First of all, I would like to thank you for your desire to clarify your position in our dialogue. I also like to openly commend you on your attitude and manner in how you are addressing this subject matter as well. Let me please clarify my understanding of how I interpret the scriptures on this continued topic in hopes that we can both come to an understanding.
I would agree with your thoughts as to your understanding—meaning that nature is to be understood as what something is. Yet, where we differ is found in my understanding that what people or things “do” results in “what” they are. For example: an apple tree cannot produce oranges, nor can a pineapple tree produce grapes. This is because it is not in their nature to do so.
The Evangelical thought on nature stems from the understanding that humans are dead in trespasses and sins—dead in the sense that they don’t have God’s life in them—concluding that they were by “nature” children of wrath. This means that we were children who “lived” a lifestyle opposed to the “nature” of God. David said that he was born in sin, meaning that he was born with a “nature” bent to sin.
With this understanding, we recognize the fundamental truth that it is imperative for one to be “born again” to have divine life, which is the nature of God. See Ryan, I don’t believe that the bible teaches that the new birth makes our nature stronger, but quite the contrary. Being born again means, according to Paul, that we are a whole new creation in Christ Jesus. Our old nature has died, and we now live a new life by the power of the Holy Spirit.
To be born again, literally means what it says. It is a spiritual birth of new life that takes place in a person’s life. We were born once physically, and then a person who comes to trust in Christ Jesus undergoes a second birth—which is spiritual, known as the new birth, or being born again. This is why we do not accept the tradition of baptizing babies.
Therefore, to be “human” or “natural” is to be god to oneself—to serve the creature rather than the creator. We must also recognize that humans are created to bear fruit, as opposed to a rock or a ball. We will “do” what is in our nature to do because we cannot do any other, hence we cannot separate the lifestyle of an individual with his nature. Please note what John says:
Whosoever is born of God does not commit sin; for His seed remains in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever does not righteousness is not of God… (1 John 3:9-10).
I do understand the concept that you present, but I disagree in the fact that God’s grace of the new birth does more than a self improvement of our humanness, but we have actually taken on a new nature that has the desire, will and capacity to live for, in and through God each and every day.