1. The Father – The Soul
2. The Word – The Body (Christ, in the flesh)
3. The Spirit – The Holy Spirit
Justin Martyr also elaborates about this..
Again in Isaiah, if you have ears to hear it, God, speaking of Christ in parable, calls Him Jacob and Israel. He speaks thus: “Jacob is my servant, I will uphold Him; Israel is my elect, I will put my Spirit upon Him, and He shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles”