Friday, October 21, 2011

What to Watch Out For (2 Peter 2:10-19)

False teachers do not always come from afar. They can be home-grown products who catch a whiff of something "better" and run with it. In our passage, a pastiche of verbal splashes of color, they are pictured as being sure of themselves. Better to have teachers who are not so sure of themselves, but sure of God and His Word.

They push an experience of faith that appeals more to the senses than to the mind. We don't deny that the emotions play a role in our worship. And we admit that we are reserved in our emotional expressions. But we believe that the mind should lead the emotions, not the other way around. Worship that appeals to the senses may provide a dash of inspiration, but it is the teaching and training of the mind that will provide long-term direction and discipline for the disciple. Again, this is not intended as any kind of defense of cold and dead religion.

Another characteristic is that these teachers are more taken with greed than with godliness. They are feathering their earthly nests, whether materially, or with popularity and power. They are looking out for themselves. They do not fit the pattern of shepherds who give themselves for the sake of the sheep.

They despise authority. This isn't just old leaders and ways of doing things. They despise spiritual authority. Their new notions and bright ideas are born of the flesh, and they aren't listening to the Spirit who has been speaking through God's Word in Christ's church for a long, long time.


  1. We must be trained to discern between flesh and Spirit in our lives and in our church. We need to know the difference.
  2. We must value the practice of humility, and resist the attraction to self-promotion, whether in ourselves, or in others.
  3. We must love the truth, and practice the truth. We must allow the truth to be a flame in our hearts that fires our emotions in all the appropriate ways, whether breaking our hearts or exploding with joy.

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