Jul 21, 2010

2 Peter 2:1 - William Styles

“Denying the Lord that bought them,” 2 Pet. 2:1, quoted to prove either that the truly saved may apostatize, or that Christ died for some that live and die unsaved, and therefore that His atonement is universal. The word translated Lord is, however, not Kyrios, the title usually given to Christ; but Despotes, a term implying absolute ownership, as of a master who has purchased slavs. It is rendered “Master” by Alford, and in the Revised version. By many it is referred to God the Father, as it must indisputably be in Jude 4, and perhaps in Rev. 6:10 and other passages.

The Apostle is dwelling upon the Divine origin, and reliable character of the Old Testament. “Holy men spake as moved by the Holy Ghost.”

These “holy men” are then contrasted with the “false prophets” contemporary with them, and it is predicted that in like manner in New Testament times there should be “false prophets,” who like their ancient prototypes, “should privily bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that brought them.”

We, therefore, inquire who these Old Testament prophets were who denied the Lord; and in what sense the Lord bought them. We shall then perceive in what manner, and to what extent, the same phraseology can be applied to the false teachers referred to.

The prophets of Baal are included. Zedekah the son of Chenaanah (1 Kings 22:11), Pashur the son of Immer (Jer. 20;6), Hananiah the son of Asure (Jer. 28:15) with others occur to the mind. In what sense can the Lord be said to have bought those? For upon this the present interpretation depends.

If they were bought savingly by the blood of Christ, and yet perished (as there can be no doubt they did), we could not maintain that redemption by the blood of Jesus ensures salvation, in which case the hope of every redeemed soul would be shaken. But if not, how were they bought? There is a scriptural alternative. The words, “redeemed,” “saved,” “ransomed,” and “bought,” are in one or two passages used in reference to the mercies of Providence. “and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm (Exod. 6:6); “But because the Lord loved you, He hath redeemed you from the hand of Pharaoh” (Deut. 7:8); “Go ye forth from Babylon, say ye the Lord hath redeemed Jacob” (Isa. 48:20); “For I am the Lord thy God, thy Saviour. I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee” (Isa. 43:3); “Do ye thus requite the Lord? Is not He thy Father that hath bought thee?” (Deut. 32:6).

From which it is clear that the whole nation of Israel are said to have been bought, saved, ransomed, and redeemed; and with them, of course, the false prophets. But it is equally clear that nothing saving in a gospel sense is involved, except in a typical way, and that the buying or redemption related to their deliverance from Egypt and Babylon, and in general to the temporal mercies of a gracious Providence.

Now, if this was the case with the false prophets, who furnished the apostle with his examples, is it not just to conclude, that the same thing is meant of those of whom he writes?

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