Rise of False
Prophets and Teachers (2:1-3)
Law of Recompense
rebellious angels (4)
Noah’s generation (5)
Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah
godly and reserving punishment for the unjust (9-10a)
Wickedness of the
False Teachers (2:10b-16)
and Apostasy of the False Teachers (2:17-22)
false teachers, secretly, destructive heresies, destruction, covetousness,
delivered, judgment, lust, speak evil, wages of unrighteousness, carouse,
enticing, overcome, bondage.
They are among God’s people
They preach destructive
heresies using deceptive words , and they go as far as
to deny the Lord Jesus (1, 3).
False teachers can mislead
believers and ruin their faith in the Lord, bringing them to destruction (1; cf Mt 23:15). Consequently, when others see the corrupt
ways of these false teachers and believers who have been misled, they will
blaspheme the way of truth (2Pet 2:2; cf. Rom 1:23-24).
The false teachers “secretly
bring in destructive heresies,” and they use deceptive words. They pretend to
be preachers of the truth, but they subtly convey misleading messages (cf. 2Cor
11:12-15). Believers who are not careful will easily fall into their trap.
In the first chapter, Peter has
already prepared his readers for the threat of heresies. He urged us to be
diligent in equipping ourselves with spiritual qualities so that we will not
stumble (1:5-8,10). Only when we become mature in our
spiritual growth can we guard against the deception of false teachings (Eph
4:13-14). Furthermore, we must devote ourselves to watchful prayers (1Pet 4:7;
5:8) and ask the Lord to give us wisdom and discernment.
They are driven by covetousness
and aims to exploit the believers (3).
Just as God delivered the
righteous but brought judgment upon the wicked in history, He is now also
reserving the false teachers and their followers under punishment for the day of judgment.
They sin (4). They behave with
filthy conduct and lawless deeds (7-8). They walk according to the flesh in the
lust of uncleanness and despise authority (10).
Because the Lord knows how to
deliver the godly out of temptation, we should not give up in our struggle
against sin or become envious of evildoers. Instead, we ought to rely on the
Lord with a steadfast faith and resist sin while trusting that the Lord will
deliver us from evil.
They are presumptuous and
self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries (10). They speak
evil of things they do not understand (12). They carouse in the daytime in
their own deceptions while they feast with the believers (13; “feast” refers to
the love feast among believers; cf. Jude 12). While they join the fellowship of
believers, they have eyes that are full of adultery and that cannot cease from
sin, enticing unstable souls (14). They practice covetousness (14). They follow
the way of Balaam, who loved the wages of unrighteousness (15).
The reference to angels shows
how presumptuous these false teachers are. If even angels, who are not greater
in power and might, do not bring a reviling accusation against the
“dignitaries” (probably referring to the servants of God, cf
2Cor 3:5-11, or certain celestial beings), how arrogant are these men who speak
evil of those in authority!
Their wickedness make them blemishes in the holy fellowship of believers
(1Cor 5:6-8). Such people will not be able to stand in the assembly of the
righteous (Ps 1:5).
Based on verse 18, we
understand that the analogy of the wells without water and cloud carried by
tempest illustrate the futility of the false teachers, who can only make empty
The liberty that they promote
is the liberty to sin against God’s law.
Those who think that they are
free from God’s law are in fact the slaves of sin (19; Jn
Apostasy means becoming
entangled and overcome by the pollutions of the world after having escaped them
(20). It means turning from the holy commandment delivered to us (21). It would
have been better for such to not have known the Lord in the first place because
their judgment will be more serious than that for unbelievers (20-21).
Teachings and conduct of false
Deny the Lord, covetous,
deceptive, indulge in fleshly desires, presumptuous, slanderous, full of adulterous intent, make empty promises, turn from
the holy commandments.
Teachings and conduct of
teachers of righteousness
Acknowledge and honor the Lord,
not greedy for unjust gain, truthful, self-controlled, humble, gentle in
speech, pure, preach faithfully from God’s word and acting accordingly.