The Believer’s Two Natures

By: Rev. Sam Harris; ©2000
According to the apostle Paul, the conflict between the old nature and the new nature affects all Christians. Are there steps you can take to ensure victory over your old nature? Rev. Harris explains.

The Believer’s Two Natures


We have been studying Romans in our weekly small group. This past week, we were in Chapter 7 where Paul talks about the conflict between our two natures. This passage describes me to a “tee,” but I am too embarrassed to say so in class or talk to my Bible Study leader or pastor about it. Can you give me some help?


Paul was certainly honest about his own two natures, which only affirms that we too, often struggle in this same area. For those who may be reading this question/answer, we are referring to Romans 7:14-25.

Often our strongest intentions and the exercise of our willpower fail to keep us from the grip of sin. Let me offer you some suggestions which have been helpful to me.

  1. First, we have to admit that we are powerless over sin and that our lives have become unmanageable. It may be any one of a number of things: pornography, compulsive lying, homosexuality, lust, gluttony—just to name a few.
  2. We must believe that the Holy Spirit’s power can give us victory over the sin. There must be the hope of victory.
  3. By the act of our will, we must decide to turn over our life to the Lord as we understand Him in the Bible.
  4. Make a serious search of the moral inventory of our life. The compulsive sin of which we are guilty may really be supported by other sins. For example, you (that’s an editorial “you”) may be a compulsive liar because you really don’t believe that God really loves you and that others can’t love you as you are; therefore, you must bolster your image by false impressions. You must deal with the underlying failure to believe God before you can deal with the sin itself.
  5. Admit the exact nature of your sin to God, yourself, and to another human being who will pray for you. The Scripture says: “Confess your faults one to another and pray for one another, and you will be healed.”
  6. Be entirely ready to have God remove your sins. Do you really want that sin taken away? If not, God won’t help you get rid of it.
  7. Humbly ask the Lord to remove your sin. With everything else that you do, don’t forget to ask Him specifically to take it away.
  8. Make a list of all persons whom you have harmed and be willing to make amends to each one and do it..
  9. Continue to take a personal inventory of your life and, when you are wrong, promptly admit/confess it. Keep short books with God!
  10. Establish a routine of Bible reading, prayer, meditation and worship to improve your conscious contact with the living Lord.
  11. Share the Good News of forgiveness and power with others who are struggling with sin.
  12. Finally, find someone that you can be accountable to, who will not mind asking you the “important questions” regarding your desire not to slip back into your sinful ways.

Obedience to God starts at the point of trusting Christ. Remembering that faith in Jesus Christ is the greatest thing you can have, keep on believing. Keep on believing in His love and His power and His forgiveness even when you fall flat on your face in failure. When you keep on believing, you will keep on getting up and you will, by God’s grace, keep on trying.

Praise God, we believe in a God Who forgives and allows us to move on to victory.

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