False Teachers

Q. I was recently studying 2 Peter Ch 2 when verses 20-22 kind of hit me strange. Do I understand that if we were sinners then came to Christ then sinned again, we are worse off than before? I came to Christ 5 years ago but know I sin every day. Does this mean I am worse off than before? Sure, I am trying to walk like Christ but we all, as humans, sin.

A. Here’s 2 Peter 2:20-22

“For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire” (2 Peter 2:20-22).

Your own experience tells you that your interpretation of the passage can’t be correct. The problem is you’ve taken verses 20-22 out of context.

Right from the beginning it’s clear that 2 Peter 2 has to do with false teachers, who know the gospel but have only an intellectual understanding of it, not an emotional commitment to it, and have misrepresented it to others. In other words although knowing the way to salvation, they haven’t taken it themselves, nor have they led others to do so. They’re in a worse state than before because they can no longer claim ignorance when they are called to account, and because they’ve helped lead others astray as well.

Everyone continues to sin after being saved, though not as blatantly and not as frequently, because salvation doesn’t take away our sin nature. That’s why the New Testament says we’re saved because of what we believe, not because of how we behave.

Jesus said, “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life” (John 5:24).

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