Thursday, May 20, 2010

MORE SURE - Part 1

This Sunday we will continue our new series through 2 Peter that we have simply called LIAR because Peter writes this letter to warn against the danger of false teaching in the church. We will see that 2 Peter 1:16-21 teaches our need as followers of Jesus to be sure about something. If we are going to avoid the traps of false teaching that are all around us we must be sure of our belief in the supremacy of the Bible. Peter contrasts his teaching with that of the false teachers of his day. What was it that Peter and the Apostles were proclaiming? They were proclaiming the power and coming of Jesus Christ. The false teachers were undermining what Peter was teaching, specifically denying the second coming of Christ as will become very clear as we reach the final chapter of this book.

Peter make is clear in verse 16 that his teachings did originate from cleverly devised tales. This was obviously an accusation that was being communicated about him. The term “cleverly devised” speaks of sophisticated ideas that were concocted in order to deceive others. The word “tales” is the Greek word “muthos” where we get our English word “myth”. Peter wants his readers to be reassured that he and the other Apostles got their teaching straight from God.

To illustrate this, Peter reminds his readers that he was an eyewitness of “the majesty of Jesus.” He is speaking of the transfiguration of Jesus (Matthew 17) in which he, James and John saw Jesus in all of His glory and heard the voice of God come out of heaven saying, “This is my Beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased.” Peter wasn’t making truths about Jesus up out of the thin air. He was an eye-witness. He saw Jesus’ transfiguration with his own eyes and he heard the voice of God the Father with his own ears. This is pretty sure stuff, wouldn’t you say?

But in verse 19 Peter says that we actually have something “more sure” than this. Wait! What could possibly be “more sure” than seeing Jesus in His glory with your own eyes and hearing the audible voice of God with your own ears? What could possibly give us more assurance than this? According to verse 19 it is the prophetic word that is “more sure” than these occurrences. What is that? That is speaking of Scripture. Scripture is “more sure” than seeing Jesus with your own eyes and hearing God with your own ears.

Think about that. If Jesus showed up visibly and spoke to us audibly, would we listen? Of course we would. Would we obey Him? You bet we would. Yet, we have something “more sure” than that. We have the Word of God. We should give it the same attention, the same priority, the same obedience, as we would if Jesus visibly and audibly spoke to us. That is why Peter says that we would do well to "pay attention" to this prophetic word – Scripture.

He describes Scripture as being like a lamp shining in a dark place. David makes the same description in Psalm 119:105. We live in a dark world today when it comes to spiritual things. It’s pitch black out there. And our only light to show us how to live and what to believe is the Bible. This is how God gives direction until “the day dawns” – until Jesus returns. Until that day, the only light we have is Scripture. In other words, if we are going to protect ourselves from false teaching we must have a proper view of Scripture. It’s the Bible, the whole Bible and nothing but the Bible.

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