Escape the Corruption
There is not much that is more distasteful than corruption. We can all remember times in our lives when a particular form of corruption was discovered in government, in business, in church, or in the home. And while it's easy to point the finger at politicians caught with their hands in the cookie jar, or investors who were cheating people out of their life savings through crooked schemes, the fact is that the base of all corruption is just personal sinfulness. We crave having a way to escape the ugliness of corruption!
It is because of this fact that in 2 Peter the writer ties the escape from corruption right in with the statements that he made about God's divine power having given us everything that we need for life and for godliness (2 Peter 1:3). He tells us that we can "become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire" 2 Peter 1:4. Pay close attention to what Peter wrote, though, because it isn't a magic trick, or even a mysterious promise to "claim in the name of Jesus". It is a practical effect of specific action. Let's look at that action so we can understand the effect.
In the previous verses Peter teaches that through the divine power of God we are given everything we need for life and godliness. Then he explains that this comes through our knowledge of God and His glory and goodness. Then he explains that through God's glory and goodness He has given us His "precious and very great promises", and that through those promises we can participate in His divine nature. Pause and contemplate that for a second: God has provided to YOU AND ME a way to be participants in (have a part of) His Divine Nature! OK, let's go on to the last point. Peter then explains that as we participate in God's divine nature, we can escape from the corruption in the world that is caused by sinful desires. Maybe that will be easier to follow as a list, or a process:
I gain knowledge of God and His glory and goodness (by studying His Word, listening to accurate teaching, worshiping Him, and spending time in prayer).
Through His glory and goodness I receive His precious and very great promises (they are revealed in His Word and are found through study and accurate teaching).
Through those promises I participate in His divine nature (His divine nature begins to "infect" my own nature, replacing my nature and changing my thought patterns and actions).
As my thought patterns and actions are changed by His divine nature in me, corruption in the world around me has less of an impact on my life.
It's wonderful that just is the case in virtually every part of my walk with God there are things I must do and understand and things that God does in me. I need to study His Word. I need to comprehend accurate teaching. I need to desire change in my heart and mind. As I pursue those things, God is working in me in ways that I simply cannot comprehend.
Corruption in the world around us will always be present and it will always be ugly. But you can escape the effect of it by focusing on the "knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence"!
Vero Bible Fellowship Elder Team