Part 1 of the Spirit, Soul and the Body series examined the spiritual ‘organs’ God has provided to us within our “Inner Man“. This article examines how God has stated in scripture what the dietary needs of Our Inner man are and how we must care for him.
All living creatures on Earth that God has made require food to not only grow into maturity, but to prevent from dying. This is because any shortage of food leads to starvation and death. The same goes for the human soul, which needs an appropriate diet for our Inner Man to grow and to thrive:
“… but though OUR OUTWARD [physical] MAN perish [through ageing], yet THE INWARD [spiritual] MAN is renewed day by day [by feeding upon God's words].” (2 Cor 4:16)
“That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in THE INNER MAN;” (Eph 3:16)
Jesus Christ warned His people that they MUST “feed upon EVERY word of God” so as to prevent the starving of their ‘Inner Man’:
“But he [Jesus] answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone [to feed their Outer Man], BUT [to feed their ‘Inner Man’] BY EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDETH OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.” (Matt 4:4)
This article demonstrates that we each have an “Inner Man” which must be fed regularly for ‘him’ to remain healthy. The article also reveals the various ‘diets’ that our ‘Inner Man’ should consume as God intended.
The Dietary Needs of Our Inner Man
Every truly ‘born-again’ Christian needs to consider the dietary needs of their Inner Man. This means ‘he’ should partake of nourishing amounts of ‘God’s words’ (or “food”) contained in scripture every day. Ideally, this should be taken in the same quantity and the same intervals that physical meals are consumed each day:
"How SWEET are thy words unto MY TASTE! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!" (Psalm 119:103)
In this, Christians should spiritually mature through the various growth stages of being a:
“babe in Christ” (1 Peter 2:2)
“little child in Christ” (1 John 3:18; Matt 19:14)
“strong young man in Christ” (1 John 2:14).
If the following dietary needs are not followed, it is believed that the ‘Inner Man‘ of each Christian will be placed on a starvation diet by the Christian’s ‘Outer Man‘. This means he or she will be unfit (spiritually) to defend themselves against the “devices of the Devil” – (2 Cor 2:11) — who is mankind’s arch enemy (or adversary):
" Be SOBER be VIGILANT; because YOUR ADVERSARY THE DEVIL, as a roaring lion, walketh about, SEEKING WHOM HE MAY DEVOUR [by robbing them of their salvation with a false gospel]: 9 Whom RESIST STEADFAST IN THE FAITH, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world." (1 Peter 5:8-9)
It also means they will be “OVERCOME” by Satan, and that means they will have NO Salvation.
What is our ‘Inner Man’
Firstly, let us briefly reflect on who our “Inner Man” is and where his spiritual “organs” are located. This is necessary because our “Inner Man” must be maintained in a healthy state. He must be nourished appropriately for the required spiritual “growth” to take place.
For further detailed information about our “Inner Man” functions, please view this 6-part video series tiled ‘Spirit, Soul and Body’.
Spiritual Food for Our Inner Man
It must first be appreciated that we are a “living soul” created in the image of God — Genesis 1:27.
When we were born to our parents as an infant, our personal “spirit” was born dead-to-God. This means we have each been cut-off from communicating with God directly — spirit-to-spirit. This happened because of the curse the God placed upon Adam and Eve and ALL their descendants when they were cast out of the Garden of Eden:
“And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, TO KNOW GOOD AND EVIL…24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.” (Gen 3:22-24)
Therefore, it is necessary for our human “spirit” to become awakened unto God so as to potentially reverse this curse. To achieve this, an individual must first HEAR the Gospel being preached, and for the dormant spirit inside each of us to initially awaken.
“So then faith cometh by HEARING, and HEARING BY THE WORD OF GOD.” (Romans 10:17)
“… and how shall they [these dormant spirits] hear WITHOUT A PREACHER?” (Romans 10:14)
Sowing the “Gospel Seed”
Jesus Christ requires spiritually mature Christians to go forth as “sowers of the seed”; or alternatively to become “fishers of men”. This is required to bring the “harvest” of lost souls into His kingdom.
"Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, BUT THE LABOURERS ARE FEW: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest." (Luke 10:2)
In this, the preaching of the Gospel is aimed to wake up people’s “spirits” and for them to ultimately receive Salvation (or being ‘saved’) from spending eternity in Hell as an unsaved sinner.
Evangelizing Unsaved Souls
The spiritual “food” that an evangelizing fisherman might use to reach out to unsaved people could be termed “bait”. Such “bait” contains the core message of the Gospel that may result in a ‘lost‘ soul being saved that day. Alternatively, a delayed ‘Salvation’ (or ‘catch’) may result some months or years later in that same soul (1 Cor 3:6) from the “seed” sown earlier.
"I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase." ( 1 Corinthians 3:6)
"So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase." (1 Corinthians 3:7)
“For THE WAGES OF SIN IS [eternal] DEATH [in the Lake of Fire]; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom 6:23)
“Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, INTO EVERLASTING FIRE, prepared for the devil and his angels:” (Matt 25:41)
“That if thou shalt CONFESS WITH THY MOUTH the Lord Jesus, and SHALT BELIEVE IN THINE HEART that God hath raised him from the dead, THOU SHALT BE SAVED.” (Rom 10:9)
Therefore, the Gospel message above that is preached to unsaved sinners represents “bait”. This “bait” appears spiritually as ‘food’ to attract human “fish”. The aim is to remove these unsaved people out of Satan’s kingdom and into God’s kingdom through evangelism.
However, anyone ‘Saved’ cannot continue to feed on “bait” and still expect to grow into spiritual maturity in God’s kingdom. A diet of suitable (spiritual) food to feed their ‘Inner Man‘ must be implemented for the various stages of spiritual maturity to take place.
Feeding the “Babes” in God’s kingdom
For those Christians who have truly experienced the “New Birth”, these represent “babes in Christ”. These need to consume “the sincere milk of the word” so as to “grow” to the next stage of spiritual development:
“As NEWBORN BABES, DESIRE THE SINCERE MILK OF THE WORD, that ye may GROW THEREBY:” (1 Peter 2:2)
“Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto PERFECTION; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,” (Heb 6:1)
In the above verse:
- The “principles of the doctrine of Christ” are what “baby” Christians are to understand fully. Once commencing to “grow” from this ‘food’, they should be able to explain every aspect of the Salvation message to others.
- The word “perfection” represents the end of our faith journey (or Final Salvation) in this life. This means both Christ and God have perfected “God’s child” for Heaven in this life. This could also be referred to as “the Mark of High Calling in Christ Jesus” (Phil 3:14)
- The words, “not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God” represents actions taken when one (as an unsaved sinner) first accepts Christ as their personal Savior. If Christians fail to progress from this basic level of “faith towards God”, this indicates their faith is insufficient to gain eternal life with Christ. It also indicates that he or she is NOT “born-again”.
To examine in more detail what the required dietary requirements are for “Babes in Christ“, Click Here:
Feeding the “Little Children” in God’s kingdom
“But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt 19:14)
Therefore, “little children” in God’s kingdom are not much different in behavior to little children in the world. In this, most little children like to:
Having been a spiritual “little child” in this situation at age 45, I can remember that regarding spiritual matters, I was passionate about:
- Learning everything I could by reading the Bible and books my pastor showed me;
- Continually asking questions of people in the church to gain a variety of opinions;
- Sometimes argue theological points without having undertaken the required study to discuss the matters properly.
All of this represents the process by which “little children” learn.
Therefore in Heb 6:1-2 (above) every “little child” needs as spiritual food for their Inner Man, a diet of the following the ESSENTIAL doctrines of the Christian faith:
“…the DOCTRINE OF BAPTISMS, and of —LAYING ON OF HANDS, and of —RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD, and of —ETERNAL JUDGMENT. 3 And this will we do, if God permit.” (Heb 6:2)
To examine in more detail what this “diet for “little children” represents , Click Here:
Feeding the “Strong Young Men” in God’s kingdom
The next stage of spiritual growth is that of being a “a Strong Young Man”.
This is the major growth stage that transforms the “little child in Christ” into becoming “a strong young man in Christ:
"I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, YOUNG MEN, because ye are STRONG, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one." (1 John 2:14)
When it comes to feeding this “young man“, the Bible indicates that “strong meat” is the major component in diet that is needed.
urs occhis The key elements of a “young man in Christ” is that he (meaning their ‘Inner Man‘) is:
- “…the word of God abides strongly in these people“
- “…they have overcome the wicked one“.
To examine in more detail what this ‘diet’ for “strong young men” represents, Click here.
The stages of spiritual maturity that occur post-“New Birth” are shown below. These images have been taken from my post, titled the ‘Eight Stages of Initial and Final Salvation‘.
In the “Babe” through “Young Man” stages of maturity, it is considered that the spiritual food required for spiritual growth is sourced through the individual’s local church — the ‘Body of Christ’.
This is because ALL “children” should grow-up in a ‘family environment’. T until they are mature enough to leave their spiritual home (their church) and make a new life for themselves serving Christ elsewhere.
This means they are now capable to determine their own diet and how they prepare their food — both physically and spiritually.
For those who reach the “Father” and “Good Soldier” stages of maturity, these represent fully-matured Christians who have long been “drawn from the breast” — Isaiah 28:9, and are serving both Christ and God as “good and faithful servants” (Matt 25:21) in His kingdom here on Earth.
A question Christians need to ask is,
“Am I still feeding my “Inner Man” on the “bait” that I took when I accepted Christ as my Savior— or have a matured (spiritually) by feeding my Inner Man on the doctrines mentioned here?
If you are still feeling “spiritually starved” by living on the “bait of the gospel” you believed many years ago, this indicates you have no Salvation.
The Bible plainly states that Christians MUST produce spiritual “fruit” unto God (John 15:1-8), and that can only be achieved by the “strong young men”, “fathers” and “good soldiers of Jesus Christ” who have been fed their essential dietary needs all of their Christian lives.
There is time available for you to present your situation to the Lord. If you would like to discuss this further, feel free to comment below or send me an email.