Growth In Christ

Living According to Your New Nature

Paul Gotthardt3 comments529 views

This post is an excerpt from a message I just shared entitled, “You Can Live Righteously.” We were answering the question, “Why do Christians continue to sin?” The text for the message was Colossians 3:5-11. You can check out of the full message by going to www.lifebaptistchurch.com, click on media, click on video, and then select the message from the group.

The answer to our primary question came after a significant discussion on the death of the sin nature. Christians do not have two natures (the sin nature and the spirit nature). The sin nature dies at salvation and the spirit nature is given simultaneously. The reason Christians continue to sin is not because we have a sin nature. Christians sin because they choose to living according to the desires of the flesh (the traits, tendencies, and habits developed under the sin nature) and not according to their new nature in Christ.

At the end of the message, I shared 3 parts on living according to your new nature. It’s one thing to know you have a new nature in Christ; it is another thing to live according to that new nature.

How do I live according to my new nature in Christ?

First, we must know and reflect upon our new nature. You apply this step by spending time with Christ, time in the Word, and focused time studying your position and possessions in Christ. It comes by continuing to seek and set your mind on things above. It comes by Christ practically becoming your life. For greater explanation, follow the same directions above and check out the message entitled, “Developing An Overcoming Mindset.”

Second, we must submit our mind, will, and actions before Christ. This is not a one-time submission; it’s a continual submission (case by case, problem by problem, sometimes moment by moment). The Christian life is not you living for God; it’s God living through you. God gave you a new spirit (His Spirit; John 14:16-17). God gave you a new nature (the nature of Christ; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 2 Peter 1:4). Paul told the Galatians that he would labor until Christ is formed in you (4:19). God’s predestined plan is that we are conformed into the character of Christ (Romans 8:29).

Third, we must humble ourselves before the Lord and trust that He can live righteousness through us. God opposes the proud, but He gives grace to the humble (James 4:6). The motto of a person living in this state of humility is, “I can’t, but Christ can through me.” We are to humble ourselves before God. Likewise, we must trust that Christ will live through a life submitted to Him.

Here’s what it looks like when packaged together. A trial comes. Instead of taking on the problem yourself, you humble yourself before the Lord. “God, I can’t but you can through me.” You submit your mind, will, and actions to Christ in prayer. You recognize that you no longer have a sin nature; you have Christ’s nature enabling you to be victorious. Your dead spirit has been replaced with God’s Spirit.

Between the time you submit the problem to God until the time God directs you with the next step—you are to set your mind on things above. Reflect upon your position in Christ; remember your possessions in Christ. Set your mind on things above. As God lives His life through you, our part is to obediently respond to His promptings.

I know it sounds like a lot, but it’s a process. The more you do it, the more it comes naturally. The more you do it, the more you practically walk in righteousness. The more you practice this process, the more you see God living His life through you.

You can live righteously…if Christ is living through you.

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Paul Gotthardt
Is learning to live from the overflow of my relationship with Jesus; Husband, Father, Pastor, Church Planter, Author, UGA grad... football and UFC enthusiast.

3 Comments

  1. Can I ask 2 quick questions? Could you define heart, soul, and mind as they are used in the new Nature.
    Also, Mark 12:30 and Luke 10:27 says to love God with all our strength (or might). What does that look like for a believer in everyday living?

    1. Great questions Barb. The only way I know to answer both questions is to base the response on Mark 12:30 or Luke 10:27. Each word is specifically mentioned and the command passes through the filter of the cross. The reason we need to focus on specific passages is each word can take on a different meaning based on the context. To the best of my knowledge, the three words are not found together in connection with the new nature (that is in a single passage that specifically addresses the new nature and each of these words). The closest you would find would be a general description of the trichotomy of the believer (body, soul, and spirit). In that case, each word would fall under the heading of the “soul.”

      The basic command of Mark 12:30 is to love God completely. For the believer, the spirit is new and rightly related to God at salvation. The body is not new but is to be submitted to the Lordship of Christ. The soul (which is comprised of the personality, emotions, mind, and will) is the major part addressed in this passage. While heart, soul, and mind are a part of the “soul”–here’s a quick definition of each.

      The heart is not only the seat of the affections, but the center of our complex being — physical, moral, spiritual, and intellectual. The soul is an emphatic designation of the man himself. See Matt. 12:18; Heb. 10:38; Luke 21:19. The word “soul” denotes “life in the distinctness of individual existence.” It’s the part that makes each of us unique. The mind is the faculty of thought: understanding, especially the moral understanding. Strength would be focused energy or effort.

      It is my understanding that we are to put all of our heart, soul, mind, and energy towards loving God completely. That is, we are to keep our affections turned to Christ. We are to direct our unique personality towards Christ. We are to keep our mind focused on Christ. We are to focus our energy on pursuing and loving Christ. In doing so, we are living according to our new nature in Christ. If we look at it from that perspective, each word is defined and it will direct believers in everyday living.

      Thanks for the questions and I hope you and Dean are doing well. Blessings to you.

  2. thanks so much for the answering my questions, Paul. I certainly appreciate you taking the time.
    Dean and I are LOVING all we are learning from this series. We’re praying for you.

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