Eternity Daily Bible Study
(A ministry of Eternity Christian Fellowship)

Walking In The Spirit - 5

 

Topic: The New Nature 2

Date: 25th July 2009

 

One of the keys to walking in the Spirit is to understand the glory of the new, born-again  nature that you have been given in Christ. The new nature is Christ in you, a perfect, righteous and holy nature in the image of God that is incapable of sin:  

 

1 John 3:9 HCSB  Everyone who has been born of God does not sin, because His seed remains in him; he is not able to sin, because he has been born of God.

 

John 3:3-8 MKJV  Jesus answered and said to him, Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.  (4)  Nicodemus said to Him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother's womb and be born?  (5)  Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless a man is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  (6)  That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  (7)  Do not marvel that I said to you, You must be born again.  (8)  The Spirit breathes where He desires, and you hear His voice, but you do not know from where He comes, and where He goes; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.

 

The old nature, the old man, the flesh – these are capable of sin – but your new nature does not sin. Your new nature is God's nature – it is God's seed within you. Since God does not sin nor does He desire to sin – so your new nature does not desire to sin either.

 

So then why do Christians sin?  Because of the flesh. The flesh is the temporary home where sin dwells and it is in rebellion against God. The old nature part of you wants to serve the flesh and and the new nature part of you wants to serve God.

 

We find that there are two births – a natural birth that is 'in Adam' and a spiritual birth that is 'in Christ'.  The bible contrasts those 'born of woman' with those in the Kingdom of God (Luke 7:28, Matthew 11;11-13) and those born of the flesh with those born of the Spirit (John 1:13, 3:6).  

 

Part of you was 'born of the flesh'.  This was your first birth and results in the old fallible nature that results in death.  You do not have to teach a child how to lie or how to be jealous of its brother or how to hit another child. The child naturally has rage, anger, jealousy and strife built in as part of the old Adamic nature.  The flesh is bad from birth.  And the flesh nature, in its purest form, wants every impulse gratified right now.  The old nature is very persistent and cunning.  Some people naively think it can be educated into holiness. However it can only be crucified.

 

Another part of you (if you are a Christian) is born-again'  by the living Word of God.  When this happened you were given eternal life and a new eternal nature was created within you.  This new eternal nature is 'born of God' and is the true you.  This is being born of the Spirit.

The person you see in the mirror is NOT the true eternal you. The person in the mirror is a mixture of your temporary passing-away self (centered around your body) and your true eternal self (centered around your spirit).  

 

You can think of it this way - if a Christian dies then he or she immediately sheds the body, and goes to be with Jesus and loses any further desire or capacity for sin. You lose the sin nature when you die. It is not a permanent part of you.  Sin is a temporary intrusion on the real life of the Christian.  If you are truly born-again you love righteousness, hate wickedness and feel anguished by any sin that you commit.

 

(On the other hand if you do not love righteousness and hate wickedness or feel discomfort when you sin then you have not repented of sin and are not born-again.)

 

Paul says some very remarkable things in Romans chapter 7:

 

Romans 7:15-17 MKJV  For that which I do, I know not. For what I desire, that I do not do; but what I hate, that I do.  (16)  If then I do that which I do not desire, I consent to the law that it is good.  (17)  But now it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwells in me.

 

Romans 7:20 MKJV  But if I do what I do not desire, it is no more I working it out, but sin dwelling in me.

 

Paul says that 'it is no more I who do it but sin that dwells in me'.   What does he mean by this?  Paul's true self, his eternal self serves God, loves the law and agrees with everything that is holy, righteous and good (Romans 7:14-25). On the other hand he gets caught up in all kinds of lust and covetousness (Romans 7:5-10).  Paul separates himself from his sin.  Paul agrees that he sins but that the sin is being committed by something other than Paul.  The sin is being committed not by 'eternal Paul' but by 'sin that dwells in me'.

 

Now if I am speeding on the freeway and I get pulled over and I try to tell the police officer that 'it was not me sining but sin that dwells with in me' then I think she would just double the ticket!  But amazing as it may seem this is the literal spiritual truth.

 

When you sin, it is not the 'true you' who sins, but rather it is sin dwelling in you – that is in your flesh.

 

Romans 7:17-25 MKJV  But now it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwells in me.  (18)  For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwells no good thing. For to will is present with me, but how to perform that which is good I do not find.  ….. For I delight in the Law of God according to 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 being 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.

 

So  Paul finds himself serving the law of God with his mind and the law of sin with his flesh – but the word 'myself' only appears on one side of the equation: “I myself serve the Law of God”.   The true new nature of the Christian, the person you will be forever in heaven, the person you most truly want to be in God, that person serves the Law of God.

 

The new nature does not have to become sinless, it is sinless.  It is Christ in you the hope of glory.  It is born of the Spirit. It is born of the Word of God. It is born of God. It cannot sin. Nor does it ever even desire to sin, no not the least little bit. Your new nature loves the law of God, the righteousness of God and everything about God.

 

When you sin it is not your new nature that is in control.  You sin because you give in to the flesh or to the old nature.  You sin because you do not crucify the old man. You sin because you do not walk in the Spirit.  The Holy Spirit, when put in control, simply will not let you sin. He will squelch the flesh and stop the impulses from fully reaching fruition.

 

Galatians 5:16-18 MKJV  I say, then, Walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.  (17)  For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh. And these are contrary to one another; lest whatever you may will, these things you do.  (18)  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.

 

The Bible asks us to 'walk worthy' of our new nature.  We have a higher calling and are to set our minds on higher things (Philippians 4:8) and on the Spirit (Romans 8:4-6).  As we set our mind on the Spirit we reap life and peace.

 

Ephesians 4:1-3 MKJV  I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beseech you that you walk worthy of the calling with which you are called,  (2)  with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love,  (3)  endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

 

 

Blessings,

 

John Edmiston (johned@aibi.ph)
Pastor – Eternity Christian Fellowship
Chairman/ CEO Cybermissions
http://www.eternitychristian.com
http://www.cybermissions.org

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