Many well-intentioned followers of Christ have a raging battle going on within their spirits that they struggle to make sense of. The sad reality is that this battle is completely unnecessary, and stems from poor theology bred within certain doctrines circulating around the body of Christ. This theology is the root cause of a lot of spiritual insecurity and trial that the average Christian faces. There is so much that we needlessly fight against that we don’t have to! We needlessly fight because we forget, in more areas than one, that the battle has already been won by our Savior. In this post I won’t attempt to cover all of the ways that people fight erroneous battles, but I will cover one way. This post is about Dual Nature Theology, and the reasons why you are probably fighting a battle that you shouldn’t be. My hope through this post is that these words help to increase your faith in God, to help you remove a heavy load that you might be carrying, to accelerate your godly growth, and to help you realize your victory in Christ Jesus so that the fighting and the struggle will end – hopefully forever. I will do this by correcting a simple misunderstanding that has perpetrated and infected the body of Christ for far too long. Join me as I unravel one of the most important and foundational Biblical truths that exist. A truth that has been distorted, twisted, and wrongfully taught to well-meaning followers of Christ for centuries.
DUAL NATURE THEOLOGY – ARE CHRISTIANS SINNERS?
In the life of every follower of Christ, the reconciliation of remaining in sin while we occupy our earthly bodies is a troublesome position to understand. To most of us, the idea of not sinning feels, at best, like an uphill battle, but at our worst points, it can physically, mentally, and spiritually feel like trying to hold on to the edge of a cliff. In the minds of most believers, our daily cross that we are meant to bear is putting to death our sinful passions and desires every day, and yet times still come when we slip up or get deceived and fall into sin once again. Many of us admit these occurrences happen often, sometimes daily, and furthermore, most pastors and teachers accede that sins and screw-ups are a normal part of Christian life; something we unfortunately have to get used to. If we are honest with ourselves, we would admit that the trends are cyclical; the same old sins always manage to creep back into our lives during difficult times, and in our hearts, there is an intuitive awareness that we are not completely free from that sin.
But hold on a second! Why aren’t we free? Jesus died so that we could be set free… so where is the promised freedom at? Why do we still struggle with sin and why does it feel like we are fighting an uphill battle against temptation and evil desires if we are truly free as the Bible says??
This, brethren, is where we have been deceived by Dual Nature Theology and have forgotten (or have never been taught) the power of who we are in Christ.
What is Dual Nature Theology?
Dual Nature Theology: The doctrinal belief or position that there are two natures within a converted Christian. A fleshly/sinful nature and a spiritual/godly nature operating simultaneously, all the time, until a later, complete transformation occurs in heaven.
Dual Nature Theology proposes that two natures are living within the born again Christian constantly. A spiritual nature that has been renewed in Christ and a fleshly nature that we are stuck in until death. When the flesh dies we will be free from the fleshly, sinful nature that we are encased within, and at that point we wake up to our final, transformed, spiritual life that God intends for us.
The battle that so many of us face on a daily basis is our struggle against the flesh. Now let me give you a fair warning about what you are about to read. You are about to read why the flesh that people give so much credit to doesn’t even exist! You are about to see that this fight that we feel like we are facing is nothing but a trick. You may have been taught that you are still in the flesh, but you are not. Now the question is this, do you really want to be free? Do you think you have what it takes to actually believe what the Bible says and step into your new nature? Some people deeply desire this, but some of you will read this and feel the pull to remain in sin and iniquity and less than what God has purchased for you through the spilled blood of His own Son. The choice is yours…
Dual Nature Theology is false theology. If you have Christ in you then you do not have a sin nature; your nature is divine. But if you do not have Christ then you do not have a divine nature; your nature is fleshly and sinful. You are either one or the other. Period. Let me prove this to you by giving you two simple scriptures.
“For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” –Luke 6:43-45
“You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.” –Matthew 7:16-20
Let’s zoom out for a moment and get a full picture of this scene. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is looking and speaking to crowds of people, people who are technically encased within physical, mortal bodies; bodies that we might be tempted to call flesh, and said these words. He actually said to the physical people in front of His face, “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.” [paraphrased for clarity] And Luke translated it even clearer for us: “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil.” Jesus is looking at His disciples, and probably hundreds of other people, saying that they will conclusively know who is good and who is evil based on the fruit in their life, right? Therefore, we irrevocably know that Jesus Christ is talking about physical, mortal men and that they are either good or evil, right?
Let me bring this home for you. If Jesus was talking directly to physical men back then, then He is talking about physical men today. If He was describing people and saying that those who are good cannot do evil and those who are evil cannot do good then what do you think that means regarding your nature when you are born again in Him? The answer is plain: that your born again, brand new, regenerated nature is now a divine nature, it is NOT a sinful nature, and because of that you can only do good because that is what you are: good and not evil. You are born again. You are no longer the old man, but the new creation in Christ Jesus. Get it?
Let’s continue unpacking some more scripture to confirm that this thematic message is evident throughout more of the Bible:
For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. –Romans 6:5-11
Romans 6:11 states very clearly: “Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Can we honestly say that this is taught in our churches today? Have we ever been taught that we are completely dead to sin? Have you ever been told that you can be completely free from sin at church before?
Or do you more commonly hear messages and words spoken at church that seem to have the opposite theme, such as:
- “Our struggle against the flesh will only end in heaven…”
- “We will only be completely free from sin in heaven…”
- “While we are in our earthly bodies we will always be in the flesh…”
- “I’ve been fighting against the flesh lately brother!”
- “Everybody sins…”
- “Nobody is perfect…”
The next section of scripture you are going to read was written by one of my favorite authors of the Bible – John. Did you even know that the passage I quoted below is in your Bible?
Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him. Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother. For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous. –1 John 3:4-12
Do you see how 1 John chapter 3 aligns EXACTLY with what Jesus said, “For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit.”?? John specifically says, “He who practices righteousness is righteous and he who sins is of the devil.” It absolutely aligns with the words of Jesus!!
And yet why does the widespread doctrine in the church teach that we are both in sinful flesh and yet have a brand new spiritual nature SIMULTANEOUSLY???
This, brothers and sisters in Christ, is Dual Nature Theology and it is not Biblical.
“Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil…” (1 John 3:7-8)
Dual Nature Theology is a trick of the devil that has severely infected the church and is meant for one very important thing: to keep the flesh alive when it was really meant to die…
The devil wants you to believe that the battle was never really won on the cross. The devil wants you to believe that you still have to fight the flesh. The devil wants you to believe that temptation, evil, and sin will always be a stronghold in your life.
Can you see that the devil wants you to doubt that your Savior has really saved you and set you free…?
“Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” –John 8:34-36
“For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” –1 John 3:8
The devil knows that by convincing you to battle within yourself he is rendering you useless and that the battle will bring you to desolation. How does the devil know this? He knows this because he also knows the word of God, which says this: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.” (Matthew 12:25 and Mark 3:24-25). So it is clear that if you (i.e. the kingdom, the city, and the house referred to by Jesus) are divided within yourself that you will fall. And let us never forget the goal the devil: “The thief does not come except to steal, kill, and destroy.” (John 10:10). It is clear, therefore, that those who struggle with Dual Nature Theology will fall into sin again when they are tested: “And the rain descended, the floods came, and the wind blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall!” (Matthew 7:27)
Let me go ahead and just quote some scriptures about your new nature so that you can begin to learn the truth about who you are in Christ if you are born again…
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” –2 Corinthians 5:17
“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” –2 Corinthians 5:21
“Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” –2 Peter 1:2-4
“So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” –Romans 8:8-11
Let me attempt to make this loud and clear for you so that you never forget it and hopefully you will begin to walk in greater freedom from this day forward:
YOUR FLESH IS DEAD. YOUR OLD NATURE IS DEAD. BEHOLD, ALL THINGS HAVE BECOME NEW. YOU ARE NOT A SINNER, YOU ARE A SAINT. YOU CANNOT SIN BECAUSE YOU ARE BORN OF GOD. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO FIGHT A BATTLE AGAINST THE FLESH BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT IN THE FLESH. YOU ARE IN THE SPIRIT! WALK AND LIVE RIGHTEOUSLY BECAUSE YOU ARE THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD!
Have you ever heard a message like this preached on Sunday morning?
What warrior continues to go to battle against defeated, dead foes? And yet we battle with sinful flesh constantly…?
- “How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” (Romans 6:2)
- “Our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with…” (Romans 6:6)
- “For he who has died has been freed from sin.” (Romans 6:7)
- “Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin…” (Romans 6:11)
- “For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died.” (2 Corinthians 5:14)
- “And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” (Galatians 5:24)
- “Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” (Colossians 3:5)
- “Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on a tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness…” (1 Peter 2:24)
Perhaps if we could grasp the essence of truth about Christ’s sacrifice that He wanted us to realize, then we would begin to walk in the freedom that so many people are waiting to experience in heaven. Brothers and sisters in Christ, my hope through these posts is that you begin to wake up to the power of God within you. Christ didn’t die so that you could go to heaven, but so that heaven could come and invade the earth through you! You are a warrior for the kingdom of God, and the battle was never meant to be within you or against yourself – it is against the gates of hell and the devil! Quit fighting something within you that should have died a long time ago and redirect your attacks against the one who deserves it – the devil!!
“On this rock I will build My church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” –Matthew 16:18
“The kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.” –Matthew 11:12
“We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” –Romans 8:37
For those seeking further revelation on sin in the Christian life, consider buying Anthony’s book: Are Christians Sinners?