In Romans 7:22 and 2 Corinthians 4:16, apostle Paul wrote about the outward man and inward man. What is the basis of this classification? What constitutes the outward man? What are the integral parts of the inward man?

  • Tesfaye Wolde - Thank you for offering an excellent question to help us begin a bible study focused on identifying How the likeness and image of God is created in humans. I hope you will continue to share your questions regarding scripture. - Blessings! Aug 19 '20 at 18:15
  • @ctaylorgraphics - you pointed the aim of the question; Blessings! Man is created in the image of God. A clear understanding of the nature of the inward man is the best foundation in reaching to the full knowledge of the only Creator and a Father of all (Deut. 32:6; Mal. 2:9; Eph. 3:14-15), the one true God (Jer.10:10; John 17:3). Even the confusion in knowing God will goes astray as we deeply explore and understand the nature of the inward man. The core of the inward man is the soul/living (spiritual) being (Gen.2:7) having a faculty to produce word (thought+spoken word) and a breath of life. Aug 21 '20 at 12:49

Man was made in Genesis chapter 1. Man is a spirit being, like God - who is spirit.

GEN 1:26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness;

In Genesis chapter one, we see the definition of ‘man’. ‘Man’ is male and female. Man here being a spirit being, that is, the term ‘human’ does not apply yet. Man is a spirit being, and angels are spirit beings.

GEN 1:27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

In Genesis chapter 2, God forms, or creates a ‘physical body’ out of the dust, and ‘puts’ that man he created in chapter one into it. The body is a ‘house’. One made out of the earth.(the word ‘dust’ is also [better?] translated ‘earth’..)

Man became a ‘speaking spirit’, or as some translations say, a living soul. Man has an earthly body so as to interact with the earth, angels have a heavenly body to interact in the heavens.

GEN 2:7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

Man needed to ‘speak’ because God gave man dominion - which can’t be exercised without speaking. So, outer man is the ‘house’ (physical body.) that man lives in, which is perishing every day, and the inner man is ‘you’, that is, a spirit being.

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    "Man is a spirit being, like God" - perhaps John 3:6 etc will help correct this misunderstanding. We are now flesh, mortal, dead forever except for Jesus who was the firstborn of many into new a (eternal) spirit life. Flesh cannot inherit the kingdom - only those made alive with spirit at our change or resurrection. Adam 'became' a living soul - he wasn't given a soul. When he died, he died. Rev speaks of others who will be remembered no more - they are not immortal.
    – steveowen
    Aug 18 '20 at 21:45
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    @user48152 What is your definition of death?
    – Dave
    Aug 19 '20 at 4:01
  • 1
    sounds like a Q - go for it! But I know 'Man is a spirit being, like God' isn't in there!
    – steveowen
    Aug 20 '20 at 4:48
  1. How are humans created in the hidden Likeness of God (אֱלֹהִ֑ים)?

Regarding the hidden Likeness of God in humans, YHVH tells His priest and prophet Samuel (Shemuel, שְׁמוּאֵ֗ל) that the #Likeness of Elohim is not in the outward appearance of humans but in their hearts.

In 1 Samuel 16:7 [MT], we read : 'And YHVH said to Shemuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him not by what Man sees. For Man sees into the eyes, but YHVH sees into the heart." ( וַיֹּ֨אמֶר יְהֹוָ֜ה אֶל־שְׁמוּאֵ֗ל אַל־תַּבֵּ֧ט אֶל־מַרְאֵ֛הוּ וְאֶל־גְּבֹ֥הַּ קוֹמָת֖וֹ כִּ֣י מְאַסְתִּ֑יהוּ כִּ֣י | לֹ֗א אֲשֶׁ֚ר יִרְאֶה֙ הָאָדָ֔ם כִּ֚י הָֽאָדָם֙ יִרְאֶ֣ה לַעֵינַ֔יִם וַיהֹוָ֖ה יִרְאֶ֥ה לַלֵּבָֽב)

If the Spirit in our Hearts is where God works to #create His Likeness, how is His Likeness maintained?

  • We learn through King David that our Likeness of God is maintained through unwavering devotion to God's Commandments. In Tehillim (Psalms) 51:12 [MT], David meditates on his own Likeness by praying: "Create for me a pure heart, Elohim, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." (לֵ֣ב טָ֖הוֹר בְּרָא־לִ֣י אֱלֹהִ֑ים וְר֥וּחַ נָ֜כ֗וֹן חַדֵּ֥שׁ בְּקִרְבִּֽי )

The Word of YHVH spoken through Yeshua (Jesus) of Nazareth shares the same wisdom revealed to Samuel about seeing God's hidden Likeness in humans through their #pure hearts. In Matthew 5:8 [KJV], we read : "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God."

If humans need a pure heart to see God, then how does a pure heart get created in humans? - By loving His Instructions (Torah, תּוֹרָה‎) and Creations with all our heart/mind/strength [Deuteronomy 6:5], humans begin to see how to live and act more like God. In order to comprehend His Torah, the Word of YHVH will help #create a pure heart in humans. This truth is confirmed by the prophet Yechezkel in Ezekiel 36:26 [MT] : "And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit will I put within you, and I will take away the heart of stone out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh." ( וְנָתַתִּ֚י לָכֶם֙ לֵ֣ב חָדָ֔שׁ וְר֥וּחַ חֲדָשָׁ֖ה אֶתֵּ֣ן בְּקִרְבְּכֶ֑ם וַֽהֲסִ֨רֹתִ֜י אֶת־לֵ֚ב הָאֶ֙בֶן֙ מִבְּשַׂרְכֶ֔ם וְנָֽתַתִּ֥י לָכֶ֖ם לֵ֥ב בָּשָֽׂר)

All of this is restated by the apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:16 [KJV]: "Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day."

  1. How are humans created physically in the "Image" of God?

Although hidden Likeness of God is spirit [John 4:24], the Holy Spirit dwells in #flesh (בָשָׂ֥ר). The Hebrew term 'LeVasar Echad' or in English "Into One Flesh" (לְבָשָׂ֥ר אֶחָֽד) found in [Bereishit (Genesis) 2:24] refers to birth of 'one' (אֶחָֽד) child conceived in marriage. The physical "Image" of God is apparent in the form of a human being. Every human child reflects the "Image" of God. * Yeshua (Jesus) of Nazareth alludes to God's Image being on us in opposition to idolatrous man-made images of Caesar on coins. [Mark 12:15-17] God's Image cannot be created by a man, because a human birth requires a woman to create the Image of God.

In Bereishit (Genesis) 1:26, we read "In Our Image, after Our Likeness" (בְּצַלְמֵ֖נוּ כִּדְמוּתֵ֑נוּ ).

In the Hebrew, we see the word "Tsalem" ( צַלְמֵ֖) traditionally translated as "Image" in English. Then we see the suffix "Nu" (נוּ ) = "Our" in English. - Next we read the phrase "Ki-Demut-Nu" ( כִּדְמוּתֵ֑נוּ) literally translated "Like - Behavior - Our".

  • Interesting to note the English word "Demure" regarding feminine qualities is similar to the Hebrew word "Demut" ( דְמוּתֵ֑).

The "Adam" ( אָדָ֛ם) or Human Image (צַלְמֵ֖ ) is first modeled like the feminine "Demut" Behavior of Elohim which supports modern Geneticists discovery that a Y (Yod) chromosome is required to form a female zygote into a male embryo.  - [Genesis 1:26] deals with conception before [Genesis 2:7] deals with development of the man and woman.


Understanding how human being is created

What constitutes the outward man? What are the integral parts of the inward man?

2 Corinthians 4:16 (NASB)

16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.

2 Corinthians 4:16 (NET Bible)

16 Therefore we do not despair,[a] but even if our physical body[b] is wearing away, our inner person[c] is being renewed day by day.

"The outward man", here Paul refers to our physical body that is getting old, wearing away caused by disabilities, disease, and old age.

"Yet our inner man is being renewed day by day." here Paul refers to our inner spiritual nature, our character, our personality that is being renewed daily spiritually by God:

Colossians 3:9-10(NASB)

9 Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, 10 and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him—

2 Corinthians 4:18 (NET Bible)

18 because we are not looking at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen. For what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.


The inner man is the spirit of the man. For Christians, the inner man is in touch with the indwelling Spirit.

The outward man relates to the self or soul life of the man: intellect, emotion, and volition, and the body.


The soulish walk of life is entirely the opposite. It altogether has self as the center. When a believer is soulish, he acts according to self. This means that his conduct originates from his self. His thought, his reasoning, and his desire alone govern his conduct. It is not the voice of the Holy Spirit in the "inner man" regulating his conduct, but the thought, reasoning, and desire of his own outward man which determine his action. Even his feeling of joy is for his own pleasure and for the fulfillment of his own preference.

Genesis 2:7 says, "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." In the beginning, God created the figure of a man with the dust of the earth and then breathed into his nostrils "the breath of life." When the breath of life came in contact with man's body, the soul was produced. The soul is the consummation of man's body and his spirit. This is why the Bible calls man "a living soul." This "breath of life" is man's spirit, the source of man's life. The Lord Jesus tells us that "it is the Spirit who gives life" (John 6:63). This breath of life comes from the Creator. Yet we should not confuse this spirit, which is the "breath of life," with the Holy Spirit of God. There is a difference between the Holy Spirit and the human spirit. Romans 8:16 shows us that the spirit of man is different from the Holy Spirit; the two are not the same. "The Spirit Himself witnesses with our spirit that we are children of God." The word "life" in the expression "the breath of life" is chay; it is plural in number. This tells us that God's breathing produces two lives, a spiritual one and a soulish one. This means that when God's breath of life entered the human body, it became the spirit. At the same time, when this spirit came in contact with the body, it produced the soul. This is the source of the two lives, the spiritual life and the soulish life, within us

  • That is incorrect. The outward man is specifically the flesh and not the soul. The fact that the flesh has hijacked the soulish portion of man is another matter but to conflate the soul with the flesh is incorrect. The Greek doesn’t allow for this interpretation. Aug 18 '20 at 19:36

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