(The difficulty of living in two natures.)
John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
John 17:14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
That there are two distinct births of the believer is clearly set forth in the scriptures. There is the natural birth – Psalm 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. And there is the spiritual birth – John 3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
And that these two births continue to pursue the lifestyles of their own character is not disputed. Galatians 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
Therefore a life time of contradiction is given to the believer as he is truly in this world, but no longer of this world! Listen to the struggles that the Apostle Paul had in this situation. Romans 7:15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. 16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. 17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
And from that experience he writes the following to help the believers of Galatia: Galatians 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. 18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
Here is how the Amplified Bible sets forth that seventeenth verse: “For the desires of the flesh are opposed to the (Holy) Spirit, and the (desires of the) Spirit are opposed to the flesh (Godless human nature); for these are antagonistic to each other – continually withstanding and in conflict with each other – so that you are not free but are prevented from doing what you desire to do.”
These have a different outlook at life. 2 Corinthians 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. 5:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
Of course the spiritual man takes notice of the things which are seen by everyone else. But he does not dwell on them as if that was all there was to be considered. For he can spiritually contemplate the things which are not seen, which those with only the natural eye cannot perceive. He does not allow the news commentator, his unregenerate acquaintances, or even his own natural emotions to interpret life for him. For he dwells on a higher, spiritual plain that sees things from the eyes of faith.
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good report. 3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. 6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
With his clear-sightedness, the Lord Jesus called Peter “Satan,” when Peter attempted to keep him from the cross. But he called Judas “friend” when he betrayed him, which aided him to get to his cross. He knew when a friend was acting out of sinful emotions to keep him from his ordained duty. And he knew when an enemy, although betraying him for money, was being used of the Father in order to get him to the cross. Here is his expressed attitude concerning his going to the cross. John 12:27 Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. John 14:31 But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.
And there is that same kind of spiritual insight within the true believer. For they have been given His Spirit (Holy Spirit), to have spiritual discernment also. John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. 15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
The Holy Spirit within the hearts of every believer interprets all things for them. 1 John 2:20 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. 27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.
And they have a spiritual anticipation (a heavenly hope), concerning things which they can only see by the eye of faith. Romans 8:24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? 25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
Hebrews 11:25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; 26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. 27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.
And their outlook at life is different because they have a different kind of life! Colossians 3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, (Salvation is a resurrection from the deadness of sin. See John 5:25,26.), seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
Ephesians 2:1 And you hath he quickened, (that is, given you spiritual life), who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
Therefore a believer is not a man on earth looking towards heaven. That’s only a religionist! A true believer is a man in heaven looking back towards the earth! His mind and heart are seated in a heavenly awareness, giving him the ability to discern life from a consciousness of God!
The unsaved can only “mind earthly things.” But the true believer, born from above, has his manner of life, as it were, in heaven; Philippians 3:18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.) 20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
Then these born of the Spirit (John 3:8), have an entirely different wisdom! 1 Corinthians 1:20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. 22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: 23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.
The wisdom of the true believer is not just bare itnellegiance! His wisdom, given him by the Holy Spirit inseparably comes with a character of inner purity and kindness. James 3:13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. 14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. 15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. 16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. 18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.
Therefore one’s obedience to the doctrine of Christ outwardly, reveals his inner relationship to God. 2 John 9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
For even though the entire world may be contained in spiritual darkness, the true believer has been given an inner, spiritual understanding concerning the things of God! 1John 5:19 And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness. 20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.
The newest believer, just born of the spirit has more discerning wisdom than the unbeliever with the highest I.Q. 1 Corinthians 6:1 Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? 2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? 4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.
And then lastly, the true believer has a different walk. Galatians 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. And it is the Holy Spirit that directs and guides every true believer. Isaiah 30:21 And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. Psalm 25:8 Good and upright is the LORD: therefore will he teach sinners in the way. 9 The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.
1 Peter 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: 1 John 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
The spiritually born believer is a new creation in Christ Jesus. 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. Revelation 21:5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
And he walks in this newness of life in a whole new world which the Redeemed brought in as he sent the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Isaiah 65:17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. 66:22 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain. Revelation 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Acts 2:2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost,
Pastor Gene Breed
February 3, 2018