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The Scriptorium

Particularly Vulnerable

2 Peter 2.17, 18

17 These are wells without water, clouds carried by a tempest, for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever. 18 For when they speak great swelling wordsof emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error.

The Story:Man, Peter just won’t let this go! Here he alludes to the empty promises of whatever false teachers present. But the most important thing in these and the next several verses is to note who is particularly vulnerable to false teaching. Peter says that they will be enticedby false teaching whose fleshly passions are aroused. Now don’t automatically think “Sex!” That’s in there, at least for some of them. But think, “Stuff! Success! Power! Prestige!” as well, because these are equally horrible attractions of the flesh. They are vulnerable to such things who have known and pursued them most of their lives. Perhaps they are new believers and so have barely “escaped that kind of worldview and ambience. Or maybe they’ve been in the church for many years, but have never bothered to sink down roots in the Scriptures or to grow in a true relationship with Christ. So they remain, for all practical purposes, practicing non-believers, living like the people around them, except that they go to church. Such people won’t watch out for themselves very well. Those with solid footing in the Word will have to look out for them.

The Structure:The true “wells” to which we should be aspiring as those of the Holy Spirit – Who causes rivers of living water to well up in us and overflow from us (Jn. 7.37-39). Notice that, in the divine economy, blessing flows from God, by His Word and Spirit, to us, and then through us to others, the return praise and glory to God. In the economy of false teachers, blessing flows from God, then through the things of the flesh and the world, to us. Period. Sure, we may feel generous and share some of our stuff with others. But that’s not necessary – except, of course, to send our gifts and offerings to those who continue to lead us astray. Like Peter, I’m pretty much fed up with this routine.

Do the teachings and practices of false teachers disgust and horrify you? Should they?

Each week’s studies in our
Scriptorium column are available in a free PDF form, suitable for personal or group use. For this week’s study, “Beware False Teachers: 2 Peter 2.12-22,” simply click here.

T. M. Moore

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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