Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Do Believers Have Two Natures?
It would make perfect sense to me if I had two natures. This would explain why I still sin. But if I have only one nature, how do I explain all the times that I act selfishly and not in love?
Christians are supposed to be people who walk in love, right? As I understand it, if we have the Spirit of God and if Jesus lives in us, then it should be evident to everyone around us, to everyone who knows us. People should be able to identify us as Christians by our love (John 13:35; 15:13).
The apostle Paul said, “We walk by faith” (2 Cor. 5:7). “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new” (2 Cor. 5:17). Peter said, we “have received a faith” (2 Pet. 1:1).
Saints (believers) are children of God. We are children and heirs (Rom. 8:15-17). I believe faith is the key to our our journey. We are still children and this is why we sin. We are growing in faith. We are becoming more mature in the faith. We are awaiting our future glory ( Rom. 8:18). However, we have received divine power or the divine nature (2 Pet. 1:3), the seal of sonship, his Spirit in our hearts (2 Cor. 1:22; 5:5) guaranteeing what is to come. By grace we have received the precious promises, we participate in the divine nature (2 Pet. 1:4).
Those in the flesh (this isn’t speaking of a mortal body - it’s referring to the sinful nature) cannot please God. But you aren’t in the flesh (Paul is obviously not talking about being a human being) but in the Spirit, if God’s Spirit dwells in you. Without the Spirit of Christ, we are not God’s children (Rom. 8:8-9).
Jesus lives in Christians by his Spirit, and Christians live by faith in Jesus (Gal. 2:20). It’s true that Christ has perfect faith, but we obviously don’t walk in his perfect faith perfectly. However, this does not mean that we are in the flesh or that we still have the sinful nature as Paul stated in Romans 8.