Monday in the Twelfth Week of Ordinary Time

2 Peter 2:17-22

One of the Most Obvious Signs of a False Teacher

One thing a person must grasp when approaching the Bible is that Scripture has a completely different understanding of freedom than contemporary Americans, or for that matter even Americans at the founding of our country.  Jesus defined “freedom” for the Christian: “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin.  The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever.  So if the Son sets you free, you will be free, indeed” (John 8:34-36).  The American of today believes that freedom means self-expression—the ability to do whatever he pleases—which is the very definition of sin—doing what I want to do when I want to do it.  And now this even includes being whatever I want to be when I want to be it.  It is to do away with any and all laws and to become a law unto oneself—to be one’s own god.  And here is the irony: Such a way of life is not freedom at all, but the most dreadful slavery.

So Peter continues to describe the false teachers and his description is very instructive for us.  False teachers will often preach some sort of freedom—not freedom from sin, mind you—but some illegitimate form of freedom that is nothing of the sort.  Today, this comes in the form of sexual “freedom,” that a person may engage in illicit relationships with biblical warrant or divorce his wife for any reason (no fault divorce).  “Freedom” may also come in the form of monetary concerns, as if God’s first concern is that His children be rich.  All of this is woven in a fabric that God want us all to be happy, to be ourselves, to follow our dreams, to be a star.

These are lies from the pit.  God wants us to know Him and enjoy Him forever, but the only way to do this is through becoming less like ourselves and more like Him: “He must increase, but I must decrease,” John the Baptist said (John 3:30).  Indeed, obedience is the measure of our love for Him.  And obedience is the only way to true freedom—which Jesus defined as freedom from sin.  This is the greatest wish of the believer—to be free of this sinful nature, to one day walk in that Kingdom where we will be so free that we will be unable to sin.  In the meantime, we slough off as much of our besetting sins as we can in preparation of that day.

False teachers will always be with us.  They will preach a false notion of freedom—and worst of all—lead many to destruction.  Don’t return to the filth of sin.  Heed the warning: “Beware of Dog!”

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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