June 18 I Saturday
“These people blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like unreasoning animals, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like animals they too will perish.” —2 Peter 2:12
What version of Christianity are we experiencing? Is it simply confession and forgiveness on repeat or true deliverance from the bondage of sin? Peter warns the church about this very reality in the life of a believer in his second letter to the church. False teachers and their destruction have infiltrated the church and Peter warns against the deception of a watered-down version of Christianity that consists primarily of comfort, convenience and cheap grace.
Peter describes the end state of the carnal church attender, the person that is simply going through the motions, “Of them the proverbs are true: ‘A dog returns to its vomit,’ and, ‘A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud’” (2 Peter 2:22). Peter is writing to the people who are inside the church and how people are leading others astray. They promise them deliverances, but they themselves are slaves of depravity. They twist and contort Scripture to their desires, which brings their own destruction. As they wander away from the gospel of Jesus Christ, they also lead people to cheap grace that enables their own appetites.
To combat this, Peter gives this exhortation: “Make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:5-8). As they grow in maturity and love, their Christian life will be effective and productive.
Let’s take some time to ask ourselves, Do we make every effort to grow our faith, our goodness, our knowledge, our self-control, our godliness and our love? Or do our efforts get spent on other things? Jesus did not set us free from sin so that we could go back to eating our own vomit or wallowing in mud—the contents of our own confession over and over again. He set us free so that we can experience a life of deliverance, a life animated by His Spirit at work within us.
Too many people settle for a complacent or a compromised version of Christianity. Some people in the church do not even know Christ at all, though they are going through the motions of attending church. Jesus warns, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). We are not meant simply to hear or quote the Word of God but to put it into practice.
Prayer: Precious Jesus, may I not be someone who simply hears or quotes Your Word, but be a true Christian who puts them into practice. Help me grow in maturity and love. Thank You, Jesus!