Greetings everyone. Someone recently asked me what the difference between the “sinful nature” & “acts of sin” is. I’d posted a couple of statements on my Twitter page about the two, which is what prompted the question. Let me explain by giving an example.
You are born either male or female. Whether or not you act like it, you still remain either male or female. You are not male or female based on what you do. The same applies to the sin nature & righteousness. We are all born with a sinful nature, which we got from Adam. Doing the right things (giving to charity, paying tithes, reading our Bibles, etc) doesn’t remove that sinful nature, & doesn’t earn us salvation & relationship with God. We can only get saved by receiving Jesus & His gift of righteousness. This gift of righteousness comes in the form of a new nature, where the old sinful one is removed, & we receive the nature of God, the righteous one. Although we might still perform acts of sin, now that we have this new righteous nature, those acts of sin don’t change who we are (righteous), the same way our righteous acts before salvation didn’t change our sinful nature & get us saved.
The reason why God’s grace is so amazing is because after we receive Jesus’ gift of righteousness, God no longer relates with us based on what we do (like He did in the Old Covenant). In this New Covenant, we have the same righteous nature that Jesus, the 2nd Adam, has. Sin is no longer a barrier blocking us from relating with God. Our individual acts of sin do not keep God from relating with us. Because He sees us based on our new righteous nature, we can continue having relationship with Him with all our sins/flaws/addictions, & as we continue to relate with Him, he helps us to deal with each of them one by one. Jesus death on the cross liberated us from focusing on our sin, & instead on who He we really are (righteous, accepted, loved by God) & on relationship with God, & the more we relate with God the more our actions change to match our new righteous nature.