Our New Nature! -netchaplain

“Personality doesn’t determine the nature of a person. Conversely, it’s the nature which determines the personality. What we think, say and do is the summation of our personality but it’s the nature, which is the essence (dictionary definition of nature), that controls the personality and determines thoughts, words and performances. Scripture stresses the significance of the nature of an individual to the level of referring to it as a “who” or “him” and a “man” (Col 3:9 Eph. 4:22).

I believe the root of all the sin within us is contained in our nature and that this is why it required crucifixion. “Our old man was crucified with [Him], that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin” (Rom. 6:6). We too, along with the old nature, were “crucified with Christ” (Gal 2:20) and I prefer to comprehend it, that our old nature is still on the cross (alive but no longer in control: Rom 6:12; Rom 7:20, 21; 1Jo 1:8) and we are no longer on the cross, but have risen. I believe the Spirit, through the Cross of Christ, keeps the old Adamic nature from controlling us the majority of the time and this control of our original nature will continually lessen as He continually increases our conformity to Christ’s image. The Lord’s Cross is not to be confused with our “cross” (Matt. 16:24). His was to produce salvation. Ours is to show we’re in His salvation. John Gill wrote, “Take up his cross: cheerfully receive, and patiently bear, every affliction and evil, however shameful and painful it may be, which is appointed for him, and he is called unto; which is his peculiar cross, as every Christian has his own; to which he should quietly submit, and carry, with an entire resignation to the will of God, in imitation of his Lord.” As we continually take up our cross because of our new nature, Christ, through the Spirit, continually applies His Cross to our old nature.

“Some have attributed the “new man” to mean Christ. It’s not Him but is a part of Christ “which was created according to God . . . to the image of Him who created him,” (Eph. 4:24; Col 3:10) and this is how we are “partakers of the divine nature” (2Pe 1:4). Word usage disqualifies the concept that the “new man” is Christ because it’s something new, which means it has never existed before and is said to be “created”. This is what is used to “conform us to the image of his Son” (Rom 8:29), through the Spirit. It’s this partaking of Christ’s divine nature, which is progressively (glory to glory: 2Cr 3:18) displacing our “old man” or “carnal mind”. “Because the carnal mind (nature) is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be (or, ever will be)” (Rom. 8:7).”

Concerning “partakers of the divine nature” Gill wrote, “not essentially, or of the essence of God, so as to be deified, this is impossible, for the nature, perfections, and glory of God, are incommunicable to creatures; but by way of resemblance and likeness, the new man or principle of grace, being formed in the heart in regeneration, after the image of God, and bearing a likeness to the image of His Son, and this is styled, Christ formed in the heart, into which image and likeness the saints are more and more changed, from glory to glory, through the application of the Gospel, and the promises of it, by which they have such sights of Christ as do transform them, and assimilate them to Him; and which resemblance will be perfected hereafter, when they shall be entirely like Him, and see Him as He is (1Jo 3:2).

Norman F. Douty wrote, “When we say Christ’s life has come into us to displace ours, what do we mean? We do not mean that this life of the Lord Jesus has come in to displace our personality. When I speak of our fallen life, I do not mean the human personality as such. I mean the poison which permeates our personality, the poison of sin which degraded and defiled and distorted our humanity. It is not that this new life of the Lord Jesus comes in to take the place of our personality, to take the place of our faculties created by God, but it comes in to take the place of the sinful life which is operating in our personality and employing our faculties. The vessel is the same, but the contents are different—the same vessel, the same person, the same faculties, but the contents different. No longer this sinful element, but the very holy nature of the Lord Jesus Christ filling, interpenetrating, permeating.”

Miles Stanford adds, “Our Father is not seeking to abolish us as human beings and have the Lord Jesus replace us. He is seeking to restore us as human personalities so that we may be the vehicle through which Christ will express Himself. Therefore you find that whenever God gets hold of a man, instead of abolishing his personality, He makes it what He intends it to be. Redemption is the recovery of the man, not the destruction—so the man will be left, glorified in union with the Lord Jesus Christ.”