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January 21, 2018
None deny that believers are people with two natures, except those who have just one.
Š I am scheduled to preach Tuesday and Wednesday for San Diego Grace Fellowship, San Diego, CA and Friday-Sunday for Rescue Baptist Church, Rescue, CA, where Bro. Gene Harman is pastor. Bro. Todd Nibert, pastor of Todds Road Grace Church in Lexington, KY will preach here Tuesday night.
Š We will have a fellowship dinner together after the service this morning. There will be no service here tonight.
Happy Birthday! Jim Grant-26th
Nursery Duty This Week: Jayalita McCormack (AM) Tuesday: Celeste Peterson
“A Brand Plucked out of Fire” — Don Fortner
(Tune: #222 — There is a Fountain —CM)
1. Awake, my soul, the grace admire
That saved my guilty soul,
That plucked me from eternal fire,
Eternal joys to know.
2. I was a wretched, withered brand,
Cast out in sin and shame;
But Jesus Christ stretched forth His hand,
And plucked me from the flame!
3. Though Satan, sin, and earthly cares,
With my own flesh conspire,
My Savior holds me and declares,
He’ll save me from the fire.
4. The fiend of hell in disarray,
And disappointed stands,
While all his legions hear him say,
“This is a rescued brand.”
This hope my soul inspires: —
I’ll stand in Christ at heaven’s bar
“A brand plucked out of fire!”
The Two Natures
Every believer is a person with two distinct natures, which are diametrically opposed to one another and constantly at war with one another, the flesh and the spirit.
That man who is born again is two men in one. Inside him, in his soul the company of two armies are at war. There is within him a man of sin, the flesh, and a holy man of righteousness, the spirit, Adam and Christ. And these two men are at war with one another. They never agree. And there is no possibility of a truce between them.
Paul speaks of these two natures as “I,” the new man, and “sin,” the old man, “another law in my members,” sin, and “the law of my mind,” righteousness. In Galatians 5:17 he calls these two natures “the flesh” and “the spirit.” In both places he is telling us that every converted man is a new man in Christ Jesus, but that the old man of nature remains with him. All that I am by nature is the old man, Adam. All that I am by grace is the new man, Christ. John describes these two natures as “the children of God” who “cannot sin” and “the children of the devil” who cannot do righteousness (1 John 3:6-10).
The Old Man
Every child of God in this world is still a child of Adam. When we talk about “the flesh,” we are not talking about these physical bodies, or even those things that are necessary for physical life and happiness. We are talking about the old Adamic nature that is in all men. By birth, we have this evil nature of sin. And the new birth does not destroy the old nature, eradicate the old nature, or improve the old nature. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh.” It is always flesh, and nothing else but flesh.
I do not say that sin lurks in the flesh, but rather that sin is the flesh. I do not say that the flesh is prone to sin, but rather that the flesh is sin. Some foolishly imagine that the flesh gradually becomes spirit, but it never shall. The flesh is not to be cured, but crucified. It is not to be sanctified, but slain.
The New Man
But, thank God, there is another nature in every believer. In regeneration, God does not repair the old man and dress him up. He creates a new man within us. He has implanted within us the incorruptible seed of the Word of God which lives and abides forever making us “partakers of the divine nature” and “new creatures” in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 Peter 1:23; 1 John 3:1-10).
That which is within us, which is born of God, is the very nature of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:4).
That “new man created in righteousness and true holiness,” that holy nature created in us, cannot sin, because it is born of God. It has no tendency toward sin, no appetite for sin, or taint of sin. It is holy. All its appetites are heavenly. All its thoughts are holy. All its desires are toward Christ. That new nature, the new man, created in us and the old nature, the old man, are diametrically opposed to one another.
“The Company of Two Armies”
Song of Solomon 6:13
Being convinced of her own sin, being full of shame, the church of Christ confesses her frustration with herself. She thinks that there is no beauty in her, nothing in her that her Beloved could want to see. — “What will ye see in the Shulamite? As it were the company of two armies.”
She is saying, “There is nothing in me but conflict and confusion. In my heart two armies are at war. If you look upon me, you will see a raging battle, good fighting evil, light contending with darkness. I am not worth looking upon. I am a house divided against itself.” Is there something in that language that you can relate to, something that is true to your experience?
This is a true and accurate description of God’s people. All God’s elect experience inward conflicts between the flesh and the Spirit continually.
Old and New
There is within me two natures, two hearts, and two wills that are mutual enemies: the old man and the new, sin and holiness, Adam and Christ. The one hates God; the other loves him. The one hates the law of God; the other loves it. The one is of the earth, earthy; the other is of heaven, heavenly.
All believers have a new, holy, righteous, heavenly nature. — “I delight in the law of God after the inward man” (Romans 7:22). Grace does make a difference in a person. The man who is born of God is not the same as the man who is dead in sin. He has an entirely new nature within him. And this new nature is what he truly is.
That new nature may be weak and seem to struggle for existence, but it is there; and it reigns over the passions of the flesh. The passions of the flesh are as great as ever; but they no longer control the believer. Grace has made us kings over the enemies that dwell in our hearts.
The flesh and the spirit are constantly at war with one another. Paul wrote, “I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind.” “The flesh lusteth against the spirit.” The lion will not lie down with the Lamb in our hearts. Fire will not be at peace with water. Death will not sign a truce with life. Sin will not submit to holiness. — “The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.”
Though Satan has been bound and Christ enthroned in our hearts, Satan’s loyal servants within us, though they are under the sentence of death, put their heads together and constantly plot to recapture the throne of our hearts.
The lusts of the flesh are the traitors who live within us. They wait until you are quiet, peaceful, and secure. Then, they suddenly lay hold of you with all hellish power, flooding your soul with every evil imagination! The flesh will give you great ease, comfort, and security in the outward deeds of religious service, and make you content with the mere form of religion. The flesh loves law and seeks to turn us to legal works. The flesh is never more dangerous to your soul than when it appears to be completely subdued!
Church of Danville
2734 Old Stanford Road-Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438
Telephone (859) 576-3400 — Email Don@DonFortner.com
Schedule of Regular Services
Sunday 10:00 A.M. Bible Classes
10:30 A.M. Morning Worship Services
6:30 P.M. Evening Worship Service
Tuesday 7:30 P.M. Mid-Week Worship Service