Is a Christian man schizophrenic? By the sort of radio preaching I heard tonight you’d have to believe so. The “preacher” taught that believers have two natures. Nothing could be further from the truth.
According to this heretical view of man, one nature is all good, the other all bad. The believer throws the bone and the good dog fights the bad dog to see who gets it!
Yes, there’s a fight going on in the believer; Paul made that clear in the seventh of Romans. But it isn’t between two natures. It’s between the old ways that have been brought over into the new life, and man’s new orientation in Christ.
The members of one’s body, Paul says, have been serving sin as a master for so long that even after he’s been freed from sin’s dominion, has been habituated to those old ways. A believer needs to learn to present his members to the Lord for His service just as he used them formerly for the evil one. The put off/put on dynamic found in various parts of Scripture shows how the new ways must replace the old sinful ones.
If we had two natures, what would happen to the old one at death? Would it go to hell? Which nature grows? The old won’t; the new doesn’t need to.
The whole concept is foreign to Scripture. The believer with his new orientation wants to serve God, but the old habits get in the way. Thankfully, the Spirit dwells within to help us grow and fight the battle successfully.
Read more about the biblical doctrine of mankind in Jay’s books:
– A Theology of Christian Counseling
– Sanctification and Counseling: Growing by Grace
Also, check out Jay Adams’ longer article on The Christian Approach to Schizophrenia
Check out our online courses, including, Introduction to Nouthetic Counseling and The Use of Scripture in Counseling, taught by Jay Adams!
Books related to counseling others:
- Competent to Counsel by Jay Adams
- The Christian Counselor’s Manual by Jay Adams
- How to Help People Change by Jay Adams
- Check out our Bookstore for all the best counseling books!
The Christian Counselor’s New Testament and Proverbs, translated by Jay Adams
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