Have We Two Natures?
“Our Nature is the Nature of the One Who Lives In Us.”
By: Norman Grubb
Let us get this one thing straight; this is not that old confusing and mistaken idea that we humans are possessors of two natures and in a struggle between them, dog eating dog. This is the error, which puts us into the continuous condemnation of “we ought to be different.” Cut the words “ought to” out of our vocabulary. They belong to the law, which says you ought, and the law He has “taken out of the way, nailing it to His cross,” and has “abolished in His flesh the enmity, the law of commandments contained in ordinances.” Negatives are the opposite ends of their respective positives. So, we humans have not natures of our own, but we express the nature of the one who lives in us. Of old, as the old man, we expressed the nature of “the spirit that worketh in the children of disobedience” so that we were “by nature the children of wrath” according to Ephesians 2:2-3. As the new man is Christ,
We are “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4), which is the Spirit of God bearing His own good fruit by us.
Our confusion may be because I may feel it is all very well to talk of Christ living in me, but in practical fact, far more of me shows up than of Him! And it is all very well to say I was once a partaker of the satanic nature of self-centeredness and expressed him; but now I am a partaker of the divine nature and express Christ. But do I? I have put off the old man and put on the new, it seems to me lots of the old man is still very evident! But that is where we need to get this “two nature” question sorted out, and this old man-new man syndrome.
The confusion is between center and circumference. The center is the set of our lives; the circumference is what may temporarily influence us. In our old life, in “the old man,” our center was fixed, we being owned of the devil. We were slaves to him, Paul said in Romans 6:6-22. Now a slave is the property of his master; but no one can take from him his basic freedom. So, we may imagine a slave serving his master all day, then when his master is away somewhere at night, the salve well exercise his freedom by a visit to the market. He still remains a slave, but just goes his own way for a short while and returns to where he belongs.
So now a slave of Satan can go and do a few good and religious things for a time, but that doesn’t change has basic slavery so equally a slave of Jesus can be tempted to exercise his human freedom in the ways of the flesh and does so, but back he comes to whom He belongs.
We are what we are at our center, and our nature is the nature of the one who lives in us at the center. A temporary deviation does not alter that basic nature, but is just a diversion. When at the new birth Christ becomes our fixed center, we have begun to express His divine nature, though we may and so deviate into the flesh: but that does not alter the center. So just as a slave of the devil can do a few good things occasionally return to whom he
belong, a slave of Christ can do a few bad things and return to whom he belongs. Do not mistake a deviation for a nature. We can never have two natures at once. Impossible. We are always pure at the center, in the sense of the word meaning unmixed. We were unmixed in our heart allegiance to Satan; thank God we are not unmixed in our allegiance to Christ. You cannot have a double mind or a double tongue (as James said of a fountain not being able to ‘send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter’). We
have a single mind or tongue, but it can be temporarily diverted. Call that double, if you like, but basically it is single.