That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24
Mankind, which includes women, is divided into two distinct types. The carnal man and the spiritual man. These typologies override all others, as at the end of the day, at the end of the book (Revelation), there are only going to be two types, and our destinies will be determined by which we fall into.
The carnal man is the man who is earthy. All creation are descendants of the first couple, Adam and Eve. Consequently, we have their same natures, their DNA, and are subject to temptations and failure just as they were. Even if we are able to “control” ourselves, we are not fulfilling God’s purposes but our own.
What happened in the Garden was a foreshadowing of this. Adam and Eve, by their own carnal, earthy natures, made of flesh and of blood, failed. They gave in to temptation, they allowed sin to overpower them. Because of this, they tried to cover their sins with their own covering of fig leaves. We realize we are naked, and we try to cover up that nakedness on our own.
But God knew something more was required. He slew an animal, and covered them in coats of skins (like a fur coat). God required a sacrifice to cover them. This is both a foreshadow of the Law and of the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ. It’s my humble opinion that the animal was a lamb.
The lesson of the Garden is, the carnal man is subject to sin and temptation and has to be put off so that we can put on the new, spiritual man. This is why Jesus came, to put away our sins, and to make a way for us to enter into God’s rest, the Holy Spirit.
The spiritual man is created when we receive God’s Spirit within us and are led by that Spirit. John 1:12 says, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” All creation groans and travails for the manifestation of the sons of God, which are those who are filled with His Spirit as the disciples were on the Day of Pentecost. God’s spirit dwells in us and enables us to overcome the old nature, the old Adamic man.
Power doesn’t come through our own self-will. It comes by surrendering ourselves to the Holy Spirit and allowing Christ to live within us. It comes through being led by His Spirit. It’s only then that we can conceive of what it means to die off to ourselves and let Him be in the middle of everything we do. We are no longer living for what we want, what we think is right, but what is demanded of us by Jesus and His love.
This is also the key to understanding Ephesians 5. When this passage speaks of Christ’s self-sacrifice for the Church, this is how a man ought to love his wife. This isn’t just talking about the daily sacrifices that a man makes in his marriage. If we look at this in terms of a marriage with Christ as the Bridegroom and we the Bride–Jesus died off to himself in order to see His wife made holy. He died off to his self-will (Gethsemane) and went to the Cross for her. He did this so that she could receive the best of His love: the hope that is shed abroad by the Holy Spirit. So that they could become one. A man cannot be selfish in his desires for his marriage. He can’t be concerned only with what is best for himself, but also what will help his wife to become her best. After all, she is the reflection of his glory. The more Christ-centered a man is, the more he can impart to his wife the virtues of a Christian walk, leading her in a love for Jesus.
I want to emphasize here that when we seek to do things through our own self-wills, through our own natural force of strength, we will fail. Serving Jesus is not about self-will. It’s important to know God’s commandments, to know what is required, but we also have to realize that it takes the Holy Spirit, and our spiritual discernment in order to accomplish those things. God said, it’s not by might, nor by power but by demonstration of the Spirit.
Submission and leadership isn’t accomplished through man’s natural strength, his superior frame, his superior intellect. It’s accomplished through the workings of the Spirit. I like the old adage that Marriage Takes Three. It takes Jesus to bring together the man and the woman in a marriage that serves Him and glorifies Him. A man who is filled with the Holy Ghost will lead His wife spiritually and seek what’s best for their marriage and for her. A woman who is filled with the Holy Ghost will submit herself to the leadership of a husband and seek to glorify him through her godly behavior, in chastity, holiness and modesty with an obedient heart.
As Christians, we should study the spiritual man, what the Bible says about being new creatures in Jesus. The old, carnal man, our “evolutionary” man so to speak, is put away. DNA has nothing to do with the spiritual man, because Jesus does away with what our human nature tells us to do and it is His spirit that leads us and not ourselves. The Bible tells us that the outer man, that is our flesh, dies, while the inner man, the man of the heart, the new Christian man, is being renewed every day (2 Corinthians 4:16).