12th December 2016

Human Nature What Is

“What is human nature? What does the Bible say about human nature?”Human nature is that which makes us distinctly human. Our nature is distinct from the animals and the rest of creation in that we can think and feel. One of the chief distinctions between human beings and the rest of creation lies in our ability to reason. No other creature has this ability, and there’s no question that this is a unique gift bestowed by God. What is unique about this is that it enables us to reflect on our own nature, the nature of God, and from that to derive knowledge of God’s will for His creation. No other part of God’s creation has a nature capable of doing so. The Bible teaches that God created human beings in His image. To be in God’s image is part of our nature. This means that He enables us to have some understanding of Him and of His vast and complex design. Our human nature also reflects some of God’s attributes, although those are limited and, unlike Him, finite. We love because we are made in the image of the God who is love (1 John 4:16). Because we are created in His image, we reflect His nature, and we can be compassionate, faithful, truthful, kind, patient, and just, although these attributes are distorted by sin, which still resides in our nature. Originally, human nature was perfect by virtue of having been created so by God. The Bible teaches that human beings were created “very good” by a loving God (Genesis 1:31), but that goodness was marred by the sin of Adam and Eve and, subsequently, the entire human race fell victim to the sin nature. The good news is that at the moment of conversion, the Christian receives a new nature. Second Corinthians 5:17 tells us, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” Sanctification, on the other hand, is the process by which God develops our new nature, enabling us to grow into more holiness through time. This is a continuous process with many victories and defeats as the new nature battles with the “tent” (2 Corinthians 5:4) in which it resides—the old man, old nature, the flesh. Not until we are glorified in God’s presence will our new nature be set free to live for eternity in the presence of the God in whose image we are created.

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