Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Dual Nature of the Believer

Temple Baptist Church - 7-24-2013
Colossians 3:5-10
A. One of the least understood truths concerning salvation is the dual nature of the believer. We find in these verses 4 states of man: two have to do with relationship or lack of it and two with fellowship or lack of it.
1. The Natural Man in verse 7. Before salvation, man is dead in trespasses and sins according to
Ephesians 2:1-3 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; (2) 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: (3) 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.” (Sinners walk in this state of spiritual darkness and deadness because they live within those states! They cannot walk in spiritual light because they remain in the darkness of their Adamic nature. Sinners sin because they are sinners!)
2. The Saved Man in verses 1-3. After salvation, the believer is risen with Christ because he or she is “hid with Christ in God.” Those who are saved are
Romans 6:3-7 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? (4) Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (5) For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: (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. (7) For he that is dead is freed from sin.
3. The Old Man or Carnal Man in verses 5-9. Though the believer has, through relationship with Christ, been eternally saved and sealed, and yet
a) The old Adamic nature comes through our physical birth remains in him or her through the sinfulness of the flesh until death. The spirit is saved but the flesh cannot inherit the Kingdom of God.
1 Corinthians 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. (For this reason, our new body to be received from God is a necessity for eternity.)
b) The reality of this nature is argued by some who believe that the Old Man is eradicated either at the moment of salvation or through a second work of grace afterwards. The Bible is specific on this point:
1 John 1:8-2:1 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (9) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (10) If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (2:1) My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: (If we say we have no sin, we make God a liar and the truth is not in us. In 2:1, we find the possibility of sin and God’s remedy. This is written to “My little children” or the saved.)
4. The New Man or Spiritual Man, found in verse 10, comes through a spiritual birth and remains for an eternity. The Spirit of God lives within the believer to guard and guide him or her.
1 Corinthians 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
Romans 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
B. Now, let us look at the conflict of the believer.
1. The Reality of Sin. The listing in verse 5, though not a complete listing of possible sins, is enough to show us the depravity of our flesh.
Romans 7:17-18 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. (18) For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
2. The Probability of Sin. The will of God is to “sin not” but the possibility or probability is that we do and will sin. The flesh is not an excuse but our Lord said,Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
1 John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
3. The Perpetuity of the War. No matter how spiritual we may be, the war with our sinful flesh continues.
James 4:1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
1 Peter 2:11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;
Romans 7:21-23 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. (22) For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: (23) But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
4. The Victor of the War. There can certainly be victory in this life. The victory that overcomes the world comes through our faith in Christ. There is also a pattern to be followed.
a. Verse 5 – Mortify therefore your members. “Mortify” means to put to death and what has to die is your “members.” There must be a death to he flesh which is a death to self.
b. Verse 8 – Put off all these. There must a recognition of encroachment of sinfulness lest we “get used to the dark.”
c. Verse 10, 12 – Put on the new man … Put on therefore. To robe oneself in righteousness as one would put on a garment.
d. Verse 15-16 – Let. We can either “let” or “let not!”
5. The Results of the war.
a. There is a Carnality and sinfulness that brings failure or
b. There is a Spirituality and holiness which brings faithfulness!

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