By Elder F.W. Lambert Presented at Old Union Ministers School
In the Memoirs of Elder F. W. Lambert in his book, “Traveling Toward the Sunrise” Bro. W.T. Russell gave this description of this Baptist soldier. “My brother and friend is very individualistic, not in what he preaches, but in his manner. Even in very serious moments he possesses the talent of special humor and uses it to the advantage causing his hearers to remember his theme. He can move an audience to laughter quickly but just as quickly to tears. Bro. Lambert was also Sister Virginia Clemons’ pastor at Sycamore Valley for a number of years and baptized her.
Transcribed by J.Callis
My outline this afternoon is on the Two Natures of Man. You’ve definitely got them and conscious of them. It began with Adam. We got his nature because of his transgression of the law and there are many mysteries connected with sin. No one would deny, and it is certainly unreasonable to proclaim that Adam wasn’t a free moral agent. Now what is a free agent? It is an agent that is an actor, so the essence of free agency is the power to act as the agent pleases, and the power was given to Adam. He had the capacity to love and serve God. The power was given to Adam, in proof of which he did, for a time, love and serve God and, well, in so doing he exercised the power that God had given him and acted according to his inclination and sinning also was an act according to his inclination, illustrated by the doctrine of free agency. While I am on that, and you may differ with me, after you have been born again and saved, you are not a free agent, because you’ve been bought with a price and you’re not your own, and you belong to somebody else. An illustration in the doctrine of free agency is a perfect absence of all compulsory influence. Now Eve gave him that forbidden fruit (and I started to say that you fellows who are married are not too much of free agents.} but Eve didn’t make Adam take the fruit and the devil didn’t either. He did it voluntarily on his own free will. Now Adam sinned because he chose to sin and he chose to sin in exercise of his free agency and he was capable of sin, because he was a man and not an irrational creature. Sometimes it is spiritually inquired whether Adam and Eve did not sin in their hearts before they sinned in eating the forbidden fruit. They may have. The sin of Eve had its beginning in unbelief, giving credence to the tempter and the unbelief in her heart lead her to the outward act of eating the fruit. Adam was not deceived. His consent to disobey God was the consent of his heart must have preceded, except the act of disobedience seems plain. Therefore, the sin of the first parents had its origin in their hearts. The threatened penalty claimed attention - these words, “The day that thou eatest thereof thou shall surely die. Most perhaps in reading this language receive the impression that natural death is referred to. No doubt it is, but the death of the body by no means exalts the reference and the bodies of Adam and Eve did not actually die on the day of transgression but they died spiritually. They are at once placed under the law of mortality. Sin put them there. The seeds of death was planted in them. There was, in consequence of sin, subject to disease, infirmities, desolation, physical death of the guilty pair because, just as certain as they sinned, as it occurred while yet they were eating the fatal fruit. Not only did the natural death of Adam, in eating the fatal fruit, result as a result of his sin, but the natural death of his posterity resulted in the same cause. This seems to me is utterly destruction of the theory that Adam would have died even if he had not sinned, but the Bible knows nothing of death where sin is not. Now they brought death into the world. Now this is the subject of the body. We’ll get to the spirit after while and it will be a little different. The fatal deed of Adam’s designated sin was transgression, offense, and disobedience. It said “By one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, whereby the obedience of one many would be made righteous.” They were constituted sinners. Adam’s apostate children have often blamed their apostate great-great granddaddy for his disobedience but they practically endorse it as soon as they are able to discern between good and evil. In fact, they choose evil rather than good. They love darkness rather than light. All teachings of history confirm the truth of what the Bible says about the present state of man and shows that some great disaster has spread itself over the whole area of humanity. The condition of fallen man is clearly described in the sacred scriptures. The apostle speaks of the condition of Ephesian believers who were once as he describes in the natural state of every one of Adam’s foreign race who were dead in trespasses and sin. “Wherein in times past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience. (Ephesians 2:2) So God looked down from heaven upon the children of men. He said ”There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God, They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” (Romans 3:11-12) Well that includes me, and that includes you.
Now we have two natures. We’re definitely conscious of them. Now the young Christine sometimes doesn’t understand the two natures. I didn’t. When the Lord saved me I thought, “Well, the trouble’s over now. Everything will run smooth. “ In fact, the Devil hadn’t got hold of me. I walked that mile that night so easy and so knowledgeable of what the Lord had done for me, and I’ve never asked the Lord since to save me. He don’t save but one time. I thought the next morning I would go down in the woods to pray and thank Him for saving me. The Devil like to have choked me to death. I wanted to unite with the church but he said no. Now that’s the flesh, that carnal nature of man. But I finally got down there and thanked Him for saving me and did unite with the church that day.
So these two natures – one of them is a carnal nature, a fleshly nature, and may I remind you that the carnal nature comes with your natural birth, that you didn’t have any trouble between carnal and spiritual until you were saved.
Now I remember when I was a kid and had not reached the age of accountability and they would get to shouting at church and I would climb up on a bench to keep them from mashing my toes. (You don’t have to do that much now in nobody’s church around here, not one bit of condemnation.) But a man asked me one time if I was a sinner and I hadn’t thought much about it and I said, “yes.” Oh, brother. Well, I didn’t have too much trouble being a sinner. The Holy Spirit would reprove me. I’ve told you about that in another lesson, but I had no trouble before I reached the age of accountability but the sinner is dead spiritually before salvation. He has to be made alive. John 3::6 says, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” You’ve got to be made alive, born of the Spirit.But that old nature is hard. It will get you into trouble. In fact, it will lead you a thousand miles in the wrong direction. It will keep you away from the house of God, if you listen to it. It did Jonah. God said, Jonah, go to Nineveh and preach. Well, I guess he had the idea – I’ve worked pretty hard, I need a vacation, I think I’ll take a boat trip. He got on a boat sailing a thousand miles in the wrong direction. A storm came up and in order for them to have the sea to be quiet, they threw him overboard. He preferred death rather than (following the Lord). Now that was the fleshly nature.
The Devil and the flesh said, you go the other way and God Almighty and his inward man said, go to Nineveh. I don’t know what he weighed, but I’m guessing around 150 pounds, but a fish swallowed that dude! And he had a mouthful, I don’t mean maybe, but God prepared that fish. That lawyer in Chicago in that trial down in Dayton, Tennessee, said, “Mr. Bryan, do you believe that Jonah swallowed a whale? He said, “No, but if the Bible said he’d swallowed a whale I would believe it.” Well, a lot of people don’t believe that the whale swallowed Jonah (or the fish), but the Bible says that God prepared that fish. He might have had to come up for a little oxygen occasionally for Jonah. I don’t know if he got so sick that he wanted to throw him up. (I’ve eaten some things and got sick and threw them up.) But the fish threw him up on dry land.
The command came – You go to Nineveh. Well, he went out, he went to hiking. He was following the Spirit now. I’m talking about the inward and outward man. He just had a short message to preach, “Forty days and Nineveh shall be overthrown.” He went through there preaching that and to prove that he did do it, Jesus Christ said, “The men of Nineveh shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonas.” (Luke 11:32) So they were saved. They repented.
Now he (the flesh) will keep you away from the house of God, disbelieve God, lead you a long ways in the wrong way, and that’s the fleshly nature and we can’t say one good thing about it. You may brag on it but it will get out from your thumb in a minute.
A young preacher over in Macon County some years ago saw something and I’m not supposed to say what it was, but he told another preacher what he had seen. (He wasn’t supposed to see it.) He said, “I had enough grace in my heart just to look off.” The old preacher said, “Did you look back to see if it was gone?” Finally, he said, “ah..ah..ah..Yes.” That’s the flesh now and that’s in connection with my thoughts. Sometimes you don’t need to look at the wrong thing of keep looking because it will lead you to lust and that’s the outward man doing it. The inward man never does anything wrong. It can’t sin because it’s born of God. The Bible tells us in the Galatian letter (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 ye cannot do the things that ye would.” So the conflict is between the Spirit and the body (flesh) and the Spirit is right invariably and the body is wrong, and if you follow the body or the carnal nature, you’re following the wrong man. I’ll prove that to you before I get through.
Now you’ve had this nature since birth and you’re going to have it until you die and it will hold you down if you’re not careful. Paul tells us in 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.” Romans 7:21 “I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.” Have you had that? Well you had just as well say “Amen,” for you have. The Lord will tell you to give to a certain person, maybe a widow woman or someone who needs it, a certain amount of money and the carnal nature of man will say, “Don’t do that; she’s on welfare and she’s getting food stamps; she don’t need that . Just give her half of that. Why you have trouble with that, you know you do. “When I would do good, evil is present with me.” “For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:” So, we’ve got an inward man and an outward man and the majority of people don’t understand the two men. They think there is just one and there’s two. The 8th Chapter of Romans 7th verse, reads “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” If a thing is not subject to the law of God, it can’t be changed. Only the law of God can change it. Well, I believe I’ll just nail this to the wall.
Jeremiah 13:23 “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.” Now you can’t change your fleshly nature. You’re to get it under the subjection of the Spirit and control it and not let it run awry, but it will get from under your thumb if you don’t watch it, and you will wonder how it did it, but it will do it.
Now I can talk to an unsaved man about the world and worldly things and he understands them, but you get to talking to him about religion and he’ll get that far away look in his eyes. He can’t understand Spiritual things. I had a sister who was of another faith and she was good to me. She died last year at the age of 87. When I was 17 years old she would say, “Read the Acts of the Apostles.” I don’t know at the times she told me to read the Acts of the Apostles. What did I know about the Acts of the Apostles? I’d much rather read Daniel Boone or Davy Crockett. I could understand that, but I couldn’t understand the Spiritual side of things. The unsaved don’t understand it. They can’t because it is Spiritually discerned. “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. I Corinthians 2:14. The Bible says: “ I Corinthians 1:18 “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness: but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” Now the foolishest thing that I ever heard as a boy before I was converted was preachers. The preachers would come home with daddy and they would give me an old horse and say, “Feed him 5 or 6 ears of corn and some hay.” And I would have to go to the house and wait until they ate the best pieces of the chicken and leave me the neck and wing and feet and I would get so mad I could hardly see, and a hungry preacher can eat a whole chicken anytime. They would get the Bible down and they would read, they’d pray and sometimes they would cry, and I thought, “Y’all have lost your marbles.” Well come to find out, I was the one who had lost the marbles. They hadn’t. I couldn’t understand it. And I didn’t like “Amazing Grace” because it dwelled too long, and now that’s my favorite song. You sang Bro. Ray’s but “Amazing Grace” is mine. I love it. IIt’s the sweetest song I ever heard. But after you are saved the old carnal :nature is mighty hard to deal with. There are those that claim they don’t have it, but they are not telling the truth, that they don’t have a bit of carnality, but they’re not like me. I heard someone preach over the radio sometime ago say he felt like laying aside his salvation and skipping a few, or laying aside his sanctification. Well, how many of you get mad enough sometimes to bite your tongue, swallow and re-swallow and bite your tongue and you can’t say what you want to. You think it and, if there is nobody listening at you, you might as well say it. God knows exactly what you’re thinking. In fact, God knows our thoughts.
Paul tells us in the 4th Chapter of Ephesians verse 22: “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts:” 23) “And be renewed in the spirit of your mind:” 24 “ And that you put on the new man” (inner man) which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” So you’ve got two men. You’ve got one called the old man. He’s corrupt. The Bible says, according to deceitful lusts. He said put on the new man which, after God, is created in righteousness and true holiness. Now when Paul was talking abou the old man he was talking about the carnal nature of man. He said the old man (the body) is deceitful.
There was a woman in Greenup Kentucky, and, of course, you have Hazzard, KY. (I shouldn’t have told you about that.) We have Heddie Ridge in Macon Co. But up in Greenup KY. A woman sued her husband for divorce. They came from the trial and she got on the bus and he got on there with her. I don’t know if they road together or not. I wouldn’t have rode with her, but she got the divorce, came back and the bus stopped in front of the house and she got off and he got off. She said, “What are you doing here?” He said, “I live here.” He was a railroad man. He went in and spent the night. The next night the same thing, the next night the same thing. She finally called the preacher and said, “Come over and marry me and the old man. I tried to get rid of him and can’t do it.” Now you’ve got him. (the old fleshly man) You might want to get rid of him but you can’t do it. I’ll tell you when you will get rid of him, when the grim reaper comes for him, when the death angel comes for him, mortality and sin laid down. When God saves a person He saves the whole man. You may differ with me. He saves the soul by His grace and mercy, promises redemption to the body in the resurrection, and your body undergoes no change, brothers and sisters, until that final day when God calls for him (the body). And he comes up out of the grave having answered the voice of the Son of God and God redeems that man and glorifies that man and what’s he got to do then? All the world that he has got to say when the Lord hollers for him is “Here I am.” That’s it. God bought him and paid for him. He belongs to God.
Now the Spiritual nature, Paul said, “”And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.” Ephesians 2:1 Paul tells us in the 5th Chapter of Romans “ “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” Well, that just gets us all. So the Spiritual man is alive and the natural man is alive.
Ii Peter 1:4 “Whereby are 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.”
Now when God saves you, He gives you a divine nature, inwardly, and everybody who is saved ought to act a little like God, and he ought to walk a little like God, and if you walk with God, you’ll walk where God walks; not where you want to walk and he ought to talk a little like God, not use God’s name in vain. I’ve heard people use bad language and somebody will say, “Don’t he belong to the church where you preach? Don’t forget they will sock you between the eyes with it. (Well, you don’t know if he has got salvation or not—I’m about to cross myself up.) Peter had salvation when he cursed and denied knowing Jesus Christ. That was the flesh, but the Spirit got hold of him a little later when he looked at Him and he cried like a baby. The Lord said, “ Peter “But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” (Luke 22:32) I didn’t mean to be converted in regeneration but when you can see the error of your way, comfort your brethren.
Now when a person is first saved he doesn’t need beefsteak and ham meat. He needs milk, milk, and more milk, but Paul found some members at the church at Corinth that ought to be eating meat and they have to have milk. Sometimes you will have a church member that has been there 35 or 40 years that can’t eat meat, grumble at strong doctrinal preaching, and when I first started preaching I thought I had to fix me up a formula that would suit them all and I got to noticing that they would spit the nipple out when they got it. And I quit fixing it up and let them have it whether they liked it or they don’t like it. C.B. Massey went over to a Methodist Church on West Fork to preach. His kinfolks were there, most of them Methodists. He got him a sermon that would fit everybody there and when he got through preaching one of the Methodists punched him and said, “You were afraid to preach your doctrine here today.” He said, “Try me again, try me again.”
Now you ought to be able to chew the strong doctrine and enjoy it. I like it. I thank God for it. Now your baby don’t need milk always. You can switch him off on to mashed potatoes and finally off on a little gravy and finally he ought to be able to chew the strong doctrine, but a lot of them still have to have milk.
Now sometimes, if you don’t watch it, your body will be a devil on wheels. (I didn’t hear any “Amens” on that, did I?) I’m talking about the body. Well, in fact, the body can so conduct itself that what he does will be burned up and it will make him lose his rewards and Paul said “saved so as by fire.” I held a funeral of a beer-drinking Baptist about a week ago. A fellow wanted to know what I was going to do with him. Well, I couldn’t do nothing with him. It wasn’t my place to handle his case. You can’t keep from thinking about sometimes what ought to be done with him, but you can’t do it.
So the soul that has been saved has a Godly nature. You all mentioned the “Holy Rollers.” We part company with the Holy Rollers on some of their doctrine. I used to associate with an old boy and we did quite a bit of hunting and he got to preaching a little and cursing a little and he said that God had burned up all of his carnality. Well, when I went to high school I could easily run two miles and I could make the longest jump in school, but look at me now. I can jog a little, but I can’t run the two miles and I can jump over a house if you let me build the house. I’d build me a little doggy house and jump over that. And I can live above sin if you let me say what sin is. But you let God say what sin is and try your hand at it because the Bible tells us in Proverbs that the thought of foolishness is sin. Another place says if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
So these two natures are in constant conflict with each other. The Bible tells us in the 5th Chapter of Galatians, Verse 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 ye cannot do the things that ye would.” So we are to feed the new man. What are we going to feed him on? Milton and Shakespeare? It wouldn’t do for me to feed them on Shakespeare because I don’t know enough about Shakespeare. Feed them the truth! Feed them God’s eternal word. Now that will make you feel good when you get through preaching. I had one fellow tell me, “I didn’t like your preaching today.” Well, I said, “Sometimes I don’t like it.” I Peter 2:2 “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word that ye may grow thereby:” Romans 13;14 “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.” Now if you don’t make provision for your family you are in pitiful condition. But you are not to make provisions for the lust of the flesh and fulfill of the desire thereof. You can make provisions for him (the body) to eat like hog and hominy and things like that, but keep him (the body) off of this lust and make no provisions for the flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof.
I read about a man who had a pet tiger about a third grown. He had fed him table scraps; he was small and laid on his lap and stayed in the house. One day the man skinned his hand and had some blood dried on his hand. He hadn’t taken the time to wash it off and this little tiger came up in his lap and started licking his hand and got hold of that blood and chewed his hand. What happened? His nature was revived in him. It was his nature to eat flesh and the blood, and his nature hadn’t been revived, but he had to get rid of him. His nature was revived.
Now you are to starve the old man(outward man) and feed the new (inward man). Colossians 3:1 “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 3:2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3:3 For ye are dead and your life is hid with Christ in God.”
I phrased me a new word – Sundayritis. You can get over Sundayritis, but you can’t get over arthritis. What is Sundayritis? Well, I’ve got a few (people) and I’m not accusing you brethren of having that, but a fellow gets to feeling bad about time he gets the Sunday morning paper and the wife and children are fixing to go to Sunday School. “I don’t feel hardly too good, I’ve been to the bathroom two or three times….I don’t believe I’ll go today. Well, after they go he gets over this Sundayritis and he gets in his automobile and goes over and talks to a moss-back Baptist that hadn’t been to church since the revival last year, and he talks about the preacher and some of the members. He comes home and his wife fixes dinner and he gets over his Sundayhritis. He feels pretty good until it is time to go that night and they’re getting ready to go. He says, “I don’t believe I’ll go. I’ve been to the bathroom two or three times, so he’s got Sundayritis again. We don’t need to take that. When the house of God is open, if you follow your Spirit, you will be there if you are able to get there. Sometimes I see men coming in on crutches, with a walker, with a rolling chair. What sends them? It’s so easy to say, I’m not able to go to the house of God. You be there! You help the preacher; you pray for him, give him your attention. You’re following the inward man and Paul said, “For I delight in the law of God after the inward man.” (Romans 7:22) That inward man is that new man. Romans 7:19 “For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.”7:20 “Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.” 7:21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 7:24: O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” God will take care of that. Romans 7:25 “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God: but with the flesh the law of sin.” THANK YOU.