Many today confess to believe in “victory over sin” as something that a Christian will eventually have. They believe that at some point in the future they will have “victory over sin”. This is a great error in the lives of many confessing Christians.
I often hear “Amen” when the discussion of “victory over sin” is talked about. But rarely do I hear that it is something that is had “today” or at this very instant.
The mistake many believe is that they won’t be “incorruptible” until Jesus comes. And they take a couple verses from 1 Corinthians 15 that refer to the body and apply it to the spiritual and incorruptible mind or holy spirit which we are to have and be born of today.
Corruptible Flesh (Not a Corruptible Mind) Until the Resurrection
1 Corinthians 15:39-40 KJV (39) All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. (40) There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.
Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 is speaking to the Corinthians about the resurrection. And he is explaining the difference between the types of bodies which we have. Paul compares our bodies to the bodies of beasts and to angels and tells us that there are many different natures of flesh or bodies.
1 Corinthians 15:42-44 KJV (42) So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: (43) It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: (44) It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
So we have two types of bodies. The natural body, which is the body we have today. This body is “corruptible”, “weak”, “dishonourable”. It is also called “sinful flesh”. However, this body is not to be confused with the mind. Nor is it to have power over the mind.
1 Corinthians 2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
And that mind has power over the flesh, so that the sinful flesh in which we dwell has no power over us just as that sinful flesh had no power over Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ himself also dwelt in a “weak”, “corruptible” and “dishonourable” body. The Bible says:
Heb 2:16 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.
The truth is that even today he is dwelling in us. This is referring to our flesh which he is to dwell in. We don’t have holy flesh, there is no such thing, neither did he.
1 Corinthians 15:50 KJV (50) Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
And until the resurrection Christ did not have an incorruptible body, and neither will we. We will not be able to enter into the kingdom of God without it.
1 Corinthians 15:52-54 KJV (52) In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (53) For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. (54) So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
As we have already read this refers to the incorruptible body which we are to receive. This is not teaching that we have a corruptible mind today and that we continue to willfully and knowingly continue in sin. That is a most dangerous heresy as we shall see in the following passages.
Incorruptible Mind at the Spiritual BIRTH
When a Child is brought into the world, this concept is called “birth”. This is the beginning of life. The Christian in order to be born again, must be born of Holy Spirit. This is called the new birth. It is a spiritual birth, where he begins a new life. In this new life the believer is not to grow old and eventually experience “victory over sin”. As we will read “victory over sin” is had before he even begins to crawl, let alone walk.
1Pe 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
When we are “born again” we are born of that “incorruptible seed”. That “seed” is Jesus Christ. We receive in us that living “seed”. The term seed refers to “offspring” or “children”. Jesus Christ is “the seed of God” or the child of God. The Bible says he is “the only begotten Son of God”. That “seed” must live in you.
John 3:5-7 KJV 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. (6) That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (7) Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
True Faith – Born of God
A very misunderstood concept. There is a belief that this is merely a confession of words to be “born again”. But the Bible says it is by faith that a man is born of God. Faith is a living experience of having the word or “seed of God” which is Christ Jesus living inside of you.
1 John 5:4 KJV For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
That faith is not just a profession of believing that Jesus Christ was a man and walked the earth. The devils believe that. But faith is to believe and accept that God’s word will do in you what that word says it will. That is the “faith of Jesus Christ” and that is the “testimony of Jesus Christ”.
That verse refers to when we are born again. Having the Spiritual mind. Incorruptible mind. We like Jesus have the mind of Jesus. This does not refer to possession, but rather to the character traits. This is at spiritual “birth”. This is the beginning of our walk.
Having the incorruptible Seed – Does Not “Commit Sin” at Birth
1Jn 3:9 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.
Notice in that verse….”born” “birth” You are not even a baby until this happens.
Jesus Christ was born of that holy spirit before he learned to walk or talk. He was in sinful flesh, yet never “commited sin”.
The word “commit” means to make a “commitment”. It refers to “willful” or “known” sin. This might not be the modern interpretation of “commit” but this is what the Bible teaches. To make a commitment you must know it is wrong. Many will ignorantly sin after birth. But they won’t willfully commit to sin after being born again.
Heb 10:26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
Some might be thinking “I’ve been born again and commited willful sin, am I lost forever?” They believe this verse means that you can never repent if you’ve commited willful sin after knowledge of the truth. That’s not what Hebrews 10:26 is saying. It is saying that those who have committed willful sin have forsaken their covering. Jesus Christ their sacrifice is no longer their sacrifice unless they will repent.
Many throughout history have lost their salvation. King David at one time turned his back on God and went against the word of God doing what he knew not to do. But God restored unto him the joy of his salvation. God created in him a clean heart by David’s faith and belief in the power of the word.
Psalms 51:10-12 KJV Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. (11) Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. (12) Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
David put his confidence in God to do as the word said. David didn’t say “I will do better God”. David failed and recognized that he needed God to “uphold” him, this was not of David himself that he might boast in his works. He needed to have his salvation restored. He had “no more sacrifice for sins” until he repented from his “willful sin” and accepted the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
At “birth” the baby Christian does not make “commitment to” or “does not commit sin”. If this is not what your pastor is teaching, he is building a tower of his own. He is trying to tell you to climb it to get to heaven. But the truth is:
1Jn 3:6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.
So if a pastor or a teacher is saying “Amen” when talking about victory over sin and is hopeful that someday he may stop committing willful, known or presumptuous sin. We can know that he has yet to learn the plainest and most important gospel truth in scripture.
This is not to say that we should condemn our brother or sister to hell for their misunderstanding of the gospel. But rather share with them our testimony of the love and the power of the word and how it really does work inside of us.