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Lesson 7 Man, A Twofold Being


Devotional Reading:   Hebrews 2:6–18.


Memory Verse:           Matthew 10:28.


And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.




Matthew 26:41. Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.


2 Corinthians 4:16. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.


Romans 7:22. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man.


1 Corinthians 2:11. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.


1 Corinthians 6:20. For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.


Philippians 1:23, 24. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: 24Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.


2 Peter 1:13, 14. Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; 14Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath showed me.




Matthew 26:41. Spirit and flesh are contrasted showing that they are not the same. It is the spirit that wills.

2 Corinthians 4:16. The same contrast is here made using different terms. The prosperity of the inward man is not dependent altogether on the condition of the outward man. The inner man is not mere physical life.

Ephesians 3:16. The inner man or spirit is strengthened by the Spirit of God.

Romans 7:22. The inward man possesses moral sense.


All these texts show clearly that man is a twofold being.


1 Corinthians 2:11. The spirit is represented as that part of man that knows.

1 Corinthians 6:20. The terms “body” and “spirit” class man as twofold.

Philippians 1:23, 24. Paul believed man could live separate from the body and describes that state as “far better.”

2 Peter 1:13, 14. Peter refers to his death as putting off his tabernacle, or his body. The real person lives on.


The terms soul, spirit, inward man, inner man, and “I”, are used interchangeable, referring to the real self. The terms body, flesh, outward man, and tabernacle refer to the physical body.






Idealism denies the reality of matter. It declares that only mind exists. Any testimony of the five senses affirming the reality of matter is to be rejected as an illusion. It starts with the proposition that I am and doubts or denies all else. This doctrine finds a form of expression in Christian Science, which one writer defines as “idealism gone mad.”

But the fact that existence of mind lies at the beginning of all knowledge does not disprove other existence. If the testimony of consciousness is to be denied we are left with no test of knowledge. If I must deny what I cannot help believing, and what I continually show by my actions that I do believe, namely, that matter is real, I am driven to complete agnosticism.




A doctrine that finds more ready acceptance is materialism. Because of its prevalence we give it more extended notice.


1. Its doctrine.


The doctrine of materialism is that man is matter. He is made of flesh and bones, nerves and tissue. He consists only of material elements arranged in a physical structure. There is no intelligent spiritual entity. Mental states are merely the results of physical changes within the body. All feelings, opinions, spiritual states, religion, and virtues are due to material conditions and causes just as are diseases of the body.


2. Its basis.


Certain facts are used as a basis for materialism. It is undoubtedly true that there is, in our present state, a close relation between physical and mental states. It is even true, that physical conditions tend to affect one’s spiritual state. Drugs, our environments both may stimulate or stupefy or serve to exhilarate or retard our mental life. But this does not prove that mind is the product of such causes.


3. It difficulties.


A) If one hemisphere of the brain is removed the body is paralyzed on one side but they mind loses none of its faculties. It may be said that either half of the brain is complete in itself. But though the brain is dual, the mind is a unit.

B) Materialism cannot account for memory and comparison. If all mental states are but the result of physical causes, a succession of physical causes produces a succession of mental states. How do I remember events where the cause has ceased to stimulate the brain? That I can compare them proves that I am more than the results of nerve stimulation.

C) Science teaches that the entire body is renewed at frequent intervals. The wasting body is rebuilt by the food it eats. If the identity of the person resides in the body he is not the same person he was a few years ago. The body is not the person.

D) Materialism denies free will. Materialism cannot account for remorse.

E) Materialism does away with salvation. Since there is no moral responsibility there is no need of forgiveness and can be no new birth. The whole doctrine of materialism is anti-Christian.




1. Man, a twofold being.


Man is a twofold being. Read the lesson text.


2. The material body.


A) The body is material. God formed man of the dust of the ground (Genesis 2:7). Our physical life is sustained by our food which likewise comes from the ground. B) The body is mortal. It shall return to the earth. The body is called mortal. The fact of death proves this beyond dispute.


3. The soul.


A) It is a spirit. B) It is intelligent. It is the spirit that knows and desires. C) It is responsible. It is the soul that sins. Evil desires produce evil acts. Consequently it is the soul that must be saved (Psalm 19:7; John 3:6). D) The soul lives beyond death. Paul believed that a man can be conscious out of the body. Paul speaks of being absent from the body and present with the Lord. E) The soul is immortal (1 Peter 3:4).




This doctrine contends for life through Christ only. This view confuses immortality and eternal life (John 3:36, 6:47, 17:3).