The Conflict of Two Natures

“Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41)

I read this passage this morning in the context of the Lord’s Prayer to the Father at Gethsemane. When I read it the Lord revealed something to me that I had understood but not fully grasped. I am born again! I understood that prior to this, but did not fully grasp the context of what that means. Needless to say this has been a wonderful day of revelation from the Lord.

Jesus said to the Pharisee Nicodemus; "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God……"unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3:3,5-6)

According to Ephesians 2:2-3 there are these three:
1. The world
2. The spirit
3. The flesh

Jesus said, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.” (John 6:63) When we preach the gospel we tell people to REPENT AND BELIEVE IN THE GOSPEL. The word Repent is translated from a Greek word METANOEO, which means to think differently, to reconsider, or change your mind. Or another way that you could say it would be, have a different spirit. We know from Ephesians 2:1 that prior to being born again we were dead in our trespasses and sins, and we truly were. We were dead to God. Christ Jesus came in human flesh and redeemed our soul in His blood through faith. The man who truly believes in Christ Jesus has been born again and saved from the wrath of God for his sins. “Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.” (Romans 5:9) He is a new creature, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

As stated earlier there are these three:
1. The world
2. The spirit
3. The flesh.

I ask you, of these three which one is new for the man who has been born again? Is it the world, did he change or did the world around him change? Is it his flesh, did he get a new body, as Nicodemus asked the Lord; did he enter into his mother’s womb a second time? The world around him did not change, and his flesh did not change. What changed, what was made new? It is the Spirit that now dwells within him, the Spirit of God. The Lord has given us His Spirit as a pledge that we belong to Him. (See Galatians 5:5)

We know that one day this world will be destroyed with fire and in its place will be a new heaven and new earth. “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea.” (Revelation 21:1) We also know that one day we will take off this body of corruption and put on a new body, our heavenly body. “For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked. For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life. Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge.” (Galatians 5:1-5)

Prior to being born again the spirit that was working inside you was “the prince of the power of the air”, that is Satan. For the man who has been born again, Satan has been vanquished and Christ has been lifted up; “Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself." (John 12:32-33)

Now the man who has been born again has received a new nature, the Spirit of Christ. You remain in a world opposed to God and also in flesh that sets its desires against the Spirit. There is a continual battle for dominance that goes on with the man of God all the days that he walks the earth between the flesh and Spirit. The desires of the flesh are self serving; the desires of the Spirit are to love God and other people. As a believer is sanctified, the Spirit has dominance over the flesh, but the flesh is not redeemed and always opposed to the Spirit. “For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.” (Galatians 5:17)

I am writing this to you brethren as a warning. Never think that you have dominance over your flesh, never think you have victory over your flesh, and never think your flesh has been redeemed. Your soul/life has been redeemed by the grace of God by the blood of Christ Jesus through faith in Him alone. The Father has given you to the Son, granting you repentance and faith, giving you His Spirit as a pledge. Never brothers and sisters consider your flesh redeemed, because it is not, and is always opposed to the Spirit of God. One day we will take off this earthly tent and put on a heavenly tent, but until then, a battle rages within. “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.” (1 Corinthians 10:12) “Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41)

A Slave of Jesus Christ