2 Peter 2:1
But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves.
Denying the Master. These false prophets and false teachers are not misguided Christians but unbelievers who deny the Lord (Matt. 10:33). They may claim to have great ministries, but Jesus doesn’t know them (Matt. 7:23).
Who bought them. Jesus gave himself as a ransom for all (1 Tim. 2:6). With his blood he ransomed the lot of us. That doesn’t mean everyone is saved, but everyone is free to leave the prison of sin because the ransom has been paid. “You have been bought with a price” (1 Cor. 6:20).
2 Peter 2:5
and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly;
(a) Noah was known as a righteous man (Gen. 6:9) and an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith (Heb. 11:7).
(b) Preacher of righteousness. Noah encouraged his neighbors to put their faith in God.
(c) The ungodly. In the time of Noah, people did what was right in their own eyes, which is the definition of self-righteous and ungodly behavior. See entry for Self-righteousness.
2 Peter 2:7
and if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men
Righteous Lot. Before the cross, no one could be made righteous. The gift of righteousness had not been given and the “one act of righteousness” had not be done (Rom. 5:18). This is why Old Testament saints such as Abraham were credited with righteousness on account of their faith in God (see entry for Rom. 4:3). Like his uncle Abraham, Lot was credited or reckoned righteous on account of his faith.
2 Peter 2:15
forsaking the right way, they have gone astray, having followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;
Gone astray. In the new covenant, faith is described as a rest (Rom. 4:5, Heb. 4:3), while unbelief is described in terms of actions and verbs.
Unbelief is resisting the Holy Spirit and clinging to worthless idols (Acts 7:51, 14:15). Unbelief is rejecting Jesus (John 3:36) and denying the Lord (Jude 1:4). It’s thrusting away the word of God and judging yourself unworthy of life (Acts 13:46). It’s suppressing the truth (Rom. 1:18) and delighting in wickedness (2 Th. 2:12). It’s turning away (Heb. 12:25), going astray (2 Pet. 2:15), and trampling the Son of God underfoot (Heb. 10:29).
2 Peter 2:21
For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them.
(a) Better for them not to have known. The one who rejects the way of righteousness (the gospel) is worse off than the one who has not heard it because he has hardened his heart to that which could save him.
(b) The way of righteousness is synonymous with the gospel of grace for both reveal the righteousness that comes from God and is received by believing in Jesus (see entry for Php. 3:9).
(c) The holy commandment of the Lord is command to believe in his Son Jesus Christ (1 John 3:23).
Further reading: “Does 2 Peter 2 say you can lose your salvation?”
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