Faith: Saving man’s nature
Mankind was the masterpiece of God’s creation — created to have fellowship with God and exercise dominion over all the earth. Sin separated man from God and wreaked havoc in man’s spirit, sending destructive shockwaves into his mind, will, emotions and body.
Lucifer’s wicked plot resulted in him gaining rule over the world’s kingdoms and systems. Jesus called Satan “the ruler of this world” three times in the book of John. God’s redemptive plan was to free man from sin and Satan’s power, and lift us back into a position of dominion.
This plan was executed through what Jesus did in His great suffering, substitution and resurrection from death. Sin’s disfiguring effect on mankind was reversed in Christ. You see, sin is a twister and has a warping effect. Its influence becomes obvious when you see God’s original design and then observe the way it has become distorted. We could speak of obvious examples today in the areas of gender and sexuality, but I want to speak to a different part of sin’s twisted destruction in humanity; the effect of sin in the human nature and constitution.
According to the Bible, man is a spirit, has a soul (mind, will, and emotions) and lives in a body. Sin’s effect in man twisted up the order and operations in human nature. Jesus’ redemption, along with the believers’ spiritual growth, restores divine order in the same. Consider these observations by James Stalker in his book, “The Life of Saint Paul.”
“The nature of man, according to Paul, normally consists of three sections — body, soul and spirit. In his original constitution these occupied definite relations of superiority and subordination to one another, the spirit being supreme, the body undermost, and the soul occupying the middle position. But the fall disarranged this order, and all sin consists in the usurpation by the body or the soul of the place of the spirit. In fallen man these two inferior sections of human nature, which together form what Paul calls the Flesh, or that side of human nature which looks toward the world and time, have taken possession of the throne and completely rule the life, while the spirit, the side of man which looks toward God and eternity, has been dethroned and reduced to a condition of inefficiency and death.
“Christ restores the lost predominance of the spirit of man by taking possession of it by his own Spirit. His Spirit dwells in the human spirit, vivifying it and sustaining it in such growing strength that it becomes more and more the sovereign part of the human constitution. The man ceases to be carnal and becomes spiritual; he is led by the Spirit of God and becomes more and more harmonious with all that is holy and divine. The flesh does not, indeed, easily submit to the loss of supremacy. It clogs and obstructs the spirit and fights to regain possession of the throne. Paul has described this struggle in sentences of terrible vividness, in which all generations of Christians have recognized the features of their deepest experience.”
2 Corinthians 5:17 says “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new.”
God recreates man’s spirit when we believe in Him. He then asks us to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice to Him and to renew our mind by the power of His Word. Our spirit then becomes the supreme part of our nature once again and we begin to live in communion with God each day.
Jason Haskell is pastor of New Creation Church in Craig and a missionary to the nations. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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