Rev Nguyen Gia Hien
“For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day” (2 Cor 4:16).
What do you think and feel when you are getting older and weaker with grey hair, wrinkles, poor eyesight, poor memory, physical pains here and there or illness? Unbelievers, especially the elderly who live alone and have to take care of themselves, usually feel lonely, sad, and miserable when they are getting older and weaker. You and I however would not need to worry if our father or husband were the king of a powerful empire. Only when you and I are saved and born again in Christ shall we have our inner man renewed day by day with peace and hope in the loving care of God our heavenly Father and of the Lord Jesus Christ, our King of kings. Then, what does the outward man and the inner man mean?
The outward man is our body, the earthen vessel (2 Cor 4:7). Here, we see that “the outward man perish.” The verb “perish” means “decay wholly,” or “destroy.” It means our body is in a process of deteriorating due to the curse of sin. We cannot escape the gradual decline in our senses, our strength, our energy, our vigour and so on. Our sight and hearing are not as good and sharp as before. Our body’s organs and systems are not working as well as before. Day by day, year by year, we are getting older and weaker and then getting sick and dying to death. The unbelievers usually feel lonely and sad when thinking of their old age and death. What about you and me? We thank God so much that in the Lord Jesus Christ although our body is getting older and weaker, we “faint not” or “do not lose heart” for our inward man is renewed day by day. We should remember that we can only have new life, new strength, and new hope in this life on earth to eternity in Christ alone. Then, what does the inner man mean?
The inner man is the qualitatively new man in Christ, “a new creature” (2 Cor 5:17; Gal 6:15), “which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Eph 4:24) and “which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him (God) that created him” (Col 3:10). It is a born-again Christian with a new heart and a new spirit, transformed and renewed by the Holy Spirit (Ezek 18:31; 36:26; John 3:5; Tit 3:5). Do you know your inner man or the new man in Christ? If not, you can wholeheartedly and sincerely ask the Lord Jesus Christ to save you and regenerate you and keep exalting Him as your personal Lord and Saviour.
How to be Renewed Day by Day
1. Submit Ourselves to the Holy Spirit and God’s Word: The verb “renew” means “make qualitatively new.” It denotes a continuous work of the Holy Spirit in believers to transform their lives in regeneration and sanctification, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his (God’s) mercy he (God) saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost” (Tit 3:5). You and I can never renew ourselves by ourselves, so we really need the Holy Spirit to renew us day by day. The Holy Spirit uses God’s Word to regenerate, renew and sanctify us (John 17:17; Jas 1:18; 1 Pet 1:23) as well as to enlighten us and reveal God and His truth to us so that we may grow in the knowledge of God (Eph 1:17–18; 2 Pet 3:18) so that we may be “renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created us” (Col 3:10), “conformed to the image of his Son” (Rom 8:29), “renewed in the spirit of your mind” (Eph 4:23), and “transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Rom 12:2).
Therefore, the first step to be renewed is to submit ourselves to the Holy Spirit and God’s Word. Those who do not submit themselves to the Lord and the authority of God’s Word can never be renewed by the Holy Spirit. What about you and me?
2. Die Daily and Let Christ Manifest His Life in Us: This is Paul’s experience, “Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh” (2 Cor 4:10–11). This means to take up our cross daily, deny ourselves and follow our Lord Jesus (Luke 9:23). Paul said, “I die daily” (1 Cor 15:31), die to sin “be dead indeed unto sin” (Rom 6:11), die to self “not I, but Christ” (Gal 2:20), and die to the world “the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world” (Gal 6:14). We thank God that we do not torture ourselves to mortify our sinful nature as some human religions try to do but can never be freed from their corrupt and depraved nature, even their sinful hearts, minds, and lusts. They may prevent some sinful deeds, but their hearts, minds, thoughts, desires, and lusts are still sinful, proud and corrupt. It is the Holy Spirit who is able to subdue our old man and keep it dead daily so that the life of Christ might be made manifest in our body, “but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live” (Rom 8:13).
No one can be a true Christian or to live a true Christlike life without Christ. We must have Christ Himself living in us and manifest His life in us and through us. That is true Christianity, “Not I, but Christ.” Not my holiness nor righteousness, but Christ’s. Not my love, goodness or humility, but Christ’s. Our part is constantly looking unto the Lord Jesus Christ with our full trust, submission and dependence like the branch to the Vine, and then letting Him freely control us and manifest His life in us and through us. It is vital to keep our constant fellowship with the Lord in prayer wherever we are and whatever we do, praying, “O Lord, manifest Thy holy life through me” to overcome temptations and sins, “O Lord, manifest Thy humility and submission through me” to overcome pride and self will, “O Lord, manifest Thy holy love and kindness through me” to be a blessing to others because “death worketh in us, but life in you” (2 Cor 4:12). Doing this we shall be renewed day by day, and then shall all glory be unto God alone (v15).
3. Look at Christ and Eternal Things: To be renewed day by day we should look at the Lord Jesus Christ our True Vine (John 15:5; Heb 12:2) and at the things which are eternal (2 Cor 4:18). We are to keep on looking at the Lord Jesus and giving attention to what is unseen and eternal. We should keep our eyes on God Himself (Deut 33:27; 1 Tim 1:17), the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Pet 1:7–8), God’s Word (Ps 119:89; 1 Pet 1:25), God’s glory (2 Cor 4:17; 1 Pet 5:10), eternal salvation (Heb 5:9), eternal redemption (Heb 9:12), and eternal life (John 3:16; Rom 6:23), and surely we are not aiming at eternal damnation in Hell (Mark 3:29; Rev 21:8). Satan uses the things of this world with its attractions, temptations, worldly values, wealth, entertainments and pleasures to distract our attention from our godly aim and goal. God’s Word warns us, “Strangers have devoured his strength, and he knoweth it not: yea, gray hairs are here and there upon him, yet he knoweth not” (Hos 7:9), and “He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful” (Matt 13:22). Then, what are our aim and treasure?
You and I can never renew ourselves by ourselves. To be renewed day by day, we are to submit to the Holy Spirit and God’s Word, die daily and let Christ manifest His life in us and through us, and look at the things which are unseen and eternal, which are our aim and treasure. May the Lord turn our eyes unto Him and away from the temporary material things and attractions of this world, even our pains, afflictions, or trials. May the Lord help us not to faint and be discouraged despite our aging and afflictions because we are renewed and conformed to the Lord Jesus’ image day by day, all for His glory. Amen.
Rev Jose Mangco
I praise and thank the Lord for the opportunity to visit Central Mindanao in Musuan Bukidnon for the second time last January 28–30, 2023. This time I visited the Golgotha Bible-Presbyterian Church in Barangay Lourdes where Pr Warly Sinonlay is in charge.
I stayed in Central Mindanao University (CMU) for two days. Dr and Mrs Einstine Opiso arranged for my accommodations there. I thank the Lord for their hospitality especially the fellowship we had over dinner, though I only met them once in December of 2022 when I attended the Mission Conference at CMU. At that time I could not go home because of typhoon Odette; so I got stuck at Cagayan airport.
Pr Warly’s nephew picked me up early Sunday morning with a motorcycle. It was almost an hour of travel going uphill where Golgotha BPC is situated. It was an overwhelming ride as we felt the cold breeze of the mountain and the nice overlooking view as we passed through hectares of banana and pineapple plantations. It is amazing to see how beautiful and wonderful God’s creation is.
When we arrived, I received a warm welcome from Pr Warly and some members of the church.
I thank God for the privilege of ministering His Word as well as administering the Holy Communion. It is such a great encouragement to be able to have fellowship with the brethren, to see the work in Golgotha BPC and how Pr Warly is laboring for the work that God has entrusted unto him.
On Monday morning we visited Pr Martinez Azores of Christ Life BP Missions in Impasubong—an hour from CMU. I thank the Lord for another opportunity to meet Pr Azores and family. We had fellowship over coffee and encouraged one another to continue serving the Lord. Afterwards, Pr Warly took me to the nearest bus station and then we parted ways. I praise and thank the Lord for the opportunity to visit our co-labourers in the Lord and be an encouragement unto them.
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