The fallen nature in Man has been passed down from generation to generation since the Fall of Man in the Garden of Eden (1Cor.15: 22).
This nature, found in all Men, is “hostile to God” (Romans 8:7) and the things of God. Until a person is born again, he has no other choice but to base his decisions on human viewpoint that is always receptive to the deceitfulness this fallen nature. As a result, he is easily deceived and often believes that the decisions his makes are what are best for him (Prov.14: 12).
Once a person is born again by believing in the Person (who He is) and the Works (what He did on the cross) of the Lord Jesus Christ, the believer’s body becomes the temple of the Spirit of God (1Cor.6: 19). It is a part of the post-salvation ministry of God the Holy Spirit residing within the believer to edify him through the intake and application of the Word of God and to purge our minds of all the accumulated spiritual garbage that we have taken or will take in from the world around us.
What the indwelling Spirit of God and what the world (Satan) has to say are diametrically opposed to each other.
The voice of God speaks to the “new creation” (2Cor.5: 17 NIV) and the voice of Satan continues to speak to the fallen nature that remains with us until the day of our death. When Paul, under the inspiration of God the Holy Spirit wrote Romans 7 addressing the conflict of these two entities, it was nearly 30 years after his conversion and towards the end of his earthly ministry.
These two spiritual voices compete for the control of the mind of both the unbeliever (regarding salvation) and the born again believer (regarding sanctification).
The voice of God is primarily “heard” through the intake of Bible Doctrine under the post-salvation ministry of God the Holy Spirit.
The voice of Satan is “heard” from many sources that either attacks what the Bible says or promotes false doctrines. It is found in the media, music, arts, entertainment, society, peers, and in religious (as opposed to spiritual) organizations and, yes, even in the pulpit.
As we progress through life, each person develops his own norms and standards from his personal environment. Everything that offends someone’s conscience does not necessarily offend God (1 Cor.8: 1-11) since our norms and standards are influenced by many sources outside of the spiritual realm as well.
Parents, culture, education, society, peers, and “religion” (as opposed to spirituality) may unwittingly or deliberately promote misinformation based on human viewpoint. Also this information is false, it may still generate qualms of conscience in those who lack the spiritual discernment to correctly filter the information being received.
Atheists, Muslims, Jews, Mormons, Jehovah witnesses, Buddhists & Christians can all do things that may result in any one of them having a bad conscience as a result of deviating from their own set of norms & standards.
God placed the desire in the heart of all men to know and relate to the one true God. When the Gospel or the principles of the post-salvation life for the believer are rejected, it creates a void in the soul that must be filled. The natural response is to fill the void with human viewpoints which include such things as the misidentification of the true God, a satanic counterfeit plan for salvation, a counterfeit plan for living the true spiritual life, and the desires of the fallen nature.
The desires of the fallen nature include “good” deeds as well as the harmful lusts.
The Book of Ecclesiastes is primarily devoted to demonstrating the futility of trying to fill one’s spiritual needs with human achievements. It was written by a man who “had it all” and “did it all “, but finally came to the conclusion that apart from God, life is “meaningless” (Eccl 1:2 NIV).
This attempt to fill this void with anything other than a relationship with the true God is what destines such a person to pursue courses in life that appeal to the fallen nature, but will not satisfy the needs of the soul either in this life or in the life to come (Rev. 3:17).
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (R) Copyright (C) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All Rights reserved.