2 Peter 2

* Believers are cautioned against false teachers, and the

certainty of their punishment shown from examples. (1-9) An

account of these seducers, as exceedingly wicked. (10-16) But as

making high pretences to liberty and purity. (17-22)

1-9 Though the way of error is a hurtful way, many are always

ready to walk therein. Let us take care we give no occasion to

the enemy to blaspheme the holy name whereby we are called, or

to speak evil of the way of salvation by Jesus Christ, who is

the Way, the Truth, and the Life. These seducers used feigned

words, they deceived the hearts of their followers. Such are

condemned already, and the wrath of God abides upon them. God's

usual method of proceeding is shown by examples. Angels were

cast down from all their glory and dignity, for their

disobedience. If creatures sin, even in heaven, they must suffer

in hell. Sin is the work of darkness, and darkness is the wages

of sin. See how God dealt with the old world. The number of

offenders no more procures favour, than their quality. If the

sin be universal, the punishment shall likewise extend to all.

If in a fruitful soil the people abound in sin, God can at once

turn a fruitful land into barrenness, and a well-watered country

into ashes. No plans or politics can keep off judgments from a

sinful people. He who keeps fire and water from hurting his

people, #Isa 43:2|, can make either destroy his enemies; they

are never safe. When God sends destruction on the ungodly, he

commands deliverance for the righteous. In bad company we cannot

but get either guilt or grief. Let the sins of others be

troubles to us. Yet it is possible for the children of the Lord,

living among the most profane, to retain their integrity; there

being more power in the grace of Christ, and his dwelling in

them, than in the temptations of Satan, or the example of the

wicked, with all their terrors or allurements. In our intentions

and inclinations to commit sin, we meet with strange

hinderances, if we mark them When we intend mischief, God sends

many stops to hinder us, as if to say, Take heed what you do.

His wisdom and power will surely effect the purposes of his

love, and the engagements of his truth; while wicked men often

escape suffering here, because they are kept to the day of

judgment, to be punished with the devil and his angels.
10-16 Impure seducers and their abandoned followers, give

themselves up to their own fleshly minds. Refusing to bring

every thought to the obedience of Christ, they act against God's

righteous precepts. They walk after the flesh, they go on in

sinful courses, and increase to greater degrees of impurity and

wickedness. They also despise those whom God has set in

authority over them, and requires them to honour. Outward

temporal good things are the wages sinners expect and promise

themselves. And none have more cause to tremble, than those who

are bold to gratify their sinful lusts, by presuming on the

Divine grace and mercy. Many such there have been, and are, who

speak lightly of the restraints of God's law, and deem

themselves freed from obligations to obey it. Let Christians

stand at a distance from such.
17-22 The word of truth is the water of life, which refreshes

the souls that receive it; but deceivers spread and promote

error, and are set forth as empty, because there is no truth in

them. As clouds hinder the light of the sun, so do these darken

counsel by words wherein there is no truth. Seeing that these

men increase darkness in this world, it is very just that the

mist ofdarkness should be their portion in the next. In the

midst of their talk of liberty, these men are the vilest slaves;

their own lusts gain a complete victory over them, and they are

actually in bondage. When men are entangled, they are easily

overcome; therefore Christians should keep close to the word of

God, and watch against all who seek to bewilder them. A state of

apostacy is worse than a state of ignorance. To bring an evil

report upon the good way of God, and a false charge against the

way of truth, must expose to the heaviest condemnation. How

dreadful is the state here described! Yet though such a case is

deplorable, it is not utterly hopeless; the leper may be made

clean, and even the dead may be raised. Is thy backsliding a

grief to thee? Believe in the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be

saved.

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