Inspirational Resources


Clarifying Matters

By Richard Moore

There has been some confusion concerning the flesh and the sin nature. Even some very fine writers, whom I respect greatly, seem stuck on this point. The fact is the sin nature or principle resides in my flesh. I know this because I can pass it on to my children. So how is this not in conflict with the teachings of the Christ-life, which frankly are from God and not from man? Allow me to provide some clarification, if I may. Please pay attention to the language and terminology closely. I could say it no better. It is “not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth” (1 Cor. 2:13).

Sin is a spiritual energy that is active in our flesh, enslaving our will and infecting and darkening our heart and mind (soul). Its source is Satan (John 8:44). This is the spirit-nature of fallen man (Eph. 2:1-3).

This activity has been "rendered entirely idle" (destroyed - Strong's #2673) in the born-again. We have died to sin (to this principle in our flesh, the Satan nature). Our relationship with the flesh has been severed (Rom. 6:6; Col. 2:11). This has effected a perfect exchange of natures from flesh to spirit, Adam to Christ, sin to righteousness, and Satan to God (2 Peter 1:4; Acts 26:18; Rom. 8:4-10).

The activity of Satan in the born-again has been relegated to an outer thing. The influence of the sin-nature, “sin in the flesh” (call it what you want), has been “reduced to inactivity” (again Strong's #2673) in regards to the inner life. In every meaningful sense, it is Satan out and Christ in as the spiritual life (nature) energizing the human. Let us not resist the testimony of the Scriptures. They do not leave us in doubt, if we will but listen to the Holy Spirit.

As I have said before, we still have flesh, but we are under no obligation to the flesh. The lust of the flesh is the remembrance of our sinful ways. It is the mind where the residue of sin resides, as a powerless ghost as long as it’s not falsely identified as you. These are the truths that make identification work as God intended (Eph. 4:22-24). So wherein lies the confusion? It is when we do not see the birthing, which renders null and void all human reasoning. I hope I have provided some clarification. Let us not have Christ competing with Satan, or some “human nature,” of which there is no such thing.

Grace and peace to you.

“But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life, because of righteousness.” (Rom. 8:9-10)

Comments

Comments are moderated to eliminate spam. They are reviewed and approved before appearing on this page. Please check back later to view your comments. Thank you.

03-Sep-2015 02:20 PM Linda Schultz

Amen!!!

03-Oct-2015 12:05 PM David Lopez

Amen. Clarifiying matters by brother Richard is so true it all brings it back to the BIRTHING once the believer sees or truly understands the "birthing" then we start to see the old human imprint is now replaced with the new inprint, Christ.

04-Nov-2015 05:34 AM Leif Emeleus

Some things are difficult for many i.e.:
Because of sin in the flesh we pass sin to our childern.
When the sin is removed from a christian (as you also mention in your article) we still pass sin to our children.
Another question among believers:
Jesus removed all our sins, past,present and furure. But 1 John 1:9 says the condition for Gos foregiving is that we confess them.
I look foreward for your comments for clearyfications.

Every blessings
Leif Emeleus (Christ-life in Sweden)

26-Dec-2015 11:21 PM Paul Frederick Kruger

It is said by some that in the "born again" God does not see our sin as He sees Christ in us as us. If we do sin we don't repent or confess that sin as Christ has forgiven our sin past, present & future once and for all - we are a new creation. So by confessing or repenting again we are in fact re-crucifying Christ as He taken care of our sin once & for all time. Reply: Thank you for your comments. This topic demonstrates how important it is to be vigilant in rightly dividing between soul and spirit as we study God’s Word. The answer is a little long, but well worth the in-depth Bible study! When we say God sees us as His Son, Christ, not as sinners since we are now new creatures, we refer to our spiritual standing with God. We have accepted and been spiritually baptized into the Spirit of Christ, making us a new creature, a spiritual son of God. However, even though we are spiritually new creatures, we still have the same old mind we had before salvation and we must live in these earthly bodies with their fleshly pulls. But who we are spiritually is not what we do in daily life, a result of our soul-mind, which continues to be renewed. A born-again child of God can continue to commit sin in their life if they are not living in the knowledge of Christ. Paul teaches in Romans 6 that we are free from sin, we are no longer bound to serve sin, but we must not turn around and willingly choose to serve sin (Rom. 6:14-22). We are not bound by sin nor the law. Instead, believers are to walk in the Spirit, not continuing in sin but also not trusting in the law for our salvation or for our correction (Gal. 5). Living by our own understanding, serving our own will, leads to sins of the flesh, since we still must live in these earthly bodies and our fleshly soul-mind. However, life in Christ—learning Christ by the Holy Spirit, focusing on Christ, living in prayer and in God’s Word—will automatically, slowly correct our behavior as it renews our old mind. “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh” (Gal. 5:17). This distinction of the spirit of sin indwelling sinners as opposed to sins of the soul and body is also seen in 1 John. In 1 John 3:9, John says, “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” This refers to spirit. The “seed” in “whosoever is born of God” is the Spirit of Christ, who does not sin. We no longer have the spirit of sin, Satan’s nature; we are spiritually new creatures, spiritually children of God, with God as our Father, with our Father’s nature in us. Contrast this with 1 John 1:8, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” John precedes this statement with, “If we walk [our life choices, where our minds dwell, the way we choose to act] in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” This refers to soul, where our minds think, where we let ideas grow and where we decide our actions. If our minds dwell in the light of God, we are free from sin through Christ’s blood destroying sin’s hold on us (Rom. 6:6) and us not submitting ourselves again to sin, with the reinforcement of fellowship with other Christians, who are to encourage, edify, and even rebuke us when our flesh starts taking over again. By the way, this also speaks against the world’s lie that we are not to judge, for we are encouraged to rebuke when we see a fellow Christian slipping. We hold each other accountable and challenge each other to stay true to Christ, not disregarding His sacrifice and losing our testimony to the world. Repentance of sin is not to re-crucify Christ. In 2 Corinthians 7, Paul encourages believers to repentance—which is an attitude of the mind, a remorse for guilt and wrong-doing. “For, when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears” (v. 5) Here Paul is pointing to areas where flesh has taken over. Then he says, “For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent… Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner…for godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter” (vv. 8-11). The verse referring to crucifying Christ again is Hebrews 6:6, and we need to look at its context. Chapter 6 picks up the discussion from chapter 5 and is addressing the teaching of doctrines. “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit. For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.” (Hebrews 5:12-6:6) The point here is for Christians to not allow doctrine to become the focus of their lives nor their conversation. Instead, stay focused on the gospel of salvation solely through Christ’s Cross and grace, not by doctrines. This echoes the teaching in 1 Corinthians 1, where Paul addressed the infighting among the church at Corinth about the doctrine of baptism. Paul wrote, “Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.…For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.” (vv. 13-17). Then Paul discussed not relying on the wisdom of the world, man’s reasoning, which is foolishness to God. “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God” (1 Cor. 18). I hope this helps Christians better understand their salvation, their life in Christ, and the walk as Christians. And I thank you for the exhilarating Bible study your question instigated. Sincerely, Teresa Ferraro

Leave a Comment

* Required