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Differentiating Will and Desire

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Our will and desire, and even God’s will and desire do not always coincide. For example, it’s His desire that “all men be saved,” for He desires not “that any should perish” (1Ti 2:4: 2Pe 3:9). Yet, His will is that “he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:16).

Though the believer’s will is not to sin, this is an impossibility, for the desire of our “old man” manifests itself in our thoughts, feelings and actions. The freedom we have in Christ from the “dominion” of our sin nature (Rom 6:14) lies within its inability to cause us to “sin willfully” (Heb 10:26), unlike the unregenerate whose will is to sin, being void of “His seed” (e.g. new nature – 1 John 3:9). So, for the regenerate the issue is not sinning or not—but in the will never to sin! The “will” is the individual’s choice and I believe is the primary determinate concerning guilt. Living a life of intentionally willing to do wrong manifests the absence of rebirth, because God is always working in those reborn—“to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Phil 2:13).

This will not to sin drives from the Spirit via the “new man” (nature of Christ – Col 3:10), which nature provides for us to be “partakers of the (Christ’s) divine nature” (2 Pet 1:4). One commentator on 1 John 3:9 writes that it’s in our sin nature that we sin, and that we in our new nature cannot sin, which I believe concurs with Romans 7:17, 20. This manifests ownership of personal sin, which keeps us aware of being God-dependent concerning freedom from its guilt and dominion.

Scripture clearly supports that the “old man” (sin nature) still resides in the regenerate (reborn), which understandably results in an inquiry “Why?” One can only suppose with uncertainty (since it’s not scripturally clear here), that it’s the same reason for its initial presence, which in my opinion could be for the purpose of being God-dependent concerning its resolution, seeing this Adamic nature affects the whole man; which often taints our personal understanding (resulting in inaccuracy) concerning spiritual things of the Scriptures, requiring the “mind of the Christ” for understanding (via the Spirit’s teaching).

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