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Living by Faith

16 So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day.


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16. For which cause we faint not 491491     “For which cause we faint not. (οὐκ ἐκκακοῦμεν) Here we have the same various reading,” (as in verse 1,) “οὐκ ἐγκακοῦμενwe do no wickedness; and it is supported by BDEFG, and some others; but it is remarkable that Mr. Wakefield follows the common reading here, though the various reading is at least as well supported in this verse as in verse first. The common reading, faint not, appears to agree best with the Apostle’s meaning.” — Dr. A. Clarke. — Ed. He now, as having carried his point, rises to a higher confidence than before. “There is no cause,” says he, why we should lose heart, or sink down under the burden of the cross, the issue of which is not merely so desirable to myself, but is also salutary to others.” Thus he exhorts the Corinthians to fortitude by his own example, should they happen at any time to be similarly afflicted. Farther, he beats down that insolence, in which they in no ordinary degree erred, inasmuch as under the influence of ambition, they held a man in higher estimation, the farther he was from the cross of Christ.

Though our outward man. The outward man, some improperly and ignorantly confound with the old man, for widely different from this is the old man, of which we have spoken in Romans 4:6. Chrysostom, too, and others restrict it entirely to the body; but it is a mistake, for the Apostle intended to comprehend, under this term, everything that relates to the present life. As he here sets before us two men, so you must place before your view two kinds of lifethe earthly and the heavenly. The outward man is the maintenance of the earthly life, which consists not merely in the flower of one’s age, (1 Corinthians 7:36,) and in good health, but also in riches, honors, friendships, and other resources. 492492     “Autres aides et commoditez;” — “Other helps and conveniences.” Hence, according as we suffer a diminution or loss of these blessings, which are requisite for keeping up the condition of the present life, is our outward man in that proportion corrupted. For as we are too much taken up with the present life, so long as everything goes on to our mind, the Lord, on that account, by taking away from us, by little and little, the things that we are engrossed with, calls us back to meditate on a better life. Thus, therefore, it is necessary, that the condition of the present life should decay, 493493     “De iour en iour;” — “From day to day.” in order that the inward man may be in a flourishing state; because, in proportion as the earthly life declines, does the heavenly life advance, at least in believers. For in the reprobate, too, the outward man decays, 494494     “Il est vray que l’homme exterieur tend ... decadence aussi bien es reprouuez et infideles;” — “It is true that the outward man tends to decay quite as much in reprobates and unbelievers.” but without anything to compensate for it. In the sons of God, on the other hand, a decay of this nature is the beginning, and, as it were, the cause of production. He says that this takes place daily, because God continually stirs us up to such meditation. Would that this were deeply seated in our minds, that we might uninterruptedly make progress amidst the decay of the outward man!




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