The Two Natures
By Alan Griffin
We believe and are saved when we accept the Word of God as Truth. We hear the Word spoken, through faith we accept that it is true, and instantly we receive a new nature. Everything goes well with our soul until we realize our old nature is still there. It lurks around inside of us popping out when we least expect it. So many of us fall back into our old habits because we have never the realization that inside of us is two different natures. The first instinct of the new Christian is to completely get rid of the old nature. It is possible to starve the flesh, but the presence of our old ways will be implanted in our mind until death. The Bible calls this presence, the old man. “That you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts.” Ephesians 4:22 NKJV. Another way to describe our old self is the natural man. “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know, they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2: 14 NKJV. When we are in a lost condition it is impossible for us to comprehend spiritual instruction. Until we turn towards God in faith and accept that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, we are blind to the truth.
The old nature is against the law of God. Paul the apostle tells us, “For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.” Romans 7:18 NIV. The heart is wicked above all things. It is a misconception to believe that sin comes from without. The truth is sin arises from within us. God gave up on the flesh of mankind when Adam and Eve sinned. He condemned the body to death so that the soul and the spirit could continue through eternity. “And to dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.” Ecclesiastes 12:7 NIV. The heart of man is wicked above all things. We are supposed to be more intelligent than the animals, however, we do things that animals would never do. “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come – sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.” Mark 7:20-23 NIV.
When we accept Christ as our Savior, we receive a new nature, the nature of the spirit. We are told we must be born again, and this birth is given by God through His Word and the Holy Spirit. This new nature of the Spirit is “Christ within you.” In the Bible, this nature is called life. “And this is the testimony: God in me that does it. So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me.in my inner being delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.” Romans 7:18-23 NIV. Paul cries out to God, “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?” Romans 7:24 NIV. And in the next verse he answers, “Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, in my sinful nature slave to the law of sin.” Romans 7:25 NIV.
After we receive the new birth we will still struggle with sin. I do not want you to become discouraged, “because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4 NKJV. It is at this time of temptation that we struggle and lose sight of our spiritual birthright. It is a sad day when we, being a new creation, fall to the wiles of Satan and participate in sin. Would it surprise you to know we are tempted more after our new birth than ever before? I know Christians who lost everything but their salvation because they fell back into sin. They lost their joy and reward. Because we have so many weak Christians today, countless thousands are lost because of poor example they set for others. The weak Christian may manage to save their soul, but because of their careless living, many others will fall into hell. The flesh wages war against the spirit. “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.” Galatians 5:17 NKJV.
Sin will not have control over you. Just like newborn babies we are to desire the sincere milk of the Word of God so that we may grow spiritually and be able to ward off Satan’s attacks. “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4 NKJV. There is only one good diet a new Christian should be on, and that is the diet of the Word of God. Don’t just read it. Consume it like there is no tomorrow! Let it be absorbed into every part of our mind, senses, and emotions. Take hold of it and never let it go. It will be with you always, even after death. No one can take it from you. It is yours to cherish for all eternity. “The words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; For I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts.” Jeremiah 15:16 NKJV.
Faith walks where it cannot see. Faith hears what others cannot hear. “Now faith the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 NKJV. Whoever is born of God overcomes the world, and this victory comes through faith. Faith comes from reading the Bible. It comes from listening to your pastor at Church. It comes from reading articles on the Millennial Christian. “So, then faith hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17 NKJV. We hide the Word in our hearts so that we do not sin against Him. We delight in the Law of the Lord, and we meditate on His Word daily. God clothes the grass in the fields. He provides for the birds in the air, the animals, and the fish in the sea. Just think if we only had the faith of a mustard seed, we would be able to move mountains and have a wonderful relationship with God.
Do not let sin reign in your mortal body, so that you will not obey its lusts. “And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin. But present ourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and our members as instruments of righteousness to God.” Romans 6:12-13 NKJV. We are to starve the flesh, the sinful desires of our heart. We put to death the old nature by keeping our bodies under control and bringing it into subjection to the Word of God. We consider ourselves dead to sin and spend our time feeding the spirit until we become a spiritually mature child of God. We depend entirely on Jesus. We mortify the members of our body. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:1-2.
My dear friend this is not something that happens overnight. It is the most wonderful walk in life where we grow in faith daily. To walk along with our glorious Savior means nothing is too great for us to overcome. The trials and tribulations of this life are minuscule compared to the power of Christ within us. Sure, we must deal with the tragedies and hardships of life, but we have tremendous faith, that in the end, Jesus Christ will make all things right. “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NKJV. “And this is the testimony; God has given us eternal life, this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” 1 John 5: 11-12 NIV. Through faith in the Word of God we are given life. “Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, that through them you may participate in the divine nature, escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” 2 Peter 14 NIV. We are not capable of doing these things on our own. No matter how hard we try to do what is right we will always fall short of the glory of God. The Holy Spirit acts on behalf of God, and the Bible is the tool that gives new birth to the soul. He saved us “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3:5-7 NIV.
We are not born Christians. It is a decision, a step we make to take to receive the Holy Spirit. Until we commit our faith in Christ and make a conscious effort to study the Bible, the Holy Spirit cannot operate within us. He very well may be there in our mind, but His hands are tied until we commit to daily Bible study and prayer. Then the Holy Spirit begins; the task of cleansing our mind of corruption. “Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth… from the heart. For you have been born again not by perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring Word of God.” 1 Peter 1:22-23 NIV. The truth as described by Jesus in John 14:6 is,” I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes unto the Father but by me.” Through the sacrificial death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit is made available to us. The Spirit brings to life the Word of God, and through the Spirit and the Word of God, we receive divine nature.
We are constantly at war with the flesh. In our minds, there is a daily struggle with the desires of the old nature. The natural man seeks out the things that are of this earth. The spiritual person seeks out the things of God. Even Paul the Apostle struggled with his old nature and he was given an extra dose of the Spirit. He could heal the sick, casting out demons, and raising the dead. He tells us of his plight in Romans 7:18-23, “For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living.”
Alan Griffin started the Kindsnchrist ministries in November 1997. He has worked with inner-city kids for 21 years. He found a need for specialized Biblical literature that would reach people fo all ages and has been writing since 2005. The ministry has expanded their websites to reach around the world. Kindsnchrist.com, millennialchristian.com, teensnchrist.com, seniorsnchrist.com, picture-verse.com, and soulworks-smallgroups.com. We had an outreach of over 13,000,000 people last year with 36,000,000 impressions. If you have any questions for Alan you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can read more good news from him HERE.