July 24, 2013
“Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.” (2 Corinthians 4: 16)
Many years ago when John Quincy Adams began crossing a street, he was in such poor health it took him five minutes to approach the other side. A friend who was passing that way asked, “How is John Quincy Adams this morning?” He replied, “John Quincy Adams is doing just fine. The house he lives in is in sad disrepair. In fact, it is so dilapidated, John Quincy Adams may have to move out soon, but John Quincy Adams is doing just fine, thank you!”
John Quincy Adams was no doubt acquainted with the verse of Scripture I have quoted. Paul writes that we have an outward man and an inward man. In two of my favorite translations the outward man, or our body, is referred to as a common earthenware jar and a little clay pot (JB Phillips and the Living Bible Paraphrased.)
Paul declares a fourth eternal value: Our inward man is a greater value than our outward man. These verses Paul wrote to console those who were persecuted at that time are also a consolation for persecuted believers today or those who may be in the final stages of cancer that is causing their physical bodies to perish. When they have prayed for healing and it appears that God is taking them home, their inward man can be renewed while their outward man is wasting away.
As some believers study the resurrection chapter they want to believe they will hold on to their physical body. The great news is God is going to replace our little clay pots with spiritual bodies.
April 12, 2012
“Just as we are now like the earthly man, we will someday be like the heavenly man.” (1 Corinthians 15: 49)
Have you ever watched a dragonfly move from one plant to another with its two sets of wings making it possible for it to hover like a helicopter? A dragonfly actually spends the first two years of its existence at the bottom of a large body of water. When that phase of its existence comes to an end, it rises to the surface of the water, climbs up on the bank and lets it wings dry in the sun. Then it spreads those magnificent wings and begins the second dimension of its existence when it becomes an aeronautical wonder.
Easter reminded us that like the dragonfly we are meant to live out our existence in two dimensions. If you did a cross-section of that under-water dragonfly you would see that it has two respiratory systems. It has one for living under water and one for breathing air in the second dimension of its life.
If you could do a spiritual cross-section on a born again believer you would find that we are also equipped with two systems. We have an outward man and an inward man. Our outward man is just a little clay pot in which our eternal inward man lives.
We are told in the great Resurrection Chapter (1 Corinthians 15), that we are given a body for living this life and we will be issued another body for living in the eternal state. According to Paul, that new body will be a spiritual body that will equip us for living throughout all eternity. I don’t know about you but as a bed fast quadriplegic I’m really looking forward to being issued that new body!