Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
July 23, 1959

Two Men

W. W. Otey, Winfield, Kansas

Paul wrote, "Though our outward man perish, yet is the inward man renewed day by day." Here are two men, one outward, the other inward. One of them is decaying (Revised Version) or perishing (King James); it is material, and will soon pass away. The other man is spiritual, and is "renewed day by day." The one is made of dust, and to dust it shall return; the other came from God, and to God it will return. Solomon said, "Then shall the dust return to the earth from when it came, and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it."

In the substance of these two men there is no likeness. Yet there is a certain similarity by contrast — if I am permitted to so use the word "contrast". The outward man comes into being by birth. Born as a babe, this outward man is perhaps at birth the most helpless of all creatures. It must be tenderly nursed and nourished; the most suitable food must be given it, and its very life is dependent on the kind of care it receives. Its health must be guarded every moment of the day. It is generally understood that even physically this babe could not live without love. We soon observe it as it takes its first faltering steps, and tries to voice its first words. How the heart of the proud mother and father thrills as this little creature attempts new things day after day! These first years are filled with precious memories, which will be told and re-told endlessly even long after the child has reached maturity. Soon this little fellow will join others of like age, and we see them as a group of care-free children, light-hearted and gay; no burden of responsibility, or even plans beyond tomorrow can mar their childish joys. Who is it who does not recall these happy, trustful, loving days of early childhood!

We do not realize it till we come into those never-to-be-forgotten years of the teens, but these early years are a time when no dark cloud can cast a shadow. This is the time of laughter, hope, love, and the building of those wonderful air castles for the future.

But time passes. This outward man is soon the head of a family, and devotes himself to providing every good thing possible for his loved ones. He strives for success in material things. The years begin to pile up. The locks turn gray and begin to grow thin; the eyes, once so clear and strong, grow dim, and glasses are added. The hands grow weak and tremblely; the head, once held so proud and erect, begins to bow beneath the weight of years. The hope for material things, once so powerful, begins to fade; these things begin to lose their attraction. Like a full ripened fruit that falls to the ground, so the man full of years falls gently back into the earth from when he came — this material man. Perhaps his child, or grandchild, will be left behind to mourn his passing.

The inner man, like the outward man, comes into being by birth — a spiritual birth. He is born as a babe in Christ. This new born creature needs the tenderest of care and nurture, being fed on "the sincere milk of the word" it begins to grow, and eventually becomes "strong in the Lord and in the power of his might." This feeding and nourishing of the new born babe should be diligently attended to by the older members of the family, the church. How sad that it is so often neglected, and results in the weak little one drifting back into the ways of the world! The church most surely needs a great awakening in this most solemn duty to "the weak one for whom Christ died." The babe in Christ must be fed, else it will never survive to become a youth full of hope, to say nothing of being a strong man in spirit and a pillar in the church of the Lord.

But the inward man, unlike the outward, will never become "full grown"; at least not in this life. It will continue to grow and develop, being "renewed day by day", until that final day of earthly life when the inward and the outward man shall be separated the one from the other. The one returns at that hour to the dust; the other returns to God. Thanks be to God, there is never any old age for the inward man! Youth, hope, energy, are of its very essence. There are no thinning white locks, no age wrinkled brow, no bent and stooping posture for that inward man. Eternal youth is his heritage.

The strongest of men can not defy the creeping paralysis of age; the wisest of men can not outwit this enemy; the richest of men can not buy off from the inevitable decrepitude and the final dissolution of this earthly frame. But as the vision of these old physical eyes grows ever dimmer and dimmer, the eyes of that inward man are daily growing brighter and stronger. The inner man realizes and understands, as he never could fully in the days of his youth, the glory of the treasures on the other side, that "inheritance, incorruptible and that fadeth not away". He knows a foretaste of the joys that are reserved in heaven for those who know and serve the Lord. And as the gathering shades of night close in about him, and death hovers ever nearer, he can exclaim, "0 death where is thy sting? 0 grave where is thy victory!"