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FIRST STEPS (5)
New Nature - A New Heart
A French aristocrat by the name of Baron Richard d'Arcy kept a very unusual pet at home - a two year old lion!
One evening in 1977 he tried to get his pet to go into the bathroom, where it usually spent the night. The lion refused to go into its sleeping quarters and the two eyeballed each other in a stand-off for supremacy in the home. The lion ended up jumping onto its 'master' and mauling him to death.
Keeping a lion as a pet might seem a very novel idea, but the baron had failed to take an important factor into account. By taking the lion into his home he did not change its nature. The lion did not become a pussy cat, as the baron discovered
The Bible teaches us that every created being remains, by nature, what it was created as, until the day of its death.
Mankind is no exception. We were born with a sin nature and therefore we sin naturally. We are not sinners because we sin, it's the other way around. Because we have a sin nature, we sin. Like the lion, we cannot cease to be what we are by nature. The only way we can escape from what we are by nature, is to die. That is exactly what the Bible says has happened to us.
When we were born again our old nature died and we received a new nature, the very nature of Christ Himself. Jesus Christ comes to live inside us by the Holy Spirit and imparts His nature to us. The Bible tells us that we are "partakers of the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4).
In this study we will look at the change which takes place on the inside of a person who is born again.
How does Psalm 51:5 describe the nature we were born with?
What does the writer of this psalm cry out to God to do, in verse 10?
Some people think they can change their own heart. We hear of people talking about "turning over a new leaf," etc. What does the LORD say in Jeremiah 13:23?
According to Romans 6:2 what has happened to a Christian's relationship with sin?
We need to be clear about what the Bible means when it says we died
sin. First, let's look at what it doesn't mean:
It doesn't mean that we have arrived at a place of sinless perfection - that Christians don't sin any more.
Also, it doesn't mean that we have died to temptation.
Every Christian is tempted to sin almost daily. Sometimes we even yield to that temptation. So what does it mean that we have
Before we were saved we lived in the kingdom of darkness. The power of that kingdom is sin. We were held under the power and domination of sin. When we were born again we were taken out of that kingdom, out from under its power of sin, and brought into God's kingdom.
In God's kingdom of light we are no longer under the controlling power of sin. A different power operates in the kingdom of God.
Read Romans 5:21. What is the power operating in our lives now?
Grace means God's ability in the place of our inability. In other words, when we were in the kingdom of darkness we had no choice but to sin. We were sinners by nature and under sin's control. Being under God's grace, however, means we are free not to sin. We are free to obey the Spirit. Read Romans 5:21 again.
What does sin produce?
What does grace produce?
Read Romans 5:20. Which is stronger, sin or grace?
Why do so many Christians still struggle with sin? Our situation, according to Romans 5 & 6 is that we have received a new nature, but it's living in our old body! We will not receive our new bodies until the second coming of Christ.
The good news, however, is that our body now has to do what our new nature tells it to do. Before we were saved we had to obey the power of sin which was at work within our body. Now, however, Christ dwells in us and reigns by His grace. We are no longer slaves. We are free to walk in righteousness and obedience.
What does Paul say in the following verses?
A HEART FOR GOD
Now that the old sin nature has died, and been buried, the new risen nature is alive and free to worship God.
The Bible tells how the first king of Israel, Saul allowed his heart to go astray and ultimately disobey God. God then appointed another leader for His people, David – “a man after God’s own heart.” (See 1 Samuel 13:14)
Likewise all four Gospels tell us of an occasion when Jesus was invited to the home of a certain Pharisee. There is a woman there who (we find) had lived a sinful life, and she brings an alabaster jar of perfume, and as Jesus is reclining at the table for a meal, her tears fall on his feet. She proceeds to wipe His feet with her hair, kiss His feet, and then pour perfume on them. Of course this causes eyebrows to be raised … but Jesus explains that this was an act of worship. He says “he who has been forgiven much … loves much (Luke 7:47) Then Jesus says to the woman … Lk 7:50 … “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
This woman had once lived a very broken and sinful life … yet when she came into the presence of Jesus and began to
Him, everything changed. She went home restored and at peace with God. Jesus had touched her life and
was the response.
In the same way, worship is the Believer’s natural response to God’s love and grace.
Worship is a key to intimacy with God. Jesus reminds us of the greatest command in Mt 22:37
Loving the Lord with everything you have and are is worship. This is the expression of a
Be encouraged to develop a lifestyle of
… of daily surrender … daily handing everything over to Jesus.
Allow Him to build and intimate relationship with you. As you love the Lord, and worship Him, He draws you ever closer, ever deeper, in His love.
Commit to coming to the weekly worship services and other worship events - meet with God, and allow Him to touch your life.
Feel free to be expressive in worship
- lift your hands, sing passionately, surrender your heart.
Develop your own personal worship time with the Lord – sing with music in the car or elsewhere.
Participate and share in
(this is covered in the bonus lesson)
And invite others to come to church and to worship the Lord together.
How To Live In Victory Over Sin
Much of the teaching for this study has come from Romans 6. The theme of this chapter is the difference the new nature makes to our lives. It is important to know how to apply this teaching to our lives. In Romans 6:1-14 we are given four simple steps to walking in daily victory over sin.
1. We must
and understand that we have died to sin's power and dominion over our lives (see Romans 6:2&3). Do you know this? If not keep going over this teaching until you grasp it. The truth sets you free!
2. We must
the teaching that we now live with Christ and the power of His grace (see Romans 6:8). Walk by faith in what God's Word declares, not what you feel or think.
3. We must
ourselves to be dead to sin's control and alive to God's power in our lives (see Romans 6:11). Live now according to what the Bible says is true of you!
4. We must no longer present the members of our bodies - eyes, ears, lips, mind, hands, feet, etc. - to sin, but
them to God as instruments of righteousness (see Romans 6:13).
. As Christians, our position is that we have a new nature living in our old body. The body is not evil. It is not the source of sin, but the medium through which sin expresses itself. We cannot sin without a body! Our new nature, however, is not under the power of sin, but under grace. We demonstrate this by yielding the members of our bodies to serve righteousness. God's grace has made us free to do this, and this is evidence of a new heart –
a heart of worship
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