Reading: 2 Peter 2
...They brag out loud about their stupid nonsense. And by being vulgar and crude, they trap people who have barely escaped from living the wrong kind of life. They promise freedom to everyone. But they are merely slaves of filthy living, because people are slaves of whatever controls them. When they learned about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they escaped from the filthy things of this world. But they are again caught up and controlled by these filthy things, and now they are in worse shape than they were at first. They would have been better off if they had never known about the right way. Even after they knew what was right, they turned their backs on the holy commandments that they were given. (2 Peter 2:18-21 CEV)
Reflecting and Thinking
The false teachers Peter describes are saying false things about Jesus (denying the sovereign Lord, 2:1). It appears that they were formerly Christians, or at least professed to know Christ, but have gone astray by failing to maintain a correct knowledge of Christ Jesus. God's judgment against them is certain, and their influence should be visible to all. Unfortunately, they are able to ensnare new Christians who have barely escaped the world's corruptions. The false teachers enslave people, not realizing that they themselves are also enslaved because they have turned their back on God's message, the knowledge of Jesus, and the holy commandments that point to Jesus.
What happens when God's people lose sight of who Jesus is?
Have you ever known a Christian who was vulgar and crude? How did you explain the apparent inconsistency? What does this text say about that?
What are some of the false ideas about Jesus that threaten the church today? (Think about a too strict gospel, a too loose gospel, failure to recognize the truth of Scripture, cultural accommodation, etc.)
What are some of the unhealthy results of failing to recognize who Jesus is?
Dear God, we want to teach right and live right. Help us recognize the connection between these two ideas. Help us as we seek to know truth about Jesus and his way, and help us speak truth in all we say, both directly and indirectly. May we value the message God has given us about Jesus. May we apply that message as motivation to imitate and live for Jesus. In His name we pray, Amen.