This lesson will help clarify the events which led to my present condition as a believer having two natures, and that God's Holy Spirit living in us is more powerful than our sinful human nature.
Watch this video for an explanation of the diagram.
Q. How does a believer (a Christian) have two natures?
God's Word is an expression of His Character.
1) The Character of God
The main purpose for studying the attributes of God’s character is for me to understand how reasonable it is to trust Him.
(I can read these Biblical terms and not always understand their significance, but the Holy Spirit will speak to me through his written Word to apply them to my life.)
As an unbeliever I was accustomed to trusting in myself, but as a believer I need to form the habit of trusting God in my daily decisions.
I must reason out that if God’s character is as portrayed in the Bible, then it is very logical to trust Him completely, and very illogical not to trust Him. There is no reasonable logic for not yielding to Him.
A major reason for distrusting God is my tendency to impute to God my character. If God were like me then it would be quite reasonable to distrust Him.
A Sampling of Verses Related to God’s Character
Take time now to read the following verses on God’s character (aloud if possible.)
GOD IS LOVE
1 John 4:16 … God is love,…
Romans 5:8 God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us!
John 3:16 “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son,…”
1 John 3:16 This is how we have come to know love: He laid down His life for us. …
GOD IS SOVEREIGN
Job 34:14-15 If He put His mind to it and withdrew the spirit and breath He gave, every living thing would perish together and mankind would return to the dust.
Proverbs 21:30 No wisdom, no understanding, and no counsel will prevail against the LORD.
Isaiah 46:11 … Yes, I have spoken; so I will also bring it about. I have planned it; I will also do it.
Daniel 4:35 All the inhabitants of the earth are counted as nothing, and He does what He wants with the army of heaven and the inhabitants of the earth. There is no one who can hold back His hand or say to Him, “What have You done?”
Acts 4:24 … they all raised their voices to God and said, “Master, You are the One who made the heaven, the earth, and the sea, and everything in them.”
GOD IS RIGHTEOUS, HOLY AND PURE. HE CANNOT LIE, HE CAN DO NO WRONG
Deuteronomy 32:3-4 Declare the greatness of our God! The Rock—His work is perfect; all His ways are entirely just. A faithful God, without prejudice, He is righteous and true.
Leviticus 19:2 “Speak to the entire Israelite community and tell them: Be holy because I, Yahweh your God, am holy.”
Job 34:10 It is impossible for God to do wrong, and for the Almighty to act unjustly.
Psalm 18:30 God—His way is perfect.…
Isaiah 57:15 For the High and Exalted One who lives forever, whose name is Holy …
Habakkuk 1:13 Your eyes are too pure to look on evil,…
Luke 1:49 Because the Mighty One has done great things for me, and His name is holy.
Hebrews 6:18 … it is impossible for God to lie,…
Romans 3:25-26 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of His blood—to be received by faith. … He did it to demonstrate His righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. (NIV)
GOD IS PERFECT
Deuteronomy 32:3-4 Declare the greatness of our God! The Rock—His work is perfect.…
2 Samuel 22:31 God—His way is perfect; the word of the LORD is pure.…
Matthew 5:48 … your heavenly Father is perfect.
GOD NEVER CHANGES
Psalm 102:25-27 Long ago You established the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You will endure; all of them will wear out like clothing. You will change them like a garment, and they will pass away. But You are the same, and Your years will never end.
Malachi 3:6 “Because I, Yahweh, have not changed,…”
James 1:17 Every generous act and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights; with Him there is no variation or shadow cast by turning.
GOD IS FAITHFUL, TOTALLY TRUSTWORTHY AND DEPENDABLE
Deuteronomy 32:3-4 Declare the greatness of our God! … A faithful God,…
Psalm 33:18-21 Now the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him—those who depend on His faithful love to deliver them from death and to keep them alive in famine. We wait for Yahweh; He is our help and shield. For our hearts rejoice in Him because we trust in His holy name.
Psalm 34:4-8 I (David) sought the LORD, and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears. … This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him and saved him from all his troubles. The Angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him, and rescues them. Taste and see that the LORD is good. How happy is the man who takes refuge in Him!
Psalm 36:5 LORD, Your faithful love reaches to heaven, Your faithfulness to the clouds.
Psalm 86:15 But You, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger and rich in faithful love and truth.
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you”—this is the LORD’s declaration—“plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
Romans 8:28 We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.
1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape so that you are able to bear it.
1 Thessalonians 5:24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.
2 Thessalonians 3:3 But the Lord is faithful;…
2 Timothy 2:13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.
1 Peter 4:19 So those who suffer according to God’s will should, while doing what is good, entrust themselves to a faithful Creator.
2) Satan’s strategy
Satan's strategy is to persuade me that God is not trustworthy, by undermining my confidence in God’s character.
John 8:44 You are of your father the Devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and has not stood in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he speaks from his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of liars.
Example: In Genesis 3:1-5 Satan sought to instill doubt in Adam and Eve, insinuating that God is a liar, suggesting that God did not have their best interest at heart, and implying that He was withholding that which in some way would be good for them. If God did not love them, how then could He be trusted?
Genesis 3:1-5 Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the wild animals that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You can’t eat from any tree in the garden’?”
The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit from the trees in the garden. But about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden, God said, ‘You must not eat it or touch it, or you will die.” “No! You will not die,” the serpent said to the woman. “In fact, God knows that when you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
3) Adam & Eve
When God created Adam and Eve they were perfect, as was all creation. They were complete and totally satisfied, not lacking in any way. Everything they did was in total harmony with God’s character. Death did not exist before that time.
Romans 5:12 … just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death spread to all men, because all sinned.
1 Corinthians 15:21-22 For since death came through a man, … in Adam all die,…
4) and 5) The Choice to Live Independent of God
Adam and Eve believed Satan’s lie about God’s character (that He was withholding something that was good for them) and ate the fruit, choosing to pursue self-satisfaction “independent” of God.
The choice to live independent from God was evident in three areas:
- The human understanding (desirable for obtaining wisdom)
- The appetites of the body (good for food), and
- Possessions (delightful to look at).
Temptations also fall into one of these three areas.
It is important to see my “predisposition toward independence” as the “root” problem of humanity and one of the driving forces behind the global and individual resistance to God.
Genesis 3:6 Then the woman saw that the tree was good for food and delightful to look at, and that it was desirable for obtaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
6) My Sinful Nature
Every person born into the human race inherits the sinful human nature of Adam (pictured as a dark tree), through their biological father. Consequently, every human is born with a disposition of resistance toward God.
Genesis 5:3 … Adam … fathered a son in his likeness, according to his image,
Galatians 5:16-23 … For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit,…
7) Jesus the (2nd Adam)
Jesus was born into the human race, but without a sinful human father.
As the second Adam, He was born with the same sinless human nature that Adam had before he sinned. The righteous character of Jesus, as seen in His life, is what God had originally intended for Adam.
1 Corinthians 15:45-46 … The first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam became a life-giving Spirit.…
Romans 5:19 For just as through one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so also through the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.
8) and 9) The Choice to be Dependent on God
Jesus was tempted in the same three areas as Adam, but Jesus chose to entrust Himself into God’s care instead of believing Satan’s enticement to seek to live independently of God.
Luke 4:1-12 Then Jesus returned from the Jordan, full of the Holy Spirit, and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for 40 days to be tempted by the Devil. He ate nothing during those days, and when they were over, He was hungry. The Devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”
But Jesus answered him, “It is written: Man must not live on bread alone.”
So he took Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. The Devil said to Him, “I will give You their splendor and all this authority, because it has been given over to me, and I can give it to anyone I want. If You, then, will worship me, all will be Yours.”
And Jesus answered him, “It is written: Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.”
So he took Him to Jerusalem, had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here. For it is written: He will give His angels orders concerning you, to protect you, and they will support you with their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.”
And Jesus answered him, “It is said: Do not test the Lord your God.”
10) The Divine Nature of the Holy Spirit
Upon believing, I as a new believer was born into the spiritual race, and received the divine nature in the Person of the Holy Spirit.
Important: The sinful human nature can never be improved, but it will lose its power over me as I focus on and trust in God, depending more and more on Him . (See Gal. 5:17 below.)
John 3:3, 6 Jesus replied, I assure you: Unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh, and whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Romans 7:14-25 For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. So I discover this principle: When I want to do what is good, evil is with me. For in my inner self I joyfully agree with God’s law. But I see a different law in the parts of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and taking me prisoner to the law of sin in the parts of my body. So then, with my mind I myself am a slave to the law of God, but with my flesh, to the law of sin.
Galatians 5:16-23 I say then, walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.
For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other,
Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control.