The Believer's Two Natures - WHICH NATURE SHALL I GRATIFY?


George Cutting
The Old Nature

We have seen that there are not only two natures, but that, with their different origins, they have widely different tastes; thus, there are "the things of the flesh" and "the things of the Spirit." Let us not forget that both these natures will be daily calling our attention to their distinctive cravings. See those two young birds in that hedge-sparrow's nest; both are clamorous for food. The young cuckoo, that was hatched there, cries, "Feed me;" and the little hedge-sparrow, in the same nest cries, "Feed me.'' So with the two natures; only that while both those nestlings thrive on the same kind of food, the two natures in a Christian cannot, for what feeds the old only starves the new; while that which is food for the new is thoroughly distasteful to the old.

We are told, therefore, in Romans xiii. 14, to make no provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof; and in 1 Peter ii. 11, to abstain from "fleshly lusts, which war against the soul." On the other hand we are exhorted, "As newborn babes, to desire the sincere milk of the word, that we may grow thereby" (1 Peter ii. 2). Let us, then, be like vigilant sentries on the watch, challenging all that we read, or think, or do, or say, with this test: Will this be food for the renewed nature, or will it minister to the flesh? Let us allow nothing to pass muster that would do the latter. Peter warns us that it is our fleshly lusts which "war against the soul." How many a difficulty would this simple question settle for us! And let us never forget that, apart altogether from the question of the salvation of the soul, there are practical consequences in this world, both to our "sowing to the flesh" and "sowing to the Spirit." "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap" (Gal. vi. 7). So that if we "sow to the flesh" we may surely expect to "reap corruption." But let us never allow the government of our Father's hand to diminish our confidence in the love of our Father's heart.

May increased tenderness of conscience and distrust of self be ours, dear fellow-believer. May Christ Himself be more and more our daily food—His precious Word our constant delight.