Renewed by Christ
Category : General
2 Corinthians 4: 16(KJV)
16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
By outward man, Paul evidently means the body. By using the phrases, “the outward man,” and the “inward man,” (This is not a reference to the “old man” (Romans 6:6; Ephesians 4:22; Colossians 3:9), having the simple meaning that his physical body, with all of its powers, was moving inexorably to its dissolution. All of the powers and glory of mortal life are like a flower that blooms and then crumbles into dust; and how sad it would be for man if there was nothing to anticipate except the grave.) he shows that he believed that man was made up of two parts, body and soul. He was no materialist. He has described two parts as constituting man, so distinct: that while the one perishes, the other is renewed; while the one is enfeebled, the other is strengthened; while the one grows old and decays, the other renews its youth and is invigorated. Of course, the soul is not dependent on the body for its vigor and strength, since it expands while the body decays; and of course, the soul may exist independently of the body, and in a separate state.
Perish – Grows old; becomes weak and feeble; loses its vigor and elasticity under the many trials which we endure, and under the infirmities of advancing years. It is a characteristic of the “outer man,” that it thus perishes. Great as may be its vigor, yet it must decay and die. It cannot long bear up under the trials of life, and the wear and tear of constant action, but must soon sink to the grave.
Yet the inward man – The soul; the undecaying, the immortal part.
Is renewed – Is renovated, strengthened, invigorated. His powers of mind expanded; his courage became bolder; he had clearer views of truth; he had more faith in God. As he drew nearer to the grave and to heaven, his soul was more raised above the world, and he was more filled with the joys and triumphs of the gospel. The understanding and the heart did not sympathize with the suffering and decaying body; but, while that became feeble, the soul acquired new strength, and was fitting for its flight to the eternal world. This verse is an ample refutation of the doctrine of the materialist, and proves that there is in man something that is distinct from decaying and dying matter, and that there is a principle which may gain augmented strength and power, while the body dies.
Day by day – Constantly. There was a daily and constant increase of inward vigor. God imparted to him constant strength in his trials, and sustained him with the hopes of heaven, as the body was decaying, and tending to the grave. The sentiment of this verse is, that in an effort to do good, and to promote the salvation of man, the soul will be sustained in trials, and will be comforted and invigorated even when the body is weary, grows old, decays, and dies. It is the testimony of Paul respecting his own experience; and it is a fact which has been experienced by thousands in their efforts to do good, and to save the souls of people from death.
It has been concluded that the true believer in Christ is not overly disturbed by the erosion and decay of all physical life, because his soul is feasting upon that Bread which came down from heaven, even our Lord Jesus Christ. The inner spiritual life, which is the glory of the “new creature” in Christ, does not diminish or fade. “Brighter the way groweth each day,” in the words of an old hymn. Happy indeed are they who rejoice in the growing strength of the inner man as the swift seasons roll. For those who are without this treasure, the decay of the outward is the decay of everything.
When Jonathan Edwards was just a young man, he made five resolutions and lived by them faithfully:
Resolved: to live with all my might while I do live.
Resolved: never to lose a moment of time, but to improve it in the most profitable way I can.
Resolved: never to do anything which I should despise or think meanly of in another.
Resolved: never to do anything out of revenge.
Resolved: never to do anything which I should be afraid to do if it were the last hour of my life.
I would suggest to you that the resolutions of Jonathan Edwards would be good resolutions for every one of us, especially as we close out one year and begin a new year. All of us have at one time or another has made new year resolutions. Someone has said, ”the weakness of most new year’s resolutions is that they simply go in one year and out the other.”
Have a great and God filled New Year