The Inward Man

Sunday, August 7, 2011

“For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16 KJV).

As the saint progresses in earthly years, he or she gets discouraged. Hair becomes white as snow. The skin loses its elasticity, wrinkling and sagging. Vision dims, memory fails, and hearing diminishes. That once lively body grows progressively weaker and unable to perform the tasks it once did with ease. But, be not discouraged!

God gives this interesting description of dying Moses: “his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated” (Deuteronomy 34:7). Moses, age 120, had excellent vision. His body was as agile as a young man’s. Wow!

In today’s Scripture Paul alludes to the “outward man” (physical body) and its decay and ultimate death (“perishing”). Because of sin, these physical bodies have nowhere to go but to the grave. “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23a). Even though death may kill the physical body, Christians are confident that (the second) death cannot harm the spiritual body (the “inward man”).

Furthermore, Paul explains that we need to focus on renewing the “inward man” with sound Bible study, not focusing on the perishing state of the “outward man.” We will get new physical bodies, but the souls we have are ours forever.

Short of the Lord’s coming in our lifetimes, our physical bodies will go into the ground. While it is morbid, that is reality. But, this too is reality: “Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you” (2 Corinthians 4:14).

These physical bodies will be redeemed at the rapture (1 Corinthians 15:53; Ephesians 4:30; Philippians 3:20,21). Romans 8:23 says: “And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our bodies.” Praise the Lord that we are not eternally confined to these weak, limited physical bodies!

* My outward man turns 23 today, saints.

On the Sufferings of This Present Time

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18 KJV).

Everyone suffers, Christians and lost people alike. Our suffering originates from three sources:

  1. We all live under the curse of sin. According to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, matter is becoming less and less usable. Every living creature grows sick and eventually dies. Romans 8:21,22 and Genesis 3:16-19 explain the curse (the bondage of corruption) was instituted on creation because of sin. Romans 5:12 says, “Wherefore, as by one man [Adam] sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:”
  2. We make mistakes, hurting ourselves and others. Others make bad decisions, and they negatively affect us. Of course, this too is closely related to #1 (sin). Christ said, “That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness; all these evil things come from within, and defile the man” (Mark 7:20-23).
  3. We Christians suffer for righteousness’ sake. “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12). “For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake” (Philippians 1:29).

Until we leave this present evil world of Satan, we will continue to suffer from all of the above. The good news is what Paul writes in today’s Scripture: this temporary suffering is nothing when compared to the eternal glorification that is awaiting us as members of the Body of Christ.

When we Christians receive our glorified bodies in heaven, we will be free from these bodies of sinful flesh, never to suffer again. What a hope we have in heaven, all because of Christ Jesus and His finished cross work on Calvary!

Saints, Ye Shall Be Caught Up!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:16,17 KJV).

The words of today’s Scripture are of great hope and comfort for us as members of the Church the Body of Christ. At any moment, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself shall come and take us, His Body, home to be with Him forever in heaven’s glory. “In a moment, in the twinkling [blink] of an eye,” we will be “caught up” (raptured) into the air (1 Corinthians 15:52).

One day, at the rapture, those who have died in Christ will be resurrected bodily, and given glorified physical bodies fashioned like unto Jesus Christ’s resurrected body (Philippians 3:20,21). Immediately after, we Christians who are living will be instantly transformed bodily. Together, with the now resurrected saints, we will take the grandest of all excursions. In that brief instant, we are yanked from this wicked, filthy world and ushered into heaven’s everlasting bliss and joy!

The rapture is not to be confused with the Second Coming, which will occur seven years after the rapture. At the Second Coming, God sends angels to gather His elect (Matthew 24:31). But, at the rapture, God Himself comes for the believers, us. Wow! The rapture ensures that we will avoid the wrath of the seven-year Tribulation, which is God’s program for Israel (1 Thessalonians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:9)

Paul makes some 10 references to the rapture. This one is noteworthy (Titus 2:13): “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;” We should be continually vigilant, waiting for the rapture to happen at any moment. Would you be raptured out? Have you trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour? If you have, ye shall be caught up!