A NEW NATURE.
Just what is a nature and how does a person get one?
The first thing we must understand what a nature really is. This is an extremely important subject when it comes to true Christianity. A person's true nature is the essence of who he is at the very core of his being. It is his true identity. It is the only foundation of a person's very being. It is the source that makes you who you truly are. It is the heart that determines if a person is righteous or unrighteous. If a person's heart is wicked and corrupt then everything about this person will be corrupt.
Many times the bible uses the word heart to describe a nature. This does not refer to our physical heart that pumps blood thought out our body. The heart of a person is the essence of who he is at the very core of his being. The heart is a person's true nature and who a person really is. Since the nature is the very core and essence of any person, it is totally impossible to have more that one nature at a time. You can not have two hearts at the same time.
Now that we have an understanding of what a nature is, the next question is when did I get a nature and how.
We were born into this world as a descendant of Adam. We were related to Adam in every sense. Adam's very DNA was passed down from person to person and it became our DNA. We were born with Adam's DNA. I was born with Adam's nature. What became true of Adam after he ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil became true of all of us. We can not separate ourselves from the fact that we were born a child of Adam. Adam died to God after he ate from the tree, and sin entered the world, and death began its reign. Therefore we where born dead to God and alive to sin and it wasn't when we first sinned that we died to God. It was our relationship to Adam that made us dead to God. We were born into the family of Adam. We didn't do a thing to get into this relationship and we couldn't do a thing to get out of it!
We must face the fact that as a result of Adam's sin, we were born with Adam's nature. This is the actual, factual nature that we inherited from Adam. We all were born dead to God, alive to sin, and without the "LIFE OF CHRIST". Without Christ's Life, sin becomes the natural outflow of our life. Now it is true that the bible refers to sinners as, judged, condemned, guilty, sons of the devil, dead in trespasses and sins, lovers of darkness, deeds are evil, under the wrath of God, children of wrath, enemies of God, hostile, rebellious, foolish, unrighteous, filthy, without Christ, without hope, desperately wicked, corrupt, abominable, workers of iniquity, under law, children of disobedience, deceitful and more.
Many think that all they need to do is to change their behavior but no change of behavior can ever change the fact that we were born in Adam. In reality, trying to change our behavior is a complete waste of time and never accomplishes anything of true value. The truth is, our true nature determines our behavior. Changing our behavior can never change our true idenity or who we really are. It is impossible for any change of behavior to have any effect our true nature. Our true nature is determined only by birth, not by what we do or do not do. When we are born into this world we are born "in Adam" and without the "LIFE OF CHRIST". Our behavior can never change that fact. Sin becomes the natural outflow of a life without Christ. No standard of behavior is able to free us from this state. The real problem with those "in Adam" is that they do not have the LIFE OF CHRIST. No standard or amount of acting or suppression techniques can acquire HIS Life.
So then what is the solution? How can a person get free from this old corrupt nature? How can he get out of Adam?
The solution is to have the old Heart completely removed and get a new entirely new heart.
When something goes wrong and gets defective it sometimes can be repaired or remanufactured by a qualified person. The problem with all of mankind is that when Adam sinned we all became defective in a fatal way. This problem of sinful corruption is so bad and through that even God, Himself could not repair us. Since God could not fix us or improve us, His only solution was to have us crucified with Christ and then gives us His LIFE.
God has solved this problem for us one time and for all of mankind.
Romans 6:6, "Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin."
Gal. 2:20, "I am crucified with Christ: neverthless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."
This is what is called the exchanged life because God takes your old life and freely gives you Christ's Life instead of yours. Your old sinful self was crucified with Christ and you no longer live. You have died, and no longer have a life. You have received His all-sufficient Life in exchange for you old corrupt self. Now the Christian life isn't yours to live. God does not depend on you to live His Life for Him. He knows that it impossible for you to live His life, so He gave you His life when you were born again. You do not live for Him - He lives for you. Now you can fully depend on God's Life rather than depending on what you do or do not do. You no longer need to make promises that you can never keep or try to dedicate and rededicate your life to Him. You now have Christ living His Life through you. You no longer have to try make the Christian life work through your own efforts and resources. It is only made possible by your union with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection.
God created man to be totally dependent on Him. When Adam sinned the whole human race became one with Adam in his independence. This resulted in each of us trying to meet our needs independent of Christ with the only resources we had available to us: our mind, will, emotions and our physical body. The flesh is the primary thing that hinders us from knowing and experiencing the victorious Christian life.
We are born without Christ's Life because we are all born in Adam, and are spiritually dead to God. Now we are forced to live out of our own resources. As a result of dealing with the impossibility of getting our needs met, we are driven to make up for this deficiency. The desire to have our needs met is so great that it consumes our energy; we become solely focused on that longing. We become thoroughly and intensely self-centered in our quest for love, acceptance, value and significance.
We were created to have the Life of God within us, yet are born into this world without it. Therefore, our very reason for existence is not apparent to us. We are born in a condition of not knowing God or who we are.
There are only two possibilities, we are either in Adam or in Christ. All of us are born in Adam, without the life of God. Therefore, our sins were not the major problem. Our continual sinning is the normal consequence and result of not having God's Life inside us to depend on.
Our life in Adam could not to be patched up. It had to be put to death and exchanged for a new Life. Your old life no longer exists at all. It has been exchanged. Galatians 2:20 states, "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me."
This is what happens when we become born again; we receive the Life of Christ. We are no longer the same person we once were. We are no longer in Adam and we have been completely set free from the Adam life. We are also completely set free from all the consequences of being in Adam. We are now in Christ, a child of God, acquiring the life of Christ, and thus a new creation, and one with a complete new identity. This is a spiritual reality, not just positional truth. That is our true identity.
Please read the following scriptures slowly and carefully to see this fact for your self.
Jer. 32:39-40, "I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me always, for their own good and for the good of their children after them. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good, and I will put the fear of me in their hearts so that they will not turn away from me."
Ezek. 36:25-27, "I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean, I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from your idols. Moreover I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you, and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you will be careful to observe my ordinances."
Deut. 30:6, "And the Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou may live."
Jer. 24:7, "And I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart."
Jer. 31:31-34, "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was a husband unto them, saith the Lord: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more."
Ezek. 11:19-20 "And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh: That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God."
Heb. 8:8b, "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people."
Yes it is true!! He has removed the old corrupt heart and completely destroyed it and then He gave us a brand new heart, His very own life. Wow!!!
The old nature is completely dead and can never be brought back to life. Remember that it is not possible to have more than one heart or nature at a time. When we are born again we have Him and His very nature of love.
The only solution for this problem is the NEW BIRTH. When Christ was crucified on the Cross, our old perverted, twisted, corrupted and desperately wicked self was crucified with Him. OUR "old sinful self" died with Him. Then we were given HIS life in the place of ours. The Christian is now "in Christ" and is no longer "in Adam". Instead of having a sinful nature, the Christian has the very nature of God Himself. Now the Christian is free from living by values, rules, laws, duties standards and behavior.
All we need now is to trust in the finished work of Christ. Nothing else is required. "What should we do that we might work the works of God?" the disciples once asked Jesus. The answer Jesus gave is "This is the work of God - that you believe on Him who He has sent" (John 6:28-29). Just believe!
Now I am sure you are asking something like "I thought Christians did certain things". The answer is that we will do certain things, not because we're trying to meet some standard or to impress God, or other people. Our behavior flows from Christ's Life inside of us. Our behavior is determined by our nature. When we were "in Adam" sin was the natural and normal result. It took no real effort to sin as we lived "in Adam".
Now we are "In Christ" and made Righteous. Now righteous behavior is normal and natural. It takes no real effort to live righteous as we live and abide "in Christ". We now have His divine nature and as a result we are righteous, and will produce godly fruit. We are simply acting like who we are really are. We are containers and conduits of His Divine Life.
Stop trying to improve yourself. It will never work. Renounce your self efforts to do better and simply rest in your union "IN CHRIST". Your LIFE IN CHRIST is the only true focus you need. It is not about you or your behavior. Remember your true nature is determined by birth, not by what you do or do not do.
The only power I have over sin is the power of Christ Himself-who lives within me. And, I cannot WORK or STRIVE or PRAY that power into me. It is a gift, and it was given to me when I received Christ. It is a result of my new nature IN HIM. All of the years I spent trying to change my behavior in my own strength only resulted in more striving and stress and failure. We can never be LIKE Jesus through any of our own efforts. It is impossible. That is why He said, "Without me, ye can do nothing." John 15:5 (Nothing means just that - NOTHING!) What we are to do is to REST in Him, ABIDE in Him, and live out of HIS faith that is in us-and simply allow Him to live His life through us. Even all of this-the resting, abiding and trusting-it is His work in us as well. "For God is at work within you both to WILL and to DO of His good pleasure." Philippians 2:13.
Eph. 2:1-9, "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."
The new birth is the New Covenant, the covenant of a new heart, reborn by a supernatural miracle - the miracle of the "rebirth", which places, as a free gift, the "agape" love of Christ within the heart of that person. It destroys all systems of human works, all religions of "works". It is impossible for a sinner to ever obey or love God without being born again.
2 Cor. 5:17, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new."
You do not have a wicked and evil heart anymore. Just because you may still think sinful thoughts or perform sinful deeds, you can never change the fact of your New Divine Nature. Do not think I am soft on sin. Sin is an extremely serious issue but even if you sin, you do not revert back into a sinner. Sinful actions can never change you into a dirty or wicked person. If you think bad thoughts or even commit and outward sin do not think of yourself as a dirty person who can't be used by God. We all blow it at times, but that doesn't change the fact that, at the core of your being, you are clean because of what Christ has already done for you. You don't have to let it ruin your life by believing you're a bad person that God can't use. Your heart isn't wicked. You've been made clean so don't think otherwise.
Eph. 2:1, "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others."
If you are a Christian then you become one with Him. He made you a NEW CREATION. You were made 100% righteous and perfect. You are one with Holy Spirit or the Spirit of Christ. You are no longer in Adam and you now hove a new pure heart and God's very Divine Nature. You have received His all-sufficient Life in exchange for you old corrupt self. Now the Christian life isn't yours to live. God does not depend on you to live His Life for Him. He knows that it impossible for you to live His life, so He gave you His life when you were born again. You do not live for Him - He lives for you. Now you can fully depend on God's Life rather than depending on what you do or do not do. You no longer need to make promises that you can never keep or try to dedicate and rededicate your life to Him. You now have Christ living His Life through you. You no longer have to try to make the Christian life work through your own efforts and resources. It is only made possible by your union with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection.
This is all God's gift to us gift from God. We can never deserve it or earn it. We seem to take it very lightly that Paul said, "I have been crucified with Christ" and "I died." But those are powerful statements! So, what died? What was crucified with Christ? Our bodies obviously didn't die. Our souls didn't die, we can still think and feel and we still have make choices. So what died was our spirit that had been born in Adam - our sinful nature. When we were born again, we still had these old bodies and souls, but our sinful nature was killed - dead, gone, crucified - forever - and we were raised to life with the righteous nature of Christ.
If you're a Christian, you died and were created anew. This is referring to the very essence and core of who we really are. This is the reality of who we really are in our spirits. God didn't take the "old us" and change us into a "better" or "improved" us. Rather, we died and we were re-created as a brand New Creation. We haven't been revived. We've been regenerated and re-created completely! In other words, God didn't take the old us and pump some life into it. Rather, we died and God made us into something completely new - a New Creation. Our old life wasn't changed. It was exchanged with a real life - the very life of Jesus!
Now, however, I've been given a new life! I have been made alive together with Christ. I have died to who I was in Adam and now my "DNA" is Christ's! I no longer belong to Adam. I am now Christ's. I am no longer a descendant from the line of Adam; I am from the line of Christ. I am now fully related to Christ. Who Jesus is has been passed on to me - I have now become a partaker of His very nature, glory and holiness. I have died to the nature of Adam and taken on a new nature. I cannot separate myself from the fact that I am a child of God! I have now died to sin and have been made alive in Christ. The bible tells me to "reckon" my self as dead to sin. That simply means that I understand my being dead to sin as a done deal. I daily count it as fact and live in that fact. LIFE has begun its reign! It wasn't when I first performed a righteous act, and it's not because of any continuance of me performing righteous acts that I have died to sin and been made alive to God. It's my relationship to Jesus that made me dead to sin and alive to God, and keeps me alive to God. I never have to worry about my old sinful nature getting resurrected again because after you've died to something, you can never "live to it" again!
I cannot add anything to maintain this relationship and I can't do a thing to get out of it! I am forever His and He is mine. I dwell in Him and He in me. It's an inseparable union! I have His very DNA! I am identified with Him and no longer with Adam. Even when I sin, it's not that I still have an identity in Adam. Sin dwells in my corruptible, mortal body, but my body is not who I am! One day this corruptible and mortal body will be replace with incorruption and immortality. "Who I am" is not my body. I am a spiritual being who has become one spirit with God. I am in Him and He is in me, and that I'm no longer related to "the first man Adam," who "became a living being," but I'm now related to "the last Adam," who "became a life-giving spirit!"