The Nature of Man

by Lynford Heron
The Centurion Press - Posted Saturday, March 16, 2002

The reason why most of us are not experiencing a victorious life, is because we really do not understand the word of God.  The devil know that if he confuse our understanding when it comes to the word of God, then he can keep us in sin.  One subject of utmost importance is the nature of man.  It is important for us to understand who we are as soldiers fighting this spiritual war of sin.  If we do not accept our self for who we are, growth will never take place.

What is the nature of man?  Let us consult the bible to find out.
Romans 5:12
Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
The disobedience of Adam introduced sin into the world.  Adam was created perfect, but now is polluted and stained by sin.  From saint to sinner he is changed, and though him sin is passed on to all men.  Consequently...
Psalm 51:5
Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Therefore, because Adam is the father of all, we inherited a sin nature.  The Psalmist want us to understand that this world is so marred by sin that he exclaimed, "I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me."  We would have you to understand that there is nothing good about man, but that he should glory through the cross of Christ only.  Self never get better.  Self remain retched, corrupted and filthy.  The devil want us to believe that we are good, he wants us to fester righteous feelings, so that self will be deceived believing it can stand alone.  The devil want us to feel good about our self, the kind of feeling that will leave Jesus behind.

For example, Tom is attracted to Jane.  Both know that they like each other.  Many words and suggestions were communicated over the phone.  Tom knows that he should not visit Jane at home alone.  Jane is asking for bible study.  Tom well know that he should not study with a young lady by himself, especially one that he is attracted to.  However, Tom justify the situation by saying that he is going to present a study on Jesus Christ.  So, he went by Jane's house after much prayer and presented an impressive study.  He understands that he should not be in that environment with Jane, but nothing happened.  Tom feels good about himself, exclaiming to himself, "I can do this."   So he continues with the bible studies, keep visiting Jane until one evening he falls. He cannot explain it, he does not know how it happens, but they end up having sex together.  But I was doing so good, he said to himself.  He thought he had gotten better, and as much as he/we do not like to admit it, he started walking in self, deceived in believing that self can handle his situation. 

Proverbs 16:18-20
Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.
He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he.

Tom thought that he could handle the situation on his own.  He was proud.  Pride was in his heart.  So he argued with himself, "I do not need an overseer.  An overseer suggest that I am weak and I have no confidence in myself.  People are going to think just that.  I know that nothing is going to happen."  So he quenched the spirit of God talking to him, pacified himself and set off as a lamb to the slaughter.  Self does not get better friends.  We should not have any confidence in self.  The flesh will fail you.  Prevention is always better than cure.  Even Paul said, "When I think to do good, evil present itself.  The good that I would, that I do not do, and the evil that I would not, that I do."  The story of Tom is the story of many great men.  We must understand, that we cannot live off the successes of yesterday.  We need to crucify self daily.  Age has nothing to do with it either.  Sin and the devil is not a respecter of age.  Self does not get better with age.  Self remains filthy.  Therefore, we cannot be in self, we must be in Christ.  A victorious walk on this earth depends on our consistent obedience to the will of God.  We must abide in Christ on a moment by moment basis.  We should never feel that we can handle a situation by our self no matter how simple it may seem.  That's our problem, perception.  Most of us because we are not in Christ does not have the discernment of spirit to realize the spiritual attack within seemingly "simple" situations.  Let us consider what the Bible has to say about man shortly after sin entered the world.
Genesis 6:5
And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
If the imagination of our hearts were only evil continually then, what about now?
Genesis 8:21
And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.
The evil works of man got to the point where God had to send a flood and destroy man because of the wickedness that was going on in the land.  The Lord said thereafter, I will not destroy the earth again and smite all living things.  In other words, it does not make sense because man's heart is evil from his youth.  He would have to destroy all living things ever so often because man has a sin nature and we are not getting better.  Man will continue to live out the imaginations of his heart.  When man try to do good evil always present itself, and said to say most of the time we allow the devil to win. 
Romans 7:23-24
But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

The apostle Paul came to the understanding of what is going on.  He realize that he has a sin nature.  He realize that he is no good.  Sin is woven within his members.  Consequently, he cries out, "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from this body of this death?"  So rightly put, because the wages of sin is death and if sin is woven within his member, then death is the sure result.  So because Paul understand that he is not good and self does not get better, he said that he will only glory in the cross of Christ.
Jeremiah 17:9
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
By nature friends we are not good. There is a spiritual war raging around us and the devil is trying to ensnare every soul.  Do no be deceive!!  The devil is trying to keep us in self.  He want us to stay in self.  The minute we believe that we are good, the minute we believe that we have gotten better, the minute we believe we can stand in our own strength where certain situations are concerned, that is when the devil finds it a pleasure to expose the sad reality before everyone that we are retched, miserable, naked and blind. There is hope, God has a remedy.  Keep reading the punch line is coming. 
Revelations 3:17-18
Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

If our eyes were only anointed with eyeslaves we would then see the corrupt state of self so that we would glory only in the cross of Christ.  Consider Tom and Jane in the example that was given above.  His self righteous garment was removed and the shame of his nakedness did appear revealing his true spiritual condition.

Romans 3:10,12
As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.  There is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Consider the rich young ruler in Luke 18:18-23The young ruler initiated his conversation with Jesus by addressing him as good master.  The immediate response from Christ was, "Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God."  If any should be considered good, it would be Christ, right.  But he did not entertain such a salutation.  Christ was operating through the father.  He said his father sent him, his miracle was through the father, the words that he spoke came from the father, He accredited nothing that he accomplished on earth to himself.  He suppressed self and operated through the father.  His father did.  Therefore, he could not boost.  The good that I do is not of self, but the working of God in me.  He had the faith that his father would keep him from falling.  Therefore, all praise, honor and glory go to him.  

The rich young ruler in his legalistic, self-righteous condition considered himself a good person because he was keeping the law.  All these I have keep from my youth up, he said.  He perceived Christ as spiritual peer, someone of similar righteous status, and that's why he addressed him in that manner.  He was actually calling himself good.  Jesus Christ knowing the thoughts of  his heart explained unto him that God only is good.  Remember this one thing, that pride always go before a fall, the bible says.  That was the case with Tom and Jane, Satan and many others.  Many develop a "I" complex exalting themselves only to find out later on that they are retched, naked and blind.  Consider this parable....
Luke 18:9-14
And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Sad to say, but the fact is that, many profess Christians pray in like manner, thinking to themselves that they are righteous, thinking that they are good and better than others.  Friends, self stay retched, filthy and corrupted.  It is the spirit that quickeneth the bible says.  As long as we abide in Christ, in faith, then it will counted unto us for righteousness.  Paul shares further insight as to the nature of man...
Ephesians 2:3-5
Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

The bible makes it clear that by nature we are the children of wrath and our flesh and mind are corrupted.  But praise be to God, we can say, "but now I am washed by the blood of Jesus Christ and heir to the kingdom of God."  Understand now, that we are heirs only when we remain in Christ, when we remain in the spirit so that we do not fulfill the lust of the flesh.  We need to understand that self does not get better.  Not by works that any should boost.  We are not doing it.  We are only instruments that are being used by God as we allow him to do so.  The minute we walk out of the protective environment of Christ, we automatically activate our sinful corrupt nature that is always there.  But when we are in Christ it is suppressed.  We are not walking in the flesh at that point, we are walking in the spirit, therefore we do not carry out the lust of the flesh.  Paul says, "I am crucified with Christ, yet I live live.  But it is not me who is living, but Christ who live within me.  And the life that I live in the flesh I live by the faith of Jesus Christ."  Yes we are living, the flesh is still there, but when we allow Christ to enter the heart, he takes control and live out his sin free life in us.  He is doing it.  Therefore, we do not covet, fornicate, lie, steal, backbite, commit adultery, hate or bear false witness.  In the flesh we would fulfill all of the above.  So, because we are not doing it, because it is an impossible  by the efforts of man to live a righteous life, how can we boost entertaining spiritual prejudice, but only glory in the cross of Christ.  We need to understand this friends for us to have a consistent victorious life on earth that rolls on into eternity.

Consider this story...
Acts 14:6-15  -  Remember when Paul healed the crippled man through the power of the Holy Spirit at Lystra and the people wanted to worship him as a god?  What was Paul's response?  He said, "Sirs, why do ye these things?  We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein."
Paul is saying that I am not good, I am like you, of like passions, but the love of Christ constrain us.  He explained that he did not do it.  Yes, you are looking at me and you see me in the flesh, and I did it, yet it was not me.  I am not good.  Yes I am living, but it is not me who is doing it, it is Christ who live within me.  Where is my flesh, that like nature, that like passion?  It is still there, but it is suppressed, friends.  It is not operating.  I am operating in the mode of, "I am crucified with Christ.  Yes, I live, but it is not me Paul who is living, it is Christ who live in me.  And as a result of this new understanding that self does not get better, the life that I continue to live in the flesh, I am now live after the faith of Jesus Christ."  Friends, I am walking after the spirit so that I do not fulfill the lust of the flesh to live out the imagination of my corrupt fleshly nature.  Therefore, because I am not doing it, I cannot take the praise.  It is the mercy and grace of God that are keeping me.  Again I am not good.  I am sinful, naked, retched, corrupt and blind just as you are.  I am of like passion.  But because I decided to follow Jesus by, reading his words every day, keeping my mind focus on him consistently, preach the word and walk after the spirit, that is the only reason why I'm not worshiping other men and created things as God.  Dear reader, Paul did not exalt himself, he did not take the praise because he knew that the power of the Holy Spirit did it.

The bible makes it clear that, "whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased."  We are not doing it, he is.  For in him we live, and move, and have our being.  Thinking of our self as good and taking the praise as if we can do anything is a serious offense to God.  Remember what happened to Herod because he did not give God the praise?  Well, let us look at the story in Acts 12:21-23.  The bible said that worms eat him a live because he accepted the praise of the people rather than giving the praise to God. 

Will I ever have a good nature?
1 Corinthians 15:51-54
Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

Praise be to God.  Joy comes in the morning.  There is hope, because our redeemer liveth.  Christ the hope of glory.  We will be glorified on that great day.  If this was not a reality, them we would be of all men most miserable the bible says.  Yes, we shall be changed.  At the last trump, this corruption will put on incorruption and this mortal shall put on immortality.  There is hope friends.  But in this world, until that time, Christ is saying, "none is good, save one, that is, God."

Study Topics

  The Gospel
  Creation or Evolution
  Accidental Sins
  The Sabbath Day?
  Man's Nature
  Testimony or Law
  Christ or the Law
  Religious Prejudice
  Successful Marriage  


















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