Monday 23 October 2017

Human Nature VI -X by David Heisler

Human Nature VI

It is clear that at the request of Jesus we are one with Him, the Father and with each other - sharing the divine nature. To say those facts is a good start. This is comparable to anything learned or acquired in life - when the understanding goes from your head to your heart – when you become the words you speak – when you wake up one day and can say with full assurance “I am Him in my world” – the vessel has now become the treasure and the branch has now become the vine. You are Him to those in need.

Then, curiously, you stop asking yourself about your “nature”. You now understand that you are now much more than your nature. You are the complete and total person you were created to be. You can stop the introspection and self-improvement program and look out to your needy and heartbroken world and be the healer and the lover you were created to be.

For me these thoughts make the question of one nature or two fade away. It’s not really important to me. I think what fuels the debate of “two natures” – “dog versus dog”, is what happens when you feel tempted or really take a fall into something that you later consider to be “wrong”. It happens. Do you think that Jesus ever had those thoughts? Did He say, “Could I have been more loving or more understanding today?” Or, “Did I just sin when I cleared out the temple with a whip?”

Human Nature VII

“And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables…” John 2.14-15

In today’s world Jesus would have been sentenced to at least two years in state prison for the assault and battery. He actually got crucified – but the point is that today the police would have arrested Him immediately and taken Him to jail. The much bigger question is – do you think Jesus considered “that is just my ‘old Adamic’ nature rising up and I have to get it under control?” I doubt it. Certainly at this point in His life He saw Himself as a unified Person expressing only Divine Nature as His true Self. Does this mean that He was irresponsible for His actions? Am I advocating irresponsibility? My answer is absolutely “no” on both counts.

The fact that Jesus expressed His anger was not because he has two natures at war within Him and the “lower” nature took over. He expressed His anger because He was angry, period. That’s not so strange, is it? But if we express anger or otherwise do something “sinful” we assume that that is our “flesh” or our “old Adamic nature” or our “old man” – or anything, really, to deny the fact of the truth of our Divine Nature

Human Nature VIII

Now, what about the old “Adamic/Sinful Nature”? Is there such a thing? Does it apply to us? Can a person have two natures operating at the same time? There is much said, to the effect, that Christians have two natures but the rest of the world does not. The theory that a person can have two natures at one time has deep roots in Christianity. Having deeps roots doesn’t necessarily make it so.

Remember your “nature” is your operating system. It is the life that you express. We know for certain that we have the Divine Nature. . “… ye might be partakers of the divine nature … ” [2 Peter 1.4] “Partake” means to “share or participate”.

The question remains – is the rest of the world unified, one-nature beings and is it just Christians who are a hybrid of good and evil, fighting a daily battle to do good and avoid evil?

Jesus never defined anyone in those terms – ever. He did however have very harsh words for those He considered hypocrites. “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.” [John 8.44] But, what did Jesus say about the rest of us?

Human Nature IX

So, how did Jesus deal with the question of nature? With the hypocrites, His words were harsh and to the point. He angered those who later murdered Him. He stated, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.” [John 8.44]
Now, it could be interpreted that the statement “of your father the devil” means that they are “containers” of sinful nature. He didn’t actually use that terminology. None-the-less he was definitely making a point to both the Pharisees and those within earshot – what they do and say is wrong, evil and not to be followed.

He never spoke of the rank and file in such negative terms. But what did Jesus have to say, virtually, to all others, most definitely including you and me? He said, “Ye are the salt of the earth…” [Matt. 5.13] And right after He said, “Ye are the light of the world.” [Matt. 5.14] We have no way of knowing if Jesus personally knew all the people of which He made these blanket statements. We have no way of knowing if each and every one of them had read the Four Spiritual Laws. [I’m kidding – Rev. Bright was not born yet] We don’t know if each and every one of them prayed the “sinner’s prayer”. [Assuming it had been invented yet – probably not]. We don’t know if each and every one had “received Jesus and their personal Lord and Savior”. [Assuming such terminology was used back then – probably not] So what was Jesus talking about when he called you and me salt and light?

Human Nature X

So what did Jesus mean when he called us “salt of the earth” and “light of the world”? Was He talking about our nature? Contrast that with what Paul talked about in Romans Seven. Is Paul contradicting Jesus by saying that we are “really” the “salt and pepper” of the earth? Is Paul saying we are the “light and dark” of the world? I think we can rest assured that Paul is not contradicting Jesus and not talking about our nature.

In the early church, Paul’s time, just as today, there is pervasive and persuasive influence that what was started with faith should now be completed with law – rules, regulations, and “way of life”. “Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” [Gal. 3.3] But, Paul is not talking about our nature. We are unified persons expressing the divine nature in us. Paul is talking about the experience that we all go through that brings us back to the Savior’s Cross.

Generally speaking we all commence our life of faith with a moment of faith in Him. What we don’t know, at that time, is how complete that moment of salvation – redemption – reconciliation really is. In absolute reality, in that moment of our own personal history we experience the truth of Galatians 2.20 - ”I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

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