Summary: Having stressed the importance of God¡¯s Word, Peter next relays a warning against those who threaten the church¡¯s purpose by rejecting their progress toward godliness & by refusing to submit to the authority of God¡¯s Word.
2 PETER 2: 1-9 [Our Precious Faith Series]
CHRISTIAN CAUTIONS & CONFIDENCES
The book of 2 Peter began by teaching on the divine provision for a godly life. It went on to stress the divine inspiration of Scripture. Not all in the church though will grow in godliness nor follow the teaching of the Word. Having stressed the importance of God¡¯s Word, Peter next relays a warning against those who threaten the church¡¯s purpose (CIT) by rejecting their progress toward godliness and by refusing to submit to the authority of God¡¯s Word.
In an attempt to give a bases or justification for a misdirected life, false teaching would come into the church. False teaching can come in many different expressions and by numerous approaches. These false teachers can be intelligent, talented, and winsome people. But following their teachings can jeopardize our future. How can we recognize them? Chapter 2 of 2 Peter answers that question.
I. EXPOSURE OF FALSE TEACHING, 2:1-3.
II. EXAMPLES OF HISTORIC JUDGMENT, 2:4¨C6.
III. EXPLANATION OF DIVINE DELIVERANCE, 2:7-9.
False prophets are dangerous on three counts: their underhanded methods and shameful ways bring the faith into disrepute, their teaching is a denial of God¡¯s truth, and their destiny is to bring destruction both on themselves and their followers. Verse 1 forewarns churches to guard against false doctrine that subverts the Lordship of Christ. ¡°But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves.
Satan¡¯s counterfeits with their entrapping activities have always been present within the people of God. They appeared in ancient Israel [Dt. 13:1¨C5; 1 Ki. 13:18; 22:5¨C23; Je. 5:13, 31; 6:13; 23:16-40; 28:1-17] and they were present in the first-century church and they are present within the church today [Mt. 24:4-5, 11; Mk. 13:22, 23].
They do not walk in an announce themselves, but begin working behind the scenes. Their teachings containing some truth which has been cleverly blended with error. That allows them to secretly introduce false teachings. ¡°Secretly introduce¡± translates pareisaxousin, ¡°bring in alongside¡± or ¡°infiltrated,¡± suggests underhand dealings.
¡°Heresies¡± refer to wrong beliefs deliberately chosen rather than the ones revealed by God¡¯s Word. Such heresies are ¡°destructive,¡± for they lead people away from Christ and thus to spiritual ruin (ap¨leias). [Swift could be translated imminent as it is in 1:14.]
To deny [is arn¨¦omai, which] means ¡°to contradict, reject, or disavow.¡± The next time a member of a religious sect calls on your home, ask him or her the direct question, ¡°What do you think of Jesus?¡± Here Jesus is called the Master or Sovereign Lord. [1 John 2:22f]
They were bought or ¡°redeemed¡± [agorazo] in the sense that Christ paid the redemptive price for their salvation, but they did not yield to Him as Lord and so were not saved. Peter believed that Christ¡¯s death paid the cost of redemption even for those who deny the Lord [Barbieri, Lou. First & Second Peter. 2003 The Moody Bible Institute. Chicago. P. 123]. Christ¡¯s death is ¡°sufficient¡± for all (1 Tim. 2:6; Heb. 2:9; 1 John 2:2), but is ¡°efficient¡± only for those who believe. This is a strong argument for unlimited atonement (the view that Christ died for everyone) and against limited atonement (the view that Christ died only for those whom He would later save). [Walvoord, John & Zuck, Roy. The Bible Knowledge Commentary. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1983, p. 870.]
Verse 2 indicates that the tantalizing aspects of false teaching attracts many followers within the church. ¡°Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned;
The tragic fact about many false teachers is that they are successful¡ªpeople listen to them and follow them and their sensual or shameful ways [aselgeiais, ]. [Paul mentions the great apostasy of the end times in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 as well as in 2 Timothy 4:1.] They followed sensuality or what feels good instead of ¡°the way of truth¡± [Ps. 119:30]. The way was an early name for the Christian faith (Acts 9:2). [Believers could often avoid persecution by participating in emperor worship (2 John 1).] The Christian way is not only correct doctrine but also correct living.
The attitudes and lifestyles of those that follow sensuality [false teachers] would give a black eye to the Christian community, making it fodder for jokes on late-night television.
We must be careful to avoid false teachers today. Any book, tape series or TV message must be evaluated according to God¡¯s Word, not by how it makes you feel. Beware of special meanings or interpretations that belittle Christ or His work.
Verse 3 distinguish false teacher by their desire to exploit the Christian faith for their own advantage. ¡°and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.