Commentary by editor3
God created man in His own image after His likeness. Man was created in the image of the Triune God; the widely recognizable and understandable concept of a man that he is created body, spirit, and soul. In 2 Corinthians 4:16, Paul said “therefore we do not lose heart; but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day”. Here Paul was talking about the regenerated spirit as the inner man and the body of the person as the outer man. When Paul mentioned the inner man in Romans 7:22, he was talking about his soul before regeneration. Thus Paul was talking about the spirit and the soul before and after regeneration. When the fathers talk about the spiritual growth, they obviously talk about growth related to the spirit, not to a parallel body that has parallel organs, like eyes and ears and has the same contour. When the fathers talk about the release of the spirit, they talk about a release from the chains of the desires of the body. It is not a seed that grows literally, but a connection to God that grows figuratively.
When you contemplate on the title of the book, The Inner Man and the Formation of Christ, and you read further into the book, you get overwhelmed by some contradictory interpretations and diversions of concepts. Is the inner man a parallel body that has parallel organs as the outer man, or the inner man is “Christ in me”, or both? The answer to this question according to Paul is very simple; the inner man is the spirit. When one has faith in Christ, the spirit is regenerated through the Holy Spirit that proceeds from the Father. The following verses make the point clear: Romans 8:10; 1 John 3:24; John 14:17.
So what is spiritual growth? Again, the simple answer is in the above mentioned verses. It is keeping His commandments, and following in His footsteps, to be strengthened by His Spirit in the inner man.
So what is “Christ is formed in you” (Galatians 4:19)? The simple answer is Ephesians 3:17, “Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith”. Also, in 1 John 3:24, “He abides in us by the Spirit Whom He has given us.”
There is no need for this pseudo-profundity to explain the well-established concepts and doctrines of spiritual growth and/or salvation. The author of the book knows that his readers might get confused when he asks the question “how can I have a person in me when I am already a person?”. It is good that the authors answers “this is a mystery”, as our church is indeed a church of mysteries; yet it is not good to explain the mystery and cause more confusion to his readers by getting into the medical field and putting too much into Paul’s words. In his book introduction he says “the enemy has buried and hidden most of these five principles leaving the church of Christ with only one of these principles…Christ desires to restore to His church all the richness that has been lost”. This has been frequently written or said in the author’s books or sermons. In other books by the same author, and in some of his other speeches as well, the author explicitly says that the church itself needs to be restored.
At the end of the book the author says “theologians say that Christ accompanies us through the Holy Spirit”, which is the widely accepted belief. Yet the author continues to say “that is true; however, if Christ is formed in us, He will be in us and around us; and hence it will be a continuous accompaniment."