READ: 2Peter 2
BACKGROUND: Peter warns that false teachers and leaders will come around and preach a brand of Christianity where everyone claims faith but then goes out and lives however they want.
1 – Our forgiveness and our very life is purchased by the blood of Jesus.
7 – See Genesis 19 for the story.
10 – Peter is talking specifically about sexual perversion and sin here.
15 – See Numbers 22 for the story.
17 – I love the imagery of springs without water. False teachers promise something that they absolutely cannot deliver.
19 – There is great temptation in the promise that freedom can be found outside of God’s commands. People who go in that direction end up totally enslaved to sin. The only real freedom is found in God.
THINK: I never really liked working in groups when I was in school. I preferred just doing things on my own. And, if I’m honest, when I was forced to work in groups I was usually more than willing to sit back and let others shoulder the bulk of the work. But my perspective on that changed after one group project. It was for a history class. My group did a decent presentation, nothing earthshattering, and then we got our grades. But there was a problem. I was under the impression that it was going to be a group grade, but everyone else in my group got a higher grade than me. The rest of the group got an A-. I got a B-. Confused and kind of angry, I went to the teacher and explained the error. Then he explained to me that it wasn’t an error. He told me that for the rest of my group the presentation was decent work, A- work. But for me it was mediocre. He wasn’t going to give me the same grade because I could have done better, because I should have done better, & because I should have lifted the quality of those around me instead of just coasting. I didn’t think that seemed fair. He thought it was perfectly fair. And that forced me to really think about the situation and I realized something that I should have learned from Spiderman’s Uncle Ben, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Or rather, being a history nerd, I should have learned it from Voltaire who used it first. That or Luke 12:48 which says “from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” History was my favorite subject and one that I was good at. I should have done better and my teacher held me accountable.
Peter issues a powerful warning in this chapter to all Christians that we will be held accountable for our actions. He observes that there are a number of people who accept Jesus and say that they have faith and go to church and learn a lot about him, but then walk outside the doors of the church and live lives that are completely indistinguishable from the culture around them. He warns us that it is really easy to slip into a place where our faith is insincere. We say that we believe, but we live just like everybody else. And he lays it out pretty plainly in verse 21, “It would be better for [such people] not to ever have known the way of righteousness, instead of having known it and turning away from the holy commandment handed on to them.” He basically says that people who know Jesus and know the truth will be held to a higher standard than those who don’t. And we should. We’ve tasted the real thing and we know the truth, and if we don’t follow it and live with sincere faith then we not only act foolishly but we also offer up a terrible witness to an unbelieving world that turns them away from God rather than towards him. And living like that has eternal consequences for our friends and neighbors. Living like that is acting like a dog that returns to its own vomit!
ASK: Is my life noticeably different than the lives of the people around me? Am I living a half-hearted life of faith or a sold-out one? If God gave me a grade for being a Christian, what grade would he give me?
PRAY: Tell God about all the times when your faith hasn’t been sincere. Tell him about all the places where your life doesn’t look any different than the lives of your nonbelieving friends and neighbors. Ask him to forgive you. Ask him to give you the strength and the wisdom to live out the truth that you know with reckless abandon.