Sovereign Grace Baptist Church

Free Grace Media

Of Princeton, New Jersey


AuthorClay Curtis
TitleWhy Am I Thus?
Bible TextGenesis 25:21-23
Synopsis Within every born-again child of God there is an old man and a new man. Like “the children struggled together within” Rebecca’s womb, these two natures “struggle together within” every believer. But by God’s grace, “the one [is] stronger than the other; the elder shall serve the younger.” Listen.
Series Sincere Questions
Article Type Sermon Notes
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Audio HI-FI Listen: Why Am I Thus? (32 kbps)
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Length 45 min.

Title: Why Am I Thus?

Text: Genesis 25: 21-23

Date: May 14, 2015

Place: SGBC, New Jersey


Genesis 25: 21: And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. 22: And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to enquire of the LORD. 23: And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.


Believer, have you ever been so disturbed by your sins that you asked yourself, “Why am I thus?” You believe on the Lord Jesus. You trust he is All—Wisdom, Righteousness, Sanctification and Redemption. You worship God in spirit and in truth. You put no confidence in your flesh. Yet, at times, you find yourself thinking and acting more like a child of hell than a child of God. So you ask yourself, “Why am I thus?” Here is the answer, “Two manner of people [are in you];”


Within every born-again child of God there is an old man and a new man. Like “the children struggled together within” Rebecca’s womb, these two natures “struggle together within” every believer. But by God’s grace, “the one [is] stronger than the other; the elder shall serve the younger.”


For our divisions, we will consider the two natures of the believer by their birth; their struggles; and the glory and end of each.




All life begins by conception. Every person experiences the first birth. But every chosen, redeemed child of God shall experience a second birth—the new birth, being “born-again, “Jesus answered and said unto [Nicodemus], Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God…Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” (Joh 3:4-7)


So first, the old man and the new man each have a father but these two fathers are very different. The father of all sinners—the father of the old man of sin in us is Adam. But the Father of the new man, within each believer, is the last Adam, Christ Jesus, our God and Savior.

In order to enter this world—to have life, to hear, see, smell, think, enjoy the things of life—we had to be born the first time. Likewise, we only have spiritual life and enter Christ’s kingdom by being born-again of God. No man shall ever believe on Christ, love our brethren, pray, enter heaven or rejoice in any spiritual blessings until we are born again.


Regeneration—the new birth—is as real and necessary to worshipping God in spirit and in truth, as natural birth is necessary to enter this life of sorrow and trouble. Like our first birth, the new birth is something we cannot perform for ourselves. We cannot regenerate ourselves any more than we could cause ourselves to be born the first time.  It is of God’s supernatural power and not of any human power.


Have you been born the first time? You do not have to go back to the day and time.  You know you were born because right now you have life. Have you been born-again? Do not go back to an hour in which you felt or did something. We do not determine we have been born-again by looking at a reformation of life or how we gave up certain sins or started doing certain religious activities! Dead men can do that! You know you are born again when your confidence is no longer you but Christ! You know you are born again when you love the things you once hated and hate the things you once loved! A sinner is born again when old things—the old confidences in your flesh—are passed away and all things are become new. Here is the key—all these new things are of God! (2 Cor 5: 17-18) Those truly born of God, glory in God alone!


Secondly, concerning the birth of these two natures, the old man and the new man each have the natures of their father. But these natures stand in stark contrast to each other. Ephesians 4: 22 says “the old man,…is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts.” But Ephesians 4: 24 says “the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” (Eph 4: 22, 24)


Every sinner is born the first time of Adam’s corrupt seed, therefore partaker of Adam’s corrupt nature. Adam sinned and made us sinners by his disobedience. Then Adam gave us life, making our nature corrupt by his corrupt seed. So we are born under the curse of the law and we are born spiritually dead in trespasses and in sins.


But the believer is born-again of Christ’s incorruptible Seed, by the Word of God, thereby partaker of Christ’s divine nature, “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” (1 Pet 1: 23) Christ fulfilled all righteousness and his people did so in him—our old man of sin was crucified in him. Then Christ arose from the dead and his people arose in him. So when we are born of the Word of God, Christ is formed in us and we are made partakers of the divine nature.


Therefore, in every believer, there is an old man and a new man: an old nature like Adam’s nature; a new nature like Christ’s divine nature. Christ said, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; And that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (Jn 3: 6)


Listen to the scriptures contrast the old man and the new man. Colossians 3: 9 speaks of “the old man with his deeds.” His deeds are in Colossians 3: 5, which are these: “fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, covetousness.” Then in verse 8, “anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.” (Col 3: 5, 8)


But in Colossians 3: 10 he says “the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where…Christ is all, and in all.” (Col 3:9-11) The heart, the nature, of the new man is found in Colossians 3: 12. It is a heart of “mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another,…even as Christ forgave you.” It is a heart of “charity which is the bond of perfectness.” (Col 3: 12-14)


The apostle Peter says that by God renewing us in knowledge, by his divine power, by the word of God, God has “given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” (2Pe 1:4)


My son, Will, was born 12 years ago today. He looks just like me. Sadly, he acts like me. I gave him my nature which I got from my father all the way back to Adam. It is obvious there are certain traits we inherit from our earthly father by our first birth such as our temperament, passions and physical characteristics.  Likewise, our first nature is like Adam after the fall: spiritually dead, sinful, enmity against God. It does not get better, only worse.


Likewise, when born again, Christ’s divine nature is created within us. Our heavenly Father is holy. Therefore, the new nature is holy. Christ cannot do otherwise than believe God and love his brethren. Therefore, in our new man, we cannot do otherwise than believe God and love our brethren. The apostle John said of the new man within the believer, “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” (1Jo 3:8-9)


So “Why am I thus?” Like God told Rebecca, “Two manner of people [are in you].” The old man of Adam and the new man of Christ is in every true believer. In the first, we are born to sin—in the new, we are born to holiness; by the first, we are partakers of corrupt lust—by the new, we are partakers of Christ’s holiness. But we do not look within ourselves and rejoice in ourselves. Those with a new nature, “are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.” (Php 3:3)



Now, let’s consider life with these two natures. As Jacob and Esau struggled within Rebecca’s womb, as long as we have two opposite natures, there will be a warfare between the two. Yet, we never look to our inward man. If left to the strength of our inward man, we will fall captive to our old fleshly man. The apostle Paul was a regenerated believer speaking of himself as a regenerated believer when he wrote Romans 7. He said,


Romans 7: 18: For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me but how to perform that which is good I find not.


In our fleshly nature from Adam, dwells no good thing—only sin and self-righteousness. But in our new man, by Christ’s power, we are given a new willingness to obey God. Yet, even with a new man and new will, left to our strength, we have no ability to actually perform that which is good.


Romans 7: 19: For the good that I would, I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 20: Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.


It is not the new man born of Christ which is doing the sinning. It is the old sinful man of Adam that dwells in us.


Romans 7: 21: I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.


There is a principle—a rule—which will be with us till the day we lay aside this body of death: “when I will to do good, evil is present with me.”


Romans 7: 22: For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 23: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.


The sinful-will of our old man wars against the new will of our inward man, and brings us into captivity to sin which is in our members. Let’s say in our old man we do something, which we have no desire to do in our inward man: we get angry, we say and do things we hate. Soon after, we hear a voice saying, “How could you be a child of God and do this!” So we start looking at our lives—our deeds—for assurance that we are a child of God. That is the same old man of flesh. First, he brought us into sin then he wills to make us exalt ourselves in self-righteous, self-sanctification. In our inward man, we have no desire to do either. But our inward man does not have the ability to stop our old man from exalting us in self-righteousness, much less stop the desire to sin.


Romans 7: 24: O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?


If our new, holy, inward man still does not give us power to rule over our sinful man then who shall deliver us from the body of this death?


Romans 7: 25: I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.


In Romans 7, Paul shows us that our inward man cannot do what he will because of the old man of sin.  But in Galatians 5, Paul shows us that the old man of sin cannot do all the he would because the Holy Spirit of God will not allow it.


Paul said in our inward man, we delight in the law of God. For instance, God says in Galatians 5: 16, “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” (Ga 5:16) The will of our inward man is to walk in the Spirit. We have no will to fulfill the lusts of our fleshly man, no will to sin nor to exalt ourselves in self-righteousness; we hate that! But left to the strength of our own inward man, “the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.”  So who keeps our fleshly man from totally ruling over us in sin and self-righteousness? Who turns us in the inner man to look out of ourselves to Christ alone!


It is the work of God through Christ Jesus through the Holy Spirit of God. That is what Paul is teaching in Galatians 5: 17, “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that [by God the Holy Spirit, your old man] cannot do the things that ye would.” (Ga 5:17)


Do you see? In Romans 7, Paul showed how our old man will not allow our new man to do the things we will to do. Here he declares that God, through Jesus Christ our Lord, through the Holy Spirit, will not allow our old man to do the things our old man would.


So back in Roman 7: 25, Paul says,


“So then”—by God my Father through Christ Jesus through the work of the Holy Spirit, with the inward man—“with the mind I myself serve the law of God.”


By God’s grace, by the Spirit turning us in our inward man, we look away from ourselves, we believe on Christ alone for righteousness and sanctification. 


Romans 7: 25:…But with the flesh the law of sin.”


In our flesh, we know that sin will always be present in all we do. So this is what it is like to live with these two natures. The believer is totally dependent all the time for Christ to save us from this body of death.  When we sin, it is all of our old man of sin.  But it is due to God that we are made to look entirely away from this body of death to rest entirely in Christ, it is the work of God alone! So we have no room to boast for anything but we have every reason to glorify God our Father and Christ his Son through the Holy Spirit. God said, “the elder shall serve the younger.” By God’s grace the old man of sin shall serve the new man.




Lastly, let’s consider the glory of these two natures.


The apostle Peter declares the glory of the fleshly man, “For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away.” (1Pe 1:24) The train wreck this week in Philadelphia shows us the frailty of human life. In an instant, men and women died! “All flesh is as grass!” Man’s greatest glory—his greatest works—are like the flower that blooms then falls away.


Brethren, put no confidence in your flesh. If you found one thing in you to assure yourself, it will soon fall away like a flower’s bloom, the day your flesh withers and dies. In order to have assurance in righteousness, it must be eternal righteousness; in order to have assurance in holiness it must be perfection which lasts forever. But we are grass and our glory is a fading flower.


Yet, Peter also declares that when we are born-again, we are “born by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” (1Pe 1:23) Christ the living Word is our Life who lives and abides forever. Therefore, we shall live and abide forever!


Aren’t we so foolish?  We are the source of our sin. When we finally see our sin then we look to the source of our sin seeking assurance! 


If you want to find assurance, leave your cracked waterpot and flee to Christ our Mercy-Seat. He, his righteousness, his holiness, his redemption and all that Christ freely gives us is eternal and everlasting. Scripture says, “The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” Deut 33: 27) Christ said, “I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish.” (Jn 10: 28) Christ is the Author of “eternal salvation” with “eternal glory.” (Heb 5: 9; 2 Ti 2: 10) “By his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” (Heb 9: 12) So “they which are called receive the promise of eternal inheritance.” (Heb 9:15) He made with us an “everlasting covenant.” (Gen 9: 16). He gave us “everlasting righteousness” in his “everlasting kingdom”, established on an “everlasting foundation.” (Ps 119: 142; Ps 145: 13; Pro 10: 25) “In the LORD Jehovah is everlasting strength.” (Is 26: 4) Therefore, “the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and THY GOD THY GLORY!” (Is 60: 19)


Our God is the glory of the new man. When we are made new in Christ it is forever. His people “shall come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy.” (Is 35: 10) “And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit…The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven….And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” (1 Cor 15: 45, 47, 49) “Jesus said, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?” (Joh 11:25-26)


May our great and gracious God use these words to make us believe him, to make us look away from ourselves to Christ our Everlasting Righteousness! All God’s ways are everlasting ways!