2 Peter 1:15-21
And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things.
For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.
We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
This epistle is most likely Peter’s final words to the church. In this letter, he warns the church about false teachers. He gives the church signs to identify false teachers and false teachings. In chapter one, he anchors the church on the Word of God as the only defense against apostasy. According to Peter, knowledge of the Scriptures is the only way to combat heresy.
In the first fourteen verses of this chapter, Peter presents the full “knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord” as the foundation on which Christian character is built. Basically, Peter is telling us that God has given us everything we need to live for Christ in this world. In verse fifteen be begins to talk about his impending death and how he wants his readers to remember the things the apostles taught.
In verse sixteen, Peter reminds his readers that he was an eyewitness to the glory of Christ’s resurrection and ascension. He reminds his readers that these historical events were not fables but actual events that he saw with his own eyes. Apparently, some of these false teachers were accusing Peter and the other apostles of teaching fables concerning Jesus.
In verses seventeen and eighteen, Peter references the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-2). Peter clearly was an eyewitness of this spectacular event. This was no fable. Peter then goes on to explain how God transmitted His will through the prophets. These men of old expressed the will of God through their own thoughts and feelings as they were being led by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, God reveals Himself through the holy pages of Scripture and declares His eternal truths to every generation. Until Christ returns to set up His kingdom, we have His Word to guide us and lead us into all truth.
This section of Scripture is setting up the main purpose of this letter. False teachers had infiltrated the church and were leading people astray. Peter emphasizes the importance of the Word of God in combatting those who would lead others astray. The Scriptures are something that we can have confidence in. One of the greatest proofs that the Bible is indeed the Word of God is fulfilled prophecy. There were 330 prophecies in the Old Testament concerning the first coming of the Messiah, and all of them were literally fulfilled.
Questions to Ponder
How often do you read God’s Word? How are you living out God’s Word today? How do you view the authority and accuracy of the Bible? Are you able to recognize false teaching when you hear it? What did Peter mean when he wrote, “men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit”?
- The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us – the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. Praise the Lord for being the Word of God.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to give you a holy hunger and desire for His Word daily, to know Him better as you open the Word of God.
- Ask Him to help you to remember and live out the truths of His Word throughout the day as you depend upon Him.
- Pray for the Word of the Lord to run swiftly in and through you and our church family.
“Your Word, O LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heaven. Your faithfulness continues through all generations; You established the earth, and it endures” Psalm 119:89-90. I praise You that You are trustworthy, our firm foundation and solid rock. Good Shepherd, lead and guide me and Your church into Your truth daily. You are a lamp unto our feet, a light for our path. Holy Spirit empower us to walk in the footsteps of faith. Give us hungry hearts to be doers of Your Word, reflecting Your love to those around us. Help us, Lord, as we yield to You. In the name of Jesus Christ, I ask. Amen.