2 Peter 2:1-22 Building a Christ-Like Character

2 Peter 2:1-22 Building a Christ-Like Character

          An expression says, “There is nothing new under the sun.” This passage is just as relevant today as 2,000 ago. V. 1. “But there were also false prophets.” “Also” implies that there were always true prophets. God never leaves His people without a prophetic voice. The problems of heresy amidst God’s people has existed in the history of Israel and the church. Jeremiah 27:14 Jeremiah prophesied against the false prophets those who said we will not go into Babylon. “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who say to you, You will not serve the king of Babylon , for they are prophesying lies to you.” Lam 2:14 “the visions of your prophets were false and worthless.” Ezekiel 13:3 “Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing.” 2 King 17:13-14 gives us a brief summary of why Israel failed. Luke 6:26 ”Woe unto you when men speak well of you for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets.” Deut 13:1-3 “even if someone does a sign or a wonder and then says let us follow other gods, do not listen.”

  1. What is a false prophet? 2. How do they operate? 3. What should believers do?

The word “heresy” comes from the idea of a choice (greek root is “to choose”-choosing pieces and parts). Note the teaching about true Biblical inspiration in 2 Pete 1:21 and now he tells us what is false. 

1.  WHAT IS A FALSE PROPHET? A falsehood always insinuates itself as a resemblance of the truth. Error is when someone holds a wrong opinion. A schism is when many consent in their opinion. A heresy goes to the root out the truth. This is worst of all.

What the signs of false prophets according to 2 Peter 2? Notice the plural-“false prophets” and “false teachers”

a.  They are greedy. V. 3 & 14 (gr. covetousness, extort). Christians should support the ministry but ministry is never build around money. 3 examples of divine judgment (fallen angels-if angels are judged, then men will also be judged. Flood-Noah and 7 others were spared judgment, Sodom and Gomorrah were judged and burned to ashes). Point concludes in verse 9 is that “God knows how to rescue the righteous from trials…”

b. Bold and arrogant v. 10 (presumptious, audacious and self-pleasing)

c. blaspheme in matters they do not understand. V. 12 Blaspheme things they don’t want to know or ignore it. “special revelation” like the Gnostics might say.

d. deceptive in their actions v. 13-14 Gr. for deceiving apastais (where the English word apostasy comes from)

e. deceptive in their speech v. 18-19 Gr. swelling word of vanity. Not everyone who uses the name of the Lord is trustworthy. They resemble Balaam (numbers 22:5-24:25) He taught immorality and many followed his clever speech and he loved money.  He took money to to prophecy against Israel but could not. They promise “freedom” from the flesh but are slaves to it.   

f.  fallen from the knowledge of the truth. v. 20-22 “A dog returns to his vomit.” Proverbs 26:11 

2. HOW DO THEY OPERATE?

a.  Secretly introduce destructive (damnable) heresies v. 1 (Gr. introduce it on the side )

     How? 1. use the same words  2. change the definitions (Example HS is a person-true. HS is a force. False)

b.  Deny the nature of Jesus Christ v. 1 It is one thing to avoid or forget Christ but to deny Him is destruction. People believe Jesus existed but if you says Jesus is not the divine Son of God, then your salvation has no power.

c.  Exploit people with inventive imaginations v. 3 (Gr. exploit specifically means make merchandise) Jude 4 says “they secretly slipped in”

d. Bring the truth into disrepute v. 2 Gr. disrepute = blasphemeo 

e.  Many will follow v. 2 (gr. imitate) I John 4:5 “They are from the world and the world listens to them.” 

3. WHAT SHOULD BELIEVERS DO?

1.  Build the Christ-like character of 2 Peter 1 (note v. 5, 10 “make every effort, be all the more eager to”)

2.  Build a contentious faith – Jude 3“I urge you to contend for the faith once for all entrusted to the saints.”

3.  Build a consensus of wholesome thinking – 2 Peter 3:1-“as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking.”



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