The Word of God speaks of our spirits as being the “hidden man of the heart”, the “inner man”, the “inward man”, the “heart”. Man was created a spirit being like God, given a body through which he could contact the material world by means of his senses and a soul, which is the capacity to reason and interpret what his senses tell him. The soul simply began to function when the spirit entered Adam’s body. When the spirit departs, the soul ceases to function.
When Adam sinned in the garden of Eden, he partook of Satan’s nature in his spirit. You will remember Jesus saying (John 8:44) that the Pharisees were of their father the devil (they had the devil’s nature) because of which they had the urge to do what the devil desired. If you examine the temptation of Adam, you would notice that the temptation sought to shift Adam’s focus from God to himself; he was made the object of his own attention, identical to what happened to Satan before his fall (Read Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28). Once he sinned, his first realization was that he was naked; his attention or focus had shifted totally inward, to his body, to himself, self became king. Selfishness was the new norm; “I, me and myself” were in charge; nothing mattered more than self-gratification, self-preservation and self-fulfillment. One would only need to look at mankind today to realise that selfishness and self-centredness rule men. Look at how much of man’s attention today is towards the body and towards fulfilling its desires (the industry that caters to vanity is a multi-billion dollar industry). This satanic nature in man’s spirit could never be eradicated except when sin is paid for. It is this satanic nature that rules man today. In Ephesians 2, Paul calls it “the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience”. We see the effects of this nature in wars, cruelty, murders, oppression, pride, lust, anger, human trafficking and every other wicked deed. Man has tried to get rid of this satanic nature through religion, through fasting, through prayer, through self denial and various other ascetic practices but to no avail. All of man’s attempts to bring world peace or love will never succeed until the satanic nature that is in man has been dealt with. The United Nations can’t, Communism can’t, one monetary currency can’t, a one world religion can’t. Man’s attempts at producing behavioural change in human beings without dealing with the nature of man are simply exercises in futility. Changing the culture or changing one’s religion does not change the game, changing human nature does. That however, is beyond man; it will have to be God who initiates it, God who effects it and God who sustains it.
The logic behind the solution is simple – sin was what caused man to partake of Satan’s nature. Sin must be dealt with, the satanic nature removed and a new nature imparted to man. The only acceptable way for a just God to deal with sin is when sin is paid for. If man were to pay for sin, justice would demand eternal separation from God. So, because of His great love for man, God took on flesh in Jesus Christ, became human, lived on the earth a sinless life, went to the cross, bore our sins and sicknesses and died as the perfect, once-for-all sacrifice for sin. He was buried, descended into hell, confronted Satan in hell, defeated Satan and death, rose from the dead and is seated in Heaven. His sacrifice is the payment for sin. Everyone who believes in Him receives remission of sin (the removal of past sin) and a new nature, God’s own nature. The Bible shows us that our old satanic nature was crucified or put to death when Jesus was crucified on the cross. It also shows us that whoever believes in Him receives the gift of eternal life which is God’s life; we partake of God’s nature, we become children of God since we have His nature in us. Our spirits are made new; the old satanic nature has passed away. We are a new creation because of Jesus Christ. We are made as righteous as Jesus is righteous, as holy as Jesus is holy. God comes to live within us and as we learn to communicate with Him and submit to Him, we demonstrate the nature of Christ.
A word of caution, however. Although we have partaken of God’s nature and eternal life and our spirits have been made new, it is not necessarily a case of living happily ever after. Our minds, our thinking, our wills, our reasonings, our attitudes, motives and bodily desires that have been conditioned by years of satanic influence, the influence of the world and our own experiences have to be made subservient to this new nature. This is a process and requires us to feed on God’s word, the Bible and be filled with God in order for change to be effected here. For instance, when we were apart from Christ, we had been conditioned over the years to react or respond to situations in a certain way. Lets say we used to respond to a certain situation in anger. Now, as a recipient of a new nature, unless I train my soul to be subservient to this new nature, I tend to respond in the same way. I find that this kind of angry response, which used to be normal, now causes a jolt or a jarring in my spirit. There is a check in my spirit as a result, my relationship with God is affected unless I deal with it through repentance. As life goes on, I learn to deny the old habits and submit to this new nature in order to maintain my fellowship with God. The Bible calls this process “Christ being formed in you”.
We are children of God because of Jesus Christ – we possess the nature of God, God is our Father, His life is in us, He has come to live within us, He speaks through us, He moves in us, He is at work in us, He works through us. We can never be separated from God because God is not just with us, He is within us. We can never be defeated in life because we have His life. We can never see spiritual death because we possess eternal life. Circumstances can never overpower us for we are more than conquerors through Jesus.
Thanks be to God, for He is our salvation through Jesus Christ.