I am a staunch believer in truth. I believe there is absolute truth. I believe all truth is God’s truth. And, of course, I believe the Bible is truth. While I am at it, I will declare again here that I believe Jesus is the truth. But I believe there might be something more important than truth. Hang with me. . .
Many (most?) who read this and hold to truth as I do, arduously hold fast to the rock-solid biblical truths of Scripture. As you should. However. . .
Holding on to truths merely for the sake of holding on to them is dangerous. Holding on to truth so a position can be argued is slippery. Holding to truth to prove yourself to be superior to one who holds to something different is arrogant. In short, holding fast to a truth in order to solely defend and/or teach it is missing the point.
In Peter’s second letter he takes direct aim at false teachers. They are dangerous. They are destructive. They have been known to dismantle many a congregation. In his rebuke, Peter writes this: “Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute” (2 Peter 2:2). Did you catch that? False teachers lead church people into a depraved conduct that brings the way of truth into disrepute. Truth has a way. Truth has a behavior. Truth has a posture. Truth has a demeanor. Truth wears a certain kind of clothing. Peter is letting his readers know that it is possible to misrepresent the way of truth. In other words, truth isn’t stale. It has a way. Truth isn’t cold. It has a particular look to it.
Earlier I said I believe Jesus is the truth. I get that from what He says about Himself in John 14:6. But Jesus doesn’t just say He is the truth. He also says He is the WAY. Truth has a way about it. Truth, in other words, isn’t just something to be argued. Truth is something to be lived. It is possible for you and I to believe the truth about something, yet lead people away from the truth by our ways. Peter warns, not against their teaching cultish demonology. He warns against secretly introducing heresies. These heresies slip in with hollow words of truth. I say hollow because the truths have not taken hold. There is nothing inside. The truths have not consumed the teacher. The truths have not become a way. They are only an academic exercise.
Peter mentions two truths they denied: “They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them. . .” (2 Peter 2:1). God’s sovereignty. God’s purchase of them. Oh, I am sure they claimed to believe these truths. I am confident they had outlines for their hearers explaining God’s rule over all things and how God purchased them in Christ. But these truths had not impacted their way. These realities had not taken over their daily living. These truths had not met them in conversations with their wives and children. These truths stayed in their handouts, tucked away in their Bible’s; not in the boardroom on a Tuesday night. Not in the stands on a Friday night. Not while watching the news on a Wednesday morning.
You know as well as I do how easy it is to hold to the sovereignty of God and believe that we have been purchased (bought) by God in Christ – YET deny these truths by our way. Think about it: if we really believed God was sovereign (ruled and controlled everything in the universe) and that we had been purchased by Him through the blood of His Son Jesus – we would NEVER panic. A God who loves us enough to give us His Son and who ruled over all things will surely ensure nothing will happen to us outside his loving care. Right? If God is sovereign (and He is) and if Christians have been bought by this God for Himself for eternity (and we have), then our way must be transformed.
Destructive heresies creep into the church (and our lives), not just when truth is denied verbally. They creep in when truths are taught but not lived. Peter’s concern was how the way of truth was being blasphemed.
Consider the truths you hold dear. How are they impacting your way? How does truth transform your posture? Your demeanor? Your mental and emotional state? How does your continuous interaction with life reveal your convictions about the truth?
Truth is critical. Super important. But never forget: truth has a way about it.