Two Natures in the Child of God, The


Two Natures in the Child of God, The

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By  E.W. Bullinger (1837-1913)

Book Review by Robert Guenther
This controversial work describes the experience of every true believer after his conversion to Christianity. Prior to our conversion we were in bondage to sin: our old nature had no choice but to sin. When we came know Christ Jesus as our personal Saviour, we were given a special gift, life in Christ Jesus, which give us a new awareness, a new nature.

Through our union with Christ we have been freed from sin (Romans 6:18). We now, however, begin to experience a struggle within ourselves, a struggle between the spirit and the sinful nature. Galatians 5:17 says “For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit... They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want”. (NIV) We now have two completely different natures existing within one personality.

To have this conflict and not understand that this happens to every true believer can bring about confusion and depression. To know what is happening and not do anything about it is a deliberate choice to sin. This can be seen and Romans Chapters 6-8 as Paul struggles with himself.

Although the terms “new nature” and “old nature” are not used in the Bible, our author uses them to describe the very real characteristics of the Spirit and the sinful nature. The names the Bible give to the old nature are: the flesh, natural man, old man, outward man, heart, carnal man, and sin. We learn three important things about this old nature.

1. It cannot be changed. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh…” (John 3:6).
2. All the efforts to improve the flesh end in corruption and death (Galatians 6:8).
3. Its end is death (Romans 8:16).

The names for the new nature in the Bible are: Spirit, Divine nature, the new man, inward man, the mind, Pneuma-Christou and Pneuma-Theou. We learn three things here as well.

1. It cannot be changed. “…that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit.” (John 3:6).
2. It is life and peace. (Romans 8:6).
3. Its end is resurrection.

The remainder of this booklet explains our responsibilities to these two natures. As the new nature reveals the presence of the old, we are called upon to put off the old nature. We have the power of God through Christ to do this. We are told to feed the new nature with the Word of God in daily study and prayer. We believe that the truths contained in this short work need to be completely understood by the new Christian in order to keep him from becoming discouraged.