Who Wants to Study Corruption?!

So when Facebook went dark we were spared, right? 🙂 We are under enough emotional/spiritual/mental and perhaps familial, workplace and etc. distress! So who wants to read anything about THIS? I get that.

We all know our deepest need is LOVE. We recognize many legitimate calls and actions for justice, equity, the extension of grace and compassion in the face of reality and false news alike, gossip, slander, vengeance and desire to control, win, see demands met whether or not we or even God thinks they should be as we think they ought to be. So in light of all the darkness I ask- when is the last time you did a Bible study on this particular issue? Whew.

I dug into scripture on the topic of corruption recently, moreso last night. This morning -October 5, 2021, I opened to read through the Oswald Chambers devo for the day entitled “The Nature of Degeneration”. All I can say is Amen and let’s get ears to hear and eyes to see before our time runs out. https://utmost.org/

We must be clear right off: “But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for humankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior…” -Titus 3.4-6 Also even in terms of repentance: “Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?” -Romans 2.4

The old KJV tells us the word “corrupt” shows up 33 times in 31 verses of the Bible, “corruption” 21 times in 21 verses.

By far the matter being discussed is decay and specifically related to dying and death. We all know we’re going to experience this.

What I was searching to really understand at a deeper level is where the term is contextually linked to this:

Galatians 6 esp. vs. 8- which in some places the NAS renders as “destruction”: 7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a person sows, this he will also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will reap DESTRUCTION from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit. 9 Let’s not become discouraged in doing good, for in due time we will reap, if we do not become weary. 10 So then, (Or as) while we have opportunity, let’s do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.

2 Peter 1 esp. vs. 4- 1 (One early ms Simeon) Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have received a faith of the same (Or value) kind as ours, (Or in) by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ: 2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus Or our Lord. Since His…excellence, through these (vv 3-4) our Lord, 3 for His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us (Or to) by His own glory and (Or virtue) excellence. 4 Through (Lit which) these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the CORRUPTION that is in the world on account of lust.

2 Peter 2 esp. vs. 12- 12 But these, like unreasoning animals, born as creatures of instinct to be captured and killed, using abusive speech where they have no knowledge, will in (Lit their) DESTRUCTION in the destruction of those creatures also be destroyed, 13a suffering wrong as the wages of doing wrong.

2 Peter 2 esp. vs. 19- 19 promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of CORRUPTION; for by what anyone is overcome, by this he is enslaved.

The same Greek word rendered (in the KJV) “corruption” in all four texts means “corruption, destruction, perishing”.

Note Paul writing to the Galatian church and Peter to the church are writing about the issue of false beliefs, false prophets and in essence warning believers not only about judgment coming to those who do not follow Jesus in faith but the possibility of their own shipwreck (to use the old KJV term).

I should also add that as The Jesus Music movie has just been released and I’ve been involved in online chats and panels regarding it, I’ve been reminded of a long trail of tears over first-person involvement with professing Christian musicians (and other leaders) who fell. Thank GOD some repented, became personally accountable in the local church and have matured spiritually and in all other areas, but far too many did not. We see that same record all through both Testaments and centuries of Church history. Of course -we- don’t know who repented and who did not, in the end God alone knows and is by Himself the only righteous judge.

While our salvation is not about our own “good works” nor somehow “earning” God’s grace which is not possible (UNmerited favor is what grace is all about) the sense of personal responsibility to genuine relationship to Jesus, the whole Word of God (Bible) and right relationships to the church are so foundational and so very needed. Then there are my own temptations, sins and those of others I’ve done the best I knew (at the time) to help move out of and beyond these to God’s mercy, forgiveness and Christ-like change. As you might imagine, my efforts as likely your own are sometimes fruitful and other times not.

I noticed in my Twitter feed another comment this morning re. white folks trying to help in the area of racism, the term (and often quite accurate) “white savior”. There IS NO SAVIOR BUT JESUS and can never be another at the most core, that’s a fact. In Christian leadership early on it became glaringly obvious that I could only try to reflect Jesus and His Word best as I knew to do by example -as flawed as I have always been and remain to this moment.

At the same time to simply buy into every temptation to roll with whatever “felt” right, most any cultural shift, or hard-wire align myself with ignorant, self-serving attitudes, being unwilling to re-visit the whole Words of God in scripture because they no longer suited -me- and/or those I love and care about does neither others nor myself any lasting good. Our life on earth will end. “Then the judgment” which of course plenty would also love to ignore, wish away or produce a defense against.

It does seem in the practical, most if not all corruption happens over time, a bit like the frog in the frying pan. Most people don’t wake up one morning deciding “I think today I’ll choose and live out corruption!”.

If these warnings from scripture (and there are of course plenty of those throughout) seem intense, perhaps even irrelevant or simply not what we’d like, I fully get that!! I don’t always like ’em either! But I love Jesus and want to reflect His love and truth to people. For my Lord, others and myself I want to avoid corruption. Dear reader, how about you?

The issue is whether these things move us to embrace our individual crosses or merely “look into the perfect law of liberty” and walk away from it creating our own false “scripture” within our own head.

Matthew quotes Jesus (7.14) as saying ““For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it.”

That word “small” has the meaning (Strong’s) “narrow (from obstacles standing close about):—strait.” and further, “narrow” = “to crowd (literally or figuratively):—afflict, narrow, throng, suffer tribulation, trouble.”

God have mercy and may we trust Him and learn to walk in it.

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

2 thoughts on “Who Wants to Study Corruption?!

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