Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 2 * BOOK 22
THE NEW NATURE
Now in our last lesson we left off with the last verse in Chapter 6. And remember that Paul has just been constantly hammering home our having to deal with old Adam. That sin nature with which we are born, and where the multitudes of the human race are existing., and are under the control of that old Adamic nature which is prone to rebellion, which is contrary to the will of God because it is under the control of God’s greatest adversary, and that is Satan. I just happened to think of a verse we were going to use a couple of lessons ago, and never got back to it, and it goes right in line with what I’ve just said. So turn with me to II Corinthians Chapter 4. This says it better than I could ever hope to. Here is where the human race is in such a dilemma, and those of us who are trying our best to awaken them to their needs, it’s our dilemma, because this is what we’re up against.
II Corinthians 4:3,4
“But if our gospel (ref. I Corinthians 15:1-4) be hid (and it is), it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not (who blinded them? Satan, the god of this world), lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”
Now that’s a dilemma. I mean that is something that mankind is constantly laboring under; that Satan has totally blinded their eyes to the truth of the Word of God. Now in that same light let’s use another verse that we use so often, at least in my classes during the week. Come with me back to the Book of Acts Chapter 16. I share this passage so often, in fact I did in my class last night. This is what you and I as believers have to understand, and we have to pray to this end. There is not a thing we can do until God takes away this Satan-inspired blindness. Here in Acts we have Paul and Silas teaching in the city of Philippi, in Northern Greece, and they’ve gone out to a little riverside park, and there Paul found a few Jewish women in a devotional time, they couldn’t have full synagogue services of course.
“And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither (we don’t know how many). And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple (a business lady), of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God (she was religious, but not a Christian), heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.”
See how plain that is? Here was a lady, probably in the upper crust of her day, and to be a seller of purple she had to be rather well-to-do. She was Jewish, she had a certain amount of religion and she had a certain amount of knowledge about God, but was lost. Just as lost as the ones we read about in II Corinthians Chapter 4. Her eyes were just as blinded by Satan as anybody else’s, but when Paul came on the scene, The Lord opened her spiritual understanding. The Lord opened her heart, but that in itself didn’t do it. She had to attend to the things that were spoken by Paul. And you see that’s where you and I are as believers There is nothing that you and I can do to win a lost person until The Lord opens their heart, and then when that happens we have to be there with the truth of Scripture. And as I’ve taught over the years, God has seen fit to leave His Word in the hands of human beings, not angels. Why didn’t God appoint angels to do His evangelism? Well, He saw fit to leave it in the hands of believers to share these things, and Paul says in II Corinthians Chapter 5 that we’re ambassadors for Christ.
II Corinthians 5:20
“Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.”
You know what an ambassador is? He is someone who is serving his home government, but in a foreign environment, and as that ambassador, then, we are to bring people to a reconciliation with God. But back here in Romans 6, we have been dealing with the old Adam, that we can’t do anything in ourselves, but rather it has to be a work of God to place old Adam on the Cross. He has to be crucified, he has to be put to death. Now there are several areas of death that we have to consider. Number one, as the result of Adam’s fall, is physical death. This old body is going to die if The Lord doesn’t come. It’s something that every human being is going to experience. No one except Christ Himself is going to escape physical death, that’s part of the curse. But if you remember the circles that I put on the board several lessons ago, inside this body of flesh, God has placed that invisible part of us. The personality, the ego, whatever you want to call it, and that is centered in the mind, will, and emotion. Now that mind, will, and emotion that we’re born with comprises the old Adam.
Now even though old Adam is living in this body of flesh which is going to die, we also have to appropriate a death to that old Adam to that spirit side of us, and that, of course, is where Paul is dealing the most. When we talk about old Adam having to die, that means that the old sin nature we’re born with has to die spiritually either in this life by appropriating the work of the Cross, and having him reckoned as dead in Christ, or old Adam is going to experience death at the Great White Throne, and as we saw in our last lesson, consigned to the Lake of Fire forever and ever – that’s the second death, and in the area of the spirit. Now let’s go into Chapter 7. Now I don’t claim to be a theologian by any stretch of the imagination, yet here is a chapter that theologians can discuss and argue over, and never come to any conclusions. I personally can’t see this chapter as that difficult. I find Chapter 7 a thrilling chapter, and, of course, Paul is dealing again with this same thing that we’ve been talking about. How are we going to deal with old Adam, as over against the new divine nature that Christ places in us at Salvation. Now remember that when Adam is crucified there had to be something to immediately replace him or we would be an empty entity. But God does replace old Adam with a new nature, the Divine nature that comes from God by a creative work, and that’s what we’re going to deal with now here in this chapter.
“KNOW ye not, brethren (believers), (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?”
Now he’s not just talking about the Mosaic Law here, he’s talking about law as it governs society. You and I live under the government, and the Constitution of the United States, and that constitutional law is going to be over us, and will control us till we die. But the moment we die, the American government loses all control. They can’t do anything to a dead person. Now that’s what Paul is driving at. The only way you can sever something is by death. The only way you can stop the bank from foreclosing on a mortgage is, you die, and then they can’t do anything. I gave the example of a man on trial a couple of lessons ago, he’s as guilty as can be, but before the verdict can come in he dies. The trial is then over because death has ended the whole thing. And here Paul is using this same analogy, that now we’re going to come into a marriage relationship under the civil law of the land. Whether it’s Israel or America, it makes no difference.
“For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law (not the Mosaic Law here, but rather the law of the land) to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.”
Not the husband’s dominion over her as such, but the law of the land under which they were married is going to determine how they treat their community property, and how they do all these other things under the law of the land. But when the husband dies, now what? The woman is as free as a bird, she is no longer under any of the previous demands of that husband. Why? Because he’s dead, and that settles it. Now verse 3:
“So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law (so, if her husband is dead, then she is free from the law that kept those two people together. Do you see that? That’s the law that he’s talking about. The law of the land that made them husband and wife); so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.” And now verse 4, and it’s the key to the whole concept.
“Wherefore,…” In a word he’s saying, “I’m just laying out an illustration,” that, since the law of the land has kept husband and wife together, and it lays out how they’re going to handle their property, and their wealth, and whether we like it or not there are laws stipulating how this will be done.
“Wherefore, my brethren (Paul is talking to the believers at Rome), ye also are become dead to the law (we’re talking about the law of Moses, the Mosaic system. How?) by the body of Christ;…” Now not the invisible Body that we talked about a lesson or two ago, not that invisible consortium or organism of believers baptized into Christ, the Church. But rather this body is speaking of His body of flesh with which He was crucified. Be sure you determine what we’re talking about. Now reading the verse again:
“Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law (Mosaic system) by the body of Christ (that was crucified); that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.”
Now let’s sort this all out. Paul says that just the same as a husband and wife are by the law held together, they cannot operate, or function without the law of the land being part and parcel. Well just for example, take income tax. That income tax is set up for husband and wives, you either file jointly or separately, it doesn’t make a bit of difference. Uncle Sam looks over the shoulder of you as husband and wife as long as you live, and it looks like it will always be that way. But as soon as one of those partners die, the other is free from the law that held them together. And now Paul is drawing the analogy so also the lost person is under the demands of the Mosaic law, the Ten Commandments. The lost person, whether he wants to admit it or not, is under the very anathema of God when they commit adultery, steal, kill or any of the things that are contrary to the law. Do you see that? I don’t care how anti-religious a person can be, I don’t care if he’s an atheist, those commandments of God are still hanging over him. He can’t escape them, and one day he comes before the Great White Throne, he will be judged according to that law. Don’t ever lose sight of that. The Law, the Ten Commandments are perfect, they’re righteous, they’re holy, and they’re eternal. We can’t just write them off, and say, “Oh well, that was Old Testament stuff.” No, no, it’s the eternal mind of God that’s been revealed to mankind.
Now then, if we are going to come out from under that demand of those Ten Commandments hanging over our heads, then there is only one way we can do it. We’ve got to die. Do you hear that? We have to die. Oh, not physically, but in that old Adam. And so here we go again, the same old story. Old Adam has to be crucified, and the minute he is crucified, and is dead in the eyes of God, the Ten Commandments no longer hang over him. He’s dead!
But we don’t leave it there – we pick up another relationship (it’s just like the widow who has lost her husband somewhere down the road, what is she free to do? Marry another. Absolutely! There is nothing in Scripture against that). And in this new relationship now she can be giving her allegiance to a second husband, but with old Adam we’re not dealing with the physical, we’re dealing with the spiritual, so, as soon as old Adam is crucified, and he’s reckoned as dead, immediately God reckons that we’re married, and have a new relationship, not under the Mosaic Law, but under the love, and Grace, and mercy of Christ Himself; and so we’re married to Christ. Do you see that?
Now there is somebody (and I won’t use their name on the letters they write, and I don’t even respond to them), that when I spoke of the Bride of Christ one time, the envelope (which I did not open) came all marked on the outside “Bride of Christ – Sir” Do you see what they were driving at? They thought that I was referring to the Bride of Christ and you and I as believers as female in gender. Well, this is merely a relationship, this is a position as we see when we study the Book of Ephesians. That when we’re married to Christ in the analogy of Paul’s writings it’s that union between us and Christ like a husband and wife, and, of course, Paul uses that in Ephesians Chapter 5.
“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it:”
That’s a constant analogy that Paul brings out, and here it is again in this chapter in Romans. Crucify old Adam, put him to death so that he is broken from the demands of the Ten Commandments, and be married to Christ. Let’s jump ahead a little bit here in Chapter 7, and verse 6, then I’ll come back to verse 4 and 5.
“But now (that we’re married to Christ) we are delivered from the law (most people don’t know that this verse is in their Bible, but here it is as plain as day. Now that we’re married to Christ as a result of old Adam being crucified, now we are delivered from the law), that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit,…”
The Holy Spirit that comes in and indwells us becomes our law. See, we don’t become lawless because we’re not under the Ten Commandments, because something far better takes its place, the indwelling Spirit. And contrary to nuts that are in institutions that say, “God told me to kill him,” remember God never tells someone to kill. God never tells someone to go out and break up a family and home by committing adultery. God never does any of that, but that’s what they try to say. God, the Spirit never goes contrary to the basic laws of God. The Holy Spirit will never instruct a believer to do wrong, and you know that. So let’s look at the verse again:
“But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter (the law, the Ten Commandments).” Now let’s go back up to verse 4 for a moment.
“Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.”
Now remember, fruit is that productive result of whatever it may be. In other words, you plant an apple tree, and I don’t think you plant an apple tree just for shade. Do you? I sure don’t. If I want a shade tree, then I’ll plant a shade tree, but if I want apples, then I plant an apple tree, and hope that someday in the future to receive the rewards of that tree. And what are the rewards of that tree? Fruit. It’s the same way when the groom and the bride come together in their marriage relationship under normal circumstances – their dream is to have a family. Isn’t that right? What are those children? Their fruit of that union. Now it’s the same way in the believer. When we come into this marriage relationship with Christ, what does God now look for? Fruit. And what is the fruit of a believer now married to Christ? Other believers. That’s where soul winning, and witnessing comes in – that we can win other lost people for Christ, and it becomes fruit. Now I mentioned in a previous lesson that I do not ascribe to any kind of a Christianity that just takes people by the nape of the neck and tries to push this down their throat. It doesn’t work that way. But we certainly have a concern for the spiritual needs of these lost people.
It just tears my heart out when I look at the masses of humanity, and realize that most of them are going to a Devil’s Hell. I don’t know who they are, I can’t judge, and neither can you, but I just know from Scripture that most of them are. Remember, God has always just had a small remnant, and it’s certainly no different today. Now grant you, we probably have a higher percentage of believers in America, what with all the preaching and Bible teaching we have, but you take the world population as a whole, what percentage of them are going to be in God’s Heaven? Well precious few, but those few are God’s fruit, as a result of His relationship with human beings.