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Living Stone posted a topic in DevotionalsWe Christians have two natures one utterly corrupt the other totally divine Eph 4:22-24 (Written to Christians) That you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man (human nature) which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts… and that you put on the new man (divine nature) which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. What the old man, human nature really looks like, The truth about the characteristics of my human nature, this is what the Bible refers to as my flesh, and this was the nature I lived in until I was born again. This nature is inherently selfish, self absorbed, self promoting and self pitying. It’s most dominant characteristic is pride, which man defines as boastful but which God broadens to mean a rebellious independence from Him. This nature secretly envies, covets and lusts after what others have. It lives entirely in the material visible realm, living by faith in God is foolishness. It makes all it’s choices and decisions by physical senses, human intellect and reasoning abilities, therefore it can only be content when all its circumstances are favorable. It falsely assumes that the accumulation of much stuff will result in happiness. Since these desires are seldom achieved it is prone to constant worry and anxiety over the potential lack of things. Even when they are achieved it is prone to worry and anxiety over the loss of those things. This nature, since it can’t find contentment within itself, is touchy and irritable about many trivial things; it is very easily angered and offended by others, and virtually incapable of truly forgiving them. It will bear grudges for a lifetime. It struggles to keep its basic animal wants in check and they often become compulsive or addictive. It tends to be lazy unless motivated by gain or glory, it is deceitful and manipulative. Because its core nature is so rotten it becomes a master at concealing and camouflaging itself with all manner of outward false airs and graces, that mask its true inner motives. If you ask me did God make me with this horrible nature? The answer is no. Where then did I get it? I got it from my parents who in turn ultimately got it from Adam and Eve. And they in turn got it from Satan when they believed his words – that’s how his nature got into them – instead of believing God’s words to them, so that His divine nature could have remained in them. We all, if we’re honest would agree that even if these characteristics don’t always manifest themselves outwardly, they are alive and well in our thoughts, Eph 2:2-3 In which you once walked according to the course of this world, NKJV/AMP according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, [the careless, the rebellious, and the unbelieving, who go against the purposes of God]. Among these we as well as you once lived and conducted ourselves in the passions of our flesh, our behavior governed by our corrupt and sensual nature, obeying the impulses of the flesh and the thoughts of the mind. We were by nature children of wrath like the rest of mankind. Rom 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells… Rom 7:21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me… Jer 13:23 Neither are you able to do good—you who are accustomed to doing evil. As a Christian I will live in and continue to be controlled by this evil human nature, unless: (1) I consciously and very deliberately choose to live in, that is, for my will continually to be controlled by, my new nature. This nature is my spirit or heart, and it was created in Christ the moment that I was born again. However to live in this new divine nature requires that I remain in continuous submission to God’s Holy Spirit, as He directs all of my steps. Eze 36:26-28 I will give you a new heart…put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, (God) responsive heart…I will put my (Holy) Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes (words), and you keep my judgments (words), and do them. NKJV Rom 8:9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if…the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. Acts 5:32 …The Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him. Gal 5:16 So I say, walk in (every step directed by) the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. (2) I consciously and very deliberately allow God to grow my new nature with more of that nature, by daily feeding me more of His words, by His Spirit, which words are that nature. However for this to happen I must continue to live in my new nature and to fully believe with that nature, my spiritual heart, the words that God personally brings to me each day. The genuineness of my belief will always be evidenced by my own words and actions being consistent with those words of God. A mere mental acknowledging or memorizing of His words keeps their life from my heart and makes me falsely assume that I know them. Jer 15:16 Your words were found, and I ate them (believe them in my heart), and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart… ESV 2 Cor 4:16 …The inward man is being renewed day by day (or God intends it to be). Jam 1:21 …Receive with meekness the implanted word (from God), which is able to save your souls (your will from being captive to your flesh and so to sin). 2 Pet 1:4 …There are given us exceedingly great and precious promises (God’s words), that by these you may be partakers of the divine nature… Unless I choose to do both (1) and (2) above I will remain, that is, my will or soul will remain, under the continuing dominance of my corrupt human nature. This is what the Bible refers to as a Christian who is carnal, born of the Spirit but has returned to his flesh, 2 Pet 2:22 But it has happened to them…“A dog returns to his own vomit," and, "a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.” What our inward man, new divine nature looks like, If I do consciously and very deliberately choose to do (1) and (2) above I will be living in my new and ever growing divine nature, in which Jesus Christ, by His Spirit and by His words, ever increasingly lives. Let me share with you what this new nature is like: It is always forgiving just as it is forgiven; it is loving, but with a purer divine love rather than a highly conditional and often impure human love. It is increasingly patient and considerate of others and constantly thinks about their spiritual and eternal welfare. It is humble, in the sense of knowing its total dependence on God, therefore it isn’t envious of what others have, even what they have spiritually; instead it is charitable without any need to be given credit. It is not easily angered but rather seeks peace as it keeps getting stronger in faith toward God and bolder in its witness of Jesus Christ to others. Because it trusts God it is free from worry, it always wants to please God so it doesn’t sin. It is immensely joyful often for no apparent visible reason. This nature is “supernatural” it is the very nature of Christ, Col 1:27 …God willed to make known…this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. John 15:7-8 (Jesus) If you abide (live) in Me, and My words abide (live) in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. 1Cor 15:49 …just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so also shall we bear the likeness of the Heavenly Man (Jesus Christ). KJV To live permanently in my new nature requires my becoming dead to my human nature, If I consciously and very deliberately choose to do (1) and (2) above then the Spirit of truth, the Holy Spirit, will guide me to certain specific truths in God’s word. Truths that tell me Christ, by dying to His flesh on the cross, has already provided a way for me to die, in Him, to my flesh. As with the initial gospel truths, this deeper truth of the gospel simply needs to be revealed to my inquiring heart, and then just believed, so as to become mine, Rom 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. Rom 6:11 Likewise you also, reckon (believe) yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Then in order to stay dead to my corrupt human nature I simply need to continue to believe, each day, that I am dead, in Christ, to my flesh. This is taking up my cross daily, Luke 9:23 Then He (Jesus) said to them all, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me”. My human nature will not want me, that is, for my will, to be dead to its sinful influence; nor will the devil; and nor will unconverted people and fleshly Christians around me. But my love for and gratitude to God, my knowledge of just how evil my human nature is, and the powerful growing nature of Christ in me, will both motivate and easily enable me to overcome my enemies and to be made conformable to Christ’s death - which was for me, Phil 3:10 That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, Gal 5:24 And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh… These two natures of ours, one evil and one good, are in total conflict with each other. The conflict ends when we choose to die to our evil human nature and live with our will under the continuous influence of Christ’s nature within our hearts. This is what it means to be a disciple of Christ, now we will bear much fruit, through our words, into the lives of others. And our heavenly Father will be glorified and our eternity will be secure, Gal 5:17 The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, NIV 2 Pet 1:8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Pet 1:10-11 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Thank you Father, You keep us, You water us every moment, so nothing harms us, and all this by faith!