Science has spent millions of dollars to develop the physical body of man. Additional millions have been spent developing man's intellectual processes, which are a part of his soul. But we know so little and have done so little about developing the spirit of man.

However, man's spirit can be educated and improved just as his mind can be educated and improved. The spirit can be trained and built up just as the body can be built up. How? Through the study of God's Word.

We cannot understand spiritual things with our natural minds. Our minds must be changed - renewed by God's power - for us to fully understand the Word of God.

The Apostle Paul said, "But the natural man receiveth not [does not understand] the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned [under stood]" (1 Cor. 2:14).

The Word of God was given by the Spirit of God, because"…holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" (2 Peter 1:21). This is why the natural mind cannot understand God's Word. The Bible can only be understood with the heart. We must get the revelation of it in our spirit.

Once a man is born again and becomes a child of God, he can understand the Bible and can learn spiritual things.

As Paul said, he has become a new creature in Christ Jesus: "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (2 Cor. 5:17).

This process of training the spirit - of building it up in spiritual things - is a daily task: "…though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day" (2 Cor. 4:16).

The "inward man" is the real man, the real you. When the body dies, the inward man still lives. Paul said, "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain" (Phil. 1:21).

This does away with the theory that when a man is dead that is the end of him; he is dead just as a dog is dead. There certainly wouldn't be any gain to dying if man perishes and death is the end of everything.

It does away with the theory of "soul sleep," which holds that when a person dies he just floats around like a cloud in the sky. There would be no gain in that.

It also does away with the theory of reincarnation, which teaches that after death a person can be born again in the world as a cow, a fly, a horse, a cat, and so forth. This could not be true, because there would be no gain in coming back as some lower form of animal life. We need to stay with God's Word and not get off into foolish theories.

Why did Paul say that to die is gain? It surely is no gain to those of us who have lost loved ones, but it is gain for them. Paul went on to say, "For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you" (Phil. 1:23-24).

The reason Paul said it was gain to die was because he would be with Christ!

Some people think that eternal life is the life they will have when they get to Heaven. Eternal life, however, is something we have right now! Eternal life is the life of God. It is the God-kind of life.

Eternal life is the nature of God, which comes into our spirit to recreate us and make us a new creature; to change our nature. Then we have within us the nature of God, which is love; "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another" (John 13:35).

When we have been born again and have the nature of God abiding within us, we can develop our spirit to higher levels of worship and service to God.

Source: The Human Spirit by Kenneth E. Hagin.
Excerpt permission granted by Faith Library Publications