Peter continues his warning against false teachers in 2 Peter 2. He goes into great detail describing the characteristics of false teachers, and unsurprisingly, false teachers of today display these same attributes!
…there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words (2 Peter 2:1-3).
False teachers throughout the ages have been characterized by sexual sin, a lust for money and dishonesty. Peter’s words are just as relevant today as they were 2,000 years ago!
So we, too, must be encouraged by Peter’s logical progression in verses 4-8 which proves that God protects His true children in all circumstances.
The Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials (2 Peter 2:9).
Our God is strong to save. He is faithful to protect His children from false teachers and persecution. He is able.
There is a mysterious balance in living this Christian life. It’s like two sides of one coin. On one side is God’s absolute sovereignty, He will protect His children. He will save. He will sanctify. But on the other side of the coin is man’s responsibility to persevere in faith through a godly lifestyle and seeking after Him through prayer and obedience.
We are not to sit idly and let the world’s ways and ideas bash and mold us. No! We are to wholeheartedly seek after God’s word and ways. It takes great effort and diligence to walk the narrow path of obedience in this evil world!
But as we strive, we do not strive out of fear of judgment – we strive to obey because we are saved, because we are loved, because he equips us in every way for “life and godliness.”
If we live in acknowledgment of both sides of the coin…that is, if we live humbly in the knowledge of God’s sovereignty and live purposefully as we strive to live obedient and godly lives – the result will be a calm and quiet soul.
O Lord, my heart is not lifted up;
my eyes are not raised too high; (a sign of humility)
I do not occupy myself with things
too great and too marvelous for me. (a sign of trust)
But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child is my soul within me.
O Israel, hope in the Lord
from this time forth and forevermore. (Psalm 131)
This is what true Christianity should look like to the world…a calm and quiet soul. A soul which rests in God’s grace as it strives to be obedient, a soul which hopes in God’s eternal promises, and a soul which loves unreservedly. This is the mark of a Christian. This is the mark of Christ.