Have you ever heard someone say, “We have a sinful nature?” Maybe you’ve heard them say we have two natures. There is a popular teaching, in most church circles, that says we believers have the equivalent of two dogs living within us. There is a good dog and a bad dog that are always in a struggle with each other. This means sometimes the good dog wins and sometimes the bad dog wins. It all depends on which one you feed the most. I don’t think this sort of teaching is biblical.
After doing a little bit of studying I have come to the conclusion we have only one nature. Now there are two natures revealed to us throughout the Bible, but there is no indication we ever have both at the same time. For instance we are born with an Adamic nature which is sinful. This is precisely why Jesus said we must be born again so we might receive a new nature. Ephesians 2 tells us we are “by nature children of wrath.” As a lost person we used to “walk according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the sons (children) of disobedience.” The other time the word nature is used in this sense is found in 2 Peter. We find out in this passage “through God’s precious and magnificent promises we may become partakers of the divine nature.”
Illustrations of us having only one nature are throughout the Word. Starting in Genesis we find there were two trees in the garden and Adam was told not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Of course we know he did, therefore we were subsequently born with his nature which became sinful. What I want you to see though is Adam did not eat of both trees. He had to choose, and it was an either or not a both and proposition. These trees represented two natures. The Tree of Life of course is Christ. The Tree of the knowledge of good and evil would then be the Law. The sinful nature came in when Adam believed the lie, and he was deceived into thinking he could rule himself independently.
Throughout the New Testament we find several ways in which our nature is illustrated. In Matthew 6 Jesus tells us “no one can serve two masters.” In John 8 Jesus confronts the Pharisees and tells them “you are of their father the devil” and his father of course is God. So we clearly see there are two fathers, and we are an expression of one or the other, but we can’t be of both.
As we move into what Paul taught us we find in Romans 5 there were two Adams, and we are either of one or the other; but we can’t be of both, simultaneously. Romans 6 teaches us that we are a slave and we have a master either sin or righteousness. We are always a slave with a master, but don’t forget Jesus said we cannot serve two masters. Moving on into Romans 7 Paul shows us we (humans) are like a wife. We are the bride of one husband either the law represented by the first husband or Christ who is the second. The law prohibits us being joined to both. From God’s perspective we are married until death do us part, and since the law (our first husband) will not die then we must. Death is the only way for us to end our relationship with the first in order to be joined to the second. God provided a way to crucify us with Christ, so we may now be joined to another which is Christ. My final illustration is of us being a vessel which is found in Romans 9. We are either “a vessel of wrath or of mercy.” So you see we are always a vessel, but we have been changed from one kind to another.
Finally we see in 1 John 4 there are two spirits. One is of God and the other isn’t. The scripture says, “Greater is he that is in you (Christ) than he that is in the world (Satan).” One is in us and the other isn’t. Both of them are not in us at the same time. We only have one nature. If we had two heads we would be a monster, and I don’t think that is what God intends for us.
In conclusion what I have discovered is Biblically speaking we can only express:
One type of vessel
And be of only one Spirit.
Written by Louie