2 Peter 1:12-21 God’s Word
Men die, but the Word lives (1:12-15)
Motives behind Peter’s ministry:
Obedience to Christ’s command (1:12)
The right thing to do (1:13)
Being diligent (1:15)
Experience fades, but the Word remains (1:16-18)
Fabled stories versus personal experience (1:16)
Peter came – to the mountain
Peter saw – the glory of God in Christ
Peter heard – the voice of God
Peter is responding to two objections:
Objection #1 – The Return of Jesus Christ is a myth
Reply #1 – Apostolic Witness – Peter was an eyewitness to Jesus Christ and how He will return
“For we did not follow cleverly contrived myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ; instead, we were eyewitnesses of His majesty.” (2 Peter 1:16, HCSB)
“For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, a voice came to Him from the Majestic Glory: This is My beloved Son. I take delight in Him!” (2 Peter 1:17, HCSB)
Reply #2 – Old Testament prophecy can be trusted.
“So we have the prophetic word strongly confirmed. You will do well to pay attention to it, as to a lamp shining in a dismal place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.” (2 Peter 1:19, HCSB)
The Old Testament prophecies can be just as trustworthy as a lamp shining in the dark until daylight comes. In the same way, Old Testament prophecy is that lamp shining the truth until Jesus returns (the day dawns.)
Objection #2 – The Inspiration of Old Testament prophecy
They are truthful, but are they inspired by God?
Reply #1 – No prophecy was the prophet’s interpretation
“First of all, you should know this: No prophecy of Scripture comes from one’s own interpretation,” (2 Peter 1:20, HCSB)
Reply #2 – Reason – The prophets were Spirit-enabled
“because no prophecy ever came by the will of man; instead, men spoke from God as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:21, HCSB)
Today’s Objection: How do we know that Old Testament was Spirit-enabled?
1. Fulfilled prophecy. God spoke to men telling them of things He would bring about in the future. Some of them have already occurred. Others have not. For example, there were more than 300 prophecies concerning Jesus Christ’s first coming 2,000 years ago. There is no doubt that these are prophecies from God because of manuscripts and scrolls dated before the birth of Christ. These were not written after the fact. They were written beforehand. Scientific dating proves this.
2. The unity of Scripture. The Bible was written by approximately 40 human authors over a period of approximately 1,600 years. These men were quite diverse. Moses, a political leader; Joshua, a military leader; David, a shepherd; Solomon, a king; Amos, a herdsman and fruit picker; Daniel, a prime minister; Matthew, a tax collector; Luke, a medical doctor; Paul, a rabbi; and Peter, a fisherman; among others. The Bible was also written under a variety of circumstances. It was written on 3 different continents, Europe, Asia, and Africa. Yet, the great themes of Scripture are maintained in all the writings. The Bible does not contradict itself. There is no way, apart from God the Holy Spirit supervising the writing of the Bible, that this could have been accomplished.
3. The Bible presents its heroes truthfully with all of their faults and weaknesses. It does not glorify men as other religions do about their heroes. When you read the Bible, you realize that the people it describes have problems and do wrong just as we do. What made them great was that they trusted in God. One example is David. David is described as “a man after God’s own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14). Yet, David committed adultery (2 Samuel 11:1-5) and murder (2 Samuel 11:14-26). This could have been left out of Scripture to hide these details of David’s life. But God included these things.4. Archaeological findings support the history recorded in Scripture. Though many unbelieving people throughout history have tried to find archaeological evidence to disprove what is recorded in the Bible, they have failed. It is easy to say that Scripture is untrue. Proving it to be untrue is a different story. It has not been done. In fact, in the past the Bible contradicted the current “scientific” theories, only to be proven later to be in fact true. A good example is Isaiah 40:22, which declared that God “sits on the circle of the earth” long before scientists claimed the earth was flat.1.
In the Hindu Scriptures it is taught that the earth is set atop the backs of four elephants, who in turn stood on a giant sea-turtle that was swimming through a milky sea. However, Job states, “He stretches out the North over empty space, and hangs the earth on nothing.(26:7)” Also, Isaiah mentions that God sits “above the circle of the earth.(40:22)” The New Testament also records a snatching away of believers. In Luke 17 Jesus talks of a singular event stating that “two men in one bed; and one will be taken, and the other will be left. There will be two women grinding in the same place; one will be taken, and the other will be left.” These are events that happen at different times of the day, yet Jesus speaks of them as a single instance. Only someone who understands the revolution of a round earth could understand how day and night are relative and one act may affect people in both time frames.
When Genesis was written, The Greeks were beginning to tell of Apollos’ flight across the sky in a flaming chariot. The Egyptians were worshipping the sun as Ra, deifying it. The Mesopotamians referred to the sun as “Shamosh” and called it the god of justice. Genesis, however, calls the sun “a light in the expanse of the heavens” and views it as a thing, one created by God. That the Bible does not follow the naiveté of those ancient religions is often overlooked, since modern man is much more knowledgeable in the mechanics of nature. We take for granted that someone touching an infectious person or a corpse should practice good hygiene and wash thoroughly in running water before proceeding to anything else, but this “discovery” has only been a medical reality for 150 years. The book of Leviticus, though, requires this same procedure. One cannot find ideas as arcane as blood-letting or consuming ram’s horn for fertility, or all the other mythical cures for ills that were thought to be science in those days. The Bible is not a science book. It does not focus on scientific facts about the creation, but where it mentions those things, it is accurate in its representation. This is exactly what we’d expect if the Bible had its origin in the One who created the universe and its scientific laws2.
1 http://www.gotquestions.org/proof-inspiration-Bible.html#ixzz3JGzhxKQU Accessed on 16 November 2014.
3 Roger F. Campbell, Preach for a Year (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1997), 19–20.