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God's Not Mad at You
“Do Christians still have a sinful nature?”

“Do Christians still have a sinful nature?”

NOVEMBER 5, 2021

/ Programs / Key Life / “Do Christians still have a sinful nature?”

Steve Brown:
Do Christians still have a sinful nature? The answer to the that and other questions on Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
Key Life exists to communicate that the deepest message of Jesus and the Bible is the radical grace of God to sinners and sufferers. Life’s hard for everyone. So grace is for all of us, but there is a lot of confusion about how grace applies to real life. So here’s seminary professor and author, Steve Brown and Pete Alwinson to answer your questions.

Steve Brown:
Thank you Matthew. Hi Pete.

Pete Alwinson:
Hey man.

Steve Brown:
How you doing?

Pete Alwinson:
Good. I’m doing good. My sinful nature is non-existent, today, right now.

Steve Brown:
For a second.

Pete Alwinson:
For a second. Yeah.

Steve Brown:
Hey, listen, are you live streaming some of us stuff yet?

Pete Alwinson:
We’re getting there. We’re getting there. Check us out. ForgeTruth.com and see.

Steve Brown:
You’ll have an announcement there. So, you can go to the Forge meeting in your pajamas.

Pete Alwinson:
You can, you could join us and you can start your own Forge group in the morning with a bunch of guys if you wanted to.

Steve Brown:
Everybody in their pajamas, or you could fix breakfast.

Pete Alwinson:
Fix breakfast in your shorts.

Steve Brown:
But you’re really planning this?

Pete Alwinson:
It’s coming.

Steve Brown:
Hey, listen, check out, ForgeTruth.com. All of you and find out when it will be live streamed, and then you don’t have to get up so early, but those who really love Jesus after all he’s done for you, will get up and show for the meeting itself. That, by the way is Pete Alwinson and he comes in on Fridays and we answer questions together. And we love to sit and talk about your questions. You can ask you a question by calling 1-800-KEY-LIFE, and you can do that 24 7. Anytime you have a question record it and we sometimes put it on the air. Or you can send your question to

Key Life Network
P.O. Box 5000
Maitland, Florida 32794

In Canada, it’s

Key Life Canada
P.O. Box 28060
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 6J8

Or you can send your question to Steve@keylife.org. And those are all places where if you can, maybe you could help us financially. This is an expensive ministry and we squeeze every dime for the glory of God. And we’re faithful with every gift. So, if you can help us, do help us, you can charge it on your credit card, include a gift in your envelope. And we’ll be careful, and as faithful with a gift as you were in giving it. And we also know only about 10% of our people who benefit by this ministry are able to help us financially. And if you can’t, we understand, do say a prayer. Pete, why don’t you lead us in prayer and we’ll turn to some of these questions.

Pete Alwinson:
Alright. Father, thank you, as we come to you at the end of this week, on this Friday, well, the week isn’t over Father, but it is toward the end. And we come to you and we ask that you would help us to just rest for a moment. And even now as we come into your presence to give you honor and praise and glory, to thank you that you’ve been sovereign and in control all week. And that things that we thought were going to go horribly wrong, didn’t. And, Lord, thank you that you’ve forgiven us for our sins and that Jesus, you are continuing the great work that you started. And so, we honor you and we praise you. Lord, we don’t have all the answers we need. We need your wisdom. We need your truth. We need clarity in our lives. We need hope. We need boldness. We need the ability to step out in faith and trust you. So, you know our needs and we come to you, we’re not playing any games. We ask that your grace would continue to conform us to the image of your son. Now, Father, we asked as we do Q&A, that you would speak to us, Lord, with all these questions. I want to thank you for the fact that your people are thinking and asking questions and pray that we would use these questions in a good way and answer them in a way that will encourage and build up. We pray that you’d be with our pastors and teachers and priests and leaders this weekend. And that you would use them in our lives as we worship. We commit all these things to you in your strong name, Lord Jesus, we pray. Amen.

Steve Brown:
Pete, this first question is an e-mail. Do we, as Christians still have a sinful nature, flesh, since the old is gone and the new has come away? What, has come? What did Paul mean in II Corinthians 5:17?

Pete Alwinson:
Well, that’s what he says.

In Christ, the old had gone away, the new has come!

Steve Brown:
We’re a new creation.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah.

Steve Brown:
Do you have a sinful nature?

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. We do. I do.

Steve Brown:
Your probably not saved.

Pete Alwinson:
Well, I sometimes, have you, sometimes you feel that way.

Steve Brown:
Those are not exclusive terms. I mean, you can be a new creation, and man I can see that in a thousand ways. But you can still have a sinful nature. That’s the seventh chapter of Romans, Paul said, not there, said to Timothy, that Christ came to save sinners and I’m the chief of the sinners. So yeah. We still struggle, but we also see things happening in our lives that have no explanation except Christ and the new nature. Talk about sanctification.

Pete Alwinson:
Thank you for bringing that up. So, justification, we’re declared not guilty for our sins, through faith in Christ. Adoption, we are made daughters and sons. And then we’re set apart. We’re saints by calling, but then that has to work out in our everyday life, doesn’t it? And that’s the process of sanctification. It’s the process of discipleship, becoming in practice what we are in our position in him. And he uses his word and uses God’s people in our life and the Spirit to conform us to the image of his son. But I do still have that old nature that rears its head and wants me to think, act and decide as an unbeliever.

Steve Brown:
It’s true. And by the way, I think most Christians are better than they think they are, but I don’t think God lets you see that all the time because he knows if he gives us an inch, we’ll take a mile. And we’ll become self-righteous, but you know what my prayer is sometimes? Lord, I sometimes wonder if I’m growing the way I ought to, if I love you the way I ought to, and I would ask that you would show me, don’t do it so much that it hurts my walk with you, but let me occasionally see that you’re operating in my life.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah.

Steve Brown:
You know, he does that?

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah, he does. And I think the longer we walk with him, the more we really become like him. And we can see that, he wants us to see the progress that he has made in our lives.

Steve Brown:
That’s true. When you start thinking it’s you, he takes it away.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right. I think, you know, you and I have followed Jesus for a long time and we’re never going back.

Steve Brown:
No, never.

Pete Alwinson:
And we know that we still mess up and we still have attitudes that are wrong, but most of the time we, I mean, we’re pretty conscious. We want to follow Jesus. And when we get off in the weeds, we know it pretty quickly.

Steve Brown:
Yeah, we really do.

Pete Alwinson:
It’s a gift.

Steve Brown:
That’s called the new nature, a new creature in Christ. How often should one commit one’s life to Christ? I’m not speaking of salvation, this questioner said.

Pete Alwinson:
That follows well on that next question. I seek to do it every day.

Steve Brown:
I do too.

Pete Alwinson:
Is that what you do in your morning time?

Steve Brown:
Somebody said something that, maybe it was you, but somebody said to me just recently, God divided the world into days, so we would have a fresh start every 24 hours. And I’ve thought about that. Oh, that’s really good.

Pete Alwinson:
I didn’t tell you say that to you, but I’ll take credit for it.

Steve Brown:
But he does, and that fresh start, you know, each morning I say, Lord, I get a brand, that’s the reason I get up early. You know, you haven’t messed up anything at that early in the morning yet. So you, you really do come for us and you say, God, you know, as an act of worship, and as a contract, I want to make with you, regardless of my feelings, I give you myself without exception or reservation, and you do with me as you please. And I think that’s a pleasing statement to God.

Pete Alwinson:
Absolutely. And I think that at the beginning of the day, it’s good to remember who you are, what your identity, who are you really. I am the deeply beloved redeemed son of the most high God.

Steve Brown:
Yeah. I’m something else.

Pete Alwinson:
And so, that is an identity thing, but it’s all grace based. And so, that’s a re-commitment, every day. And, a reminder that energizes me as I go out there, that I don’t have to earn my identity.

Steve Brown:
Yeah. You are that.

Pete Alwinson:
I am that. Jesus gave it to me. God gave it to me.

Steve Brown:
That’s so good, man. That’s good. I just want to end the broadcast. I want to go in and pray. Does the Bible teach universalism?

Pete Alwinson:
What is universalism?

Steve Brown:
Well, I thought you would be able to say, that means that everybody’s going to end up in the same place in heaven.

Pete Alwinson:
So, no.

Steve Brown:
I wish it did.

Pete Alwinson:
I wish it did. Yeah. I mean the whole idea of hell is a difficult one. And Jesus talked about it.

Steve Brown:
It came from him. You can’t fool around with it. And I, you know, it’s CS Lewis and I don’t know if I agree with all of this theologically, but he said that hell was a monument to man’s freedom. And there is a sense in which that is true.

Pete Alwinson:
It is.

Steve Brown:
You know, I’d want to say it a little bit more theologically about that, but it is that. And, let me suggest to the person who asked this question that you get a hold of a copy of CS Lewis, The Great Divorce, or maybe CS Lewis book, The Problem of Pain has a chapter on hell there. And when you look at it, you begin to see, yeah, I understand it was necessary. And I don’t think that a God rejoices in the lost, but these are eternal things. You can’t just reject it and walk away and not pay a horrible price for that kind of thing.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. Yeah. And that helps us dive deeply into the holiness and justice of God.

Steve Brown:
It really does.

Pete Alwinson:
And as we see ourselves, then that reminds us of his grace for us.

Steve Brown:
Oh, and the more we see ourselves, the more we see his grace.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
And we see how important that is. Did you preach much on the subject of hell?

Pete Alwinson:
You know, when it comes up in the text of Scripture, you have to deal with it.

Steve Brown:
That’s true. That’s one of the good reasons for being an expository preacher because they know what’s coming next.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right. That’s right.

Steve Brown:
You can’t get out, they’ll know you’re going to check it out if you don’t talk about it.

Pete Alwinson:
Oh man, you got it.

Steve Brown:
And you say, you know, Spurgeon said something that was, that I have thought about a lot. He said to his students, this is in this book Lectures to my Students.

That we should not preach on the hell without tears in our eyes.

And I sometimes say, God, remind me of that and make me as sad as you are over that particular truth. Universalism is attractive, but spit, it’s not in the Bible. So, you have got to deal with it. And everybody else does. You going to show up next week.

Pete Alwinson:
It’s about Jesus, isn’t it?

Steve Brown:
It really is. And we got to go. Key Life as a listener supported production of Key Life Network.

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