I am still shocked by how often, while reading something in scripture for perhaps the 100th time, I discover an entirely new, infinitely more potent and even life-altering meaning. The scripture below is one of those for me. Please read it slowly and carefully:
16″ For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” 2 Peter 1:16-21
Peter is teaching us, as clearly as is possible, that not only was he an eye witness to the life, death and return to glory of Jesus Christ, but he was also on the Mount of Transfiguration and actually heard the voice of God the Father praising His beloved son. Peter then goes on to state one of the most profound things I’ve ever read in God’s word: that Bible we have on our phones, on our computers and in our hands…is an even more sure word of prophecy than the divine voice of God speaking out of heaven itself. That…is stunning, and is an incredible truth that should silence every voice that attempts to minimize or marginalize scripture. The word of God is even more certain that God the Father speaking out of a cloud from heaven!! What more could we ever want in terms of direction and guidance?? Not a thing. What this world desperately needs is what Peter describes as a light from God himself, shining brightly and boldly through the thick and heavy darkness of sin…until Jesus returns for His own.
This passage should forever end our desire to listen to the teaching of clever, eloquent and even scholarly men, who, in their vanity, slowly and subtly slip away from the clear words of God, written directly to ALL of us in the holy scriptures. It should also neuter our lust for any type personal “prophecy” or “word of knowledge” from a human being, since God himself has given us the most certain of prophecies via his written word. May we, like the Berean’s, not only learn the scriptures, in full, for ourselves, but also be willing to test those pastors and teachers we love and trust, with the piercing two-edged sword of God’s eternal word. If Paul didn’t mind being examined with scripture, then neither should they. I for one, am blessed to have a pastor who strays neither to the right nor to the left of the words of the living God. I pray that you find may find one as well, but if not, never forget that what you have in your own hands is:”…a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts….” 2 Peter 1:19 Oh, how I long for that day!
A friend suggested that it seems as if Peter is denigrating God the Father’s voice by his comments in the passage above. Certainly not. Peter is simply making the point, via the same type of hyperbole that Jesus often used, that scripture is as certain as God’s voice…because it is God’s voice.
BONUS SCRIPTURE: Everything we need for life and godliness
Earlier in this very same chapter (2 Peter 1), Peter sets up the passage quoted in the above article, by telling us:
2 “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” 2 Peter 1:2-4
How, precisely, do we get grace and peace in our lives? There is only one way: through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. How do we obtain that knowledge? Verse 3 tells us that God, by His divine power, has already given us ALL things pertaining to life and godliness. Then, Peter speaks of the precious promises of God(which we only know through His word), and assures us that the scriptures are more trustworthy than the audible voice of the Father…so we know EXACTLY where our eyes and hearts must go, and it isn’t to flesh:
23 “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.” 1 Peter 1:23-25
**I encourage every single person who reads these two thoughts on the certainty and value of scripture to ask yourself – do you truly believe, in your heart, what Peter is teaching us? To summarize, Peter says:
- The scriptures are more certain than anything else on earth, superceding even the audible voice of the Father from a cloud, and
- In those scriptures, there is grace, peace and every single thing we need for life and godliness? We truly have been given everything we need to get through this life, by the knowledge of Jesus Christ as He is in his word. Believe it. Pray it. Live it.