In reading 1 John, I read Matthew Henry’s commentary. I had to share it! It’s a direct quote about my new nature and yours too! In case you don’t know, let me tell you what I’ve found out about Matthew Henry.
He was an English theologian and minister. He is best known for his influential book called “Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible.” Henry was born in Wales and spent his life studying and teaching the Bible. Wild, right?
His commentary is highly respected and used by theologians, scholars, and Christians from different denominations. In my opinion, it is one of the easiest commentaries to read and understand.
It provides deep insights and interpretations of the Bible, reflecting Henry’s commitment to the Reformed tradition. His writings and sermons are known for their spiritual wisdom, and practical application of biblical principles. If you are ever on Bible Gateway.com, you can find his commentaries easily by clicking “Commentaries.” See Wikipedia for more information.
The commentary that prompted this blog post is the clearest, most concise explanation of the newness of life we acquire in Christ:
“The sons of God know that their Lord is of purer eyes than to allow anything unholy and impure to dwell with him. It is the hope of hypocrites, not of the sons of God, that makes allowance for gratifying impure desires and lusts.
May we be followers of him as his dear children, thus show our sense of his unspeakable mercy, and express that obedient, grateful, humble mind which becomes us.
Sin is the rejecting the Divine law. In him, that is, in Christ, was no sin. All the sinless weaknesses that were consequences of the fall, he took; that is, all those infirmities of mind or body which subject man to suffering, and expose him to temptation.
But our moral infirmities, our proneness to sin, he had not He that abides in Christ, continues not in the practice of sin. Renouncing sin is the great proof of spiritual union with, continuance in, and saving knowledge of the Lord Christ.
Beware of self-deceit. He that doeth righteousness is righteous, and to be a follower of Christ, shows an interest by faith in his obedience and sufferings. But a man cannot act like the devil, and at the same time be a disciple of Christ Jesus. Let us not serve or indulge what the Son of God came to destroy.
To be born of God is to be inwardly renewed by the power of the Spirit of God. Renewing grace is an abiding principle. Religion is not an art, a matter of dexterity and skill, but a new nature. And the regenerate person cannot sin as he did before he was born of God, and as others do who are not born again. There is that light in his mind, which shows him the evil and malignity of sin.
There is that bias upon his heart, which disposes him to loathe and hate sin. There is the spiritual principle that opposes sinful acts. And there is repentance for sin, if committed. It goes against him to sin with forethought. The children of God and the children of the devil have their distinct characters.
The seed of the serpent are known by neglect of religion, and by their hating real Christians. He only is righteous before God, as a justified believer, who is taught and disposed to righteousness by the Holy Spirit. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil. May all professors of the gospel lay these truths to heart, and try themselves by them. [End]
Powerful, right? Click here to read it.
What is my new nature about?
When we Christians talk about our new nature in Christ, we refer to the transformative power of the Gospel in our lives. It is the concept that when we accept Jesus as our Savior, we are no longer bound by our old sinful nature; instead, we are given a new identity in Christ.
This new nature is characterized by love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These are the fruit of the Spirit.
As we grow in our relationship with Christ, we begin to manifest these qualities in our thoughts, words, and actions. Our desires and priorities begin to align with God’s will, and we become more like Him.
Scriptures about my new nature in Christ
Your and my new nature in Christ is founded on Biblical scripture. Here are a few of them:
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV):
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
Ephesians 4:22-24 (NIV):
“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”
Colossians 3:9-10 (NIV):
“Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.”
Galatians 2:20 (NIV):
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
These Bible verses talk about how having faith in Jesus can change us from the inside out. It’s like being born again spiritually, leaving behind our old ways and becoming more like God wants us to be. It’s all about following Jesus’ teachings and letting the Holy Spirit guide us.
It is as though I mature spiritually with my new nature.
Paul wrote about this new nature in several of his letters to the early Christian churches. In his letter to the Corinthians, he says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
He emphasizes that our new nature is not something we can attain on our own, but it is a gift from God through the work of the Holy Spirit.
Our new nature is all about God…not us.
Living out our new nature requires daily surrender and dependence on God. We must continually seek His guidance and rely on His strength to overcome the temptations and challenges that come our way. It is a lifelong process of transformation as we strive to become more like Christ in every aspect of our lives.
My new nature in Christ (and yours) is a remarkable aspect of our faith. It is a beautiful reminder that through Christ’s sacrifice, we are given the opportunity to experience true spiritual renewal and transformation. Embracing our new nature empowers us to live a life that is pleasing to God and brings glory to His name.
What is spiritual maturity about?
Being a mature Christian means living out the teachings of Jesus in your everyday life. It’s about showing love, being humble, patient, and forgiving. It’s also about serving others and putting their needs before your own.
A mature Christian seeks to live a life characterized by integrity, compassion, and a deep understanding of God’s grace. It’s about consistently walking in faith, demonstrating a Christ-like character, and living out the fruits of the Spirit, which include love, joy, peace, and self-control. This is my new nature because of salvation, but I can fall short because I am human. So are you. 🙂
As they understand the importance of spiritual growth and accountability, mature Christians also exhibit a strong commitment to prayer, studying the Word of God, and participating in a faith community.
It’s worth repeating that mature Christian behavior is a continual journey toward becoming more Christ-like and a shining light in a world in need of hope and love.
Let me wrap this all up…
All this to say, my new nature in Christ and the transformation that occurs when we accept Jesus as our Savior is a re-definition of who we are positionally, and the result is a sense of belonging and the benefits of being part of God’s family.
I hope I highlighted the qualities and attributes of this new nature and the importance of relying on the Holy Spirit for this transformation. I hoped to emphasize that living out this new nature is an ongoing process that requires daily surrender and dependence on God. Our new Christian nature is linked to our Christian belief in the power of God’s grace to bring about spiritual renewal and transformation. Amen!