2 Peter 2:1 But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves.
We must heed Peter’s words here and always be careful of false teachers and prophets. These teachers have a different interpretation of the gospel, often cloaked in persuasive speech and writing. There were many such teachers in the first century, as many New Testament letters indicate. In fact, many of these letters were written specifically to address this issue. How do these people get a foothold in the church? Sometimes it starts off as quite innocent. They want to be creative and innovative in their ideas. They try to be relevant to culture. Sometimes they appeal to tradition which has been developed by false teachers over the centuries. Just because something has been taught by parts of the church for many years does not make it correct. There are teachers and preachers today who fit in this category. Their ideas may be viewed as “progressive,” which is a mask for deviating into something new. Peter is especially concerned about those teachers who deny the sovereignty and power of the Lord Jesus or the Triune God. Such movements as “open theism” or “progressive theology” do this and deceive many people.
The best defense again false teaching is to know the truth of the gospel and be firmly grounded in our faith. We must have a standard upon which we stand. The best and clearest source for our faith is the Bible. Many problems develop when we use human logic or traditions as sources of our faith. The Bible is a complex document that requires careful thinking (reason) and consultation from those who came before us (tradition), but it must remain our source for theology. Peter writes this letter as a form of authoritative teaching to remind his readers of their core beliefs and values. We would do well to return to the basics of our faith on a regular basis. We will find our strength in study and meditation upon God’s revelation through the Bible.
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