These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is eh brought in bondage.
Corruption and liberty stand as two diametrically opposed forces. One who is corrupt is not free; and the one who truly will be free must flee corruption. Verse 19 today points out the fact that false teachers living in corruption offer liberty to those they are trying to mislead. They teach that their ways are the ways of freedom. They purport that bondage holds those who do not fulfill the lusts of their flesh(v.18). Their mentality is that to be free, somebody must do whatever they desire, even if those desires are sinful and corrupt. Sadly, they speak as shackled men. The bondage that they themselves are in is evident, but they still herald freedom to those around them. Ironically, they go to the house of the free, and offer freedom. They come to those in Christ and tell them of a greater liberty. The ones who were set free from the chains of sin, found liberty in the grace of God. Now as free, they are being mis-taught by false teachers that there is a greater liberty – their old lifestyle. How ludicrous this proposal! It is like telling the convict that was just released from the penitentiary that he will be freer if he returns to his cell. These false teachers have not found the way of freedom, rather, their desire to vindicate their own wicked living has become the impetus to motivate others to be as wicked as they are. The basis for their understanding, man’s reasoning, stands as an affront to the things which are spiritually discerned. He thinks that he has solved a riddle that God has not even offered up. He thinks that he has outsmarted the God who called His people to be holy. This false-teacher is gravely mistaken, and will one day face the eternal consequences for that mistake. Liberty is not found in corruption. The soul that longs to be free will only find liberty in Christ.
Food For Thought: Read 1 Corinthians 2:1-14. Why do you think that false teachers think something other than the gospel will work in the lives of men?