Rust

In 2 Peter 1:4 Simon Peter describes the glory and goodness of Jesus:

By these He has given us very great and precious promises, so that through them you may share in the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in the world because of evil desires.

The idea of our corruption as a result of our evil desires and rejection of the escape made available by Jesus reminds me of rust. Rust, or iron oxide, is produced by a reaction between iron and oxygen in the presence of water (which can simply be in the surrounding air). Given sufficient time, iron will completely disintegrate due to this corrosion.

rust

Isn’t it the same with us? Left alone with our evil desires, we will corrode and eventually be completely destroyed. There is good news, however.

Have you heard of stainless steel? Steel is a mixture (alloy) of iron and carbon; the carbon tends to strengthen the iron. Because steel contains iron, though, it is subject to rust. By adding chromium to the iron and carbon, the new stainless steel is protected. The presence of the chromium forms a passivation layer of chromium oxide. This thin oxide layer protects the stainless steel from catastrophic corrosion.

When we accept Jesus as our Savior and are baptized, we receive the Holy Spirit — God in us. We are alloyed in the same way as the steel! With Jesus inside, we now have a passivation layer to protect us from the world’s corruption. We are stainless!

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About Tony Schmitz

Tony Schmitz received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Temple University in 1993, his MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 1996, and his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 1999. He is a mechanical engineering professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
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