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Posted By: john How many natures does a Christian have - Sun Aug 22, 2010 5:43 PM
This came up at Sunday School today. The exact words used aren't in my head anymore, but the gist was

Does a Christian have

A. One nature ( the new one ) plus a tendency to and struggle against sin. The old (flesh) nature is completely dead and no longer exists in the Christian.
B. Both natures: the new and the old one. The old nature, even though dead, must still be struggled with.
C. Other

I'm sure my description above is not very precise.

Thanks,
John
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: How many natures does a Christian have - Mon Aug 23, 2010 1:14 AM
C. Other

The Christian has one "nature" which was recreated in regeneration. The predominance of the new nature is to love God, and to walk in obedience according to His revealed will as it is found only in Scripture. However, there is a remnant of the previous sin nature which still exists, which is sometimes referred to as "the flesh" and which wars against the new disposition of the new nature and is the spring from which sin comes. (cf. Rom 7:14ff)
Posted By: john Re: How many natures does a Christian have - Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:44 AM
Pilgrim,

'A' seems really similar to C. What exactly in the wording of A do you see as different from C? Is it that you think the 'tendency to and struggle with sin' is too strong of a statement?

Thanks,
John

Posted By: Pilgrim Re: How many natures does a Christian have - Mon Aug 23, 2010 12:55 PM
Originally Posted by john
'A' seems really similar to C. What exactly in the wording of A do you see as different from C? Is it that you think the 'tendency to and struggle with sin' is too strong of a statement?
Last question first... No, the language re: struggle, etc., is fine to me. grin

First question, re: wording of 'A', which reads:

A. One nature ( the new one ) plus a tendency to and struggle against sin. The old (flesh) nature is completely dead and no longer exists in the Christian.

I do not believe that the 'old nature', i.e., the propensity to sin is completely dead. For if that were so, then why would a Christian sin? There would be no source from which sin would be committed. (cf. Matt 15:19; Mk 7:21-23; Rom 7:18) Thus, the new nature though now the predominant 'force' which governs the Christian's thoughts, words and deeds, there still remains part of the old nature from which sin flows. Sanctification is therefore an ongoing and progressive transformation which is accomplished by both the Christian as he/she grows in grace and by the work of the indwelling Spirit. (Phil 2:12,13) It is my understanding that Romans 7 is an autobiographical sketch of Paul's own life, both before and after conversion. The latter consisting of the 'war' that goes on within the one nature; renewed in regeneration yet with a remnant of the sin nature still active.

So again, ONE nature with two opposing predispositions and the new spiritual life created in regeneration having the dominant influence along with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Posted By: john Re: How many natures does a Christian have - Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:48 AM
Originally Posted by Pilgrim
I do not believe that the 'old nature', i.e., the propensity to sin is <i>completely dead</i>. For if that were so, then why would a Christian sin? There would be no source from which sin would be committed.

I'm still trying to wrap my mind around this. So would you agree if A & C were combined to get

One nature ( the new one ). The old nature is not completely
dead, but only its remnant influences the Christian to sin.

Also, how should we understand Romans 6:6 with regard to our old nature if it is not completely dead? How would we interpret 'our old self was crucified with him (NASB)'?

Thanks,
John
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: How many natures does a Christian have - Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:52 PM
John,

If the old nature is already completely dead & gone, why Paul's exhortation in Col. 3:5, "Put to death therefore your members which are upon the earth"?
Posted By: Tom Re: How many natures does a Christian have - Wed Aug 25, 2010 12:21 AM
John
I believe that we should think of this to say that our old sin nature no longer has dominion over us anymore. It died in the sense that we no longer live to please it anymore.

Tom
Posted By: john Re: How many natures does a Christian have - Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:53 AM
Originally Posted by CovenantInBlood
John,

If the old nature is already completely dead & gone, why Paul's exhortation in Col. 3:5, "Put to death therefore your members which are upon the earth"?

Kyle,

I'm not saying I agree with it, but I think the point that was made in the Sunday School class that spurred this thread was that the old nature is dead and gone but a remnant of sin remains that must be struggled with. I suppose (speculation on my part) the SS teacher would argue that we are putting to death this remnant of sin and not the remaining old nature since it is not present.

I guess the issue is whether the remnant of sin is coming from a remnant of the old nature that is still present or whether it is a remnant that is of itself.

John
Posted By: Pops Re: How many natures does a Christian have - Tue Aug 31, 2010 2:10 PM
My view - I am new here so take it easy ok! :-)

The nature of sin is dead - crucified. Paul does not say it is partially dead, it has been crucified with Christ.
But, our bodies are still alive and still remember the things it used to enjoy doing according to the old sin nature and that is what plagues us. Our brains are just muscles and stay behind and rot when we die and it is the memory banks that retain the old natures memories.

The suffering we partake of with Christ is to treat our bodies (body of sin, from the man of sin) desires and passions as dead (put to death in Colossians 3 is not a good rendering) and to rather seek Christ who is seated at the right hand of God.

Does this make sense?
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