We Can Withstand and Overcome Anything (Part 27) – The Outer Man vs. The Inner Man

by Rick

Today we continue our series “God is faithful!”  The Lord led me to 2 Corinthians 4.  In this passage, we are looking at what it looks like to believe God is faithful.  Because of God’s faithfulness towards us, we can withstand and overcome anything!

For days we have been looking at verse 13.  We will go back to it again today.

(2 Corinthians 4:1, 7-13, 16-18 TPT)

1  Now, it’s because of God’s mercy that we have been entrusted with the privilege of this new covenant ministry. And we will not quit or faint with weariness.

7  We are like common clay jars that carry this glorious treasure within, so that this immeasurable power will be seen as God’s, not ours.

8  Though we experience every kind of pressure, we’re not crushed. At times we don’t know what to do, but quitting is not an option.

9  We are persecuted by others, but God has not forsaken us. We may be knocked down, but not out. 

10  We continually share in the death of Jesus in our own bodies so that the resurrection life of Jesus will be revealed through our humanity. 

11  We consider living to mean that we are constantly being handed over to death for Jesus’ sake so that the life of Jesus will be revealed through our humanity. 

12  So, then, death is at work in us but it releases life in you.

13  We have the same Spirit of faith that is described in the Scriptures when it says, “First I believed, then I spoke in faith.”  So we also first believe then speak in faith. 

16  So no wonder we don’t give up. For even though our outer person gradually wears out, our inner being is renewed every single day. 

17  We view our slight, short-lived troubles in the light of eternity. We see our difficulties as the substance that produces for us an eternal, weighty glory far beyond all comparison, 

18  because we don’t focus our attention on what is seen but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but the unseen realm is eternal.

I got stuck on verse 13 for weeks.  Yesterday we shifted our focus to verse 16.  We will stay there today.   The text says:

16  So no wonder we don’t give up. For even though our outer person gradually wears out, our inner being is renewed every single day. 

Setting the stage:

I keep thinking about the words: “So no wonder we don’t give up.”  Paul says this after explaining how resilient we, as Born-again believers, can be.  We may have trouble on every side, but we are moved by the trouble.  It is true that there are times we don’t know what to do, but we know this: quitting is NOT an option.  We face opposition, setbacks, challenges, obstacles, and disappointments.  But we do it with a smile on our face, a spring in our step, a song in our heart, and a praise on our lips!  How is this possible?  The answer is found in verse 7.  God put His treasure down inside of us.  He gave us His best when He gave us His Spirit.  

God’s Spirit empowers us to do what we could never do without Him.  This is called GRACE.  One aspect of grace is God giving you what you do not deserve.  That is the unmerited favor of God.  Another aspect of grace is God empowering you to do what you could not do without Him.  This is His empowering presence.  I want you to fully embrace the grace of God.  I want you to live “the grace life.”  Whatever you are facing this morning, I am here to remind you that you have grace for it.  God has empowered you to endure and succeed!  You can withstand and overcome anything by the grace of God!

You will be amazed at what you can accomplish when you submit to God’s plan and embrace His grace.  When you start walking out God’s divine purpose, and you do so by the grace of God, you will do more than you ever imagined, but then again, it won’t be you doing it.  It will be the grace of God.  It will be God, living in and through you, giving you the words, and performing the work.  When you live this way, your life winds up being greater than your wildest dreams.  You will leave a mark in this world that will not easily be erased!  You will leave a legacy of righteousness for generations to come, simply because you yielded to the Holy Spirit and you allowed God to live through you!

So what does this mean for you today?  A few things.

1.  You have to understand your composition.

I have explained this many times before, but it is worth reinforcing this morning.

— Like God, you are a tripartite being.  This means there are three aspects of you.  

— God is Father, Son, and Spirit.  You are Spirit, Soul, and Body.  

— You are a spirit, you possess a soul (where your mind, emotions and will reside), and your spirit and soul live in your body (for now, while you are in the earth).  

— If you are Born-Again, your spirit WAS made new, your soul IS BEING made new, and your body WILL BE made new (someday).  

2.  Your outer man is gradually wearing out.

— The real you is a spirit.  This means that you, in spirit form, will live forever (in one of two places).

— The real you, which is your spirit, possesses a soul (mind, emotions, and will) and lives in a body.

— This body is your connection to the earth domain.  You communicate with this world through your body and the five physical senses it possesses.

— If you are Born-Again, your spirit is connected to the Holy Spirit.  God’s Spirit bears witness with your spirit that you are a child of God.  

— Your body is not spiritual.  Your body is carnal.  Your body came from the earth, and it will return to the earth.

— If you are Born-again, someday you will get a glorified body.  When you do, you will live forever on a new earth (see Rev 21).

— The body you have is wearing out.  You can do things to maintain it (and you should), but slowly and surely, your body is wearing out to the point where it will stop functioning someday.

— While God can renew our youth and while we can pray for physical strength, health, and healing, the aging process will continue.  We live in a physical body that is headed in one direction.  The good news is that our inner man can, at the same time, can be headed in the other direction.  While our outer man is wearing out, our inner man can be renewed every single day!

3.  While your outer man is gradually wearing out, your inner man can be renewed every single day.

I am still laying the groundwork for this teaching, so I will take my time.  I will further drive home this last point tomorrow.  For today, here are a few quick nuggets.

— We were born as mere humans, but we were Born-again to be superhuman.

— Once we are Born-Again, God’s “super” is placed inside of our “natural.”  The supernatural is supposed to be natural to us.

— The reason why I put so much emphasis on the Holy Spirit is because He is the key to our success in life.

— We are filled with the Holy Spirit the moment we are Born-Again.  We can also be continually filled and refilled as we spend time with Him.

— While our outer man is gradually wearing out, our inner man can be renewed every single day.

— You can find strength, peace, motivation, joy, and power by simply spending time with the Holy Spirit.  He can renew you daily, on the inside, in a way that far exceeds anything else you could ever receive from this world.

— People chase a “high” from sex, drugs, alcohol, money, fame, etc., but there is no “high” like the high you experience in the presence of God.  Once you get a true taste of the Holy Spirit, you will run back to Him every day of your life.  And the good news is that He is a source that never runs out!

That’s enough for today.

Declaration of Faith:  

Father, this is a season of LEVELING UP for me.  I LEVEL UP by embracing the power of Your Spirit.  I am a spirit.  The real me will live forever.  The real me, my spirit, lives inside of this body for now.  While I maintain this body, and I thank You, Father, for renewing my youth, I know this body is gradually wearing out.  However, my inner man is being renewed every single day.  I spend time with the Holy Spirit, and as I do, I tap into supernatural strength, immeasurable power, everlasting joy, and unshakable peace.  I do this every day and all day!  This is how I know GREATER IS COMING FOR ME!  I declare this by faith.  In Jesus’ name, Amen!

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