Questions & Answers
Q: I am a Christian and have been taught that I have two natures: my old sin nature and my new nature in Christ. If that is true, how can I hope to ever stop committing sin?
A: The concept that you have two natures confuses you because this contradicts Galatians 2:20–"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me." We are not born with two natures but are born with the ability to choose between two operators, either Christ or Satan. Because of the fall of Adam and Eve, we are born sinners, doomed to eternal damnation for our sins. We are bound to Satan, and he expresses his sin existence through us. But when we admit that we are sinners and accept the shed blood of Jesus Christ as our savior, we are no longer bound to Satan but, instead, live in union with Jesus Christ. He lives His life out through us.
This new union with Christ doesn’t mean that we cannot sin. We are tempted in our soul with thoughts and feelings. When we choose in our spirit to go with these temptations, we commit sin. The sin invariably involves unbelief that we are just ourselves, not Jesus Christ living His life through us. As Paul says in Romans 7:17 and 20, "No longer am I the one doing it, but sin which indwells me." What a clear parallel to Galatians 2:20. In neither verse are we just ourselves-neither sin nor righteousness is intrinsic to us, but are the products of another.
As Christians, we do not sin because an old nature wells up from inside us, uncontrollably making a sin choice. We sin because we make a self-centered, Satan choice, opening the door for him to come inside and express sin through us. If we possessed a sinful nature, we would always be at war with a part of our-selves, battling an unavoidable, inherent tendency to sin. With the belief that Jesus Christ lives in us, we avoid sin by simply affirming our union relationship with Him.
Q : I know that God is total love and that He intends everything that hap-pens for good, including the extremely painful physical condition I have. Could you help me understand how to see my suffering the way God does?
A: Suffering isn’t in the body; it’s inside us. How we take it is our whole key. We know how to take it now–how to take suffering and turn it around. We move in and believe, affirming our Christ-I reality: Christ, Himself living in us as us. That’s O. And our bodies show the inner harmony-not suffering, but glory; not I, but Christ; not death, but resurrection life.
So there’s constant opportunity for the inner conquests of faith in every kind of adverse condition. In the walk and warfare of faith, we experience new ways of proving the goodness of God in all kinds of deliverances. Sometimes the highest for some has been martyrdom and extreme sufferings in faith looking toward the resurrection, as it says in Hebrews 11:35-38, "Of whom the world was not worthy."
In all these sufferings, the watching hungry world is seeing our inner victories outwardly demonstrated in peace, joy, hope, faith, and love for our enemies. They see Christ manifest in our bodies "whether by life or by death" (Phil. 1:20). And countless others are inspired to follow the same way.
More Articles from The Intercessor, Vol 14 No 1
- What is this Human Self of Ours?
- Editor’s Note
- Moments with Meryl
- A Look at a Book
- Tony’s Testimony
- Zerubbabel Focus: Z Youth!
- British Conference Report
- Musings on the British Conference
- Bible Study: Undiscovered Self
- Body, Soul, and Spirit
- Questions & Answers
- Area Fellowship News: Boone
- The Mailbox
- Tape Talk
- New York Conference Report
- Youth Report: Fall Harvest in New York
- Anatomy of Unbelief
- Need–Evidence of Supply
- Words to Live By…