A conflict is exposed when people believe that, in Christ, they still have sinful natures.
As we have been discussing in previous ‘Spirit and Nature’ blogs, a nature is a description of its underlying spirit.
Therefore, if we still have sinful natures in Christ, then our sinful spirits would have to be in union with God’s Spirit.
“Those who have joined themselves to the Lord are one spirit.” 1 Corinthians 6:17
It is impossible for a sinful spirit to be in union with His Holy Spirit.
But, haven’t we been taught in Galatians 5:17 that we have both flesh and spirit warring in us?
Yes, we’ve been taught that.
Look more closely.
“For the flesh sets its desire against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh. These are contrary to one another, so that you cannot do the things that you want to do.” (Galatians 5:17)
The word translated contrary means opposite.[i] The flesh (sinful nature) and spirit (divine nature) represent the two rival spirits, Adam or Christ—they cannot and do not co-exist.
Throughout Galatians 5, Paul used the same Greek word for flesh.[ii] Here is the final flesh reference in the chapter: “And they who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its affections and lusts.” Galatians 5:24
Since the flesh (which in this verse is the sinful nature due to the affections and lusts), is dead by crucifixion with Christ, a dead thing cannot be in your spirit warring against you.[iii] The devil can only con you into believing the sinful nature is alive. Do not believe the devil—he is a defeated liar.
All our lives, we’ve been taught or have heard that, in Christ, we still have sinful natures, and that flesh and spirit are mixed.
Scripture repeatedly reveals that no mixing of the Holy and unholy is possible.
Jesus, when accused of casting out demons by the prince of demons, said, “A kingdom divided against itself cannot stand.”[iv] He distinguished two separate, unmixed kingdoms: Satan’s and the Kingdom of God. He further declared that “the prince of this world … has nothing in Me.”[v] No mixing. Adding to this, righteousness has no fellowship with unrighteousness, light has nothing in common with darkness, Christ has nothing in common with Belial, a believer has nothing in common with an unbeliever, and the temple of God has nothing in common with idols—we are separate from evil.[vi] No one can serve two masters.[vii] We were once darkness, but now we are light.[viii] There is no darkness in Jesus.[ix] The evil one does not touch the one born of God.[x]A fountain cannot send forth both sweet and bitter water, a vine cannot produce figs, and a good tree cannot put forth corrupt fruit.[xi] Greater is He who is in us than the devil that is where? The devil is in the world, not in us.[xii] God’s Spirit and Satan’s spirit cannot be mixed. What is the Spirit of which we partake? Those who are joined to the Lord are one spirit with Him—He cannot be mixed with evil.[xiii] You are not in the flesh, but in the spirit.[xiv] You are the new person in Christ, not the old person of the flesh. Christ crucified us to the world and the world to us.[xv] There is no more common ground between the world and us. We are dead to it, and it is dead to us.
[Extracted from The Cross Divider, pages 15-16]
[i] Thayer’s Lexicon: ἀντίκειμαι antikeimai 1) to be set over against, opposite to 2) to oppose, be adverse to, withstand.
[ii] Greek σάρξ (sarx)
[iii] See also Rom 6:6-7.
[iv] Matt 12:22-33 ; Luke 11:14-26
[v] John 14:30
[vi] 2 Cor 6:14-18
[vii] Matt 6:24
[viii] Eph 5:8
[ix] 1 John 1:5
[x] 1 John 5:18
[xi] James 3:11-12 ; Luke 6:43
[xii] 1 John 4:4
[xiii] 1 Cor 6:17
[xiv] Rom 8:9
[xv] Gal 6:14