“By which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”
“Escaped” comes from two words: to flee or to be a fugitive and away from. Christians escaped by flight from the corruption in the world when we became Christians. The Christian became a fugitive from the sin capacity at the point of his salvation.
The Greek indicates that we escaped in principle, not practice. We escaped by positional truth. We are not trying to escape, but we escaped.
God delivered us from the world by coming to know Christ personally.
In principle, the Holy Spirit indwells us, but the filling of the Holy Spirit means that the Holy Spirit must control our lives. One is the principle, and the other is experience. How does your experience line up with principle? Some of you have not escaped in practice.
Ro 6:6, “Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.”
Our sin capacity perpetuates in us through physical birth (Ps. 51:5; 1 Ti 2:13,14). By being born in the lineage of Adam, we inherit the sin capacity. By spiritual birth, we inherit the lineage of Christ (Ro 5:12). Both the sin capacity and the divine capacity operate in the Christian until he dies (1 Jn 1:8; 1 Co 3:1). The sin capacity does not continue in our resurrection body (Php 3:21; 1 Co 15:56).
Personal sin is our sin capacity expressing itself in experience. When the sin capacity controls the Christian, the Bible calls this carnality (Ro 7:14; 1 Co 3:1-3). He reverts to living by spiritual death (Ro 5:12)! The source of the sin capacity is spiritual death. Spiritual death is death toward God.
We escaped from the sin capacity in principle when Jesus died on the cross.
Ro 7:24-25, “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25I 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.”
We escape from the sin capacity in practice when we apply the principle to practice. A person goes to medical school then later specializes in surgery. He now has the credentials to operate on human beings. We place confidence in the principle of this training. None of us would want a butcher to take out our appendix even if he previously did take out the appendix of a horse! I have no beef against butchers. They have their place, but I would not want to have a butcher operate on me. We escaped the sin capacity in principle, not practice. We escaped from the capacity in principle by Christ’s death. We escape from the sin capacity’s power when we live by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Ga 5:16-17, “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh [sin capacity]. 17For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.”
God’s plan does not depend on what we do; it depends on what God does. God executed three judgments on the sin capacity:
- He judged Christ for our sins, 1 Pe 2:24
- We judge our sin in the light of Christ’s judgment for our sin, 1 Co 11:31; 1 Jn 1:9
- The sin that we do not judge, Christ will judge at the Judgment Seat of Christ and reward us accordingly, 1 Co 3:11-16.