The TANC Theological Journal

Vol. 2015
Issue 3

A Doctrinal Evaluation of the Anti-Lordship Salvation Movement: Part 3
By Paul M. Dohse: Editor
Do Christians Have Two Natures?
My belief strata is probably similar to most Christians: A.
Dogma, firm on that fact; B. Not dogmatic, sounds logical,
going with that for now; C. That’s a bunch of boloney. The
idea that Christians have two natures has always been categorized under B for me.
Where do I think a stake needs to be driven most in the arena
of Christianity right now? Who we are. We are righteous. We
are able. We are good. We are not just righteous positionally,
we are in fact righteous in and of ourselves. Righteousness is
a gift from God, we cannot earn it, but once we have accepted the gift, we possess it. I fear that most gospels in our
day propagate a rejection of the righteousness gift, and I
strongly suspect that this is the point of the Parable of the
Talents. Clearly, the paramount gospels of our day promote
a meditation on the gift in order to keep our salvation. To put
the gift into practice is to make His story our own story
exclusively.
What is the gift? Is the gift just a gift, or is it also a calling?
The “church” is a “called out assembly.” Is answering the
call works salvation? And what are we called to? We are
called to holiness. In part 2 we have looked at the primary
problem with anti-Lordship Salvation. They make answering
the call works salvation. How do they rationalize this? As we
have discussed, it is the age-old Protestant golden chain
gospel. Because justification and sanctification are not separate, a calling to holiness is a declaration that progresses in
sanctification; if we commit to holiness in order to be saved,
we now have to participate in that progression by obedience
to the law.
ALS solves that problem by eliminating the commitment all
together and making obedience in sanctification optional—a
nice gesture unto the Lord, and it will kinda make your life
better. If we doubt our salvation because of behavior, it
shows a fundamental misunderstanding of grace; so, the
solution is to return to the same gospel that saved us and
re-preach it to ourselves. Both ALS and the Calvinists they
despise proffer this same construct.
Calvinists deal with the progression of justification in sanctification a different way: by all means we are saved by
making a commitment to obedience, but the commitment we
are making is a commitment to living by faith alone in

sanctification which results in the commitment being fulfilled by Christ. In fact, both camps speak of experiential
sanctification; viz, we only experience the works of the
Spirit being done through us and we kinda really aren’t
doing the work. In Reformed circles, even our “good”
works are sin, and our demeanor in obedience gives a clue
that the work may be executed by the Lord in that instance,
but we don’t know for certain. They call this the “subjective
nature of sanctification.” It is manifested in Arminian camps
via, “I didn’t do it—it was the Holy Spirit doing it through
me.” Really, in all Protestant camps, accomplishment and
meekness are mutually exclusive; you can’t have both.
And with ALS as well as Calvinism, righteousness is defined by perfect law-keeping. When their fusion of justification and sanctification is challenged, both camps retort,
“Did you sin today?” In BOTH cases, they make no distinction between sin against the law of sin and death, and sin
against the law of the Spirit of life in sanctification—
violations that grieve the Spirit. That’s because they see
justification and sanctification as the same (though both
camps are outraged in regard to the accusation).
Because ALS, like Calvinism, makes perfect law-keeping
the essence of righteousness, they cannot not deem the
Christian perfect in regard to justification. They posit the
idea that the Christian is only positionally righteous and not
practically righteous. Unfortunately, that same view of our
righteousness is then juxtaposed into sanctification because
they fuse the two together. To not continually drive home
the idea that we are just “sinners saved by grace” is to
suggest that we can keep the law perfectly. But the question
is… “What law?” There is no law in justification, and where
there is no law there is no sin (Rom. 4:15).
Christ primarily died on the cross to end the law of sin and
death. Now there is no law to judge us, and that can be
coupled with the fact that we are born again of the Spirit and
have the seed of God within us (1Jn. 3:9). The new birth is
a reversal of slavery resulting in a change of direction. We
were once enslaved to sin and free to do good, resulting in
a direction away from God (under law Rom. 6:14), but now
are enslaved to righteousness and free to sin (Rom. 6:20).
As we will see in Romans 7, we were once enslaved to the
law of sin and death (Rom. 8:2), but now we are enslaved to
the law of the Spirit of life. In both cases, there is a reverse
freedom as well. Unfortunately, the Christian is still ha-

rassed by the law of sin and death, which is a law standard
by the way, and free to sin against it. We will discuss exactly
how this happens.

Fourthly, fruits unto death and fruits unto life.

But, because ALS, like the Reformed only see one nomos
(law), and Christians obviously sin, the Christian must be
both saint and sinner in sanctification. This is Martin
Luther’s Simul iustus et peccator—at the same time righteous and a sinner. But, this means saint by declaration and
position only while the Christian remains in the same state.
The only change is the recognition of his vileness—this
defines faith according to Reformed ideology.

Much more study needs to be done in this area; this study
is designed to get the ball rolling, but you could spend a
lifetime articulating it.

Likewise, since the Christian cannot keep the law of sin and
death perfectly, and that is justification’s standard, the ALS
has its own version of the Simul iustus et peccator: the two
natures. Sure, it’s soft Simul iustus et peccator, or Simul
iustus et peccator Light, but it’s the same concept. I am not
going to take time here to articulate all of the versions, but
suffice to say all denominations are spawned by the question
of how we do justification in sanctification. There are only
two religions in the world: Progressive Sanctification and
Progressive Justification. One is a call to holiness and you
get justification in the bargain. The other is a call to be
declared righteous while remaining a sinner. The former is a
call to be made righteous. Answering the call saves you,
following the call sanctifies you, but the two are separate
with the demarcation being the new birth—following the call
does not justify you. Accepting the gift justifies you—but the
gift is a calling to holiness. Seeing the gift and the execution
of the gift as being the same is the monster of confusion
known as Protestantism.
The idea of two natures is contradictory to the new birth.
There is only one us. The other guy is dead. His nature is not
hanging around with us. He is not sort of dead, and we are
not sort of under the law. We are not under the law at all. The
guy’s death did not merely weaken him, it utterly slaughtered
him. You are not kinda the old you, there is no old you, that
person is not you at all, he is dead.
So what’s going on? I am going to pull the theses out of the
barn from the get-go. Think, “sin.” This all starts with a very
simple word that has very deep metaphysical ramifications
that will not be investigated here, but it all begins with sin as
a master. Sin was originally found in God’s most magnificent angel, Lucifer, “son of the morning.” How did sin get
there? Far be it from us to discuss that here, but there are
theories.
Secondly, a law that should promise life, but sin uses the law
to create sinful DESIRES within the individual.
Thirdly, this is daring, but it is best to think of the “flesh,”
also, “members” as neutral. Our members can be used for
both good and evil. The “flesh” IS NOT the old nature.

The Theses Articulated

When man is born into the world, sin is within him and sin
is a master. When people are born into the world, they are
sold into slavery:
Romans 7:14 – For we know that the law is spiritual, but I
am of the flesh, sold under sin.
Paul is not saying that flesh =’s evil, he is saying that sin
resides in our mortal members. He is saying our birth sold
us under sin. Sin is a master. According to the New Testament, this is synonymous with being born “under law” as
in… “the law of sin and death.” Christ was the only man
ever born under that law who could keep it perfectly. All
others are condemned by it.
Let’s look at sin as master:
Genesis 4:6 – The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry,
and why has your face fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not
be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at
the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.”
Sin is a master who desires to rule over the individual. Sin
is the problem. This does not mean mankind is totally
depraved and his will is in complete bondage to sin, he/she
is still free to do good and obey the conscience, but the
overall direction is away from God and to sin.
Sin resides in the mortal body, but the mortal body, as we
shall see, is somewhat neutral. I am not going to get into
anthropological dichotomies and theories, but the Bible
seems to say that the mind within the body is what’s
redeemed when we are saved. Our thesis here contends that
the battle within is between our redeemed righteous minds
and SIN, not the old us that is dead. However, we are using
the same body that the old man (the former us) used and the
body can be habituated to some degree. We are to put off
those habits and build new ones into our lives:
Ephesians 4:17 – Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that
you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of
their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding,
alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that
is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have
become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality,
greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not
the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have
heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in

Jesus, 22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your
former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24
and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God
in true righteousness and holiness.
The putting off of the old self is the likeness of the old self,
not the literal old self. The body is habituated by the old
ways, and we can bring those same habits into the Christian
life with the same ill results. Note that the mind is being
renewed, and we are putting off the old ways and putting on
new ways. We are not “sinners” just because we fall short of
perfect putting off and putting on, we are righteous persons
in the process of renovation. The flesh is not inherently evil
because it can be used for righteousness:
Romans 12:1 – I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the
mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice,
holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
Romans 6:19 – I am speaking in human terms, because of
your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your
members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to
more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to
righteousness leading to sanctification.
The flesh is weak, sin resides there, and our bodies will be
redeemed; in that sense, “nothing good dwells in me,” but
our members are to be used as instruments for righteousness
nevertheless. Let me caution in regard to this study. This is
not a study that should be approached with sloppy research.
For instance, consider Romans 7:24:
Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body
of death?
We now hear, “See! See! Paul stated that we are still
wretched sinners!” Problem is, the Greek word translated
“wretched” in this verse means to persevere in affliction.
Paul is longing to be saved from his mortal body where the
conflict rages. He is not saying that Christians remain as
wretched sinners. Likewise, was Paul really saying elsewhere that at the time of his writing that he was the premier
sinner in the entire world at that time? The “chief” of sinners? I doubt it. One may ponder the idea that…it’s obviously not true. Paul was making some other point that will
not be addressed here.
So, what is the dynamic that we are really fighting against?
We are set free from the law of sin and death because Christ
purchased us on the cross:
1 Corinthians 6:19 – Or do you not know that your body is a
temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from
God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a
price. So glorify God in your body.

When we are saved, ownership is transferred to another
master. We are no longer enslaved to Master Sin. Let’s
look at what that slavery looked like:
Romans 7:4 – Likewise, my brothers, you also have died
to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may
belong to another, to him who has been raised from the
dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. 5 For while
we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by
the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for
death. 6 But now we are released from the law, having
died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the
new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written
code.
As Christians, we are no longer enslaved to sin which used
our passions aroused by the law to provoke us to sin.
Apparently, the cancelation of the law’s ability to condemn us comes into play here. If we cannot be condemned
by the law, sin’s motivation is gone. Being condemned by
the law is how sin enslaved us. If Christ died for sin, and
the penalty is paid, and there is no condemnation in regard
to the Christian, sin is robbed of its power. In addition, I
assume it goes much deeper than this, but that is another
study. We may assume that the intrinsic power of sin over
us was broken as well.
Sin was able to produce sinful desires within us that
provoked us to break God’s law; we were enslaved to a
lawless master. Hence, and this is VERY important,
phrases like, “For while we were living in the flesh”
should not be interpreted as flesh=evil; it means that the
unbeliever was living in a mortal body that was controlled
by the Master Sin dynamic that used the law to condemn
us and control us, and destroy us. No doubt, sin uses sinful
desires to get even unbelievers to violate their consciences
against the works of the law written on their hearts (Rom.
2:12-16).
This is why many unbelievers will obey their passions in
things that are in the process of destroying them. They are
enslaved by passions that Sin uses to get them to violate
their consciences. In this sense, we were living according
to the flesh—our flesh was controlled by the triad dynamic
of sin, sinful desire, and the law of sin and death. Now we
are controlled by a different triad dynamic: the Holy
Spirit, His law, and godly desires. To insinuate in any way
that a believer remains the same as before or is in some
way marginally different borderlines on blasphemy
against the Holy Spirit and troddens underfoot the blood
of Christ.
We will look at another text to build on our point:
Galatians 5:16 – But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will
not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the

flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are
against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to
keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18 But if you
are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the
works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity,
sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits
of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned
you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the
kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy,
peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24
And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the
flesh with its passions and desires.
A problem arises when we interpret “flesh” without the full
corpus of the subject. When we “walk” we are using the
flesh. When we walk according to the Spirit, we are using
our flesh (members/body) for holy purposes. The full dynamic of sin’s mastery is then interpreted by one word used
in various and sundry ways to make any number of points.
And, any idea that the Christian is still under the law of sin
and death is particularly egregious. Worse yet, if one believes that the law still condemns them as most teach today,
this empowers the Sin Master. The word of God can now be
used to provoke even Christians with sinful desires.
Furthermore, since sin still remains in the body, it still
attempts to use the law to provoke us with evil desires. I
imagine that ignorance of the Scriptures supplies a field day
for sin in the life of believers accordingly:
James 1:13 – Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am
being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with
evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is
tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15
Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin
when it is fully grown brings forth death.
The desire James is talking about are sinful desires provoked
by sin. When we are tempted by a sinful desire, we should
know exactly where that is coming from; sin is still trying to
master us by using the former scheme. A Christian can
produce fruits of death in this life by succumbing to those
desires. These are temporary death fruits, not eternal. The
former you could generate fruits of death in both this life and
the life to come, but the believer can only generate temporary fruits of death. Peter referred to it this way: suffering as
an unbeliever.
With all of this in mind, let’s look at some verses from
Romans 7:
Romans 7:14 – For we know that the law is spiritual, but I
am of the flesh, sold under sin. 15 For I do not understand
my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the

very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree
with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who
do it, but sin that dwells within me.
Precisely. But note, when Paul writes, “I am of the flesh, sold
under sin,” he is not saying that we are still enslaved to the
same master or dynamic, he is saying the dynamic is still at
work in us, but we are obviously no longer enslaved to it.
Hence…
16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that
it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that
dwells within me.
So, “Did you sin today?” Well, what sayeth Paul? Unless you
take all that we observed in these three parts, this statement
by Paul would seem outrageous, but we know what he is
saying, and no, we are NOT “sinners.” Note as well, the law
is not sinful, our flesh is “weak,” but it is sin itself that causes
us to sin. Before we were saved, we desired sin and were
ruled by it, but now, we have the desires of the Spirit and
love His law…
For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.
And:
Romans 7:21 – So I find it to be a law that when I want to do
right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of
God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another
law waging war against the law of my mind and making me
captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24
Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body
of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our
Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind,
but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
There remains a rest for God’s people, but it is not now. This
is war, but we must know who the enemy is and how he
works. Let me also add that simplicity is not the duty of the
“learner,” aka disciple. Christians are to study in order to
show themselves an approved “worker.” Lazy thinkers make
for poor disciples and are the fodder for the wicked. The final
analysis is this:
So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with
my flesh I serve the law of sin.
We are enslaved to the law of the Spirit of life, and fight
against the law of sin and death that sin uses to provoke us
with evil desires. Read Romans 8:1-11 to summarize points.
We are not fighting against the old us. We are fighting the sin
within that is no longer our master. In addition, our battle is
not against “flesh and blood” but rather principalities.
We only have ONE nature, the new one.

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