Sunday, June 25, 2017

Ya gotta grasp this. The Conflict of Two Natures within -- real basic stuff.

What I for decades never heard in church: "Letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the SPIRIT control your mind leads to LIFE and PEACE." (Emph mine. Romans 8:6+10, 4:11 see context)
The one you feed the most will have the victory. As long as you're here sucking air, that battle from your old fleshly nature that tries to pull ya down ain't really over 'ti it's over.. or 'til the Rapture snatches you out.  Sure, when one receives Christ in the New Birth, that is just the start of that person’s “greatest battle ever fought”. There is a New Nature within the believer that must overcome the fleshly nature in order to be properly expressed. To be an effective witness for Christ, I say feed your spirit-man within and starve your fleshly nature to death (not your physical body) so that the inner Man (Christ) can shine through to be clearly expressed
For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

What Kurt!?  Does a real Christian really have two natures within? 

Well, a real born again Christian certainly doesn’t have any demon in them as some churches teach, but they do have this battle of natures.. as many so called Christian churches don’t teach.
The first challenge that comes up for us with this question is one of semantics. For example, many prefer "sin nature," others prefer “old man,” "sinful nature," and still others prefer the ambiguous "flesh." Every persons body is called flesh, so what is this fleshly nature, Kurt? 
Whatever the specific names used for the warring parties is prefered, what is very relevant is that an ongoing battle rages within the Christian. Our battle is with this world’s system, with our fleshly nature and with the devil and the demons (formerly 1/3rd of the angels that also rebelled and fell with Lucifer).

But the second challenge is the actual definition of "nature." How this significant word is defined determines how one sees the distinction between the “old man” and the “new man” and its relevant outworking in the life of the Christian. One way to view "nature" is to understand it as a "capacity" within a believer. Thus, the old man is interpreted as the former way of life, that of an unbeliever. In this sense, the Christian has two competing capacities within him—the old capacity to sin and the new capacity to resist sinning. The unbeliever has no such competition within; he does not have the capacity for godliness because he has only the sin nature. That’s not to say he cannot do “good works,” but his motivation for those works is always tainted by his sinfulness. In addition, he cannot resist sinning because he doesn’t have the capacity to not sin.

The believer, on the other hand, has the capacity for godliness because the Spirit of God lives within him or her. He still has the capacity for sin as well, but he now has the ability to resist sin and, more importantly, the desire to resist and to live godly. When Christ was crucified, the old man (that old nature) was crucified with Him, resulting in the Christian's no longer being a slave to sin (Romans 6:6). Their inner human spirit was regenerated (raised from the dead) by the Holy Spirit of God. We “have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness” (Romans 6:18). True repentance and biblical faith are needed -- saving faith.

At the moment of conversion, the Christian receives a new nature. It is instantaneous. Sanctification, on the other hand, is the ongoing process by which God develops our new nature, enabling us to grow into more holiness through time. This is a continuous process with many victories and defeats as the new nature battles with the “tent” in which it resides—the old man, old nature, flesh. Choose to have godly character and the Holy Spirit will empower you.

In Romans 7, Paul explains the battle that rages continually in even the most spiritually mature people. He laments that he does what he doesn’t want to do and, in fact, does the evil he detests. He says that is the result of “sin living in me” (Romans 7:20). He delights in God’s law according to his “inner being,” but he sees another law at work in “the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members” (v. 23). Here is the classic example of the two entities, whatever terms they may carry. The point is that the battle is real, and it is one Christians will wage throughout their lives.

This is why believers are encouraged to put to mortify a.k.a. death the deeds of the body (Romans 8:13), to put to death that which makes a Christian sin (Colossians 3:5), and to put aside other sins such as anger, wrath, malice, etc. (Colossians 3:8). All this to say that the Christian has two natures—the old and the new—but the new nature needs continual renewing (Colossians 3:10). This renewing, of course, is a lifetime process for the Christian. Even though the battle against sin is constant, we are no longer under the control of sin (Romans 6:6). The believer is truly a “new creation” in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), and it is Christ who will ultimately “rescue [us] from this body of death. Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:24–25). 
“For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.  For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good.  For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members.  Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.” ~ Paul, Romans 7:14-25 
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