555 Difficult Bible Questions Answered

368. Has a Man Two Natures?

In Rom. 7:25 Paul says: "So then with the mind J myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin." The argument of the preceding verses has been the hopelessness of the struggle which that man must fight who strives to obtain salvation through the law. He is defeated by his own body, or the flesh, as Paul calls it. It drags him down and forces him to obey and to yield to its cravings; so that in his despair he cries, "What I would I do not; but what I hate that do I." The picture is one that appeals to every unconverted man's experience. His reason, his pride, his manliness direct him to renounce some sin, such as drunkenness or lust. He resolves, but suddenly the craving arises, and in spite of the resolves of his mind—his real ego—he is swept off his feet, and yields to his passion. The revelation of Christ as a helper crosses Paul's mind, and he thanks God. In the eighth chapter he is going to explain this at length, but he halts here at verse 25, to mark the stage reached by the man he is describing. "With the mind, I myself," the real ego am serving God; while with the flesh, the animal nature, I am serving sin. In Romans 8:10 this problem is solved. Through Christ the spirit is strengthened, and the flesh is controlled and subdued. He is freed by the spirit of life (Romans 8:3).