The Impeccability of Christ Harmonized with the Reality of His Temptations

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BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
What aspect in us then gets born again, and is still dead in lost sinners?
Cannot be the soul, as both lost and saved have them.

Our ontology isn't structurally different than the lost. To say we "have something" that they don't in terms of addition or substance is Roman Catholicism.
 

Ed Walsh

Puritan Board Senior
We do have natures that are new in Christ, is that not something different though?

We have a new center or heart, but we still have a sinful nature. The "I" in us is radically changed, but the old nature remains the same. Paul stresses the new heart as his true self, separate from the sin that dwelleth in him. Paul summarizes this concept in Romans 7:20, "Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me." See how Paul separates his sinful nature from the real Paul. What he calls "I."
 

Ask Mr. Religion

Flatly Unflappable
The natures of Adam's progeny are not abolished by the grace received in regeneration or sanctification. Rather our natures are being perfected by said grace.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
The natures of Adam's progeny are not abolished by the grace received in regeneration or sanctification. Rather our natures are being perfected by said grace.
Would the rebirth though involve the spirit aspect coming alive again to God, and the soul/mind/flesh still at times striving to have our own way and resist God ways?
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
We have a new center or heart, but we still have a sinful nature. The "I" in us is radically changed, but the old nature remains the same. Paul stresses the new heart as his true self, separate from the sin that dwelleth in him. Paul summarizes this concept in Romans 7:20, "Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me." See how Paul separates his sinful nature from the real Paul. What he calls "I."
The sin nature resides in what we call the flesh, correct?
 

Ed Walsh

Puritan Board Senior
The sin nature resides in what we call the flesh, correct?

Not exactly. I think it would be more proper to say that the flesh is a synonym for the sin nature. It is Paul's customary way of describing the nature man. I like to call it man as he comes from the can.

This is from Barnhouse.

THE FLESH

A good concordance will reveal immediately a long list of things that are connected with the flesh, all of which are hateful to God: the affections of the flesh, confidence in the flesh, the deeds of the flesh, the desires of the flesh, the faith of the flesh, the religion of the flesh, the prayers of the flesh, the worship according to the flesh, the god of the flesh.

When we put all of these things together we have a picture of the normal, natural man, untouched by the Spirit of God. The unsaved man, our text says, minds the things of the flesh. It should be noted here that there is no mention of a life of crime and iniquity, but merely that the unsaved man minds the things of the flesh.
<some text skipped>
The acts of the unsaved man proceed from the thoughts of his flesh; they are all alien to the life of God, and therefore cannot please God. The unsaved man lives for self, even though he is giving his life for the service of others.

Barnhouse, D. G. (1963). God’s Heirs: Romans 8:1–39 (p. 25). Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Not exactly. I think it would be more proper to say that the flesh is a synonym for the sin nature. It is Paul's customary way of describing the nature man. I like to call it man as he comes from the can.

This is from Barnhouse.

THE FLESH

A good concordance will reveal immediately a long list of things that are connected with the flesh, all of which are hateful to God: the affections of the flesh, confidence in the flesh, the deeds of the flesh, the desires of the flesh, the faith of the flesh, the religion of the flesh, the prayers of the flesh, the worship according to the flesh, the god of the flesh.

When we put all of these things together we have a picture of the normal, natural man, untouched by the Spirit of God. The unsaved man, our text says, minds the things of the flesh. It should be noted here that there is no mention of a life of crime and iniquity, but merely that the unsaved man minds the things of the flesh.
<some text skipped>
The acts of the unsaved man proceed from the thoughts of his flesh; they are all alien to the life of God, and therefore cannot please God. The unsaved man lives for self, even though he is giving his life for the service of others.

Barnhouse, D. G. (1963). God’s Heirs: Romans 8:1–39 (p. 25). Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.
This would be what the Niv 1984 called the Sarx it would seem.
 

Ask Mr. Religion

Flatly Unflappable
Would the rebirth though involve the spirit aspect coming alive again to God, and the soul/mind/flesh still at times striving to have our own way and resist God ways?
I am not following what you mean by "the spirit aspect coming alive again" in the above. When exactly was this spirit aspect alive before "rebirth"?

The person being regenerated is wholly passive at the instant of regeneration. Once so regenerated, man becomes active, and his exercise of faith receiving Christ's righteousness (His righteousness, not ours—an alien righteousness—is the man's own action.

This process of regeneration, having definitive sanctification as its product, quickens the person to newness of life. The stone heart is taken away, replaced by a new heart of flesh, the Spirit is put within us, and God's law is written upon our hearts. The regenerated person is now sanctified and separated unto God.

Owen's Mortification of Sin teaches us well about where the seat of sin resides:

The body in the close of the verse {nb: Romans 8:13} is the same with the flesh in the beginning: “If ye live after the flesh ye shall die; but if ye ... mortify the deeds of the body,” — that is, of the flesh. It is that which the apostle hath all along discoursed of under the name of the flesh; which is evident from the prosecution of the antithesis between the Spirit and the flesh, before and after. The body, then, here is taken for that corruption and depravity of our natures whereof the body, in a great part, is the seat and instrument, the very members of the body being made servants unto unrighteousness thereby, Romans 6:19. It is indwelling sin, the corrupted flesh or lust, that is intended. Many reasons might be given of this metonymical expression, that I shall not now insist on. The “body” here is the same with ... the “old man,” and the “body of sin,” Romans 6:6; or it may synecdochically express the whole person considered as corrupted, and the seat of lusts and distempered affections.​

The above describes the common way of explaining the references to "flesh" and "body" in much literature, especially the Puritans. References so made refer to a moral, not a physical being; something that pervades the nature of the moral creature, having the seat of its power is in the body. The use of flesh is accorded a spiritual quality. Why? Because sin is separation from God.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
I am not following what you mean by "the spirit aspect coming alive again" in the above. When exactly was this spirit aspect alive before "rebirth"?

The person being regenerated is wholly passive at the instant of regeneration. Once so regenerated, man becomes active, and his exercise of faith receiving Christ's righteousness (His righteousness, not ours—an alien righteousness—is the man's own action.

This process of regeneration, having definitive sanctification as its product, quickens the person to newness of life. The stone heart is taken away, replaced by a new heart of flesh, the Spirit is put within us, and God's law is written upon our hearts. The regenerated person is now sanctified and separated unto God.

Owen's Mortification of Sin teaches us well about where the seat of sin resides:

The body in the close of the verse {nb: Romans 8:13} is the same with the flesh in the beginning: “If ye live after the flesh ye shall die; but if ye ... mortify the deeds of the body,” — that is, of the flesh. It is that which the apostle hath all along discoursed of under the name of the flesh; which is evident from the prosecution of the antithesis between the Spirit and the flesh, before and after. The body, then, here is taken for that corruption and depravity of our natures whereof the body, in a great part, is the seat and instrument, the very members of the body being made servants unto unrighteousness thereby, Romans 6:19. It is indwelling sin, the corrupted flesh or lust, that is intended. Many reasons might be given of this metonymical expression, that I shall not now insist on. The “body” here is the same with ... the “old man,” and the “body of sin,” Romans 6:6; or it may synecdochically express the whole person considered as corrupted, and the seat of lusts and distempered affections.​

The above describes the common way of explaining the references to "flesh" and "body" in much literature, especially the Puritans. References so made refer to a moral, not a physical being; something that pervades the nature of the moral creature, having the seat of its power is in the body. The use of flesh is accorded a spiritual quality. Why? Because sin is separation from God.
Paul seems to stating to us that our flesh is the corrupted nature received due to the Fall of Adam, and that we are sinful in thought/desires and in our deeds. This also seems to be in line with us having a wicked and deceitful heart, a baseness to us, that apart from the saving grace of God being applied towards us, would have us living in this state of spiritual disconnect to God.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
The sin nature resides in what we call the flesh, correct?

That would be hard to square
Paul seems to stating to us that our flesh is the corrupted nature received due to the Fall of Adam, and that we are sinful in thought/desires and in our deeds. This also seems to be in line with us having a wicked and deceitful heart, a baseness to us, that apart from the saving grace of God being applied towards us, would have us living in this state of spiritual disconnect to God.

The difficulty is that you said "the spirit was coming alive," which implied that before it was dead, it was alive before that (presumably before conversion).
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
That would be hard to square


The difficulty is that you said "the spirit was coming alive," which implied that before it was dead, it was alive before that (presumably before conversion).
The aspect of our humanity that while alive when Adam was created by God, but died when the fall of Adam happened. I meant when the Lord redeems us, at that point the aspect of humanity that Adam was had alive now would come back to life is us once again.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
The aspect of our humanity that while alive when Adam was created by God, but died when the fall of Adam happened.

That seems to give the abstract property "humanity" sentient properties of its own. In other words, our humanity was somehow alive in Adam while our persons didn't yet exist.
 

Scottish Presbyterian

Puritan Board Freshman
God does not even have a soul, so would not Jesus have but one soul, with Both natures residing in it?

The man Christ Jesus had a truly human soul, not one which was part human and part divine. He also had a divine nature, but that was distinct from his human nature, and so distinct from his human soul, which is part of the human nature. You can say that God doesn't have a soul, as God is a Spirit, and to say he has a soul might imply that the soul is a part of the Divine Nature, whereas the Divine Nature is indivisible. But I'm not sure it is necessary to make that distinction. Soul and Spirit are roughly synonymous I think (not soul and mind - the mind is a part of the soul but not synonymous with it), so to say God does not have a soul is not in my view useful further than pointing out that God does not consist of divisible parts, as we know that God is a Spirit. I also think it's unhelpful or even inaccurate to say Christ has 2 souls - he has 2 natures - human and divine - and the human nature consists of body and soul.

Hope this is some way helpful - bottom line is that we definitely cannot make Christ's soul to be part human and part divine.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
But I'm not sure it is necessary to make that distinction. Soul and Spirit are roughly synonymous I think (not soul and mind - the mind is a part of the soul but not synonymous with it), so to say God does not have a soul is not in my view useful further than pointing out that God does not consist of divisible parts, as we know that God is a Spirit.

That's all I was trying to get at. If soul and spirit are synonymous, and God is Spirit, then per Leibniz's Law of the Identity of Indiscernibles, God is also soul. It also seems weird to say that God is a soulless being.
 

Scottish Presbyterian

Puritan Board Freshman
That's all I was trying to get at. If soul and spirit are synonymous, and God is Spirit, then per Leibniz's Law of the Identity of Indiscernibles, God is also soul. It also seems weird to say that God is a soulless being.

Yes I think if you had said "God is a soul" rather than "God has a soul" you would probably have got less reaction (though people may have thought it was a slightly odd way of expressing things) - and I am sure it was what you meant, as I note you were reacting to a statement which could have been construed as saying that Christ's soul includes both natures, which it does not.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
Yes I think if you had said "God is a soul" rather than "God has a soul" you would probably have got less reaction (though people may have thought it was a slightly odd way of expressing things) - and I am sure it was what you meant, as I note you were reacting to a statement which could have been construed as saying that Christ's soul includes both natures, which it does not.

I meant to get to that, but one can't say everything at everytime. It comes down to this:

P1: If God has a soul, or a spirit, or anything, it seems that we are saying God has it in the same way we do, which is obviously not the case.
 

timfost

Puritan Board Senior
Tim, I see where you're coming from. I think the critical point is to understand that saying that the human nature of Jesus considered abstractly is peccable is not by itself an affirmation of peccability, because the question is not about the peccability of abstract humanity, but the peccability of the concrete person. The assumed human nature was anhypostatic, and enhypostasized by the Logos himself. That's where the impossibility of peccability arises.

It is the same human nature which has sinned; but it is the human nature of the Lord from heaven. That makes the 2nd Adam different from the first, and a strong doctrine of impeccability is dependent on that fact.

(Of course there are other arguments in favor of impeccability, but they refer to the impossibility of the event of sin; the constitution of the theanthropic person is the argument that has to do with an intrinsic impossibility.)

Ruben,

I don't have time to adequately reply as I would like, but I wanted to thank you for taking the time to help me with this. I've also read most of your paper on the subject as well as Shedd. I'm not there yet, but these interactions have been helpful.

Thanks again!
 

py3ak

Unshaven and anonymous
Staff member
Ruben,

I don't have time to adequately reply as I would like, but I wanted to thank you for taking the time to help me with this. I've also read most of your paper on the subject as well as Shedd. I'm not there yet, but these interactions have been helpful.

Thanks again!

You're very welcome, Tim, I appreciate your kind words.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
The man Christ Jesus had a truly human soul, not one which was part human and part divine. He also had a divine nature, but that was distinct from his human nature, and so distinct from his human soul, which is part of the human nature. You can say that God doesn't have a soul, as God is a Spirit, and to say he has a soul might imply that the soul is a part of the Divine Nature, whereas the Divine Nature is indivisible. But I'm not sure it is necessary to make that distinction. Soul and Spirit are roughly synonymous I think (not soul and mind - the mind is a part of the soul but not synonymous with it), so to say God does not have a soul is not in my view useful further than pointing out that God does not consist of divisible parts, as we know that God is a Spirit. I also think it's unhelpful or even inaccurate to say Christ has 2 souls - he has 2 natures - human and divine - and the human nature consists of body and soul.

Hope this is some way helpful - bottom line is that we definitely cannot make Christ's soul to be part human and part divine.
Correct, as my understanding is that Jesus had a human soul only.
 
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