We sometimes speak about our sinful nature. Which of course we have. The law of sin uses our flesh to further its aims (Rom 7:25). Yet one possible liability with using the phrase “sinful nature” entails what Paul Dirks recently described as a competition of opposing natures.
I would add that the phrase sinful nature implies that sin has a substantial nature. In other words, it would mean that sinful natures have a created existence because the only things that exist are those created by God. God did not create sin, and therefore it is impossible for sin to have substantial existence. Rather, sin only corrupts God’s good creation like rust on metal. It is not a thing but a corrosion of things.
A better way to speak of the power of sin comes directly out of Paul. He speaks of the flesh* and its passions and desires. By using such language, we can speak accurately about sin and also discover concrete ways to defeat sin since we will know what it is.
Speaking of a sinful nature as such can often obscure sin’s real power by making it sound like a dualistic force that we have to fight in a battle like in the ancient teaching of Manichaeism.
That is not the case. And here is why. [Read more…] about Do We Have a Sinful Nature? Better to Say, We Have Passions And Desires of the Flesh.