Tuesday March 10, 2020
For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man; 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fulness of God.
C), 1. Strength - the indwelling Spirit and indwelling Christ.
Both the Spirit and Christ are working within, referring to the Christian’s innermost being.
There is no need to attempt to find too much distinction between ‘inner man’ and ‘heart.’ The Spirit and Christ work upon the inward man, which in turn moves and animates the outward man. Gnostic teaching must also be rejected, namely the teaching that only the inner man is to be spiritual while the outer man or body is always inclined to evil, and therefore we must give the outer man his evil. The power of God works on the inner man because it is precisely the inner man that controls the outer man. Jesus told us that it is what comes out of a man that defiles his body.
What is the inner man? Soul, spirit, heart, flesh, mind.
Systematic Theology, L. S. Chafer: “The mystery of life is baffling and never more so than when an analysis of the immaterial part of man is undertaken. The whole reality of being is largely due to that in a living person actuates the body, which sustains a conscious relation to all things, and without which the body is not only dead, but immediately subject to decay; but as long as that reality remains in the body, life continues, the body is preserved, and its structure renewed. It is that which thinks, which feels, which reasons, which wills. It is that enigmatic actuality which comprehends, yet itself cannot be comprehended.”
I’ll state at the front what we will discover in our work in the scripture’s revelation of the soul and spirit. There will be more as we explore the heart and the mind.
The soul is the man, what he wants at any given time, and the spirit is the why or motivation for what he wants. God will empower them, but having a spirit means that God will not force us.
Chafer goes on to write something that I wholeheartedly agree with: “Concerning these features of human life, it may be said that human speculation tends more to confuse than to clarify.”
For instance, the Bible uses the distinction soul and spirit, and yet the terms are used synonymously. The use of different terms would imply distinction, but also we see them used as synonyms. The controversies among Christians on the issue are between those who are more impressed with the similarities and those who are more impressed with the distinctions. However, they are both distinct and similar.
The greater distinction is made in the Bible between soul and body or spirit and body.
Quoting Chafer again: “The distinction between soul and spirit is as incomprehensible as life itself, and the efforts of men to frame definitions must always be unsatisfactory.”
The Bible states that both soul and spirit are the immaterial part of man. The same general functions are ascribed to both soul and spirit. Those departed from this life are sometimes mentioned as souls and sometimes as spirits. God is revealed as being spirit and soul.
Then we read:
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
Then there is the distinction between the natural [soulish - psuchikos] man and the spiritual man.
So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 So also it is written, "The first man, Adam, became a living soul." The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual.
Yet we would not conclude that we lose our soul.
Because Thou wilt not abandon my soul to Hades,
Nor allow Thy Holy One to undergo decay.
And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
Yet, in 1Co 15, the natural body is the soulish body that is corruptible, dishonorable, weak, and soulish - and the resurrection body, or the spiritual body, which is incorruptible, glorious, powerful, and of the spirit. Certainly there is a distinction, but we must be very careful to avoid conclusions about them that are not stated by God.
When we read of the soul in the OT we find the individual or person who is animated [Latin: animus]. The human soul is always animated in a certain way.
Soul [nephesh/psuche] - the inner man’s subject of life.
Hungry soul, PSA 107:9.
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
2 Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the adversary,
3 And gathered from the lands,
From the east and from the west,
From the north and from the south.
4 They wandered in the wilderness in a desert region;
They did not find a way to an inhabited city.
5 They were hungry and thirsty;
Their soul fainted within them.
6 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble;
He delivered them out of their distresses.
7 He led them also by a straight way,
To go to an inhabited city.
8 Let them give thanks to the Lord for His lovingkindness,
And for His wonders to the sons of men!
9 For He has satisfied the thirsty soul,
And the hungry soul He has filled with what is good.