NEW NATURE (“new man”, “born again”, “new creature”). When someone is saved (has his sins forgiven and has received the gift of eternal life), he is said to be “born again” (John 3:3-16), and is called a “new creature”. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (II Corinthians 5:17) All Christians still have their old nature or “old man” (sin nature) as it is called, but we also have a new nature and new desires will come from this.
Man is a three-part being, “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless….” (I Thessalonians 5:23, see also Hebrews 4:12) In the Bible verse just quoted, the spirit is listed first because that is the part of man God is the most concerned with. Our body relates to the world around us with its five senses, our soul is what relates to others, where our intellect is, and has feelings of joy, sadness, etc., but our spirit is what relates to God. “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24) Unfortunately, the spirit of man is “dead” in most of the human race; in fact, we are all born dead in sins (Ephesians 2:1, 5). Man has an empty place inside of him because his most important part was dead when he was born, and it can only be filled by God. (See SOUL).
When someone invites God to come into his or her heart (not the organ that pumps blood, but the seat of our emotions), he is actually inviting God into his soul, and from there God’s Spirit will enter into the man’s spirit which is dead and give it life; then truly he becomes a new creature! That is why we need a new birth and “must” be “born again” (John 3:7), because our first birth will not get us to heaven. Our mothers gave us a physical birth and it will last about 70 years, but God’s Spirit gives us a spiritual birth and it is “eternal life”! “Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ…” (Ephesians 2:5, also verses 2-9).
This “new man” is in every Christian and wants to control us, but so does the “old man” (our sin nature), and the one we feed the most will win! “[S]eeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:” (Colossians 3:9-10, see also Ephesians 4:22, and Romans 6:6-12) This “new man” was said to be “renewed in knowledge” of Christ, so read the Bible! The Bible is a spiritual book and will help us grow spiritually; so will sound Bible teaching and preaching from your local church and godly Christians who want to live for the Lord. “But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” (Ephesians 4:20-24) Observe that this new man is “created in righteousness and true holiness,” this new man cannot sin for he is “true holiness”! But unfortunately we still have our old nature (“old man”) and he can sin. But notice that between “putting off” the old man and “put on the new man” is verse 23 that says, “be renewed in the spirit of your mind,” read the Bible, feed your new man. Which will make God’s Spirit stronger in your life and He is the one who controls the “mew man.”
There is a battle between the old man, sometimes called the “flesh” and the new man. “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” (Galatians 5:16-17) To “walk in the spirit” and not to be controlled by the lust of the flesh, a Christian will have to be “filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18). Though a Christian’s “body is the temple of the Holy Ghost” (I Corinthians 6:19), he or she is not always “filled” with God’s Spirit. As a glass of milk may be half full or filled to the top, and a Christian who is filled with the Holy Spirit will automatically have the fruits of the Spirit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23) Just as a man who is filled with jealousy, or rage, or lust, or fear, is controlled by these things, so is he who is filled with the Holy Spirit. (See HOLY SPIRIT).
The hard part is not believing that God’s Spirit can live His life through us, but letting Him do it. And our old nature automatically wants to take charge of our life. It has been said that our “old man” will even let us be religious, as long as the Holy Spirit is not in charge. But God wants us to die to ourselves, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
Before there can be a resurrection, there must be a death, not a physical death, but dying to self, the “old man” (again it is sometimes referred to as our “flesh” or sin nature). “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.” (Romans 6:11-12) As long as we think, “I can please God” with our own power, we are still in the flesh, but God can do everything better than we can do! (Romans 8:8, see Luke 9:23). Pray for God to control your life, and fill you with His Spirit and then begin to trust Him to do this! (Ephesians 3:14-16 and 4:22-24, see HOLY SPIRIT)