Cause & Effect

In continuing our in-depth study of 2nd Kefa (Peter) Chapter 2, you may want to read the previous posts for contextual reasons:

Verses 1-2: THE “SLEAZE FACTOR”

Verse 3: HELL is for REAL!

Verses 4-6: YES! One man CAN make a difference!

In this post, we will be examining verses 7-8.

In verse 5, we see that God preserved φυλάσσω phulassō (guard, defend, watch over, protect, keep safe) Noach (Noah) the preacher of righteousness.

Starting with verse 7, we see that He rescued Lot . . .

2 Peter 2:7 (CJB)
7  but he rescued Lot, …

The Greek word used in the text here for rescue is ῥύομαι rhuomai.

Rhuomai translates 10 Hebrew expressions in the Septuagint. Most often nātsal, “to deliver”

ָאַל gā’al Redeem, Redeemer

חָלַץ chālats Take off, deliver; niphal: be delivered

יָשַׁע yāsha‘ Hiphil: help, save .

מָלַט mālaṯ Niphal: escape; piel: deliver

נָצַל nātsal Niphal: be delivered, be rescued; hiphil: deliver

נָצַר nātsar Preserve

ָדָה pādhâh Redeem, ransom

ָלַט pālaṯ Piel: deliver

ָצָה pātsâh Rescue

Thoralf Gilbrant, ed., “4363. ῥύομαι,” in The Complete Biblical Library Greek-English Dictionary – Pi-Rho, (Springfield, MO: Complete Biblical Library, 1991), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “4363. ῥύομαι”.

God saved . . .

God redeemed . . .

God delivered . . .

God rescued . . .

The question is WHY?

Because Lot was a “righteous man.”

2 Peter 2:7 (CJB)
7  but he rescued Lot, a righteous man …

As we learned in YES! One man CAN make a difference!, the Greek word for righteousness translates thirteen Hebrew words with such meanings as:

  • faithfulness

  • innocence

  • loving-kindness

  • good

  • uprightness

  • just

A righteous man is all of these things . . . has all of these qualities . . .

Being righteous (good, innocent, faithful, upright, just, loving, kind) matters to God.

Being righteous makes a difference to God.

Here are a couple of real good questions to ponder:

God commanded us to be Holy since He is holy.

Can you be Holy without being righteous?

Can you be righteous if you are NOT all of these things?

He finds favor with the righteous like he did with Noach (Noah).

He preserves the righteous like he did with Lot.

And that righteous man Lot was:

  • distressed (CJB, NIV, TEV)

  • greatly worn out and distressed (AMP)

  • vexed (KJV)

  • oppressed (NASB)

  • harried (Concordant)

  • sick and tired (Adams)

  • very upset (SEB)

  • grievously harassed (Wilson)

2 Peter 2:7 (CJB)
7  but he rescued Lot, a righteous man who was distressed …

Why was Lot distressed? Worn out? Vexed? Oppressed? Harried? Sick and tired? Very upset? Grievously harassed?

2 Peter 2:7 (CJB)
7  … by the debauchery of those unprincipled people;

2 Peter 2:7 (NIV)
7  … by the filthy lives of lawless men

2 Peter 2:7 (AMP)
7  … by the wanton ways of the ungodly and lawless—

2 Peter 2:7 (TEV)
7  … by the immoral conduct of lawless people.

2 Peter 2:7 (KJV)
7  … with the filthy conversation of the wicked:

2 Peter 2:7 (NASB)
7  … oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men

In the first post on this series THE “SLEAZE FACTOR”, we learned a word called “Licentiousness.” We learned that this word:

In the New Testament aselgeia is joined with the most heinous of sins such as covetousness, adultery, lewdness, and drunkenness. Barclay characterizes aselgeia as “shameless greediness,” “bestial pleasure,” and “pure self-enjoyment,” and he says that it is “in many ways the ugliest word in the list of New Testament sins” (New Testament Words, pp.60,61).

Thoralf Gilbrant, ed., “760. ἀσέλγεια,” in The Complete Biblical Library Greek-English Dictionary – Alpha-Gamma, (Springfield, MO: Complete Biblical Library, 1991), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “760. ἀσέλγεια”.

Licentiousness – This is what vexed Lot. This is what distressed Lot. This is what got Lot very upset.

This is the word being used in the above translations. It is coupled with another word ἄθεσμος athesmos which means: wicked, lawless, unprincipled.

2 Peter 2:7 (CJB)
7  but he rescued Lot,

a righteous man

who was distressed by

the debauchery of those unprincipled people;

But we don’t stop with Lot’s distress because there is a REASON for his distress . . . Verse 8 starts out with the conjunction “for” γάρ gar:

2 Peter 2:8 (CJB)
8  for …

“The turning point or direction of a thought is usually indicated by a conjunction” (Dana and Mantey, Manual of the Greek New Testament, p.240).

The most frequent sense of the word is to signify a reason, cause, or ground of a (usually) preceding statement and is translated “for.”

Thoralf Gilbrant, ed., “1056. γάρ,” in The Complete Biblical Library Greek-English Dictionary – Alpha-Gamma, (Springfield, MO: Complete Biblical Library, 1991), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “1056. γάρ”.

So what is the reason for Lot’s distress?

2 Peter 2:8 (CJB)
8  for the wicked deeds which that righteous man saw and heard, …

Lot saw.

Lot heard.

What did Lot see and hear?

Wicked deeds. Translated: lawless works.

God is the author of the law. To be “without the law” is to be without God. Gentiles were considered to be “without the law.” To be lawless is to be godless.

Pay attention now because this next word is going to throw a monkey wrench into some of the theological suppositions (dogmas, doctrines, theories) that some of you may have:

ἔργον ergon
Deeds, actions, WORKS:

Classical Greek (secular Greek):

Often, work was given an ethical or moral value. Hence, a work could be described as “good” (agathos [18]) or as “evil” (ponēros [4050]).

New Testament Greek:

Aside from the traditional use of ergon to describe labor, a task, or a deed, work in the New Testament may also refer to any deed which testifies of God.

But more significant is the use of erga (plural) as a technical term for “deeds” of keeping the Law or for the “good deeds” which are to punctuate Christian life-style.

Hearing, i.e., faith, by itself is inadequate as a response to God’s grace; one must also be a “doer of the work”.

In contrast, evil works or deeds of lawlessness are the trademarks of those who reject God and will be judged by Him. These oppose God and His servants.

Such “evildoers” are not just corrupted by sin, they violently oppose God and worship the “works of their hands” just as the rebellious Israelites resisted God in the old economy.
Thoralf Gilbrant, ed., “2024. ἔργον,” in
The Complete Biblical Library Greek-English Dictionary – Delta-Epsilon, (Springfield, MO: Complete Biblical Library, 1991), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “2024. ἔργον”.

Without a doubt, loving-kindness (grace) is a gift from God that we neither deserve or can earn.

Also without a doubt, works are part of salvation . . .

Works are the RESPONSE to the gift of grace from God!

It is NOT by “faith alone” that you are saved because salvation is not static (one moment in time), it is dynamic (a life lived for God). You can NOT be saved by faith alone:

James 2:14 (CJB)
14  What good is it, my brothers,

if someone claims to have faith

but has no actions (works) to prove it?

Is such “faith” able to save him?

Good works result from trust – trust results in righteousness:

Romans 4:3 (CJB)
3  For what does the Tanakh say?

Avraham put his trust in God,

and it was credited to his account as righteousness.”

Genesis 15:6 (CJB)
6  He believed in Adonai, and he credited it to him as righteousness.

You can not be righteous without works . . .

Can you have faithfulness without works?

Can you be innocent without works?

Can you be loving without works?

Can you be kind without works?

Can you be good without works?

Can you be upright without works?

Can you be just without works?

God initiated salvation by sending us his son because there can be no forgiveness of sins without the shedding of blood:

Hebrews 9:22 (CJB)
22  In fact, according to the Torah,

almost everything is purified with blood;

indeed, without the shedding of blood

there is no forgiveness of sins.

It is because of this shedding of blood that our sins can be forgiven.

Ephesians 1:7-9 (CJB)
7  In union with him,

through the shedding of his blood,

we are set free — our sins are forgiven;

this accords with the wealth of the grace 8  he has lavished on us.

In all his wisdom and insight
9  he has made known to us his secret plan,

which by his own will

he designed beforehand in connection with the Messiah

Yeshua (Jesus), the Jewish Messiah, paid the price with his own blood so that there could be forgiveness of sins. That was the gift of grace from God. Without this gift, salvation is not possible.

  • How we respond to God’s grace,

  • How we respond to the gift of His son,

will be evident in the life we live. Our deeds (works) will testify for us or against us on the day of judgement.

Our works are part of salvation – a salvation that is dynamic, not static.

They are our response to the gift of God’s loving-kindness (grace).

We will be judged by them . . . Sodom most certainly was.

Notice what the following verse says:

Ephesians 2:10 (CJB)
10  For we are of God’s making,

created in union with the Messiah Yeshua

for a life of good actions (works)

already prepared by God for us to do.

As a righteous man, as a faithful man, as a innocent man, as a kind man, as a good man, as a upright man, as a just man . . . Lot saw and heard their evil works as he lived among them – it distressed him and it:

2 Peter 2:8 (CJB)
8  … tormented his righteous heart day after day.

cause and effect

This is the reason God rescued Lot –

2 Peter 2:7-8 (CJB)
7  but he rescued Lot,

a righteous man

who was distressed by the debauchery of those unprincipled people;

8  for the wicked deeds

which that righteous man saw and heard,

as he lived among them,

tormented his righteous heart day after day.

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About Even If Ministries

Dani'el 3:17-18 (CJB) 17 Your majesty, if our God, whom we serve, is able to save us, he will save us from the blazing hot furnace and from your power. 18 But even if he doesn’t, we want you to know, your majesty, that we will neither serve your gods nor worship the gold statue which you have set up.”
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4 Responses to Cause & Effect

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