There is room for the fact that human beings, although born-again still, are human, still stumble, make mistakes, fall, and can be forgiven if they repent.
Alright. Thank you very much and hello again. My dear radio friend, how in the world are you? Are you doing Alright? Bless your heart, I trust so. I trust everything is Alright at your house. If you struck a rough day, look up and say “Lord Jesus, see me through this one,” and He will. He says, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” So trust Him. Trust Him. He will bring you through. It’s your good friend, Bob Cook. We’re back together again looking at the Word of God.
We’re in the second chapter of 2 Peter. This is a rough chapter because Peter and his forthright ways, spares no feelings in describing folk who are out of line, out of touch with, and out of the right relationship with God. He says, “Just as in old times, there were false prophets.” So today you have the same thing. “Even as there shall be false teachers among you, privately bringing in inherencies, denying — even denying the Lord that bought them and bring upon themselves swift destruction.”
Well, we went through some, and you remember my approach on all of these. It is not simply to bang away at the negatives which are undoubtedly real, and true, and need to be brought into focus but also by way of contrast to show what happens in the life of a true believer as the indwelling Holy Spirit counteracts every one of these fatal flaws in fallen human nature. Now, he says, “The Lord knows how to deliver.” This is verse 9, “Deliver the godly out of temptation and to reserve the unjust unto the Day of Judgment to be punished.” Peter is talking about people who are religious but lost.
Stop here long enough to agree among ourselves, beloved, that there are many, many people who are quite satisfactorily religious but who are just as lost as though they were already in eternity. Our Lord Jesus spoke of them in Mathew chapter 7, “There will be many who will be lost, there will be few comparatively that will be saved” said he. Many find the broad way, few find the narrow way, and then he goes on to say, “Many will say unto me in that day: Lord, have we not preached in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name done many wonderful works.” And I’ll say “I never knew you depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
So that — there are, I think we have to agree among ourselves that there are lots of people in our world who are satisfactorily religious and even discernibly Christian in their conduct and attitude who have not been born again. They are imitation, phony, counterfeit Christians. They haven’t been to Calvary to be washed with the blood of the lamb. That’s the people he was talking about.
“The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptation, to reserve the unjust.” Then, he says “Who are they?” Well, verse 10 “Chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise government. Presumptuous are they, self-willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.” Even angels aren’t willing to do that. These people speak evil of the things they understand and they will perish in their own corruption and receive the reward of unrighteousness.
“They are spots and blemishes sporting themselves with their own deceiving while they feast with you.” See, they were in the Christian community, weren’t they? “Having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: a heart they have exercised with covetous practices, cursed children. They have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness. They are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved forever.” My, my, my, my, what a list.
Now, what do you make of all these? Well, let’s see what he is actually saying. He says, “These are people who walk,” that means live every day. The word “walk” when you get it in the New Testament it means your daily lifestyle. “They live every day,” said he “after the lust of the flesh.” “After the flesh in the lust of uncleanness,” what does it mean “to walk after the flesh?” Now, Paul says in Romans 8, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but after the spirit.”
So, in a moment or two when we come to seeing the Christian side of this list, we’ll see what it means to walk in the Spirit. But Paul in Romans 8:1 indicates that there are people who walk after the flesh. Now, what does Peter mean then when he says that? Well, first of all he says “They do this in the lust of uncleanness.” The word “lust” is our word “desire.” And it is a desire that leads to moral compromise, the lust of uncleanness.
Now, you can take it as an axiom, something that is always true that when ever you give in to your own desires as a lifestyle you end up corrupting your life. I think you can take that as an axiom, it’s absolutely true. Whenever you take as your lifestyle, the idea of giving in to your own desires, inevitably you end up corrupting your life. And so, he says “They walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness.” “Give me what I want.” Self-indulgence, then it says “They despise government.” “Don’t fence me in.” That goes along with the word that says “They speak evil of dignitaries.”
“They despise government,” unwillingness to live under any authority. Now, this of course is the nature of the age, whenever you’ll find unsaved human nature, you find rebellious human nature. And so the unwillingness to accept anyone’s authority is part of the hallmark of fallen human nature. God said to Adam, and to Eve “You can eat of every fruit in the garden, but there is one I don’t want you to eat of.” They said “We’re going to do it.” They rebelled against God’s authority at that point. And sin is rebellion. It is what it is. It’s rebelling against God.
And so this is just a graphic description of that facet of human nature. “They despise government.” “Don’t tell me, ask me.” That’s what Frank Sinatra has said to have remarked often times in years passed. The attitude that is given in biographies to him is not unusual, you’ll find it everywhere in fallen human nature. “Don’t tell me what to do. You can ask my opinion, but don’t tell me, I will make up my own mind, I’ll do my own thing,” you know, unwilling to accept authority, that’s a part of “walking after the flesh.”
So see, what else? Well, he says “They are presumptuous.” They are presumptuous, that is to say they presume that their ideas and their desires and their plans are the ultimate. Now, we will run into people like that, who were obvious enough, or even a way to identify. But here he says “They’re presumptuous.” But what I think is it? You know, “Don’t confuse me with facts. My mind is made up. This is how it’s going to be.” Be reasonable. “Do it my way.” Presumptuous is part of the evidence of the old fallen nature.
And then of course he says self-willed because that goes right along with it. When you give a command to someone, and they do just the opposite, they are self-willed. In training a child, you have to train a child to obey a command. In the dim recesses of my own memory, I can remember little boy days. I must have been, I suppose 3 maybe or 4, something like that and my father would say “Come here, boy.” He always called me “boy.” I stole from Victor Borge the wise crack, “called me ‘boy.’ He never could remember my name.”
Well, I guess he knew it Alright. But it was an affectionate nickname for me. He’d say “Come here, boy.” And if I didn’t come promptly he’d help me get there you know. And then he would explained to me, “I want you to learn to obey because someday being willing to obey a command may save your life.” And so, he worked on that very acidulously, training his little boy to obey when a command was given.
And I was just like any other human being, I didn’t always want to. But I got some education by my application to the board of education to certain parts of my body, the seat of learning we call it. Oh, yes. He emphasized the need of submitting to authority. Now, maybe he overdid it, I don’t know. Some would say that he did. But the illustration is there. God says, “Obey my voice.” Jesus said “My friends if ye do whatsoever I…” What? “Command you.” See, obedience to God’s Word is the hallmark of true Christianity.
“Whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work,” says James. “This man shall be blessed in his deed.” Do you follow that? So, self-will and “I’ll do it my way and I’ll do it regardless of what anybody else says.” That’s a mark of walking, as Peter says “after the flesh.” And then he says in verse 14, “They have eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin.” A lifestyle that is addicted to sin.
Now, the Bible makes room for the casual stumble and misstep of every born again human being. John the Apostle said, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not, but if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous and he is the propitiation for our sins, and if we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” So, that there is room for the fact that human beings, although born-again still are human and still stumble, and make mistakes, and fall, and can be forgiven if they repent. You and I are straight on that aren’t we?
But here is something else, he says “They cannot cease from sin.” It’s an addiction because the more you give in to sin, the more it fastens and hold upon you. You start any kind of substance abuse, whether it would be alcohol, or cocaine, or whatever and you find that — you develop a certain tolerance for the drug, and your body asks for more of it, in order to get the same lift that you had before and we call that being addicted. You have to have more, and more, and more. That’s what Peter is talking about here.
Well, the other side of it is, that the Holy Spirit of God dwelling within you, can free you from the bondage of sins since you’ll not have dominion over you. For you’re not under law, but under grace and the Spirit of God can free you from all of that. We’ll get at this the next time we get together.
Father God, today help us to obey you, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be blessing!
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