1 Jan 2002

Can someone walking in the Spirit believe he has two natures?

Submitted by theshovel
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Can someone walking in the Spirit believe he has 2 natures? anonymous

Now regarding your question, I have to take into account the two senses the phrase "walking in the Spirit" might be used since it would pose two different questions. One is that it describes the simple reality that since we are IN the Spirit then that is where we walk; the other describes the frame of mind by which we live, either according to His grace or according to our efforts.

If it is the first sense you are considering, I would say yes, a person who is in the Spirit could believe that he has two natures, and this belief is more than likely an intellectual viewpoint or part of a systemic answer that seems to be held together by a selection of scriptures. On the flip side, those without the Spirit can easily, and often do, engage in belief structures. In those born of the Spirit, such a belief is held to in an isolated sense because something within them grates against such a fallacy. This is the teaching I learned from my Bible College in the seventies and I likewise taught it to those in my youth group. I still have my Bible from those days, and in the margin I made these little cartoon men representing the supposed two natures fighting with one another. Ironically, those little men became part of the reason I came to reject the belief that was definitely a faulty viewpoint because the more I examined the passage in Romans 7 it became obvious that this new nature wasn't fighting back but was getting his butt kicked!! And that totally destroyed the concept that feeding it would make it stronger. I began to see total defeat by such a battle. Praise God!! :)

Now in the other sense, I would still say that a person could hold to a belief such as this as it remains merely an isolated viewpoint that touches on nothing but the memory of a verse or the sense that one is taking God as His word. But when a person is viewing himself as really being composed of two natures then he will be running to the law for victory in his life and will be finding defeat instead so that he will be caught in a performance cycle. Of course, a performance cycle will produce fleshly works, though they are often viewed by others caught in such a bondage as being godly.

Now, the trouble with trying to judge beyond the simple truth that living by law only produces the works of the flesh can often cause us to think we are supposed to examine the details of our lives according to whether or not we think we're walking in the Spirit. This can lead to a lot of false conclusions about who is or isn't doing it, especially when that person is ME. The wonder of my life in Christ is that my everyday reactions based on my old mindset become more and more obvious to me and this continually blows me away because true life is shown against the contrast. It is the OBVIOUS that Paul suggests we consider instead of the complicated possibilities based upon an examination of opinions of scripture. The thing that Paul declared as being evident was the works of the flesh that were running rampant as the believers were falling to justification by a Biblical performance in an attempt to be more pleasing to God.

I remember listening to certain teacher who, in the midst of sharing the incredible reality of Christ with such power and life, took a detour to denounce a particular doctrine he regarded as being in error. During this 10 minute dissertation he stumbled and fell all over himself while trying to prove his point. I couldn't help but recognize the lack of life within him and in what he was claiming during his whole digression. It took him a few minutes to shake the deadness off when he returned to preaching Christ (which he did). It was nothing less than fear that pushed him into that dead rant. I heard quite a few of this man's messages on tape and each time he broached this agenda, the exact same thing happened. It was dead, and I'm sure it disturbed him that he lost his passion for preaching the freedom of Christ in the process, but because he had tied his agenda so tightly together (in his own thinking) with the freedom of Christ he overlooked the reason his diversion was so dry and lifeless and often insulting and derogatory.

The reason I'm not mentioning the particular teaching is that it is simply not the issue. Heck, I used to approach stuff life this (and am still tempted to fall to that bogus substitute) as if the viewpoint was the point, but it's not. The obvious is usually staring us right in the face and in situations like the one above I saw how obvious the works of the flesh stuck out, which were the same that are found in all the world: arrogance, pride, fear, insults, put downs, etc. If I have to put somebody down because he doesn't believe my point of view then my point of view is not the source of the problem. Of course, it's not surprising to discover that even scriptural points of view will get infused with the very same fleshly attitude of the one telling it. As a prime example, I'm sure both of us have heard God's wonderful grace incorporated into an arrogant doctrinal stance where those who hold it will somehow see themselves as if they deserve it. Well, enough of that, you had another question, didn't you? :)

New Testament: 

Comments

If I have to put somebody down because he doesn't believe my point of view then my point of view is not the source of the problem. That statement really grabbed me this morning. How life is always jumping off the page and affects
us who is reading. With such a grateful heart I say thank you and so glad for your work here.

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