One-Naturism? Part 2
I Know You’re In There! -- Every honest believer who knows anything at all about the extensive and all-important Romans Seven experience, realizes that the sins in his Christian life are identical in character to those he experienced prior to salvation. They are "the works of the flesh," the same all-too-familiar traits of the person of the first Adam.
They are not the manifestation of some residual sinful habits, left behind by a long-gone, eradicated, Adamic source. And they certainly aren’t countered and replaced by the development of "good" new habits. Imagine the Lord Jesus Christ, who is our indwelling Christian life, having to develop habits!
Every believer who knows the liberating Romans Eight life, "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus" (v. 2), realizes that the righteousness manifested in his Christian life has its source in the indwelling life of the Last Adam, "the fruit of the Spirit." "That the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh" (2 Cor. 4:11).
The nature is the essential character of a person, a life, the quality or qualities that characterize a person. The traits, the attributes, comprise the nature of a man—whether it be the first Adam man, or the Last Adam Man. We have the life of Adam, hence his sinful nature; we have the Life of the Last Adam, hence His new and divine nature. The Christian has two (2) life sources within, and the manifestation of their natures is the undeniable evidence thereof—"the works of the flesh," and "the fruit of the Spirit."
To mention but a few of the more prominent present-day eradicationists—the late Martyn Lloyd-Jones (via his voluminous writings), John MacArthur, David Needham, Charles Solomon, John Stott, Charles Stanley, Bill Gillham, and Bob George.
Further Personal History -- Positionally free from the Adamic life through my death unto sin in the Lord Jesus, the Father was at liberty to identify the essential me with His Son; and in His resurrection I was recreated "alive unto God" in Him. When He arose, as the beginning of the (new) creation of God (Rev. 3:14), I arose with Him in "newness of life"—a totally new creation (2 Cor. 5:17).
When the Lord Jesus, now Head of the new heavenly creation (the Church), ascended to the right hand of His Father, He took me with Him. The Father, having re-created me in His Son, raised me up and made me to sit together in heavenly places in Him. "And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Eph. 2:6). Abide Above!
I was positionally separated by death via the Cross from the first Adam, to be recreated in union with the Last Adam in His resurrection and ascension. Old Adamic things positionally passed away in the death of Calvary. In my condition, they are (slowly) passing away as I grow spiritually. Actually, finally, they will totally and eternally pass away at my death or at the Rapture--whichever comes first. "Even so, come Lord Jesus."
There I am in my glorious position, "hidden with Christ in God" (Col. 3:3). In the Lord Jesus I am a new creation, I am accepted in the Beloved, complete in Him, sanctified in Him, perfect in Him. With that position, who can question his unconditional eternal security?!
All of that, and much more, has been held in spiritual escrow for me ever since the One who is my life ascended to the right hand of the Father. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ" (Eph. 1:3).
All had to be completed positionally before a single Christian and the Church could be brought into being, because Christianity is founded upon and springs from the finished work of Christ. "And ye are complete in Him, who is the Head of all principality and power" (Col. 2:10).
The Condition Factor -- Born into the world in the life and image of the first Adam, I grew up a condemned sinner, "dead in trespasses and sins" (Eph. 2:1). In His foreordained time and purpose the Father called me, and by His grace and the Spirit-caused conviction of sin, I responded in unconditional faith—responsibly accepting the Lord Jesus as my own Saviour.
At that moment the Holy Spirit, by His indwelling, brought me the life of the ascended Lord to be my Christian life. Then and there I was placed in my position as a new creation in the Last Adam. Nevertheless, the old Adam life continues to indwell my body of mortal flesh.
In the Spirit’s time I came to know of the positional truths of the Word concerning me—from Romans 5:12 on throughout Paul’s Church Epistles. I saw that I had judicially died to sin on the Cross, crucified with the Lord Jesus (Gal. 2:20).
In time, and years of that, I learned via Romans Seven not to struggle against the fleshly life of Adam within, but to count by faith upon the positional truth of the finished work of the Cross. "For in that He died, He died unto sin once; but in that He liveth, He liveth unto God. Likewise, reckon ye also yourselves to have died indeed unto sin, but to be alive unto God in Jesus Christ, our Lord" (Rom. 6:11).
Likewise reckoning upon my position—"alive unto God in Christ Jesus"—the Holy Spirit centers my heart and mind upon the One who is my Christian life. As I behold Him by means of the Word, in personal fellowship and worship, the Spirit of Christ causes that completed life to manifest the "fruit of the Spirit." With ever increasing growth I am conformed to the image of the Son. "But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord" (2 Cor. 3:18).
At the Rapture I will receive my renewed body, like unto His glorious body. Then—and not until then—my body of mortal flesh will be instantly transformed into my spiritual, glorified body. The old Adamic man will finally be eradicated, and I will be in eternal condition what has been my position ever since my death and resurrection in Him at Calvary — yes, ever since my Father formed me in His heart in eternity past.
Doctrinal Dearth -- The question remains: What of these great liberating, positional truths have you learned at church—whether it be through your local Bible church, or elsewhere?
From fifty years of close observation, I would say that your chances are just about one in a thousand. If the leadership in the doctrinally sound church realized who and where they are in the glorified Lord Jesus, would they stop at Romans 5:11, and not enter into Romans 5:12 and beyond? Would they be Old Testament and Synoptic-oriented, holding the Church to the earthly level of Israel and her Law?
Would they substitute the synoptic "Gospel of the Kingdom" for Paul’s exclusive "glorious heavenly Gospel"? Would they subject members of the heavenly Body of the glorified Lord to Israel’s earthly New Covenant, her legal Sermon on the Mount, and her Mosaic and Kingdom law systems--that to which the Christian has died? "For I, through the law, died to the law, that I might live unto God" (Gal. 2:19).