Today's Bible Reading: 2 Peter 2
Selected Biblical Text
18 For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. 19 They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity?for ?people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.? 20 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 21 It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. (2 Peter 2:18-21 NIV)
Reflecting and Thinking
The false teachers Peter describes are saying false things about Jesus (denying the sovereign Lord, 2:1). It is probable that they were formerly Christians, or at least they professed to know Christ, but now they have gone astray by failing to develop 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 the 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.