The manifestation of the man of sin and the man of God

The manifestation of the man of sin and the man of God

A clear article about what it means that sin, when it is full-grown brings forth death. Alternatively, how we can overcome sin!

“But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:14.

The things of the Spirit of God will always oppose sin in the flesh and therefore will never be appealing to the natural man. On the other hand, the things that are sin will always appeal to the natural man. Sin offers pleasure, while God’s Spirit offers suffering for the flesh. Nevertheless, sin stores up judgment from each indulgence of the flesh, while God’s Spirit stores up power and hope of glory from each suffering. No wonder the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God.

Conception and birth of sin

The Spirit of God requires that the soul be separated from the spirit; sin would like to keep them firmly joined. When desire has conceived, it brings forth sin, and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. (James 1:14-15.) Desire is the demand sin in the flesh places on the natural man. When the mind agrees with this demand, desire has conceived, and it brings forth sin. In our conscience, God’s judgment rests over this newborn sin. The same mind that yielded to the desire now feels the judgment. However, if a person does not immediately accept this judgment in his conscience and let himself be chastised to repentance, the judgment will seem to disappear. The person will die in trespasses and sins.

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When is sin full-grown?

Sin is full-grown when a person rejects this judgment in his conscience and death enters in. The natural man follows the law of sin and death. The person repeats the same sin, this time without God’s judgment in his conscience. The conscience is paralyzed regarding that sin and is unreceptive to judgment. The next time, the person goes one step further into sin and ungodliness. The conscience is awake to this new sin, and the person feels condemned. If the person again disregards the judgment in his conscience, he will relax again regarding this new sin and will eventually be able to commit this sin without any condemnation from his conscience. Sin is then full-grown and it has brought forth death.

Some may ask, “When is sin full-grown?” Sin is full-grown when, despite the chastisement of the conscience, a person is still not brought to repentance for the sin he committed. If a person furthermore seeks to avoid the chastisement of his conscience, then death is brought forth. In this state of death, a person is without feeling, and a kind of peace enters in—the peace of death, free from the torment of the conscience. Nevertheless, if a person comes to this kind of peace from his conscience, that does not mean he has come to peace with God. Even though there is no more condemnation from the conscience, the judgment of God remains. For the conscience to be effective, there must still be something in us that has not given itself over to the committed sin. However, even if a person’s conscience is dead, God’s judgment will be effective on him when he stands before God and must give account to Him who will judge the living and the dead.

The ”man of sin”

If sin continues to reign, a person will be given over to the law of sin and death. The peace of death enters his conscience, and he treasures up for himself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God. This is how desire leads a person further and further into sin and death; and gradually he is formed into the image of Satan.

A natural man who does not receive the things of the Spirit of God goes from being a natural man to being a “man of sin.” The culmination of this development is the Antichrist, and that is why he alone is given the name “man of sin.” (2 Thessalonians 2:3.) A natural man who is partially united with the man of sin is called the old man. The old man, however, is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts. Thus, all sin in the world is a result of lust.

The “man of God”

In contrast to this horrible corruption, someone who is born of water and Spirit will go the exact opposite way. Lusts and desires also tempt him, but he chooses to suffer rather than to sin. Consequently, a blow is struck against sin in the flesh. Sin in the flesh loses its power in this area, and the next time it appears in a different way. Again, the person chooses to suffer, another blow is struck against sin in the flesh, and the death of Christ makes deeper and deeper inroads into his spiritual life. He is no longer tempted in areas where he was previously tempted. When desire is repeatedly denied fulfillment, sin dies in those areas. The natural man is destroyed, and the man of God emerges as desire is denied and a person suffers in the flesh. “For he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from ...” 1 Peter 4:1.

Therefore, let us choose to suffer in the flesh so we can be finished with sin.

This article has been translated from Norwegian and was first published in the periodical Skjulte Skatter (Hidden Treasures) in December 1915
© Copyright Stiftelsen Skjulte Skatters Forlag | ActiveChristianity

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Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, unless otherwise specified. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.