James 3: 14 – 18, 4:1
The only creatures on planet Earth carrying two kinds of nature are the Believers. There is what we call the Old Sin Nature or OSN – the original nature we were born with, infused in the genes of our parents, linked back to our progenitors in the Garden of Eden, that is, Adam and Eve. Anyone who has not made Christ his or her Lord and Savior would operate from this nature only. They don’t know to do better than to do and operate within the capacity produced by this nature. We are constantly ruled and dominated by this nature – our decisions (mental activities, reasoning, imaginations and the natural man) are constantly influenced by this particular nature whether we feel like it or not.
In Biblical language, we call this Old Sin Nature (OSN) the flesh, the natural man, Sin, the old man, the outward man, the carnal man and more importantly, it is the seat of works because what is born of the flesh remains flesh – we cannot worship God with our eyes by gazing at the sacrament; we cannot adulate with our ears by the music we listen to; we cannot worship Him with our throats by singing; neither can we worship Him with our noses by the smelling of incense because the flesh profiteth nothing.
In this state of the flesh, forcing anyone to receive doctrinal teachings becomes an exercise in futility because until one transcends to the Spiritual, spiritual things become meaningless to the man or woman in the flesh. David prayed to God to create (not repair or change) in him a new heart.
Jeremiah puts it better when he said, “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.” There is nothing good in the flesh. Anyone who is not a believer remains in the flesh no matter how good the person’s character is. This is because having a good character is not the criteria for becoming a believer rather it’s accepting the Lord Jesus as Lord and Saviour alone. In other words, the best of anyone who isn’t a believer is FLESH.
Nothing can change this nature (OSN) because anything born of the flesh remains in the realm of the flesh. No power can turn it into the new nature and it’s the reason it would always continue to war against the New Nature. Therefore, if we are to have a nature contrary to this Old Sin Nature (OSN), that is, a better nature, it would have to be put there by God, it must be (in biblical terms) put in by God. It must be born of the Spirit.
This is the reason every human being must be born of God before they can have this new nature in them. That which is born of the Spirit remains in the realm of the Spirit. This is the passport that enables anyone who becomes a believer to partake of the nature of God. This is the reason why there are scriptures like this: “Except a man be born of the Spirit of God, he is none of His and therefore cannot inherit life eternal”.
The resultant effect and the end of the flesh is eternal DEATH.
The man who becomes a believer by simply believing in the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, becomes the new man having the nature of God because according to the Scriptures, the man is said to be born of the Spirit and we know that what is born of the Spirit remains in the realm of the Spirit. It is called the Spirit, the New Nature, the Divine Nature, and the Inward man.
Like the Old Sin Nature, the New Nature cannot be changed into the flesh, it remains the New Nature because it is created by God Himself and no one or power can remove or change its nature. It also cannot be altered or affected by any human frailties, infirmities et al, once you have Him, you are called the Son of God; He becomes your advocate, comforter and the one who is called to stand alongside with us.
The resultant effect and the end of this new nature is LIFE ETERNAL.
This is the difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament – the Old Testament is a symbol of the external or the flesh (the reason for customs, ritual, incense and tradition) while the New Testament deals more with the inner man and the new nature. The writer of the Book of Hebrews helped us understand that if the Old Testament was perfect, there wouldn’t have been a reason for the New Testament and its writings.
Paul describes this perfectly when he said, “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. The Law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving His Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit”.
We have come to understand from past publications that James wrote to the Jews in diaspora who were only exposed to the customs, traditions and rituals, which represents the external. Many of what he wrote to them bordered on the line of what could be seen and experienced based on what was stipulated in the Law of Moses or the Ten Commandments. Nothing about the work of the Holy Spirit was mentioned in the Book or how the Gentiles can be saved through the shed blood of our Lord Jesus.
So James began to differentiate between the wisdom that descended from God and that which came as a result of our flesh linked to the World. He described that the wisdom of the World is accompanied by its fruits, which are, envy, strife, bitterness, to mention a few while the wisdom from Heaven is first pure and is accompanied with peace. James concluded that many evil desires have come as a result of the Old Sin Nature within our members (body).
Apostle Paul describes and categorizes this two nature when he separated them by the fruits they each produce: he said, “ When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarrelling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!”
The question in all of these is that, can we control the deeds of the flesh through the flesh? It is very possible to control or subdue the flesh by the power the Holy Spirit brings as He comes to dwell in us.
Even Moses could not carry those tables in his hand without breaking them, nor can
I do any better than he did – Charles. H Spurgeon
Keep it right here and be refreshed!