2 Peter 2: 9-12
The Spirit of God warns believers about this day in which we live. (Amos 8:11) As religious as this world is, yet as ungodly as this world is, we should always remember that God is fulfilling his purpose even with false teachers and false religion in this world. Comfort for the believer is in knowing that our gracious God is fully in control. (Ps 76: 10) We may not understand how he is doing so, but rest assured that even in the deceptions of false teachers and false religion, God is bringing glory to his name. (Rev 20: 1-32 Thess 2: 1-12) The Spirit of God gives us some characteristics in our text by which we identify false preachers.

They Are Flesh Therefore Point Sinners to Flesh
Religion seeks men to build their churches, to fill their treasuries, and so on. They go after flesh like the Sodomites lusted after one another, “having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices.” (v14; Jude 18) They teach doctrines urging men to mind the things of the flesh, rather than Christ. Their doctrines have the same relation to truth that dreams do to good sense. They defile teaching big man, and a little god; they preach salvation by the will of man’s flesh rather than by the power of God; they preach justification by the works of man’s flesh rather than by Christ who declared God just and Justifier; they preach sanctification by works of man’s flesh rather than by election, redemption and the work of the Spirit in the new birth. They teach evil is in things, not that the fleshly heart is desperately wicked! Their message is the message of rewards or loss of rewards based upon man’s works. They claim to believe but they deny Christ in their doctrine and in their practice. (Tit 1: 16Is 51: 4)
“Them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness” are false teachers who cannot subject themselves to the gospel of God our Savior which declares that there is “now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus.” (Rom 8: 1) They will not submit to the truth that the believer is not under the law but under grace, neither can they. Those in the flesh cannot please God and the only way to please God is to walk by faith, not by sight, by minding the things of the Spirit rather than the things of the flesh. (Rom 8: 9-14)
What “deeds of the flesh” is Paul speaking about through the Roman epistle? He has been speaking against the old spirit of bondage to the law. (Rom 8: 15) Peter says false teachers “speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption.” (2 Pet 2: 12Col 2: 18-23) The pride and self-righteousness of man’s heart makes sinners deny the completeness of the fall of man and the completeness of reconciliation and salvation by Christ alone. These two deceits of the sin-dead heart attempt to bring man up and Christ down. If a man can do something to save himself then the fall of man is not complete, man is brought up. If man must do anything in addition to Christ’s work then Christ’s work is not complete, Christ is brought down.
Yet, the Holy Ghost reveals in the gospel in the heart of his elect, that they are made righteous by the obedience of Christ and delivered by Christ as completely as was the condemnation of the elect of God by the disobedience of Adam. “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” (Rom. 5: 19.) But by bringing men back under the bondage of the law these filthy dreamers defile men. (Gal 5: 22 Pet 2: 18-22Hag 2: 12-14Tit 1: 10-16Mat 7: 22-23)Clay Curtis.

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