Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lust of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath even as others. Ephesians 2:3 KJV
And ye fathers, provoke not your children unto wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4KJV
Train up a child in the way he should go and when his is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6 KJV
I want to try to show the difference between who we are and what we are taught or trained to do. The word nature means our natural birth or condition. Romans 5:14-21 tells us that we inherited this nature from Adam and it is a sinful, depraved, fallen nature.
Before the law of God was given sin was not imputed or accounted unto men. Nevertheless men died from Adam unto Moses. Before the law was given to Moses, men died because of Adam’s sin that was imputed unto them. Since the law has been given, men now die because of Adam’s inherited sin and also our personal sin.
Since we are dead spiritually and by nature the children of wrath or sin, our only hope is for God to quicken us and make us alive by His grace.
It is impossible for a person to believe grace until we see ourselves as God does. Even when God saves a person the old nature is not gone, but we get a new nature that wars against the old one. (Romans 7:14-25)
The only thing that will destroy the old nature is death or the rapture. (I Corinthians 15:50-58)
The word nurture means the instruction of children. We as the people of God are told not to provoke our children to sin. Their nature does that, but we are to teach them God’s word in word as well as deed. We are also told to train them up in the way they should go.
This does not mean that we can train them into salvation. They must be born into it by the Spirit of God. What we are doing when we train our children is teaching them moral values. We try to teach them practical things from God’s word that they will keep with them all their life.
Even if God never saves them, these teachings will help them in this life.
So nurture cannot change nature. Only salvation can do that and even then, it is after death of this body or putting on of immortality at the rapture.
Please join us for services at Russellville Baptist Church, 223 North Main Street, Russellville, on Sundays at 11 a.m.