Living in the way of truth
Many will follow their depraved ways, and the way of truth will be maligned because of them. They will exploit you in their greed with made-up stories. Their condemnation, pronounced long ago, is not idle, and their destruction does not sleep. 2 Peter 2:2-3 CSB
Continuing on Peter’s description of the false teachers that worm their way into the church, Peter notes that “many will follow their depraved ways.” Although the warning signs are there, that these individuals will share a corrupted message about Christ and salvation, there will still be those that will fall for their alluring words and ideas. This phrase “depraved ways,” comes from a singular Greek word meaning “reckless and hardened sexual immorality.” These false teachers are using the same immoral activities of pagan worship at their temples, to tempt Christians into doing likewise to corrupt their testimonies of being a follower of Christ and His message. Hence the next phrase from Peter “and the way of truth will be maligned because of them,” attempting to discredit the gospel message to those around them. Essentially, the false teachers were trying to show that there is no difference in the lives of a believer and non-believer, so why even follow Christ. What then is the motivation then for these false teachers to do such things? “They will exploit you in their greed with made-up stories.” As mentioned at the beginning of this letter, they were using “cleverly contrived myths” (2 Peter 1:16) in order to have selfish gain out of the expense of others, whether it be monetary gain, fame, or literally trading and exploiting people. They would exploit, “habitually cheat,” in order to get what they wanted. But in the end, “their condemnation, pronounced long ago, is not idle, and their destruction does not sleep.” From here, Peter sets up in the following section on how God sees them and what He will do: bring a swift destruction (2 Peter 2:1). From these previous verses, we saw how these false teachers can corrupt and bring others down with them. Peter, nearing the end of his life, wrote this warning because he knew that the state of people’s souls was at stake. Although believers, once they have Christ in their hearts, are saved and cannot lose that salvation, their testimony being damaged can ruin their witnessing credibility. Therefore, keep an eye out for these false teachers and what kind of fruit they produce (see Matthew 7:13-23). When we have accepted Christ our Lord and Savior, we have chosen to live the “way of truth” (2 Peter 2:2). Let us then live our lives reflecting God’s way of truth “among the Gentiles, so that when they slander you as evildoers, they will observe your good works and will glorify God on the day he visits” (1 Peter 2:12).
Isaac De Guzman