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Our Old Nature

Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. Colossians 3:12-14 (NKJV)

There is an old allegory about a turtle and a scorpion.  It goes like this: 

A scorpion was down by the riverbank looking for a way to cross. Up the bank within shouting distance was a turtle who was slowly crawling into the river. The scorpion yelled, "Hey, could you give me a lift across the river?" The turtle replied, "No way! You're a scorpion. You'll sting me and I’ll die." The scorpion pleaded, "if I stung you, you'd go down and I'd die too! I give you my word of honor that I won't sting you." The turtle, wanting to believe him, relented and the scorpion leapt up on his shell as they headed together out into the gently flowing river.

About halfway across, the scorpion began to dance nervously with increasing frenzy and finally, overcome with instincts, he arched his tail and jammed his stinger into the surprised turtle's neck. As the poison began its deadly mission, and as the turtle began to sink he turned in a final conscious moment and cried out to the scorpion - "Why did you sting me? You knew if you stung me we would both die! You gave me your word of honor, but now you've killed us both!" The scorpion, adrenaline now fading, shrugged his claws and lamented, "I know what I said, and that's really what I intended. But, I'm a scorpion... it's my nature to sting."

If there is one thing we will be battling against to the day we see Jesus face-to-face, it is the old nature of our flesh.  Paul knew this very well, and he rightly said, “I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice” (Rom. 7:18-19). 

In other words, just like the scorpion in the allegory, we can desire to do what is right, but instead we can choose to do the very things we do not want to do—those things we used to do because of our old fallen nature.  Thankfully, we do not have to continue in this type of life, because our old nature has been crucified with Jesus, so the body of sin might be done away with, and we should no longer be slaves to sin (Rom. 6:6). 

Understanding this truth is an important first step, but we must now appropriate this truth each day by choosing not to give place to the devil (Eph. 4:27), or to grieve the Holy Spirit (Eph. 4:31).  It means we must instead choose to put to death those evil desires of our flesh, including fornication, bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, malice, evil and filthy speaking, lying or any other action that dishonors God.  And it entails putting on the new man, which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness (Eph. 4:24).

I want to encourage you to mediate upon these truths today.

STUDY QUESTION: According to Colossians 3:12-14, what are we to put on daily?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you actively putting off the old man each day, and putting on the new man in Christ Jesus?

APPLICATION: Let’s choose to make a list of those things we know we need to put off daily, as well as the things we need to put on. 

LET’S PRAY: Father, thank you for giving us a new nature and the freedom from the bondage to our old fleshly nature.  Help us to continue to see things the way You do, so we can make wise decisions.  In Jesus’ precious name, amen…

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott



Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000