Ezekiel 43,44 2 Peter 2
As we read in yesterday’s passage, it ought to be the goal for all Christ’s followers to participate in the divine nature (2Pt 1:4). When we progress toward that goal, we will be in the meantime escaping from the corruption in the world cause by evil desires (1:4). In today’s passage, Peter delves into such corruption.
False teachers are the primary examples Peter used for such corruption, for they could cause major damage to people’s spiritual wellbeing through the introduction of destructive heresies into the body of Christ (2:1). They even denied the sovereign Lord who bought them (2:1), and they made up stories to exploit the believers to satisfy their greed (2:3). Unfortunately, they apparently had gathered many followers with their smooth yet deceiving teachings (2:2). It’s not clear who these false teachers Peter referred to, but their motive and scheme seem very familiar even for today’s church.
However, the application of such corruption goes way beyond the ones who have the title of teachers. Any behavior resulting from our fleshy desire will cause the same kind of corruption, for “the one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction” (Gal 6:8). A man is a slave to whatever has mastered him (2Pt 2:19). Some are enslaved by bitterness, and they let such bitterness corrupt their own spiritual wellbeing along with those surrounding them, resulting in a toxic environment that suffocates everyone involved. Some are enslave by personal pride, and they allow this pride to blind them from seeing the wellbeing of others, resulting in broken relationships and stagnant spiritual lives. They are indeed like springs without water and mists driven by a storm (2:17), and there shall only be blackest darkness left for them.
I now can relate much better to Peter than I used to be, and I can understand why the apostles so eagerly talked about bondage/slavery of corruption (Rom 8:21, 2Pt 2:19). The tight grip of our sinful nature on us is never loosened easily, and the spiritual battle is constantly raging against those who sincerely want to participate in the divine nature. I can also understand why Peter used such strong words like beasts, dogs, and swine to describe the corruptive ones (2:22). However, we can be joyous because “the Lord knows to rescue godly men from trials” (2:9), and he will not abandon those who genuinely try to sow to please the Holy Spirit (Gal 6:8). From the Spirit they shall reap eternal life.
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