That the terms body, soul and spirit are not identical and interchangeable as many assume is shown in the use of all three terms in 1 Thessalonians 5:23. The Apostle Paul wrote, “I pray God [that] your whole spirit, soul and body be preserved blameless, unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” This prayer must be understood to apply to the Church as a whole – the elect church whose names are written in heaven. The true spirit of Christ has been preserved in the little flock of faithful, consecrated Christians. Its body is discernible today also, even among all the tares that would hide and choke it. And its soul, its activity, its intelligence, its sentient being, is in evidence everywhere, lifting up the standard for the people – the cross, the ransom.

In no other way could we apply the Apostle’s words. However much people may differ respecting the preservation of the individual spirits and souls of God’s people, all will agree that their bodies have not been preserved, but have returned to dust, like those of others.