Church of Christ
Locks Cross Roads
Route 1 - The Nature of Man - 2nd Corinthians 4:16
1 - 2nd Corinthians 4:16
- Paul speaks here of an inward man and an outward man. There are some who tell us that man is wholly
mortal and that when he dies there is nothing left. He is "dead all over just like the little dog Rover." Paul
does not agree with this concept. There is more to man than just this outward body. We know that Paul is
speaking here of a person whose nature is both an inward man and an outward man.
1 - Genesis 2:7
- We are told that God "formed man...and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life." After God had formed
man something else was necessary to bring man to life. Man is more than a body. God breathed into him the
breath of life. God "formed man of the dust" as well as "every beast of the field and fowl of the air" (Genesis
2:19). However, it is not said that God breathed into the animals the breath of life
1 - Genesis 1:27
- The Bible helps us understand this significant difference between men and animals when we are told that
God created man in His own image. Neither the beasts of the field nor the fowls of the air are created in the
image of God. If man is wholly mortal, then that which God created in His image is wholly mortal. If man is
wholly mortal and was created in the image of God, then there would have to be something in God which is
mortal, but scripture (Deuteronomy 32:40) says that God lives forever
1 - Zechariah 12:1
- God has "formed the spirit of man within him." While the body was formed of the dust of the earth, God has
formed within man that which is in His likeness and image. Is God dust? No, God is Spirit (John 4:24).
1 - Ecclesiastes 12:7
- There is a part of man that returns to the earth and a part that returns to God. The important thing to note is
that man is more than a body made of the dust of the earth. He possesses a spirit that comes from God that
is made in His image and likeness. No need to argue about other details that might cause you to go on a
detour. Remember we are talking about the nature of man, not what the spirit is or what happens to it, etc.
It is a fact that man is a being, possessing both body and spirit.
1 - 2nd Corinthians 5:1-8
- Paul speaks of an earthly house which will be dissolved, and a building from God. Paul longs to put off this
earthly house in order to be clothed upon with the habitation that is from heaven. This indicates that there
is more to man than this mortal body.
1 - 2nd Peter 1:13-14
- Peter speaks of being in a tabernacle (tent, dwelling) that he will soon put off. This body is the tabernacle he
will put off so there must be more to man than just this mortal body.
1 - Philippians 1:23-24
- Paul is undecided saying it would be better for him to leave and be with Christ but for the sake of the brethren
to abide in the flesh is far better. The point - there is something in man that lives on. Man is more than mortal.
1 - Romans 7:22
- Paul refers to the inward man. There is more than just this body. This inward man is what delights or rejoices
in the word of God. The inward man is subject to a law of the mind. This inward man is sometimes in
opposition to the members. See also Romans 6:12 and Romans 7:23.
1 - Ephesians 3:14-19
- Paul again speaks of the inward man. In this text it is the inward man that is strengthened, that is where Christ
dwells, it is the inner man that comprehends the love of Christ. Does that which is wholly mortal comprehend
1 - Daniel 7:15
- The body and spirit are not the same. Furthermore, Daniel says he was grieved in his spirit, not his body.
God was grieved in His spirit. See also Genesis 6:6 and Judges 10:16. Is God's Spirit mortal?
1 - 2nd Corinthians 12:3
- Paul speaks of an incident in his past. He doesn't know whether he was in or out of the body. This text
demonstrates that man exists separate or apart from his body. There is more to a man than his mortal body.
1 - 1st Kings 17:21
- Elijah did not ask for another soul to be created. He did not speak as if this boy's soul no longer existed.
Elijah recognized that this boy's soul still existed and could come from wherever it was back into the boy again.
1 - Psalms 31:5
- Refer to passages studied earlier that indicate that the body returns to the dust and the spirit returns to God.
Ecclesiastes 12:7 - Remember that Christ quotes this passage as He hung on the cross
Luke 23:46 - Was the Divine Son of God wholly mortal?
Acts 7:59 - Stephen also referred to his own spiritual nature as his body was dying
1 - Matthew 26:41
- Here Jesus distinguishes between the flesh and the spirit. Notice that He attributes a desire to the spirit that
differs and conflicts with the desires of the flesh. Furthermore, his instruction is directed toward the spirit -
watch and pray - lest it should be overcome by the desires of the flesh.
1 - 1st Corinthians 2:11
- Paul attributes intellect, reason and consciousness to "the spirit within" and not to the body. There is
something apart from the flesh that gives man his higher powers of consciousness. Man is not like the
animals because of "the spirit of man that is in him."
1 - 1st Peter 3:3-4
- Peter calls for an adornment that is of the "hidden person of the heart" as opposed to an adornment of the
body. He calls this "man" or "person" an incorruptible, that is, immortal spirit. Man is not wholly mortal.
1 - Matthew 10:28
- The body can be killed and the spirit or soul will survive. They are not the same. Man is not wholly mortal;
there is within him an immortal spirit.
1 - James 2:26
- James does not say the spirit is dead. The argument is sometimes made that spirit here refers to the "breath"
of man. The next reference should handle this easily. The same word is translated "spirit" in both cases.
What is the true of one is true of the other.
1 - John 4:24
- We are told that God is a Spirit. This is the same word that is used in James 2:26. If it means "breath" then
you would have John saying, by inspiration, "God is a breath." This is nonsense, if not blasphemy. We
began by showing that man was created in the image and likeness of God. While man possesses a mortal
body that returns to the dust, he also possesses an immortal spirit. This is the part of man which is after the
likeness of God - dead matter is not in the image of God.
1 - Matthew 16:24-27
- Jesus assigns value to the human soul. He says it is the most precious possession that we have. There is
not anything that we can give to redeem it. There is not anything for which we might give it up that will equal
1 - Romans 12:1-2
- By the renewal of our mind, we are able to offer our bodies to God in His service.