C) Inner man.
Both the Spirit and Christ are working within. What does God tell us of the inner man? (soul, spirit, heart, mind, and flesh)
Soul in the NT: natural life of the body, immaterial part of man, disembodied man, personality, sentient part, will, purpose, appetite, individuals, inward man. [Vine’s Dictionary]
The lusts of the flesh wage war against the soul, 1PE 2:11-12.
God will redeem the soul of the believer, PSA 49:15.
All believers are redeemed, but there is a completion of our redemption, or end to it, if you prefer, when our bodies are redeemed at our resurrection.
For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. 23 And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. 24 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one also hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.
Man was designed by God to be dependent upon God and to worship God, but man decided that he would use himself for something else, falling for the lie that he could also be like a god. Everything about the inner man went wrong and resulted in an eruption of sin to the point, after ten long generations, God had only to conclude:
Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. 7 And the Lord said, "I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them." 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.
We are each born into a world that has an upside down view of the purpose of man and his reason for being. Most of us grow up being saturated with this erroneous world-view. When we are born-again, the Holy Spirit within and the word of God have to transform our minds so that we can see what the purpose and reason for man has always been in the heart of God.
A new and living way has been given to man and the entrance to that way has been opened by the Lord Jesus Christ - the veil was torn asunder, HEB 10:19-20.
God became a Man in order to restore that purpose, and actually to take that purpose to its highest plane - the holiness of heaven. When Jesus taught the way of His disciple in the Sermon on the Mount, He took the ethics of the Law to the heights of heaven. He showed the way of the new humanity, which was the way, the life, and the truth of God Himself. Through faith in Him, every man is born-again to become that new humanity and is changed within, indwelt by God the Holy Spirit and the Lord Jesus Christ to educate and empower him in the way of life that is Christ.
“That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”
At the fall, death and sin invaded the human family. God gives us a genealogy in Gen 5, each generation finishing with the repeated phrase, “and he died.” But there are a few bright spots that break with the pattern at Enoch and Noah. Enoch didn’t die:
And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.
The other break in the pattern is Noah.
And Lamech lived one hundred and eighty-two years, and became the father of a son. 29 Now he called his name Noah, saying, "This one shall give us rest from our work and from the toil of our hands arising from the ground which the Lord has cursed."
He shall give rest was prophetic, in that through his son Shem, would come Abraham, and then David, and then Jesus. The curse upon man would fall upon Him, for cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree, GAL 3:13. He alone would give us rest.
In Christ, both His soul and His spirit were given for us, JOH 19:30 (gave up His spirit); JOH 10:15 (soul for the sheep); MAT 20:28 (gave His soul as a ransom).
This might lead us to determine that the soul and the spirit of the Lord were the same, and in some ways we would be just as right as we would in saying that they are the same in us, meaning parts of the entire inner man that share many things in common, and since Christ was truly human. Yet, if we test out Cremer’s distinctions, the soul being the subject and the spirit being the principle, we also find that it fits well with Christ.
But the Lord was pleased
To crush Him, putting Him to grief;
If He would render Himself [nephesh - “soul”] as a guilt offering,
He will see His offspring,
He will prolong His days,
And the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand.
For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself [pronoun used] as a ransom for all, the testimony borne at the proper time.
His spirit was surrendered to the Father (the principle of submission and obedience) and His life (soul, person, individual) was given as “a ransom for many.” So, His life, soul and spirit, were given for the sheep.
The distinction, therefore, of the inner man as it occurs to me is between what the soul wills and why the spirit wants it. And when we pursue anything, we cannot have only one or the other. Both always work in unison, and so the inner man is the life which animates the body and mind and always for certain reasons. When Paul uses the language, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man; (EPH 3:16), is he referencing the desire that the Holy Spirit strengthen every part of that inner man, soul, spirit, heart, and mind?
A few words about the flesh before we continue.
The immaterial flesh has its own passions and desires. These would obviously not be strengthened by the Spirit, but the Spirit actually wars against the inner-flesh by empowering the inner man that can choose.
The flesh seeks control of the soul/spirit/mind. The Holy Spirit educates and empowers them so that they may choose to reject the flesh.
The inner-flesh has only one choice; sin, evil, darkness; being totally depraved and it seeks control so as to have some semblance of life.
This is one of the powerful things that come out of a study like this. We find it difficult to fully categorize the members of the inner man, but when we see what God has revealed, we can conclude that the Holy Spirit does not force us to choose righteousness. A believer filled with the Spirit still has a choice. That choice always has a what, why, and how component to it. God reveals to us that the Holy Spirit and the immaterial flesh fight with one another for control of that what, why, and how.
Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified [aorist active indicative] the flesh with its passions and desires.
Being crucified by Christ through His judgment for all sin, we don’t have to obey it. It is no longer our master. Case closed; we have no more to deal with concerning the flesh!?? Not quite.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.