SERVANTS' MINISTRY, Inc.
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Does a Christian Really Have TWO Natures?
I believe the answer to this is YES! Consider the following Passage.
Romans 7:14-25 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. 16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. 17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. (KJV) . . . See our commentary on Romans 7: . . . . . . . . . . http://www.godcannotlie.org/book_of_romans_ch.7.htm
As you can see from this Passage, even the great apostle Paul had a constant battle going on inside him. Paul says “I am carnal”, some say sin nature, others prefer sinful nature, and still others call it the flesh. Whatever name is used for the warring parties, what is important is that there is indeed an ongoing battle raging within the Christian, that old sinful nature verses the new spiritual man, the new creature (Gal.6:15; 2 Cor.5:17). The old man is interpreted as the former way of life, that of an unbeliever. In this sense, the Christian has two opponents competing within him . . . the old one to sin and the new one to resist sinning. The unbeliever does NOT have any such competition within him; for he does NOT have the capacity or desire for godliness because he has only the sin nature. This does not mean that he cannot do “good works,” it means that his motive for those works is always tainted by his sin. And too, he cannot resist sinning because he does not have the capacity or the desire to not sin.
The believer, on the other hand, has the capacity or desire for godliness because the Spirit of God lives within him or her (Jn.14:16-17; Rom.8:9). BUT . . . he still has the capacity, the desire for sin as well . . . except that now he has the ability to resist sin and, more importantly, the desire to resist and to live godly (1 Jn.3:9). When Christ was crucified, the old man was crucified with Him, which resulted in the Christian's no longer being a slave to sin (Rom.6:6). We have been set free from sin and have become servants of righteousness (Rom.6:18).
At the moment of conversion, the Christian receives a new nature. Being born again (Jn.1:12-13; 3:3-8), into God’s family is immediate. Sanctification, on the other hand, is the growing process by which God develops our new nature, enabling us to grow into more holiness through time. Sanctification is a nonstop process with many victories and defeats along the way, because the new nature battles with the old man, old nature, the flesh.
In the above Passage, Paul explains the battle that rages continually in even the most spiritually mature people. He cries out that he does what he does NOT want to do and, instead, does the evil which he hates. He says that this is the result of sin dwelling in me (Rom.7:20). He delights in God’s law according to his inward man, but he sees another law at work in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members (v. 23). The point is that the battle is real, and it is one that all TRUE Christians will wage throughout their entire lives.
This is why believers are encouraged to put to death the deeds of the body (Rom.8:13), to put to death that which makes a Christian sin (Col.3:5), and to put aside other sins such as anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth (Col.3:8). All this tells us that the Christian does indeed have two natures: the old and the new; and that the new nature needs continual renewing (Col.3:10). This renewing is a lifetime process for the Christian. Even though the battle against sin is constant, we are no longer under the control of sin (Rom.6:6). The believer is truly a new creature in Christ (2 Cor.5:17), and it is Christ who will in the end rescue us from this body of death. Thanks be to God, through Jesus Christ our Lord! (vs.24-25).
What Is This?
Do Christians Sin?
What Are Our Two Natures?
What Are The Paths in This Life?
What Does Sanctified Mean?
What Is A Carnal Christian?
What Is A TRUE Christian?
What Is A Compromise?
What Is Biblical Fasting?
What Is Glorification?
What Is God's Soverneignty?
What Is justification?
What Is Practicing Sin?
What Is Purgatory?
What Is Righteousness?
What Is The Joy Of the Lord?
When Does Sanctification Begin?
Why Is Justification By Faith Important?
Why Is Purgatory A Lie?