The Two Natures in the Child of God
By E.W. BULLINGER, D.D.
In this 8 chapter work on the two natures of the child of God, Bullinger (Brethren, Hyperdispensationalist) presents us with a contrastive study between the old and the new natures. He looks at the characteristics of the old and the new natures, as well as the conflict between them, and our responsibilities towards them.
1. The Names and Characteristics of the Old Nature.
2. The Character and End of the Old Nature.
3. The Names and Characteristics of the New Nature.
4. The Character and End of the New Nature.
5. The Conflict between the Two Natures.
6. Our Responsibilities as to the Old Nature.
7 . Our Responsibilities as to the New Nature.
8. Practical Conclusions.
This article and work of Dr. Bullinger is duplicated in full. It is pristine in its message about these two natures, the one of flesh and the one of spirit, the one received at our physical birth and the other at our selection and calling by God (the Father) when we respond to His beckon.
The experience of the child of God is described, in Galatians 5:17, the following words: “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.”
In everything but this the mere professor can imitate the true child of God: and it is this which distinguishes the merely religious person from the real Christian. Every true child of God always has an abiding experience of conflict within, as described in Galatians 5:17. But not every child of God understands the doctrine concerning it. To have the experience without knowing the doctrine is the fruitful source of confusion, disquietude, and discouragement. To know the doctrine and not to have the experience is fatal, and means eternal disaster. The only remedy for this is to learn, direct from the Word of God, all that is there taught concerning the nature inherited through generation by Adam, and the nature bestowed through re-generation by God. This alone can give the believer the true knowledge concerning “God’s workmanship”; and the key to his experiences which are otherwise inexplicable to him. When the doctrine of the two natures is clearly understood, then, that which before was the cause of doubt is not only removed, but it becomes the ground of assurance; and is, indeed, the best assurance that one can ever have that he is God’s workmanship, and that God has actually begun in him that good work which He Himself will perfect and complete (Phil. 1:6).
The object of the following pages is to give the knowledge of this doctrine, so that the experience, which produces doubt and fear, may become the source of peace and joy.
“That which is born of the flesh is flesh; And that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” John 3:6.
We hear much in the present day about what is called “the teaching of Jesus”; and an attempt is made to set it above and against the teaching of Paul, overlooking the fact that both Gospels and Epistles are given by the Inspiration of the same Holy Spirit. Men talk thus, not because they desire to know or to obey the teaching of the Lord Jesus, but because they wish to lower the authority of the teaching of God by Paul, and to get rid of what they call Pauline Theology. Bring them face to face with the actual teaching of the Lord Jesus, and they will have none of it. They will turn back, and walk no more with Him (John 6:66); or they will be “filled with wrath”, and seek to do away with Him (Luke 4:28, 29). In John 3:6, we have the teaching of the Lord Jesus on a fundamental doctrine. It states an eternal truth. But it is the one truth which the natural man will not have. It declares that, by nature, we are descended from fallen Adam; are begotten in his likeness (Gen. 5:3); and are partakers of his fallen nature. Born of the flesh, we possess the nature of the begetter, and are flesh. This flesh, “the teaching of Jesus” declares, “profiteth nothing” (John 6.63); and in it “dwelleth no good thing” (Rom. 7:18). But, as we have said, this is the teaching which man will not receive. Pulpit, platform, and press, with one voice proclaim the opposite; and declare that there is some good thing in man, and that all we have to do is to discover and improve it.
It is against this lie of the devil that the axe of Divine truth is laid when the Lord Jesus declares that “That which is born of the flesh is flesh” that “The flesh profiteth nothing”; and that in it dwelleth “No good thing”. If any good thing is to be found in man, it must be first put in by God. It must be “born of the Spirit”: and, when that “good thing” is thus born and found in a man, then it is seen to partake of the nature of the begetter. It is spirit. It is Divine. Now these two natures are so opposite in their origin: nature; and character, that they each have several names; and each name reveals some fresh trait and some additional truth. Let us first look at the names by which man, by nature, is spoken of.
|Date:||February 4, 2015|
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