Three Sets of Men Eph. 4:22-24 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
In a Christian there are three sets of men:
The old man and the new man – Eph 4:22-24
The natural man and the spiritual man – 1 Cor 2:14-15
The outward man and the inward man – 2 Cor 4:16
It is very important for us to understand how these three different sets of men in us function and relate.
Old man and new man. When we get saved we become new creatures in Christ [2 Cor 5:17]. At that moment we have a new man and an old man. The old man is aged and experienced and the new man is just minutes old at his new birth. The old man is corrupt [Eph 4:22]. The only thing to do with him is put him off and mortify his members [Col 3:5-9]. He is crucified with Christ [Rom 6:6]. This is why Paul said, “I die daily,” [1 Cor 15:31]. The new man, on the other hand, is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him [Col 3:10]. You need to put him on [Eph 4:24-32].
Natural man and spiritual man. The natural man, unlike the old man, is not necessarily bad. His problem is that he doesn’t understand the things of God [1 Cor 2:14]. If a spiritual man gets in an argument or a discussion with a natural man about Biblical truth, the natural man is going to be hopelessly confused because he cannot receive the things of the Spirit of God. When a saved man tries to understand the things of the Lord as a natural man, he is going to make a big mess. In spite of these natural limitations in spiritual matters, the natural man does have natural affection [Rom 1:26-27, 31] and natural needs that must be met. He needs to eat, sleep, work, sweat, and carry on his natural functions, for example. And these needs cannot be denied. But neither can his spiritual needs be denied. He needs prayer and Bible and fellowship and so forth. These natural and spiritual necessities must be balanced. And the differences between them must be understood. For instance, if a man is weakened or ailing because of natural causes he is not going to find the remedy if he only looks for possible spiritual causes. I tried to deal with depression by looking only at the spiritual man. There were many deficiencies in the natural man that were overlooked. Until these were remedied, there was very little that improved. Likewise, if our problem is spiritual, we are not going to solve it by treating the natural man. I believe there is an inordinate emphasis on natural health care these days that is diminishing the strength of the spiritual man.
The outward man and the inward man. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Ghost [1 Cor 6:19-20]. The inward man, therefore, is the hidden man of the heart [1 Pet 3:4]. As the inward man strengthens and grows, the outward man is affected. This is what Paul calls working out your own salvation [Phil 2:12-13]. That’s how we can glorify God in our bodies as well as in our spirits. As a matter of fact, we are going to be judged at the judgment seat of Christ for the things done in our bodies [2 Cor 5:10]. It is for this reason that Paul kept his body under and brought it into subjection [1 Cor 9:27]. Paul’s testimony is that his outward man was subjected to all kinds of hardships because of his sacrifice to the Lord [Rom 12:1; 2 Cor 11:23-30]. He bore in his body the marks of the Lord [Gal 6:17]. As his inward man grew, his outward man became more like Christ. The same happens in our lives. See 2 Cor 4:10-12.
Conclusion: As you study about these three sets of men, Lord willing, the Lord will give you wisdom to know how these sets of men function in you and how they can be properly used for the Lord.