Dear Fellow Believers in Christ, (Sin and Sin Nature are different things. . .and even different from the Body of Sin)
Since Adam disobeyed God's original law and ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, sin entered into this world. The deceiving word of disobedience from Satan is behind all sin. Why do unbelievers sin? Even more importantly, why do believers sin? If we are spirit birthed by Christ fully living in us, how can we sin? According to Paul, what is the body of sin? What are the distinctions between sin, sin nature, and the body of sin? How is the body of sin rendered powerless? Why is Holy Spirit mind renewal so important to understand these important distinctions? . . . Father, may the Holy Spirit reveal the fullness of what Your Son Jesus paid for on the cross, and renew the mind on what remains for our choices and participation with Christ in this shared-life with Christ as our only genuine life.
SIN AND SIN NATURE
by Dwight Davis
"But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me" (Romans 7:17).
First, Adam Committed the Original Sin and Received a Sin Nature
Paul uses the word sin, or the Greek word harmartia, throughout Romans chapter 6 and 7. Sin means an offense or sinful act. Sin is related to an offense against the law (Rom 7:7-13). Paul clarifies the sin/law relationship when he declares that "sin is not imputed when there is no law" (Rom. 5:13). Adam had only one law that God gave him. God instructed Adam to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 3:3). Adam listened to Satan's lies. Adam with knowledge and choice chose to violate God's law. Adam committed the original sin. When Adam simply believed Satan and chose to eat, he received through that transaction a sin nature. Adam's sin nature was a mixture of the satanic word and lies with the knowledge of good and evil. Through this original sin, Adam received the consequence of death, the wages of sin (Rom. 6:23).
Second, Adam's Sin Nature is Exchanged by Christ's Divine Nature & Spirit
Through this original sin of Adam, the sin nature and resultant death was passed on to all men (Rom. 5:12). For by this "one man's disobedience many were made sinners" (Rom. 5:19). God the Father sent His Son Jesus Christ to be born into this world (John 1:14). Jesus Christ died on the cross in full obedience to the Father, fulfilling every jot and tittle of the law. Through Christ's "obedience many will be made righteous" (Rom. 5:19). Through His grace received at the Spirit rebirthing by the Holy Spirit, we receive eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord, who now has come to live in us (Rom. 5:21; I John 5:11,12). At the Spirit rebirthing we received an exchange of natures – the sin nature was exchanged for the divine nature (2 Pet. 1:4). At the Spirit birthing we also received a spirit exchange. We received an exchange of the spirit of disobedience with the Spirit of obedience. The spirit of disobedience was the fruit produced by the temporal lying word of Satan in Adam. Satan is eternal, but not omnipresent. Satan could never live in Adam and every man to fulfill their life. At the Spirit birthing, Christ who is both eternal and omnipresent, has come to live in every Spirit birthed son with His eternal life and Spirit.
Third, The Body of Sin is Rendered Powerless Knowing the Cross of Christ
At the Spirit rebirthing, the Spirit is complete with Christ as the life, spirit, nature, and seed in us. While we are complete in Spirit, there is still work that the Spirit has to do with our mind. Also, we still have the same old earthly body. The majority of the real problems that we face after we are Spiritually birthed, will stem out of an unrenewed mind. Paul declares, "knowing continually this, that our old man was once then co-crucified with Christ, in order that the body of sin might once then be rendered powerless, that we are to no longer continually serve sin" (Rom. 6:6, Expanded Greek Transl.). Paul is telling us that everything about Adam – the original sin of Adam and the sin nature of disobedience was put to death in Christ on the cross. The only way the body of sin is rendered powerless is through a Spirit renewed mind that continually knows that truth.
Fourth, Christ's Finished Work on the Cross Severed All Ties with Adam
Certainly one has a proness to sin, sinful desires, and propensity to sin before their Spiritual birthing. Paul confirms this when he discusses, "when we were in the flesh" and "the passions of sins" (Rom. 7:5). Following our Spiritual rebirthing, we should make decisions to present ourselves to the Holy Spirit and allow him to transform us and renew the mind (Rom. 12:2). Unless we have that renewed mind, we are an open target for Satan's deception campaign upon the saints. We must let the Holy Spirit really teach us what Christ really finished on the cross. We must let the Holy Spirit fully reveal what was really put to death on that cross. We must continually know it to be a reality and truth. Otherwise, the body of sin might not be rendered powerless in our life (Rom. 6:6). The original sin, the old sin nature, and the old man (Adam) were all put to death and co-crucified on the cross with Christ. This is why Paul makes the connection that Christ was "the last Adam" (I Cor. 15:45). Christ died on the cross as the last Adam and severed every tie we had to Adam, historically and spiritually. The Spirit birthing means that man no longer has a historical connection with Adam, but now we are a "new creature" with our connection in Christ (II Cor. 5:17).
Fifth, Spiritually Birthed Sons Let Christ Live His Life In and Through Them
Paul is not discussing a new believer in Romans 7:7-25. Paul is not talking here about the struggle of two (2) different minds of thinking, for at the Spirit birthing the old sin nature was exchanged for the new Christ nature. As a mature believer, Paul is discussing his own struggle between the unrenewed mind that operates out of the knowledge of good and evil, and the renewed mind that operates with the Spirit of Christ within us. Why do unbelievers sin? It is their nature to sin. Why do believers sin? They choose to, by choosing not to let the Holy Spirit renew their mind. They choose to, by not believing and letting Christ live His life of obedience in and through them. If you "reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin," and "alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord," then you "will not let sin reign" in your mortal bodies or "obey it in its lusts" (Rom. 6:11-12). Paul concludes, "I thank God – through Jesus Christ our Lord!" With the renewed mind I myself serve the law of God (Rom. 7:25). Paul lets Christ live in him and serves the Father through the renewed mind as him to and for others (Gal. 2:20).
Sixth, Continually Abiding in Christ Keeps Us From Continually Sinning
John declares that, "the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil" (I John 3:8). If you are born of God, you do not continually sin. Why? For His seed of an obedient Spirit remains in the Spiritually birthed sons (I John 3:9). Christ cannot sin. So if you continually abide in Christ, you will not continually sin (I John 3:6). If you continually sin, you have not already fully seen Christ, nor have not already fully known Him (I John 3:6). You don't continually and fully know that the old man was co-crucified with Christ on the cross. As a result, the body of sin is not rendered powerless in you (Rom. 6:6).
Seventh, We Choose Either the Body of Sin or Christ as Our Only Life
"Sin is lawlessness" (I John 3:4). Unrighteousness is sin (I John 5:17). Since our Spiritual birthing, we have Christ fully in us. Every part of Christ and His Spirit that flows in and through us to and for others is not sin. Every part of us that chooses not to let Christ be Lord is lawlessness and unrighteousness. We choose either the body of sin, our own sinful flesh, or Christ as our only life!