2 Peter 2:19: “While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage.”

May 14th, 2019 by Pastor Ed in devotional

Peter was warning the early church of false teachers who were twisting the message of grace. The Gnostic heresy that was prevalent at that time taught that because the body is material and will pass away, then only things in the spirit are of importance. They taught that a person could do anything in the flesh because it was separate and unconnected to the spirit. Peter said they had become prisoners to their own appetites, and that anyone who followed their teaching or example would also be in bondage.

Thomas Costain’s history, The Three Edwards, recounts the conflict between 2 brothers, during the 14th century, as they fought for the title of Duke of Gueldres. Raynald III (known for overindulging in food to the point that he was given the nickname, Crassus, meaning fat) succeeded his father to the title, but before long his younger brother Edward II raised an army against him. Edward won and captured his brother, imprisoning him in a room in Nieuwkerk Castle. The windows and door were left open, but because of Raynald’s size he couldn’t get out. Edward kept him supplied with as much food as he would eat, which in turn kept Raynald a prisoner in an unlocked cell. When Edward was accused of holding his brother captive, he replied, “My brother is not a prisoner. He may leave when he so wills.” After 10 years, Edward was killed in battle and Raynald was finally released; however, his health had so deteriorated he died not long after.1 This is a very literal example of this verse in 2 Peter. If we use the excuse of liberty to appease our flesh, then one day we will wake up and find ourselves in bondage—in prison. Appeasing our fleshly appetites comes in many varieties (drugs, alcohol, food, porn, etc.), but it always leads to bondage.

“LORD, thank You that You came to set prisoners free from all kinds of bondage. Help us to walk free in You today and stay that way tomorrow.”

1Thomas B. Costain, The Three Edwards (New York: Buccaneer Books, 1962), p. 166.