The Believer's Two Natures - GOD'S FACTS AND OUR EXPERIENCES

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George Cutting
The Old Nature

THOSE who have much to do with the difficulties and exercises of the newly-converted, are constantly hearing some such expression as this: "I thought I was saved once, but I now begin to fear that after all I've only been deceiving myself. Not only do I feel no better in myself, but, if anything, even worse than before I professed to be converted."

Now, in such cases, one generally finds that it is not so much their sins that trouble them, as the heart-sickening disappointment they feel, as more and more the truth is forced upon them, that their new birth has not only effected no improvement in their evil nature, but that that nature seems much worse than before their conversion. Then comes many a fruitless effort to improve it; but, alas! only to end in deeper wretchedness than ever. In such a state of soul Satan finds but too fitting an opportunity of hurling his terrible darts. He suggests that they are only miserable hypocrites, professing to be what they know they are not; that they had far better give up the whole thing, come out in their true colours, and own that they have never been converted at all!

Oh, what intense soul-agony do such assaults cause, when, as yet, true liberty is unknown! and only those who have really passed through such exercises can have any conception of their untold bitterness. It is with a desire to encourage and help such that this little book is sent forth.

Many believers pass through the sorest distress because they are continually searching their own hearts for evidence that they have been truly [saved]. "When I compare my daily experience with the plain truths in. God's word," such a soul will say, "I begin to fear that I am not born again at all. For example, I see in the first Epistle of John three absolute facts stated about the one who is 'born of God,' and I cannot answer to even one of them, do what I will.
 1st. He does not... and cannot sin. (1 John 3:9).
 2nd. He overcometh the world. (1 John 5:4).
 3rd. The wicked one toucheth him not. (1 John 5:18).

Now, in the face of such a scripture, I am bound to confess—
  1st. That I can, and, alas! do sin.
  2nd. That instead of my overcoming the world, it constantly overcomes me.
  3rd. That the enemy has defeated me times without number—thus he does touch me.

"Is there any wonder, therefore, in the perplexity or even the alarm that I often feel in contemplating such a scripture, in the face of such an experience as mine?"

Well, it must be confessed there is not; but let us say for your comfort that those who are "dead in their sins" never experience such conflict. It is only converted ones who really desire to answer to the thoughts and wishes of God. The unconverted "desire not the knowledge of His ways." They have "no fear of God before their eyes." (Rom. 3:18).

But let us return.  We have been noticing one impossibility; viz., "Whosoever is born of God cannot sin." Let us also look at another (Rom. 8:7-8), "The carnal mind" (literally 'mind of the flesh') "is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God." Mark well these important contrasts:
  1. The one who is "in the flesh—as "born of the flesh"—"cannot please God."
  2. The one who is "born of God cannot sin."

It may be well here to state what is meant by "the flesh" in the subject before us. It is the evil or fallen nature, in every child of Adam, poisoned by indwelling sin. It is the real source of every sinful action performed by him.