gao_lu — 2017-01-12T23:07:30-05:00 — #1
What is your view on the dual nature of people?
The idea is that people have 1) Sin Nature 2) "New Nature"
Apparently the Old nature will die and pass away, but plagues us till that day. The old nature is depraved and cannot please God. The Old Nature may lead us to sin, but we can come to God seeking forgiveness. If the Old Nature seeks forgiveness, then communion with God is restored, else, there is loss of Joy of Salvation.
Cannot sin. Is saved eternally. Is Chosen of God.
Unsaved people have only the depraved nature.
Saved people have both natures.
Jesus had only holy one nature - like Adam and Eve.
Note: Jesus, like Adam and Eve could only be tempted by direct attack from satan, whereas ordinary folks like us can be tempted by the world, depraved nature or the devil
I am sure there are many variations of all this. I am interested in any views or comments, please.
wolfgang_schneider — 2017-01-13T02:05:28-05:00 — #2
I would think that "a definition of terms" concerning "nature(s)" is needed before a profitable exchange can take place .... otherwise, people may be talking about totally different things which they each regard as "nature(s)".
Some questions may be appropriate for clarification of the term "nature(s)", such as:
What is or defines such "nature(s)" ? Is it the same as "personality", "attitude" or similar?
Is "nature" in this context something that a person "is" and that "makes a person act and conduct themselves" a certain way?
Is the term "nature" used in Scripture in such a context of "dual natures" or is such a concept not mentioned in Scripture, and a different concept and different terms are used?
Can such "nature(s)" experience things (such as "die" or "be saved")? and act (such as "lead to sin", "seek forgiveness", "always do right [= "cannot sin"]") etc. ?
gao_lu — 2017-01-13T04:44:13-05:00 — #3
Good questions. Those are the very answers I am looking for. I keep running into the terms, and not really knowing the definitions. I understand "inclination," but I don't think that is the definition here.
dave_l — 2017-01-13T06:18:17-05:00 — #4
The way I see it, everyone has the Two Great Commandments written in their hearts. But our grasp of them is dulled by sin. But even so, none can walk in the light of them, and we are instead condemned by them. We all know how we would like to be treated, but we do not treat others as our equal. We see evidence for God everywhere, but we rob his glory assigning creation to elaborate schemes or idols.
So Peter says Christians are born again by the word of God. I believe it is this word, the Two Great Commandments written in the heart, that produces the new man. This happens when the Holy Spirit raises our human spirit from the dead (New Birth). Making us hypersensitive to the law. And takes up residence in each of us, called the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
We receive the fullness of the Spirit the more we walk in the light of this law, and lose the fullness when we do not. But it is the nature of the New Birth to overcome sin to the point we cannot habitually live in it.
We are as Paul says, a new creation.
I should add that God's word helps us fine tune our understanding of the law.
justin_gatlin — 2017-01-13T21:25:49-05:00 — #5
The old nature and new nature correspond to the old and new man of Ephesians 4:22-24. cf. Romans 6:6 and Colossians 3:9. The old and new man seem to coexist in the saved person, so the new man needs to be "put on" (aorist, middle) consistently.
wolfgang_schneider — 2017-01-14T01:16:00-05:00 — #6
Since these passages in Eph 4:22-24, Rom 6:6 and Col 3:9 speak about "behavior" / "walk" / "way of doing" things, are you defining "nature" as "behavior" or the underlying "attitude [thinking and decisions]" to such behavior? Also, the passages speak about the person being able by decision and acting up their decision to change their behavior from "old/former" to "new" => for example, "stop lying and tell the truth", etc ...
In light of these observations, can one even speak of "old nature" and "new nature", seeing that "nature" seems to imply something that is "innate" and that can't be changed as such?
dave_l — 2017-01-14T06:40:08-05:00 — #7
I believe there is another way to view the "two natures" theory. It begins with evangelism. People are sinful by nature. The evangelist or church tells them if they (fill in the blank), God will save them. So having done all needed they begin wrestling within themselves trying to preserve it. They battle between doing what is right to keep saved, and doing what they want to do at the expense of losing salvation. Some adjust this by saying once you meet the first condition, God saves you no matter what. But either way, the fight begins and two natures develop.
Then there are those who are sinful by nature. God steps in and spiritually raises them from the dead making them a new person. As a new creation, they believe the Gospel when they hear it, or as they remember having heard it. They repent, and want holy living. They can lapse into their old ways if not careful but remorse will follow and they will seek repentance. So in this sense we have one new nature built to overcome sin.
gao_lu — 2017-01-14T17:45:05-05:00 — #8
Good thoughts so far. I am grateful. Looking forward to even more.
wolfgang_schneider — 2017-01-15T07:36:32-05:00 — #9
Having given this "2 natures" idea some more thought, I too would call it a "theory", and add that I would conclude that it is a false theory
Careful .... how sinful is a baby or small child who does not even know good from bad ? I would claim that a baby is NOT sinful at all nor has the child sinned. There are various scriptures which mention the truth about a child "not knowing good or evil", and in neither of these is the child condemned or judged dead in sin or lost.
When the child gets older, there comes a time when they become sinners, that is, they commit a sin and only then are they under condemnation and dead in sin and in need of repentance and remission of sin to be saved and receive eternal life ...
Careful again .... once someone has repented and received God's gift, the person -- from my experience with Christians over now more than 4 decades -- th teey are inclined and very willing to do what is right and to do what is pleasing to God.
I would consider the idea of "God saves you no matter what" ( => often called "once saved, always saved" ) is not in harmony with Scripture
That there may at times be "a fight" in a person's mind has to do with the person being tempted and being confronted with having 2 or more choices and not all of them being right or good and in harmony with God's will. Compare Jesus, he faced such fights in his life when he was tempted to sin ... he could have given in to the temptation, bu he did not because of his love for God and his determination to obediently do what was in harmony with God's will! There were no two natures involved, but there was temptation and the need for him to make his decision of either obey God or disobey God.
See above ... what do you mean with "sinful by nature"? why would such people be sinful by nature rather than sinful by disobedience ?
I would say this happens to any person who repents of their sin and believes on the Lord Jesus Christ as their God sent Messiah, etc ....
Also, what do you mean with "spiritually raises them from the dead" ?? is "spiritual" the same as "mental"? how are these people "dead", seeing that they are obviously living and able to use their senses (including hearing) and are able to make decisions such as obey or disobey?
Aside from the fact that I understand becoming a new man, a new creation, as subsequent to initial repentance and believing on Messiah Jesus, what you describe here either is or is very similar to what I mentioned above in a few words using a bit different vocabulary ....
dave_l — 2017-01-15T07:50:59-05:00 — #10
If the wages of sin is death, why do babies who never consciously sin, die?
So abortion saves babies that would otherwise be lost since most grow up to reject Christ? hummmm...
If salvation depends on us and the things we do, it doesn't make sense. But then, if salvation depends on us, is this "salvation by works"?
wolfgang_schneider — 2017-01-15T11:21:43-05:00 — #11
Who says that physical death is the wages of sin? Did Adam die physically on the day he sinned? No! What happened that day? Adam the very day he sinned he was dead in regards to the promised eternal life. The wages of sin is the loss of eternal life, death in eternity.
What happens when a child dies before they know good or evil? Are they lost, under condemnation even though they have not sinned? I would say, No! But would you suggest murdering small children as a means to save them??? I would hope, such an idea would never even cross your mind ...
Your question misses the point entirely ... In addition, the murderer would of course receive the wages for his/her sin !!
Salvation does NOT depend on us .... because no matter what anyone would do, there would be no salvation possible IF Messiah Jesus would not have accomplished man's redemption and salvation. The sinner cannot work for his/her salvation ... he/she can only accept the free gift offered to him/her by God Almighty via the accomplished work of redemption and salvation of Messiah Jesus.
dave_l — 2017-01-15T11:47:17-05:00 — #12
Why would God raise all from the dead on the last day if death does not mean death? Why did he raise Jesus from the dead?
Certainly, if you believe a child automatically goes to heaven when they die, it would make sense to support abortion and not prevent it. Since most people reject Christ as adults.
So, by accepting the free gift a person saves their self?
wolfgang_schneider — 2017-01-15T12:26:40-05:00 — #13
?? who says death doesn't mean death?
I would have appreciated if you had answered my question ....
No, by accepting God's free gift, God saves the person.
Have you ever been given a gift, perhaps at your birthday? or some other occasion? Did you give what was the gift to yourself by accepting it from someone else?
I recently received some piece of clothing as a gift from someone who had knitted it ... did I knit that piece of clothing for myself by accepting what the other person had knitted? Obviously not. I did not do any work ... the other person did all of the work ... and gave me what they had worked. Sure, I could have refused the gift and I would not have had the piece of clothing they so diligently and out of love for me knitted ... And, yes, due to my acceptance of the gift, I now have the benefit of having the knitted piece of clothing, but that does not mean that I did any work in producing the knitted piece of clothing, nor did I do any work in making the other person knit it and then offer it to me ....
dave_l — 2017-01-15T12:43:10-05:00 — #14
“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” (Romans 5:12)
But what happens if they do not accept? So they cannot be saved unless they "do their part" = works.
wolfgang_schneider — 2017-01-15T13:50:54-05:00 — #15
Yes, all mankind because of their own sin => "all have sinned" and NOT "One has sinned, and all are condemned")
What happens when you refuse a gift? You won't have the gift that was freely offered to you and remain in the same position in which you were before, that is, without the gift..
Well, such is the nature of a gift ... When I give someone a gift, they are not forced to accept it, are they? But, please carefully note, their accepting is NOT any work to produce the gift or to make me offer the gift. There are no works on the recipient's part involved ...
You call accepting the gift "a work" to bring about salvation for the person ... in truth, the recipient of the gift of salvation does NOT work anything to bring about salvation. Messiah Jesus fulfilled all the work needed to bring about man's redemption and salvation. Just as it is not the person's refusal of the gift which causes his/her condemnation and "death in eternity", so it is not the persons' acceptance of the gift which causes his/her eternal life. Eternal death is the wages of SIN (not the wages of refusal of God's gift of eternal life); eternal life is the gift of God (accomplished by the work of His only begotten Son) and not the result of his/her decision to accept the gift.
dave_l — 2017-01-15T13:58:20-05:00 — #16
“For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” (Romans 5:19)
So according to your theory, doesn't "accepting" the gift determine salvation? If so, it is something you must do in order to activate salvation...and if you do not, you won't be saved?
wolfgang_schneider — 2017-01-16T02:46:43-05:00 — #17
Observing the context from Rom 5:12ff reveals, that without the one man's (Adam's) disobedience, sin would not have "entered into the world" (cp Rom 5:12) and had there not been sin, then no one have sinned and become a sinner. Adam's sin did not turn me into a sinner .... I did that with my disobedience.
Note carefully the parallel construction between Adam's "work" and Messiah Jesus' "work" ... it is NOT that their "work" turned everybody else into either sinners or saints, or are you believing that after Jesus had accomplished his work now all man are turned into saints .... in other words, all mankind (aside from Adam and Jesus themselves) -- independent of any own action -- were sinners (after Adam and before Jesus) or saints (after Jesus) without any doing on their part??
Also note, sin did not enter into the world without Adam himself making the decision to sin ... God did not "make Adam sin". Adam became a sinner because of his choice to disobey what God had instructed him. The very same holds true for anyone after Adam ... now, that sin had gained entrance into the world, the same procedure as with Adam repeated itself in others' lives as they each decided and decide to disobey God's will and fall for temptation.
No ... the gift itself determines what will happen .... you give me a car as a gift, that gift will not get me a house, or does it? You give me a house as a gift, accepting the gift will not get me a car ... the gift determines what I might get.
Such is life how God has set it up .... He has sent a Messiah "to do the necessary work" ... He does not force my to either be a sinner (disobey Him, refuse His gift) or be a saint (obey him, accept His gift). Man has two options ... Scripture uses the terms "obey"-"disobey", "believe" - "reject/not believe" to describe man's possibilities. These actions on man's part are all actions within the mind and heart of the human being and thus, sinner and saint alike are able to do obey or disobey, believe or reject and not believe, etc ...) .
Due to how God has set up things, it was Adam (and subsequently all other humans after Adam as well) who had the choice to obey God and remain righteous with the promise of eternal life after life on earth is over or disobey God and fall into condemnation and be dead in regards to eternity from the day of his sin. I do not see anywhere in Scripture that God has changed His plan at some point in time.
dave_l — 2017-01-16T06:07:03-05:00 — #18
Is a person a thief because they steal? Or do they steal because they are a thief?
Paul says; “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made [considered] sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made [considered] righteous.” (Romans 5:19) Think about it. Just as God considered you to be a sinner because of your relationship to Adam, he considers you righteous because of your relationship to Christ.
“And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:” (Philippians 3:9)
We know Abraham believed God and God counted it in place of righteousness. “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted [considered] unto him for righteousness.” (Romans 4:3)
And Isaiah; “But we are all as an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; And we all do fade as a leaf; And our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” (Isaiah 64:6)
What if you refuse the gift? Isn't the gift (salvation) in your power?
So salvation is up to man? Isn't obedience works? Salvation by obedience is salvation by works.
wolfgang_schneider — 2017-01-16T10:01:28-05:00 — #19
A person who has not stolen is not a thief.
I would not insert the term "considered" in the above verse ... because it gives a wrong impression. God did not consider all to be sinners because Adam had disobeyed and sinned, neither does God consider many to be righteous because Christ obeyed and remained righteous.
You claim that God considers some sinners and others righeous because of a "relationship" ... what is that relationship humans had with Adam and the relationship humans have with Christ? what brought about those relationships?
Rom 5:19 speaks about Adam's disobedience and about Jesus' obedience ... and about the consequences the two actions of these two men had on others ... the context from Rom 5:12ff clarifies further details ... and In either case, these consequences are reaped due to actions on the part of the recepients. Humans after Adam are not automatically all sinners, but rather become sinners when they fall for temptation and commit sin. Humans after Christ are made righteous when they receive God's righteousness made available to them via Christ's finished work of redemption and salvation when the believe on him.
As we see in the quoted words from Paul, Paul was not interested in himself doing all the works of the law which would have given him "mine own righteousness" (knowing full well that he would not be able to achieve righteousness that way), rather he knew that the way to receive God's righteousness was by believing (by having faith, trust) in the accomplished work of Christ ...
In Paul's words we see the accepting of God's gift made available through Christ is what is also termed "believe ub", "have faith in") ... and you mention the same truth from the life of Abraham
Here already we see that Abraham did not do works to become righteous .... what was counted to him for righteousness was him believing God, believing God's promise regarding a coming Messiah who would accomplish and fulfill man's redemption and salvation. The righteousness was made available as a gift from God and man accepts the gift by believing, having faith in God's doings!
Indeed, man's attempts in doing works to try and get righteous with God are worth nothing and achieve nothing ...
No, the gift is not in my power .... rejecting and refusing is indeed in man's power, which would simply be a continuance in sin.
BUT as regards the gift, there is nothing in my power => I am not giving myself the gift ... I am not providing the gift ... I did not make or produce the gift .. I had nothing to do with it from start to finish !!! Not one lousy work of mine involved in the process.
No ... see above. Salvation is God's doings and what God has done in Christ. Salvation is God's gift, and man did NOTHING to either deserve it or to produce it ...
When I give you a gift for your birthday, is that up to you or to me? You do not determine what I am doing ... you can reject my gift, then I'll just keep it. But no matter how bad you want a gift for your birthday, no matter what you do or think you can do about making me give you a gift for your birthday ... your doings change nothing and achieve nothing in getting you a gift ... I -- the GIVER -- determine and am in control.
Except that salvation is NOT by obedience ... God does not offer His gift based on a pre-condition of obedience !! God's offer stands and His invitation is open to anyone ... that many reject His invitation, His gift is not God's doing ... just as acceptance of God's gift is not God's doing. Neither rejection nor acceptance change anything in what God offers and in what God has accomplished in His love for mankind through the work of His Son, Messiah Jesus.
dave_l — 2017-01-16T10:49:54-05:00 — #20
“For I was born a sinner— yes, from the moment my mother conceived me. But you desire honesty from the womb, teaching me wisdom even there.” (Psalm 51:5–6)
"Considered" is a synonym for "made". Greek 2525. καθίστημι kathistēmi, kath-is´-tay-mee; from 2596 and 2476; to place down (permanently), i.e. (fig.) to designate, constitute, convoy:—appoint, be, conduct, make, ordain, set.
Strong, J. (2009). A Concise Dictionary of the Words in the Greek Testament and The Hebrew Bible (Vol. 1, p. 38). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
God placed all under Adam. When he flunked the test, God considered all to have flunked. Would we be any better than Adam was before he sinned? God arbitrarily took us from Adam's pile of rejects and placed us in Christ's family. Jesus passed the test Adam flunked for himself and for us. So God considers us perfectly righteous even though we're not. Just as he previously considered us horribly sinful even though we weren't even born yet.
Yes, but faith is not a condition we meet. It is something we have when God saves us. You believe because God saved you. You are not saved because you believe.
But God does not base salvation on our meeting conditions. As though he is a bully forcing you to say "uncle" or else. He saves us and gives us a new nature that naturally believes in Christ and desires holy living.
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