Has your nature changed?

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
(Romans 5:8 (NIV))

I was recently presented with a concept that has made me look at this passage with more gratitude for what God has done for us through His Son, Jesus.

It is common knowledge that humanity has fallen from grace and that we have fallen into sin. It is also an accepted fact by the church that we are all sinners in need of a Savior. But, the question that was presented to me has had me reflecting on the answer for a few days. It is an answer that eludes me, but it brings some interesting things to the table.

The question sounds simple.

Are we sinners because we sin, or do we sin because we are sinners?

To be honest, my first reaction was that we are sinners because we sin.

Why do we sin?

If we sin because we are sinners, that means that our human nature has been set to seek sin. We seek after the things that are wrong. In other words, humanity has a sinful nature. Individually we sin because we have a sinful nature. We sin due to the fact that since the fall from grace, the righteous nature has been replaced with a sinful nature.

“While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

If you realize that it is in our nature to sin, this takes on a whole new meaning.

All of us have become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
we all shrivel up like a leaf,
and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
(Isaiah 64:6 (NIV))

We are truly the filthy rags. We are not capable of doing good without grace, for we are all prone to sin. We sin because we have a sinful nature. Sin is anything that goes against the will of God.

Let me explain through an extreme example.

It is a sharks nature to feed. We have all seen the feeding frenzies. They cannot help their nature. It is deadly for anything that gets in the middle of it. Our sin is just as deadly for anyone who gets in the middle of it. Jesus did get in the middle of it. He came to provide a way for us to break the stranglehold that our sinful human nature has upon us. He came to provide a way, the only way, to change our nature. We were born, as human beings, into the life that has us sin because it is in our nature. We sinned because we were sinners.

We have been washed clean!

I just realized that this concept puts a whole new meaning into the concept of being born again. Our first birth was into the sinful nature that we could not escape. Our second birth, through Jesus, is into a renewed being who has had the sinful nature removed. Christ died for us while we still had that sinful nature. Through His death and resurrection, we have grace and mercy. We are free from our sinful nature.

Could our status change?

I honestly believe that it is at this point when we move from sinning because we have a sinful nature to one where we are sinners because we still sin. The difference is a matter of priorities. Being a sinner because we still sin implies that we have surrendered ourselves to Jesus and that we are seeking His Will. We will not be perfect in our walk. We will still sin. We will miss the mark, but it is our desire to follow God’s will.

I want to present one more idea for you to think about. It will require personal reflection.

Since accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, do you feel that your nature has changed? Do you still find yourself thinking and doing the same sinful things you did before your salvation? Now, think about the sins that you feel that you need to lay at the foot of the cross. Have these changed since your salvation?

Do you feel that you have moved, through the power of the Holy Spirit, from a sinful nature to someone who sins?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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