I'm Struggling With The Premise That Our Sin Nature Is Removed
I have read your article "Romans 5:16-19 - The Sin Nature, The Source of All Grief, is Defeated in the Born Again Believer" and am struggling with the premise that our born again experience has removed the sin nature. Your statement "The sin nature has been completely destroyed and removed. God's abundant grace overwhelmed and overcame it much in every way" is not a reality in the life of the believer. Romans 7 speaks to the nature of sin living right in the midst of our born again lives. In other words, God has given us the power OVER SIN with our new nature, but not the removal of the PRESENCE of sin. If the sin nature was removed, we would never sin again, and therefore would have no need of 1 John 1:9.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article and pose a question. First, you have to understand that we are made up of 3 parts according to I Thessalonians 5:23, A spirit, a soul and a body. Our spirit is our life force. It is the part of us that was born again when we put our faith in Jesus. The default sin nature was taken out and we were give a new spirit that is identical to Jesus (Romans 6:6-7, Ephesians 4:24, Colossians 1:13, I John 4:17). Which is why were are a new creation in Christ (II Corinthians 5:17). The believer’s spirit is the part that has been sanctified, sealed and redeemed (Ephesians 2:13-14, Romans 8:15-17). The spirit you have now is the same spirit you will have for all eternity, it is perfect because it is identical to Jesus, therefore no sin can exist in the born again spirit, because Jesus was sinless (Romans 8, Hebrews 10:10, Hebrews 10:14).
The soul can be described as your personality, your thoughts, your attitudes and what makes you unique. Perhaps this is why we use words like spirit and soul interchangeably because we cannot see either one, yet we understand that we possess something that makes up who we are as a person. The body is the container for the spirit and the soul. It is the physical structure of a human. It is our flesh and blood. It is who we are when people look at us. This is the third part to mankind, without any one of these things, we cannot sustain life.
Therefore, the struggle with sin that you are referring to can only take place in our soulish realm... not our born again spirits because they are identical to Jesus’. So as born again believers, if we sin, it is a choice not as a result of our new nature. Because sin doesn’t exist there, it is fashioned after Jesus, perfect and holy (Ephesians 4:24). This soulish struggle is what Paul talks about in Romans 7, which is why he opens the chapter letting us know we died to this old way of life (in our born again spirits) and therefore have no obligation to live by it. The struggle with sin can only happen in the in the soulish realm and it is a choice, not as a result of our born again natures as was the case with our old sin nature. He also gives us the remedy in chapter 8, which is to live by the Spirit so we will not fulfill the desires of the flesh (Romans 8:3-4). When we live out of our new nature and after the Spirit then we will be more holy by accident than we ever could be on purpose because sin and the choice to sin has less appeal to our soulish realm.
You said, “if the sin nature was removed, we would never sin again, and therefore would have no need of 1 John 1:9.” My point is that our born again spirits cannot sin, no sin exist in them, they are perfect. We can and do sin, but it is a choice, out of the sin nature which we have been freed from, but from the desires of the flesh or our soulish realm. There is a huge difference. I John 1:9 is the only verse of this kind in the entire Bible, which leads me to believe that this confession benefits us because when we choose to sin we will reap the natural results of sin which can reek havoc in our lives. But if we recognize it, stop it and confess it we have a promise that God is faithful to forgive and cleanse us, which is an amazing thing.
I hope this clarifies my point, Thanks again for your question,