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What rules you?
Two different natures.
In the third chapter of The Gospel of John, when one of the religious scholars (Nicodemus) secretly came to learn from Jesus, this Teacher did not withhold the foundational concepts of real life from him. Rather than play games, Jesus set strong doctrinal meat on the table for Nicodemus to chew on. This religious leader had come to Jesus privately, in the night, so as not to be seen by his contemporaries, seeking to discover if Jesus was a prophet, or in fact, The Messiah of Israel.
After Nicodemus made an effort to pay Jesus a very great compliment, mentioning the miracles performed as the motivation behind his perusal, he waited to hear what Jesus had to say in response. In discreet isolation, away from the daytime crowds, Nicodemus sought to learn what he could, and Jesus did not disappoint him. This is when Jesus replied to Nicodemus' tribute by making a very interesting and profound statement; and in that moment, Nicodemus became the first of hundreds of millions, to hear a phrase that had never been recorded before that night.
Jesus Said, "“I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” Not only was this comment new, to Nicodemus and to everyone who hears it, this remark sounded rather strange. So much so, that Nicodemus, who truly was a religious intellectual, immediately reacted by uttering what most people would call a logical response.
Nicodemus replied, "What are you talking about?” ..."How can an old person go back into a mother’s womb and be born again?” (paraphrase mine) Indeed. How could any one do this?
A simple interpretation of Jesus' answer can be paraphrased this way:
Jesus answered, “I guarantee you, no one will have access to the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce humans, but the Holy Spirit births spiritual life." (In The King James Version, a simple explanation to this statement is put forth using these words:) "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." (John 3:3 -6)
Can you imagine, that, after Nicodemus had witnessed Jesus performing miracles, he might have hoped for the more profound explanation than the few words Jesus was ready to provide? I wonder if Nicodemus even entertained the idea that Jesus was playing with him. After all, the principle of rebirth is unique.
No human can re-enter mother's womb to be born again. Who would want to? Yet, Jesus was not referring to carnal rebirth. Jesus was referring to the undertaking (no pun intended) of reactivating the spirit that died when Adam fell out of fellowship with our Creator through disobedience.
Jesus was making a point. While feeding Nicodemus' curiosity about a kingdom he could not fathom, Jesus deliberately presented the fact that there is a prerequisite to entering that kingdom. Therefore, He introduced the vital concept and importance of spiritual birth.
The precept was not to be taken as a figurative mandate. The teaching was revealed as a crucial condition of man's spiritual awakening.
Why? Because from the moment Adam sinned, man's soul locked into the carnal, earthy aspects that plug humans into external sensory stimulation. This defect influences humans to respond to natural inclinations that gratify self (hence the idea that humanity does not need God).
In contrast, before sinning, when Adam interacted with God, his spirit was alive, not oppressed. At that point in time, the flesh comprised the outer shell of man, not the influential contributing factor of man's actions and reactions. The transition of flesh/soul interaction came after the fall.
Flesh caters to the carnal, base instincts, motivated by materialisms as well as tangible, and/or emotional stimulations. The opposite is true of the born-again spirit, that when surrendered to The Holy Spirit, has the ability to connect with God. In other words, the born again spirit of (wo)man is the only configuration capable of actually discerning, connecting and interacting with God, The Creator.
Born of The Spirit
Basically, the spirit of (wo)man is born again when, having realized a need for The Creator, the individual understands that sin has separated him/her from their Maker, and that by sincerely repenting of sin, and accepting YESHUA's Gift of Death in his/her place, he/she receives forgiveness, because Elohim Promises, "If we confess our sins, HE is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9) The cleansing work of The Holy Spirit revives the deadened spirit, bringing spiritual rebirth.
Carnal (wo)man must set aside the need for external proofs. for the sake of seeking our Creator through a surrendered spirit. While Jesus was anointed to minister with miracles of healing and restoration of the human spirit, now that He Is Seated at The Right Hand of The Father, His Holy Spirit works with the sincere hearted seeker.
Carnal man must set aside self-indulgence(s). Self-gratification is the purest form of idolatry, birthed in pride, self-exaltation. Adam's spiritual death aroused the need for self-gratification and awakened sin consciousness.
A more excellent nature is intended, one in which invisible, internal attributes of the spirit would be quickened and inspire humanity, rather than outward, sensuous and carnal inclinations that could bring humanity down. Higher standards are the standards God means for humans to seek a foundational platform of moral ethics that pursues excellence, values life without prejudice, and, with the integrity to speak out against that which is evil, when and how The Father, through His Holy Spirit leads.
God intends the soul to be subject to the spirit He in-breathed, not stimulated by carnal desires with the power to smother what is good. The spiritual death that occurred when Adam sought to gain something the deceiver told him God was withholding, caused humanity's sense of spiritual discernment to be asphyxiated.
In that dying breath, man's soul latched onto the flesh, the superficial, the common. As a result, breaking promises, trespassing against a fellow human being (even one to whom a vow of love or loyalty is given), and committing crimes, whether seemingly inconsequential or insidious, becomes an inherent force. What fails to be distinguished is the influence behind this driving force.
The Holy Bible says, our enemy "walks around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he will devour." (1 Peter 5:8) This adversary hates Believers in YESHUA because we embody the image of The One Who exiled him from The Kingdom of Heaven; and, now that we know our Maker IS Sovereign, if we determine to live life for our Master, and not for ourselves, we would become a threat to his dark agenda.
What are the two different natures? The carnal: this nature is the inclination humans possess instinctively. In other words, we do not need to be taught to be 'natural or carnal'. The spiritual: this is the unnatural inclination that God meant to be our dominant nature, but is dead unless we pray to be 'born again' in the Spirit.
These two natures war against one another in us. Dark forces work to keep our carnal nature alive in our hearts, minds and desires. The spiritual nature, completely surrendered to The Holy Spirit of The Living God, realizes there is something more, something greater, something only The Sovereign King of all creation dominates.
Each of these two natures is part of you. The nature you feed is the dominant one influencing your thinking, your desires, your actions and reactions, your motivation and your ability to know The True King of All Creation, or the lack thereof.
Which of these natures is alive and well in you? By which nature do you wish to be dominated? Will you allow God to re-establish relationship with you through His Holy Spirit? Or will you leave yourself open to God's enemy by either allowing the spirit in you to remain under the control of your flesh, and/or be stimulated by entities that want nothing more than to trick you into an eternity without The Creator, so that you will never truly understand what has been stolen from you, and mean you only harm?
The choice is yours. Literally.