Sin Nature

The Apostle Paul refers to the “sinful nature,” warning us that if we follow its impulses we will die spiritually, we will reap destruction.

How did Paul arrive at the concept of the sinful nature?1)http://www.wor.org/Books/s/The_Sinful_Nature.htm

The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. (Galatians 6:8)

The Apostle Paul refers to the “sinful nature,” warning us that if we follow its impulses we will die spiritually, we will reap destruction. How did Paul arrive at the concept of the sinful nature? 

Outcomes of a Sin Nature:

For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. (Galatians 6:8)

Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. (Romans 7:20) 

refer Notes: AA and BB see editors notes.

A Disease. Its Symptoms and Its Cure 2)www.keybibleconcepts.org Key Bible Concepts: David Gooding and John Lennox

SYMPTOMS

practices lawlessness (1 John 3:4)

blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent (1 Timothy 1:12-17)

lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine… (1 Timothy 1:9-11)

(are) alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds… (Colossians 1:21)

lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind… (Ephesians 2:3)

desires of the flesh are against the Spirit… (Galatians 5:17

one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption… (Galatians 6:8)

they have become worthless… their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive… the venom of asps is under their lips… their mouth is full of curses and bitterness… their feet are swift to shed blood… their paths are ruin and misery… the way of peace they have not known… no fear of God before their eyes. (Romans 3:10-18)

the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot… Those who are in the flesh cannot please God  (Romans 8:5-9)

the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot (Romans 8:7)

we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. (Romans 7:5)

v.4 Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.

1 John 3:4

v.12 I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, v.13 though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, v.14 and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. v.15 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. v.16 But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. v.17 To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honour and glory forever and ever. Amen.

1 Timothy 1:12-17

v.15 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.

1 Timothy 1:15

v.9 understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, v.10 the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, v.11 in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.

1 Timothy 1:9-11

v.21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds,

Colossians 1:21

v.3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

Ephesians 2:3

v.17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.

Galatians 5:17

v.19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, v.20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Galatians 5:19-21

v.24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Galatians 5:24

v.12 It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh who would force you to be circumcised, and only in order that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. v.13 For even those who are circumcised do not themselves keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh.

Galatians 6:12-13

v.8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

Galatians 6:8

v.17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

John 3:17

v.14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

Romans 13:14

v.10 as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; v.11 no one understands; no one seeks for God. v.12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” v.13 “Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.” “The venom of asps is under their lips.” v.14 “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.” v.15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood; v.16 in their paths are ruin and misery, v.17 and the way of peace they have not known.” v.18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

Romans 3:10-18

v.6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.

Romans 5:6

v.5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. v.6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. v.7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. v.8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. v.9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.

Romans 8:5-9

v.7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot

Romans 8:7

v.5 For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death.

Romans 7:5

UNDERSTANDING THE FLESH, THE SINFUL NATURE, IN ROMANS 7-83)http://www.jesuswalk.com/christ-power/flesh-sinful-nature.htm by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson

“Sinful nature” (NIV) or “flesh” (KJV, NRSV, NASB), sarx in Greek, is a key term in Romans 7 and 8.

But at first glance it is confusing.

This is because the word “flesh” is used in at least four different ways:

The first three are morally neutral:

1.0 Physical matter that makes up human bodies.

2.0 The human body itself.

3.0 A human being, the human race.


But perhaps Paul’s most characteristic use of sarx is with reference to:

4.0 The rebellious human nature, human value systems that stand in opposition to God’s value system.4)R.J. Erickson, “Flesh,” DPL, pp. 303-306. Here flesh is “the body which is dominated by sin” … “the unregenerate and sinful state.”5)Sarx, BDAG 915, 2cα. The NIV nearly consistently translates this meaning of flesh as “sinful nature.”

The word appears with this fourth definition in:

Romans 6:196)KJV+

 I speakG3004 after the manner of menG442 becauseG1223 of theG3588 infirmityG769 of yourG5216 flesh:G4561 forG1063 asG5618 ye have yieldedG3936 yourG5216 membersG3196 servantsG1400 to uncleannessG167 andG2532 to iniquityG458 untoG1519 iniquity;G458 even soG3779 nowG3568 yieldG3936 yourG5216 membersG3196 servantsG1400 to righteousnessG1343 untoG1519 holiness.G38

Romans 7:5

Romans 7:18

Romans 7:25

and 13 times in the first 13 verses of Romans 8.

Strongs Number: G4561

Word: sarx

Pronounce: sarx

Orig: probably from the base of 4563; flesh (as stripped of the skin), i.e. (strictly) the meat of an animal (as food), or (by extension) the body (as opposed to the soul (or spirit), or as the symbol of what is external, or as the means of kindred), or (by implication) human nature (with its frailties (physically or morally) and passions), or (specially), a human being (as such):–carnal(-ly, + -ly minded), flesh(-ly). G4563

Use: TDNT-7:98,1000 Noun Feminine

Heb Strong: H1320 H3894 H7607

It is central to our study.

Paul teaches that the fallen human nature is inherently rebellious against God. We inherited this nature from Adam and, unfortunately, it was not eradicated when we became Christians. It is still within us, but we are no longer forced to follow its dictates. As we will see in Romans 8, we now have the Spirit within us who is strong enough to keep the flesh from getting the upper hand. What kinds of things does the flesh cause us to do?

“The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.” (Galatians 5:19-21)

The flesh motivates the selfishness we sometimes feel, the whining about our circumstances, the petty jealousies, the jockeying for power in the office and in our marriages, the lure of pornography, the desire for money and possessions, and all the rest. In 7:14-25 we’ll explore our struggle with the flesh. In 8:1-17 we’ll see how the Spirit can enable us to live free of the flesh.

Waging War against Our Souls (7:23)

As we seek to understand the flesh, it’s important to see that this is no benign competition. It is war against our spirits. Consider verse 23:

“I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members.” (7:23)

This term “waging war” (NIV, NASB), “warring” (KJV), “at war” (NRSV) is antistrateuomai, “to be at war with,”7)Antistrateuomai, BDAG 90. from anti, “over against, hostile opposition” + “strateuō, “to engage in a conflict, wage battle, fight.”8)Strateuō, BDAG 947. In chapter 8 we read, “The mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God” (8:7, NRSV). This concurs with several other New Testament references that characterize the Christian life as conflict:

“[The flesh and the Spirit] are in conflict9)Antikeimai, “be in opposition to” [BDAG 88-89]. with each other.” (Galatians 5:17)

“What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires10)Hēdonē, “state or condition of experiencing pleasure for any reason” [BDAG 434-435]. that battle (strateuō) within you?” (James 4:1)

“Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires,11)Literally “fleshly lusts,” where “lusts” translates the noun epithumia, here, “a desire for something forbidden or simply inordinate, craving, lust” which war (strateuō) against your soul.” (1 Peter 2:11)

Note: The scope of spiritual warfare is the world, the flesh, and the devil. These verses refer primarily to the war with the flesh, though these realms do interact with each other.

If we pamper the flesh and give into its desires, we are merely feeding a monster that will grow that much stronger. The flesh is the enemy of our soul and wages war against it. The answer to the flesh, of course, is the power of the Spirit, which we’ll explore fully in Romans 8.

Note: The scope of spiritual warfare is the world, the flesh, and the devil. These verses refer primarily to the war with the flesh, though these realms do interact with each other.

The Corrupt Heart of Man — Total Depravity

Jeremiah put it this way:

“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)

Man in his present fallen state is not basically good, the Scripture teaches. He is deceitful and conniving. Yes, there is good in him — the remnant of God’s image in which he was formed. But the good is corrupted. No part of man is any longer perfectly good. All is a mixture of good and evil. And certainly man’s “flesh” is corrupt: “I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature (flesh, sarx)” (7:18).

All is somewhat corrupt and therefore, even the “good” in us cannot be trusted. Jesus recognized this when he taught on the heart or core of man:

“The things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean.’ For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what make a man ‘unclean.'” (Matthew 15:18-20a)

Of course, this is just what Paul is teaching about the flesh. Theologians have framed this as the Doctrine of Total Depravity. Not that man has absolutely no good in him. But that in every aspect man is flawed. Even the good that a person may intend may come from mixed motives, etc.
If we pamper the flesh and give into its desires, we are merely feeding a monster that will grow that much stronger. The flesh is the enemy of our soul and wages war against it. The answer to the flesh, of course, is the power of the Spirit, which we explore fully in Romans 8:1-17.

DICTIONARY OF BIBLE THEMES – 6166 FLESH, SINFUL NATURE12)https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/dictionary-of-bible-themes/6166-flesh-sinful-nature

6166 FLESH, SINFUL NATURE

The physical aspect of human beings, which distinguishes them from God and is therefore frequently used in the NT as a symbol of human sinful nature in contrast with God’s perfection. (The Greek word for “flesh” is sometimes translated by other words and phrases in the passages cited in this theme.).

Flesh as the bodily substance of human beings

As individuals or in relation to others Ps 84:2 See also Ge 2:23-24; Ge 29:14; 1Co 15:39 The following two examples from Paul, where the normal word for “flesh” underlies the translation “body”, make clear that to live “in the flesh” is normal human experience; the phrase does not necessarily imply that human nature is sinful, even though in many other instances a specific connection between “flesh” and “sin” is intended: Gal 2:20; Php 1:22-24

As the means by which Jesus Christ identified with the human race to bring salvation Jn 1:14 See also Eph 2:15; Heb 10:20; 1Jn 4:2

As subject to mortality Isa 40:6-7 See also Ps 78:39; Ac 2:31; 1Co 15:50

As subject to weakness 2Ch 32:8 See also Ps 73:26; Mt 26:41 pp Mk 14:38

Flesh as contrasting human nature with God’s perfection

The powerlessness of human beings contrasted with God’s eternal power Isa 31:3 See also Jn 3:6; Jn 6:63

Human or worldly standards contrasted with God’s standards Jn 8:15 See also 1Co 1:26; 2Co 5:16;2Co 10:3-4

Flesh as denoting the sinful nature of human beings

The tendency to sin Ro 7:18 Paul does not mean that no goodness at all exists in people; nor that the physical aspect of human beings is inherently evil. He means that humans are invariably infected by evil and subject to its power. See also Jer 17:5

The conflict in human experience between the sinful nature and the Spirit of God Gal 5:17 See alsoRo 8:4-9; Gal 5:19-25

The sinful nature is opposed to God and his will

This opposition finds expression in a range of acts and attitudes Gal 5:19-21 See also Ro 7:14-25; Ro 8:7; Ro 13:13-14; 1Co 6:9-11; Eph 5:5; Jas 1:14-15; 1Pe 2:11; 2Pe 2:10,18; 1Jn 2:16

Confidence in the law is futile Ro 8:3 Because of the sinfulness of human nature, God’s law is powerless to bring people into relationship with God; Gal 3:3 Even the attempt to find acceptance with God through keeping his law is an act of the sinful nature because it involves rejecting his offer of salvation through his grace. See also Ro 7:25; Php 3:3-9

The sinful nature controls human behaviour in ways which run counter to God’s purpose Ro 8:8 See also Ro 7:5

The sinful nature therefore makes people subject to God’s judgment and to death

Ro 8:13; Eph 2:3 See also Gal 6:8

Believers are not controlled by the sinful nature

Through Jesus Christ’s entering into human flesh, God delivers from the power and consequences of human sinfulness Ro 8:3 See also Eph 2:15

Believers have crucified the sinful nature Ro 7:5-6 See also Ro 8:8-9; Gal 5:24; Col 2:11

The power of God’s Spirit enables believers to continue to resist the sinful nature Ro 8:13 See alsoRo 13:14; Gal 5:13; Col 3:5-6; 1Pe 2:11

God’s provision of church discipline in eliminating the sinful nature 1Co 5:5 The discipline of excluding a sinner from the church community is intended to bring him to repentance and so abandon his sinful course of action. Repentance provoked by physical suffering is possibly also in mind.

See also

2075 Christ, sinless
5020 human nature
5082 Adam, significance
5136 body
6020 sin
6156 fall of humanity
6203 mortality
6213 participation in sin
6248 temptation
6658 freedom
8451 mortification
9020 death

See: THE DILEMMA | The ROMAN ROAD | SALVATION PRAYER


RELATED:

What is the sin nature?

Message of the Cross

SOURCES:

Source: http://www.jesuswalk.com/christ-power/flesh-sinful-nature.htm

Source: https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/dictionary-of-bible-themes/6166-flesh-sinful-nature

Source: http://www.wor.org/Books/s/The_Sinful_Nature.htm

References   [ + ]

1. http://www.wor.org/Books/s/The_Sinful_Nature.htm
2. www.keybibleconcepts.org
3. http://www.jesuswalk.com/christ-power/flesh-sinful-nature.htm by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
4. R.J. Erickson, “Flesh,” DPL, pp. 303-306.
5. Sarx, BDAG 915, 2cα.
6. KJV+
7. Antistrateuomai, BDAG 90.
8. Strateuō, BDAG 947.
9. Antikeimai, “be in opposition to” [BDAG 88-89].
10. Hēdonē, “state or condition of experiencing pleasure for any reason” [BDAG 434-435].
11. Literally “fleshly lusts,” where “lusts” translates the noun epithumia, here, “a desire for something forbidden or simply inordinate, craving, lust”
12. https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/dictionary-of-bible-themes/6166-flesh-sinful-nature

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