The Sovereign Lord Who Bought Them

March 25, 2013 at 4:38 pm | Posted in Devotional thoughts, False teaching, Security and Assurance, Theology | 7 Comments

While recently reviewing verses I’d learned in the past, I was struck by some thoughts from 2 Peter 2:1.  In spite of the chapter change, this verse is a follow up to the argument in chapter 1:12-21, which is, in my mind, the definitive chapter about the inspiration of God’s word.  Peter tells us that Christians will have two sources for knowing the truth when he and the other apostles are gone.  The first is the accounts of those who were eye-witnesses of Jesus (which we call the New Testament) and the second is the word of the prophets (which we know as the Old Testament).  See 2 Peter 3:1-2 for a similar description.  But in the beginning of chapter 2, Peter tells us the negative or warning side of that matter.  Just as there were false prophets in the Old Testament days, so there will be false teachers in the New Testament days.

“But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you.  They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them – bringing swift destruction on themselves.” (2 Peter 2:1 NIV)

I had three thoughts as I pondered these words.  First, the language makes one wonder if the position of teacher has, in the New Testament era, replaced the role of prophet from the Old.  Today the main method God uses of getting his word to his people is not prophets speaking forth his word so much as teachers expounding what he has already given.  Second, I noticed what is denied by the false teachers of the New Testament era.  They deny the sovereign Lord who bought them.  This should be no surprise, because so many false teachings deny the sovereignty of Jesus.  Whenever someone says Jesus is not fully God, that person is a false teacher.  But, third, they deny the sovereign Lord who bought them.  Notice, as I often point out when it comes to salvation issues in the New Testament, that the tense is past; the purchase has already taken place.  Anyone who denies that God’s people are already redeemed, and were so at the cross, also runs the risk of being a false teacher.  Teachers of the true gospel know that we are redeemed, that we have been purchased, that salvation of God’s people is already guaranteed.  There is such great security in knowing my redemption took place at the cross, for then it is dependent on God’s unbreakable promise and not on my wavering faith and weak commitments.

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  1. My third point here is more subtle than the deity issue, for those who deny Jesus’ deity are clearly outside the Orthodox beliefs. However, this could come across as saying any teacher who is not fully Calvinistic is a false teacher, and I’m not sure I want to go that far. Though I may think Arminian theology is wrong, I’m not willing to say it is outside the Orthodox camp. However, I am willing to say that any teacher who places our redemption at the point of belief rather than at the time of the cross misses the full measure of God’s grace and doesn’t offer the security God would want his people to have. That teacher offers a security which is based on our wavering faith and weak commitments.

  2. Great discussion! Thanks for sharing!

    Mom

  3. Your first point brings to mind James’ warning to not be many teachers due to the stricter judgment to which they are held.

  4. Thanks Mom V. and Heather for the comments. Heather, As a teaching pastor, I try to avoid that passage in James — too scary! :) I’m sure we all, as teachers, have blind spots and areas we are in error, myself included. That’s another reason I am grateful salvation is based on God’s grace and not my own goodness.

  5. Ooh. I just noticed how terse my comment appears. Hopefully, it was not understood to be some form of reprimand.
    Often, one area of Scripture will bring to mind another when I read or hear others’ thoughts. And, I have to admit I came across this post while mulling over a certain teaching I saw on a different site.

  6. Heather, I didn’t understand your comment to be a reprimand at all. I appreciated it. And my comment about avoiding the passage in James was to be understood in a lighthearted manner. Thanks for reading and commenting. Blessings, GG

  7. I have a couple of questions:

    The first question is in reference to this:

    ” Peter tells us that Christians will have two sources for knowing the truth when he and the other apostles are gone. The first is the accounts of those who were eye-witnesses of Jesus (which we call the New Testament) and the second is the word of the prophets (which we know as the Old Testament).”

    Do you believe Peter is sharing two out of a number of possible sources, or is he restricting it to only two sources?

    My second question is in reference to this:

    ” But, third, they deny the sovereign Lord who bought them. Notice, as I often point out when it comes to salvation issues in the New Testament, that the tense is past; the purchase has already taken place. Anyone who denies that God’s people are already redeemed, and were so at the cross, also runs the risk of being a false teacher.”

    In light of that, how would you proceed to interpret these scriptures:

    “3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;

    4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

    5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

    6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” 1 Timothy 2:3-6

    “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” John 12:32

    “Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” Romans 5:18


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