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Wednesday, October 4th, 2023
the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26
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Bible Commentaries
2 Peter 2

Bridgeway Bible CommentaryBridgeway Bible Commentary

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Verses 1-10


Punishment of the ungodly (2:1-10a)

Having spoken about the purpose of prophecies, Peter now gives a warning to beware of those who will use prophecies to support their own teachings. History shows that there have always been false teachers who have tried to gain a following by the misuse of Scripture (2:1). The punishment of all such people is certain. They oppose Christ, give the church a bad name, lead people into sin and make financial profit from the Christians they deceive (2-3).

Old Testament examples show how God saves his people but punishes the ungodly. The angels who rebelled against God are imprisoned, awaiting the final judgment when all who oppose God will be condemned (4). The stories of Noah and Lot illustrate God’s mercy on the righteous and his punishment of the wicked. In both cases he saved the righteous but destroyed the ungodly among whom they lived (5-8; cf. Genesis 6:1-18; Genesis 19:12-25).

Christians who are troubled by false teachers should learn from these examples. If they trust more firmly in the overruling mercy and justice of God, their faith will withstand the attacks of the trouble-makers (9-10a).

Verses 11-22

Character of the false teachers (2:10b-22)

Being arrogant and self-assertive, the false teachers show no respect for anyone. They even insult angels, who hold a higher position than humans in the order of created beings. By contrast, the angels have such reverence for God that they dare not use insulting language in his presence, even against those who deserve condemnation (10b-11).

The false teachers use neither their reasoning nor their willpower to control themselves. Like animals they simply follow their bodily appetites. They practise sexual immorality without any feeling of shame, and by their disgraceful gluttony they spoil the fellowship meals of the church. Because they act like animals, they will be destroyed like animals. Because they have made others suffer, they themselves will suffer (12-14). Like Balaam they would destroy God’s people, both morally and religiously, because of their desire for personal gain (15-16; cf. Numbers 22:1-40; Numbers 25:1-9; Numbers 31:16).

By promising a new life of freedom, the false teachers deceive people. Like waterless springs and rainless clouds, they build up people’s hopes only to disappoint by not giving the satisfaction they promised. By teaching that Christians are free to satisfy their bodily desires, they lead many new converts back into the sinful ways from which they have just escaped. But these misguided converts find not freedom but slavery, for a person becomes the slave of whatever defeats him (17-19). In turning from the ways of God, they are caught again by the deadly forces of sin. They are then led back into the sort of wrongdoing that they formerly practised as pagans. But because of what they have learnt of God’s righteousness, their guilt is now greater. Their ultimate punishment also will be greater (20-22).

Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on 2 Peter 2". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bbc/2-peter-2.html. 2005.
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