Christ came to give us new life in the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
When discussing the new nature we find that it is also identified in Scripture as being â€śin Christ.â€ť When we read these two words we must understand that they are depicting our Spiritual nature. Who we are in Christ is who we are Spiritually. We find our new life, our Spiritual life, in Christ.
We have this new life but this does not mean that our old life is no longer present. We read that the old things are â€śpassed awayâ€ť and this can lead us to believe that the old nature is dead, but it is not; our flesh did not become lifeless and void of any power because we received Christ. The phrase â€śpassed awayâ€ť comes from a word that means â€śto come near or alongside.â€ť This new Spiritual nature you received came near or alongside the old nature of the flesh. We now have two natures and we must be aware of this. If we fail to realize that there are two parts to each one of us we will struggle through our lives as Christians.
The old nature, or the flesh, is our identity apart from Christ; it is who we are outside of Christ. This nature has no desire to be Spiritual. This nature hates the things of God. This nature participates only in sin; it is impossible for this nature to do anything Spiritual. When we sin we must understand that we are operating in our carnal nature. We do not sin because we do not love God or because we are what some call â€śbadâ€ť Christians; we sin because we are in the flesh. It is just that simple. We do not have to wonder why we fall into the same sin over and over. We do not have to wonder why we do the things that we hate doing. When we understand what our flesh is and what it accomplishes we can avoid futile speculation. We can simply know that our flesh produces flesh.
Romans 7:18 NIV I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.
Romans 3:10-13 NIV As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one."
Nothing good, nothing Spiritual, dwells in the flesh. We are void of God in our flesh. In understanding this, we might ask, â€śWhy did God leave us with the flesh?â€ť
Romans 8:20-21 NIV For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the One who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
The seventh and eighth chapters of Romans tell us that the flesh is a frustration (no kidding!). They also tell us that our Creator left us with this frustration on purpose and it then goes on to tell us why. He left us with our flesh in hope that we would find true freedom as a child of God. The purpose our flesh serves is to lead us to Christ! The flesh should make us feel so helpless that we run to Christ for the Spiritual help we require, but too many people assume that they can handle it on their own, in their flesh. When our flesh is not leading us to the Spirit it is not doing the work God designed it to do.
Our new nature, the Spirit, is our identity in Christ. It is who we are because of our union with Jesus. This nature cannot sin; it is impossible for the Spiritual nature to produce anything other than Spiritual fruit. If we are producing any Spiritual fruit we must appreciate what is taking place; we are producing Spiritual fruit because we are walking in the Spirit. We cannot produce Spiritual fruit outside of Christ. We do not produce Spiritual fruit because we are â€śgreatâ€ť Christians or because we love God enough; we produce Spiritual fruit because we know that we require the Word and we abide in it. We fill ourselves with the Word of God and the Word produces Spiritual fruit in our lives. Spirit gives birth to Spirit.
The Bible states that â€śall things become new;â€ť the new nature comes into being or is brought out in us when we focus on who we are in Christ. Our union with Christ makes us Spiritual beings. This new nature will not take center-stage in your life as long as you are spotlighting the old nature. We have to let go of the old life if we want to take possession of the new life. We must begin to see ourselves according to who we are in Christ.