Wednesday Wordplay: Debauch

Debauch: from the old French meaning to lure a man away from his duty (for whatever purpose). Today we’ve infused the word with a bit more meaning specifically pointing to the seamy side of behavior. Debauchery is used in the NIV to translate two words in the Greek.
Uniquely in Ephesians 5:18 we read that getting drunk on wine leads to debauchery. The word is ἀσοτία (asotia) which is described by Friberg as the act of a man “who has abandoned himself to reckless immoral behavior.”
The other four uses (Rom. 13:13; 2 Co. 12:21; Gal. 5:19; 1 Pet. 4:3) of Debauchery in the NIV are translations of the word ἀσ́ελγεια (aselgeia) which describes living without any moral restraint whatsoever.
Regardless of it’s technical meaning the quiet and more sinister side of debauchery (in the old French sense) is expressed in James’ description of the origin and power of temptation. Temptation, James 1:14-16 tells us occurs when our own internal lusts and desires grab hold of us and lure us away. When that lust has concieved it gives birth to sin and it is sin that brings forth death.

What lusts are debauching you my friend? Do not continue to allow your own lusts and desires sweep you away. In Christ we have the capacity to overwhelmingly defeat temptation. Go to him, not with mild prayers but with earnest pleadings

“O my God I do not feel the strength to resist this urge but to you I bow down and humbly submit my body to be your tool of righteousness!”

Let Christ lead you into victory which is better by far than letting your own flesh lead you into debauchery!

Wednesday Wordplay: Academy

The citizens of Sparta, grateful for the successful return of Helen by the help of an Athenian man named “Academus” purchased a grove on the outskirts of Athens and gave it to him. Much later the grove became a public garden known as The Grove Of Academus. Circa 387 B.C. Plato, the Athenian philosopher took up his residence adjacent to the garden. As the young men of Athens came to study with him it was his habit to teach them as he walked the paths in the garden. This was his practice for the next 40 years. It is no wonder then that the Athenians named Plato’s school “the AcademiaSource
History would tell the rest of the story and down through the ages we have received the word Academy as an institution of concentrated learning.

Through a series of associations one thing became named for another. Thus we read in Acts 11:26 that the disciples of Jesus were first called “Christians” Antioch. The word is not meant to be a complement and may not have been used in a derogatory fashion either. It was already common to name groups in this manner. Hence followers of Herod were Herodians etc.

Wednesday Wordplay: Fake


More than likely the word derives from the old English faken generally meaning fraud.source

When Elymas the sorcerer tried to dissuade a proconsul named Sergius Paulus from becoming a Christian Paul the apostle turned and stared him down. “you who are full of all deceit and fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease to make crooked the straight ways of the Lord?” (Acts 13:5)

There are few things in scripture worse than being a fake. Littered throughout the pages we see fake prophets who speak what God has not spoken. Their penalty was stoning. Fake teachers who teach what God does not teach. Their end is destruction. And fake Christians who either through ignorance or arrogance do not have an authentic saving faith in Jesus. It is this last group which should cause us the most consternation. Their end is unexpected.

On the last day when God has separated the sheep from the goats, the ones on his left will say, “Hey wait a minute. We preached great messages and we cast out demons. We spent a good amount of time doing all kinds of service for you!” But Jesus will respond, “I never knew you.”

How terrible to get to that last day and discover that you were after all a fake. But we do not have to guess. Paul instructed the Corinthians to “test and see” if they were in the faith. (2 Corinthians 13:5) The implication above others is that we can indeed know that we belong to God.