2 Peter 2:1
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you…
Neither our Lord Jesus nor his apostles indulged in sanguine expectations and glowing predictions concerning the immediate results of the proclamation of the gospel. It was well understood in the early Church, by all but fanatics, that the difficulties with which Christianity had to contend were very formidable, and that, added to those encountered from without, were others - more insidious and dangerous - arising from within. Of these, false teachers, corrupters of doctrine, and preachers of licentiousness in the name of the holy Saviour, are denounced as proofs of the power of sin, and as signs of a coming judgment.
I. THE WAYS IN WHICH PROFESSING CHRISTIANS DENY THEIR MASTER.
1. Some take an unscriptural and dishonouring view of his nature, and deny him by denying his claims to Divine dignity and authority. From the early Gnostics onwards there were those who assailed Christ's account of himself, and his inspired apostles' account of him. It is well known that many of the early heresies related to the Person of Christ, and that early Councils were occupied with defining dogmatically the Divine and human natures. By way of opposition and correction, it may be said that to errors of the kind referred to we are indebted for our precious heritage, the Nicene Creed, in which orthodox doctrine was finally and sufficiently fixed. Still, the general determination of truth is no bar to the continuance of sin and error; and there has been, perhaps, no age in which there have not arisen either individuals or communities who have denied their Master.
2. Some repudiate Christ's rightful authority. There are many who have not the theological interest which would lead them to discuss Christ's nature, who nevertheless resent the claim advanced on his behalf to be the Legislator and Judge of human society. The Church, on the one hand, the individual reason on the other, may be put into competition with the Lord Christ.
3. Some deny Christ by practically disobeying his precepts. To such as these Jesus referred when he asked, "Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" Profession of allegiance only renders real rebellion the more hateful to our Lord.
II. THE UNREASONABLENESS AND GUILT OF THOSE WHO THUS DENY THEIR MASTER.
1. In view of the claim established by redemption, such are guilty of base ingratitude. The introduction of the clause, "the Master that bought them," gives point to the condemnation. They who deny Christ deny One who lived, suffered, and died for them, and whom accordingly they ought to regard and treat with a tender and reverential gratitude. They are like enfranchised slaves turning round upon their liberator, speaking of him with scorn and derision, treating him with neglect and indifference, if not with hatred and hostility.
2. In view of their own profession of subjection and indebtedness to him, there is gross inconsistency.
3. In view of the doom declared against deniers of Christ, their conduct is the uttermost degree of infatuation. They bring upon themselves swift destruction. The time shall come when they who deny him shall be denied by him. - J.R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
WEB: But false prophets also arose among the people, as false teachers will also be among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, denying even the Master who bought them, bringing on themselves swift destruction.