SPIRIT NATURE: AKA Spirit man
Along with a sinful nature, we are also spirit in nature. We are created in God’s image, and God is spirit. It is His spirit he breathed in Adam to give him life, and we too, have this same spirit.
“The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” Genesis 2:7 NIV
“God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.” John 4:24 NIV
Scripture concludes that when the sinful nature is allowed to continue, it remains dominant in a believer’s life, the spirit nature is then recessive and in fact complies with the will of sin. The way to conquer the sinful nature is what scripture calls dying to self.
This does NOT mean self-dying, rather self-denying, or to further illustrate the concept we are to do away with dependence on self. The only way that one can literally die to self is through water baptism and through Jesus and the Cross.
“And He said, Verily I say unto you, except you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of Heaven.” Matthew 18:2-4 NIV
The above passage speaks toward our conversion by water baptism allowing us to be born-again, and becoming like a child who is totally, and utterly- completely dependant on its parents, the same is required of believers, to become dependent exclusively unto Jesus Christ and the cross. Failure to comply causes unbelief and allows one to remain in constant bondage and struggle.
The things that we think are good for us, are in fact enticements, and are ways of this world; they cause us to forsake our first love when in truth we need to forsake our old ways allowing the sin nature to become dormant.
This is easier said than done! I have to admit, the ways of the world, are very alluring and most of us want to be apart of it in some way or another. It is a seemingly impossible task to lay ourselves down and place our faith in Jesus and the cross, but it is something we must do and it is the only way to win the battle against sin, there is no other way.
“Because this nation has violated the covenant that I laid down for their forefathers and has not listened to me, I will no longer drive out before them any of the nations Joshua left when he died. I will use them to test Israel and se whether they will keep the way of the Lord and walk in it as their forefathers did.” Judges 2:21-22
Although this is Old Testament teaching, the example speaks truth to this very day. If we place our faith in Jesus, God will enable us to live in victory from sin, but if we do not do so and allow our faith to be led elsewhere, even in partiality God will allow sin to come into our lives and use it as a test, or obstacle to see how faithful we really are. It is never meant to harm us, but it is allowed so that we can see the error of our ways and turn back all our attention and faith back onto Him!
Most often times God gets the blame for things going wrong in our lives and many will place judgment on God in prayer, “Why have you done this to me! I have not done anything to deserve this! I haven’t done anything wrong!” when in fact it is not he that is imperfect, it is we, who are in every sort of way. Unless we shift our faith onto Jesus, there will be no way to lay down the sinful nature, which breeds sinful desires within us.
Believers have to be brought to the place of complete dependence on Christ for everything because this allows the sinful nature within us to become dormant, and that is the only way we can achieve victory.
“I am the Vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without Me you can do nothing” John 15:3-5 NIV
This above scripture speaks about how believers are like the branches and Jesus is the vine, the life-giving source that enables fruit to grow from the branches. The branches have to be completely and totally dependant on the vine in order to bear fruit. If the vine is corrupt, the branches are corrupt, but we have an incorruptible vine, so the fault lies within the branches, trying to take nutrients from somewhere else, by some other means, some branches even sap the energy from other branches but in the end, all that is corrupt has to be cut off.
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that bears not fruit he takes away and every branch that bears fruit, He purges it, that it may bring forth more fruit” John 15:1-2 NIV
Sometimes when we begin to bear fruit, it is purged, just like a gardener tending to the little bit of developing fruit and clips it off to allow the bigger fruit a better chance to develop, but as God is our gardener, He clips off all fruit in order to strengthen the branch. This process is absolutely difficult to bear. However, endure we must.
“Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons.” Hebrews 12:7 NIV
“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on however it PRODUCES a HARVEST of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
Hebrews 12:11 NIV (Capitalizations added)
“after you have suffered a little while, he will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” 1 Peter 5:10 NIV
The fruit that believers bear most often is grown with self in mind and this may have an outward appearance of glorious ripening, but on the inside, the nutritional value it bears is everything from the natural, or sinful- selfish gains. It is through judgment that purging takes place and we should always be thankful that the branch is not tossed into the fire along with the fruit!
Sometimes the discipline is so great and some if not most Christians cannot withstand the strength and duration of the suffering, they give into the desires of their “fleshly man” and in doing so turn away from the cross- (hopefully not for long) but sometimes for good. This action is what cuts one off from the redeeming quality of Jesus Christ altogether!
“If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire, and burned.” John 15:6 NIV
“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” John 15:7-8 NIV
The above scripture is INTEGRAL to one’s belief- and the way one prays. The order of what Jesus says is ever most important. Jesus says that IF we ask in His name AFTER we have undergone purging and testing and have come to a complete dependence on Him it is THEN we will receive what we ask for- NEVER before! This is why so many prayers are answered in emptiness! And this is why some people enter into their prayers with doubt and subtle unreliance on God!
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.” John 15:16 NIV
what exactly is this fruit?
( Please see SPIRITUAL FRUIT DEFINED to continue with this study.)