Wednesday, May 25, 2005

The old nature: Following your nose

Shannon Woodward writes on how a freezer bag of rotten chicken is a symbol of the flesh:

"Flesh," in Christianese, is just another word for "old nature." My pre-Christ nature, the nature I was born with, is nothing more than a baggie full of rot. People will tell you otherwise. They'll say we're all basically good at heart and to prove their point, they'll mention someone they know who once spent an afternoon working in a soup kitchen. But Scripture tells us otherwise. Scripture tells us we're born with a broken nature, a nature given to sin, a nature at war with godliness (and with God). That's the whole point of a Savior--he came to free us from our old nature, give us his nature, and open the doors of heaven so we can abide forever with a holy God.

Looking at Romans 7, Shannon came to understand that the conflicts Christians face in trying to act spiritually come from the flesh itself:

I realized that the problem wasn't that I couldn't get my flesh to obey, the problem was that I was still dealing with my flesh at all. Dead things don't have power. I've been freed from the control of my flesh--unless I choose to obey that old nature. Sometimes we do that, simply out of habit. . . .

How, then, can Christians access that freedom in Christ?

The only sane solution for a Christian is to render their flesh as dead, focus on Jesus, and walk in the Spirit. Or not. There's always the other option: stick that baggie in your pocket and walk around stinking.

Well said. Shannon, by the way, is an exception writer--one who brings drama and insight into an anecdote about rotten meat.


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