SERIES: Discerning Truth  

Week #2: Recognizing a Counterfeit    

2 Peter 2:1-22 

BIG IDEA: You have to hold what you hear and see up to Jesus to test for authenticity and truth. 


We live in a world filled with lies and falsities. But Peter reminds us that “We have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as a lamp shining in a dark place until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts” (2 Peter 1:19)

We expect this in the world and culture around us. But what do we do when lies and false teaching creeps into the church? 

Recognize False Teaching When You Hear and See it. (2:1-3, 10-22) 

  1. Peter shares the origin, characteristics, and motives of false teaching. As we discover a sharp contrast with what or who is truth
  2. False prophecy and false teaching have always been a scheme of the Enemy to pull people away from God. (2:1) 
  3. Secret, destructive heresies denying the Master who bought them ensuring their destruction (2:1) 
    1. The result (2:2)
  4. Greedy teachers: exploit you with false words. (2:3, 14) 
    1. Jesus isn’t a taker. He is a giver. 
  5. Arrogant teachers: boldly blaspheme even the glorious ones. (2:10b-13)
    1. Jesus isn’t arrogant. He is humble. 
  6. Seductive teachers: seduced with sensual teaching. (2:14-19) 
    1. Jesus is the way of righteousness. 
    1. Jesus leads in righteous paths. 
  7. Hypocritical teachers: they are waterless springs (2:17) 
    1. Jesus is living water. 

Understand Final Judgement Will Bring Destruction of the Wicked and Preservation of the Righteous.(2:4-10)

So What are We to Do in Light of this Text? 

  1. John 8:32 “So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, ‘If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 

You have to hold what you hear and see up to 

Jesus to test for authenticity and truth.


Begin your session with prayer and use the following questions/discussion to get the conversation started…

Have you ever purchased or been given (knowingly or unknowingly) a counterfeit item? If yes, 

  • Did you know it was counterfeit at the time? 
  • How did you determine it was counterfeit? 
  • What happened after you found out? 

Counterfeits are everywhere. Take a look at these interesting findings from a recent report by the digital brand protection software firm Incopro. 

  • 26% of American consumers have accidentally bought at least one counterfeit product in the past year, and 52% of U.S. consumers have lost trust in a brand after buying a fake good online.
  • Per the report, 64% of consumers said they will lose trust in an online marketplace after buying fake goods, and 51% of shoppers said the same after buying fake goods found via search engines.
  • But while consumers have lost faith in brands that have sold fake goods, the report also found that 32% of consumers considered purchasing counterfeit clothing, jewelry and leather goods as acceptable. Plus, 25% of consumers don’t think that it’s important for online influencers and celebrities to provide an authentic representation of themselves.

You don’t have to look very far to find something counterfeit. You may have actually knowingly or unknowingly purchased one.  But while purchasing or being given a counterfeit item might come with its own set of consequences, regrets, or outcomes, there is something even more prevalent we need to focus on. It’s not counterfeit goods, it’s counterfeit teaching and beliefs about God, Jesus, and the Bible. The consequences of these can be devastating. 

In the passage for today, Peter teaches about false teachers and the danger of believing false teaching. Let’s re-read the chapter and talk about what Peter has to say.  

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Read 2 Peter 1:1-21. Ask and discuss the following questions.

Q: Why is it important to recognize false teaching when it is both “heard and seen?”  How can false teaching be identified in both words that are spoken and actions that are seen?      

Q: The false teaching in Peter’s day that he references was “antinomian”. This was the belief that Jesus was not returning for a “Day of the Lord” – so there is no need to walk a strict path of righteousness. That our conduct as Jesus followers doesn’t matter. Do you see any remnants of this false teaching alive in our culture today? 

Q: What do you see as the most dangerous false teachings in our culture today? What about in some American churches? How specifically do these teachings stand in opposition to Jesus and the Word of God? 

Q: How does the enemy use false teachers to pull people away from God? How can we combat following false teaching and/or teachers in our own lives? 

Q: How does the character of Jesus stand in contrast to the different types of false teachers Peter references in this passage (greedy, arrogant, seductive, and hypocritical teachers). How does knowing the true nature of Jesus help us to identify and resist false teachers?  

Q: Pastor Brian shared this bottom line this weekend: You have to hold what you hear and see up to Jesus to test for authenticity and truth. How are you doing this in your daily life? How could you start?    

Q: What is your personal “take-away” from this week’s message? What is one specific thing the Lord spoke to you this week? 

Q: What is your “action step” this week? How are you planning to apply what God has spoken to you? 


Take a few minutes to check-in and ask group members about their time with God this past week. We ended last week’s session with the challenge to take time to read the Bible, meditate on it, memorize it, and apply it to our lives. Have members share about this past week and how God used His Word to speak to them. 

As you conclude your time, have group members share prayer requests and how God is at work. Pray for these needs and for what God is doing in and through their life.


  • 2 Peter 2:1-22, 1 John 3:16, Philippians 2:8, John 14:6, Psalm 23:3, John 7:37-38, Galatians 5:1, John 8:32

NEXT WEEK’S MESSAGE: Discerning Truth: Week #3 (2 Peter 3:1-7)