"Rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God." (1 Peter 3:4)
In 2 Corinthians 4:16, Paul clearly distinguishes between the outward man and the inward man when he said, "Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day." The one Peter calls the “hidden man of the heart” in our opening verse is the same the Apostle Paul calls the “inward man.”
The outward man is the physical body and its five senses of sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste. These senses are man’s medium for relating with his environment. The human body can only receive information from this world through its five senses. The inward man, however, is the human spirit and his soul; the seat of his mind, will, and emotions.
The “inward man” is the real you. He’s not seen with the natural eyes, because he’s the “man within the man”; the real person living in the physical body. That’s the one who receives Christ’s salvation and relates with God. When you believed and confessed the Lordship of Jesus, it wasn’t your body (the outward man) who was reborn; it was your inward man—your human spirit.
When you speak, it’s the inward man that talks through your mouth; he’s the one expressing himself through your physical body. That’s why it’s so important that a man is born again. Being born again is the recreation of the inward man—the human spirit—to become God’s dwelling place; His holy tabernacle.
Too many are more concerned about what’s going on in their bodies, the outward man, not realizing that they’re indeed spirit beings. The premium should be on training and educating your inward man because that’s the person and character of your being.
"The spirit of a man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all the inner depths of his heart."
The Lord relates with your spirit in leading and guiding you; He contacts you through your spirit, the inward man. Therefore, practice the exercise of educating your spirit, the inward man, with the Word. We’ll discuss this further in our next study.
I refuse to live by the dictates of the flesh; I'm totally submissive to the lordship of the Word and yielded to the guidance and the direction of the Holy Spirit. I live the transcendent life of glory inherent in my spirit, in Jesus' Name. Amen.
Further Study: 2 Corinthians 4:16; Job 32:8; Ephesians 3:16