2 Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. 3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not…. v.17 These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. 18 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. 19 While THEY PROMISE THEM LIBERTY, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.
The theme the Apostle Peter addresses in 2 Peter 2 is the rise of false prophets and teachers which will be especially prominent in the Last Days (2 Peter 3:3). Believers everywhere need to be aware of them and know how to discern their error. One practice brought out by the Spirit of God that false teachers employ is the promise of liberty or freedom. Today this promise of liberty is often done in the guise of grace. There is a true grace which is worth standing for and earnestly contending for. There is also a false grace. Grace never means freedom from absolutes, doctrine, commands, laws, obligations, restraints, morality, structure or regulated order (Titus 2:11-14). That’s called chaos and lawlessness. There is no such thing as unbounded freedom or freedom with no restraints in the natural world as well as in spiritual things.
Jesus has truly set us free John 8:36. True freedom in Christ makes us:
- FREE from sin, satan, and the curse Romans 6:14; Hebrews 2:14, 15; Galatians 3:13.
- FREE from trying hard to keep God’s law to merit salvation Galatians 5:1-4.
- FREE to love and serve Galatians 5:13.
- FREE to be led by the Spirit and yield to our own spirit Galatians 5:16, 18, 22, 23.
- FREE to restore and bear others burdens Galatians 6:1, 2.
- FREE to sow to the Spirit and reap life out of it Galatians 6:7-9.
- FREE to do good to the household of faith Galatians 6:10.
We are to stand fast in the liberty where Christ has made us free. This implies that something can take that freedom away or that we may do things that bring bondage and not freedom (Galatians 5:1). Freedom is not:
- FREEDOM to be selfish or indulge the flesh Galatians 5:13, 19, 21.
- FREEDOM to cover bad behavior in the name of freedom (claiming freedom as a pretext for wrong) 1 Peter 2:15, 16.
- FREEDOM to harm others or ourselves 1 Corinthians 8:9.
- FREEDOM from all restraints, structure, or regulated order Jude 3; 1 John 3:4.