“sozo” – Is this a word that describes the clown named Bozo?
“sozo” – It sounds Greek to me!
Although I have to admit that when I hear the word “sozo” I first think of Bozo the clown, my second comment is more accurate. “Sozo” is a Greek word used in scripture that can be translated ‘being made well.” The meaning of the word relates to wholeness in body, soul and spirit. A complete package is offered.
Genesis 1:26 begins with God saying “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness.” Notice that God uses the pronoun “us” when describing Himself. Our God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Since He is three in one, it is not surprising that when mankind was created, he was given a body, soul and spirit. The manifestation of three is found in both cases. In the image above, we see three balls within a glass dish. The dish represents our complete makeup containing a red ball for our body, a blue ball for our soul, and a yellow ball for our spirit.
When Adam and Eve sinned, our perfection was lost. In mankind’s fallen state, our spirit has died. We have lost our ability to commune with God one on One as originally designed by God. This is evident in Genesis 3:23 when God banished Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. An empty spot is left within our original design of creation. Body and soul remain.
Our soul – composed of our mind, will and emotions – tries to compensate for the now vacant place once occupied by our spirit nature. The image above shows what happens to the equality of space originally intended for body, soul and spirit. Without a spirit and with an enlarged soul, the body is also affected regarding how well it fulfills its function.
In Revelation 21:5, God says, “I am making everything new!” “All things” includes mankind. Throughout scripture, God reveals how He offers newness of life to each part of our nature. First, our spirit must be born again. Jesus has a conversation with Nicodemus about being born again. John 3:3-7 states, “Jesus answered and said to him (Nicodemus), “‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ Nicodemus said to Him, ‘How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?’ Jesus answered, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’” Once our spirit is born again, our soul needs to be restored. David says in Psalm 23:3, “He restores my soul.” Restoration takes something back to its original state. (For example, antique furniture can be restored.) Relating restoration to our soul, the soul must return to its original size and function. When our spirit nature is born again, our soul is not happy about having to give up the extra space it gained regarding its influence upon how we live our lives. There is a constant battle going on between soul and spirit. Finally, we think about the condition of our physical body. Although the space of our body was not affected when our spirit died, we are most aware of the effects of this change upon our lives. Our body requires healing. I Peter 2:24 reveals to us how Jesus provides our healing, “He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.” We see a mysterious and miraculous interplay of life as we look at how we have three interwoven parts affecting each other. I Thessalonians 5:23 supports this concept, “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
My Reader, I pray this post gives you some insight regarding God’s plan for us at creation when He designed us in His image with body, soul and spirit. However, I have also written this post as background information for my topic next week of “Well Women.” Please check in again next Wednesday as we apply the meaning of “sozo” to two women in the Bible.