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This page revised and Copyrighted: Theon Doxazo

14 December, 2023

 

Vs 4c - Lust

02.2.9

“. . . having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.”

                2 Pet 1:4c

 

One clear message from this passage is that, because of God's “precious and magnificent promises” we are able to escape the effects of lust in our lives.  Does this say that lust is no longer present in our lives?  No, it does not.  Could it be that lust can be removed from our lives?  Could be, but this passage does not seem to teach that.  So, lust may continue to be present, but, should we choose to follow our Lord and His teachings, we have the opportunity to remove the 'corruption' lust produces from our lives.  What might this 'corruption' be?  It would seem to include the lies one tells to hide one's lust-motivated sinful acts.  It likely includes those relationships characterized by illicit sexuality.  One can easily continue to generate numerous other examples of 'corruption' that would be avoided by staying close to our Lord.

 

In this context I am reminded of a saying told me by my mother.  She noted:  “You can't prevent the birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair.”

 

“. . . by them you might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.”

 

An additional thought about 2 Pet 1:4.  Note that 'might become' and 'having escaped' seem to imply differences in time.  In the Greek we find the word γένησθε which is translated here as 'might become'.  This is an aorist, subjunctive, middle verb.  For the second term, we find the Greek word ἀποφυγόντες which is translated here as 'having escaped'.  This is an aorist, active participle.  In both cases the aorist tense is the same.  While aorist is probably the most commonly used tense and likely to have quite a bit of flexibility in it's application, nothing from these tenses can be found that would imply one of these clauses should sequentially precede the other.  Thus, while in the English translation there may seem to be a sequentiality implied, an inspection of the Greek verbs themselves does not support this reading.  Hopefully the reading presented here will assist in undercutting the belief that one must first overcome one's lusts so that later one can participate in the divine nature.  Rather, we should understand that we were saved even in the midst of our sin, and that saving is not of our own doing or merit.  It is God at work in our lives, from start to finish.  It is God's choice to live in our lives, motivating and empowering us to grow.