Bible Study Outlines
Volume 3, Lesson 11
by C.I. Scofield
The Believer's Two Natures
The Scriptures teach that every redeemed person is the possessor of two natures. One is received by natural birth, which is wholly and helplessly bad. The other is a new nature received through the new birth, which is the nature of God Himself, and therefore wholly good.
- The natural man (born of the flesh)
The new man (born of the Spirit)
Conflict between the two natures
- Psalm 51:5 - "Shapen in iniquity"
- 1Corinthians 2:14 - "Receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God"
- Mark 7:21-23 - "All these evil things come from within"
- Ephesians 4:22 - "The old man, which is corrupt"
- Romans 8:8 - "They that are in the flesh cannot please God"
- John 6:63 - "The flesh profiteth nothing"
- Romans 8:7 - "The carnal mind is enmity against God"
- Jeremiah 17:9 - "Deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked"
By these it appears that the unbeliever has a three-fold incapacity. He may be gifted, cultured, friendly, generous, religious -- or all these together, but he can neither please, obey, nor understand God. The believer, while still having his old nature, has received a new nature which, "after God is created in righteousness and true holiness" (Ephesians 4:24).
Our Helper (the Holy Spirit)
- Romans 7:14-21 - "What I hate, that I do"
Study carefully the battle between the two "I's" -- the old Saul and the new Paul. It is an experience like this which so perplexes and discourages young converts, and leads them to doubt their acceptance with God.
Crucified with Christ
- Galatians 5:16-18 - "Walk in the Spirit... led of the Spirit"
- Romans 8:12,13 - "Ye through the Spirit do mortify [subdue] the deeds of the body"
The new man has a mighty helper in the indwelling Spirit, and the secret of victory over the natural man is to walk in the Spirit.
The Scriptures do not teach that it is God's purpose to improve, or make over, the old nature. The expression, "a change of heart," is not found in the Word. The Scriptures do teach that our "old man is crucified with [Christ]" (Romans 6:6). In that sense, we "are dead," and we are called upon to make this a constant experience by mortifying (treating as dead) our old man and his desires.
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