Saturday, November 30, 2013

We have the Confirmed, Word of God!

We have the Confirmed, Word of God!
24th November 2013, Passage: 2 Peter 1:19-21 
19 And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, 20 knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. 21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

Some of the witnesses in ICC against the president and the deputy president have been withdrawing their testimonies. There have been claims of attempts to compromise the witnesses from both the prosecution and the defense side. This means that being no better than spectators, we can’t be 100% sure of anything. Yes, we have seen some activities taking place that bring doubts and provoke us to come to conclusions as to the innocence of the parties involved but really these testimonies are not foolproof.  Testimonies from witnesses are good. But verbal witness is not as good as written testimony. But even then coming from a sinful man, you can’t be sure.
Apostle Peter has already said that he was an eyewitness of His majesty. He heard the divine voice in the mount of transfiguration because He was with the Lord. He saw the Lord’s countenance changed, he saw the brightness, He saw Moses and Elijah. In this he put so much emphasis on the firsthand nature of the information that he is declaring to us. But from verse 19, he tells us that is not good enough – he has something better for us. Look what we have:
1)  We have the prophetic Word (v.19)
“And we have the prophetic word…”
We do not need human witnesses because the Apostle tells us what the Lord has given us. The Lord has not left us in darkness. He has not left us to the whims of individual He has given us His own Word brought to us by those whom He sent. Note that we have it – in present tense. It would be sad if it was just a hope of having the Word with us. But the Bible says that we have it! It is not just one Christian like Apostle Peter who is the custodian of this Word – we all do because our Lord is very gracious in revealing Himself to us.
The Word that we have is prophetic – in our other words it is spoken to us from God. It is from God’s own mouthpiece – the prophet. Prophets are men who spoke from God – this is going to explained further. Note that this word is not just spoken it is written – it is logos. In fact the whole point that Peter is making here is that while we have reliable witnesses and testimonies from the Apostles, we have the Lord give us His word written down for us.
What a privileged people we are as Christians! We are not as Christian Science and many other cults that rely on discovering some secrets somewhere someday. All we need we have because God has given it to us by His appointed mouthpieces. But many a time we forget we have and fail to read this important Word of God consistently. We think that if we spend out time in doing other things we will be better Christians. We should faithfully utilize what the Lord has given us.
2)  The prophetic Word is more fully confirmed (v.19)
“…the prophetic word more fully confirmed…”
The word that we possess is sure – yes it is certain. It is confirmed. It is reliable and we can fully depend on it. The words of men are very unreliable – yes you provide witness protection and all, but a man can recant what he said yesterday and say that he never said it. Men are so easily compromised by threats or intimidation or by money or other promises. God is not like that – each one of His promises will be fulfilled. Each one of His Word will come to pass to the delight of many of us but also to the dismay of many others who live in unbelief.
The teachings of the OT Prophets are confirmed by the Apostles. This is why so often they appealed to the OT – Christ Himself appealed to the Old Testament. – we possess the Prophetic message as something altogether reliable. The Word of the Prophets of the Old is certain and the Word of the Apostles of the Lord is sure. You notice that although there were many prophets in the old, yet they all had singular WORD. They did not have many unrelated stories.

3)   The prophetic Word is the roadmap to the second coming of the Lord (v. 19) 
“…you will do well to pay attention [to the prophetic Word] as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts…”  
Because the Word is reliable, then we would be foolish not to depend on it. You will perform dismally as a believer if you do not pay attention to the Prophetic Word. In fact you will soon get lost without the light of Scripture. Christians are directed the way to go by the map and compass of Scripture – it gives direction and purpose to the life of a believer. If you want to carry in the spiritual journey without the light of the Scripture you will soon discover that you will be blind or grope in dark.
The Word of God or the Prophetic Word is the lamp that shines in this dark word of sin. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path (Psalm 119:105). It is the light that keeps us on the right. But it is more than that – it is the road map to keep us on the right path and in the right direction.
Until when will you need this lamp? “Until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts” is the answer we get from the testimony of the Scripture. You must not put this light down until that great day has come – this is the day that is the hope of every Christian. And as Christians we live in the understanding that our salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone, the day is at hand, so then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armour of light (Romans 13:11-12). Every Christian knows that the Day is approaching – the Day when Christ will be ultimately and finally revealed to us. In other words Christ who is the bright morning star as used in Revelations 22:16 is coming a second time and He is so near and as long as we wait for Him, we have to be vigilant like the five wise virgins who kept vigil waiting for the bridegroom. This will happen  in your hearts. In other words this is going to mean that you as a person has to be ready individually. Of course the second coming of Christ will be public and every eye will see Him even those who pierced Him. But at the time of His coming you must have a subjective knowledge and believe in your heart of Christ in anticipation and hope of His objective advent. So are you ready today for Christ?

4)  The prophetic Word is not human invention (v.20)
“…knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation…”
In this discussion about the authority and reliability of Scripture, there is one thing that you need to know above all or first of all. You may miss something else but this you must understand – never was Scripture an invention of any man. Prophets were not cleverly scripting what to say by night and then they would say it to the people during the day, NO! Neither prophets nor apostles were into the schemes of inventing Scripture – they could not. If they had tried, they would have produced another book. But the Word of God is the Word of God because it was not constructed by men.
This verse does not mean that you cannot interpret the Scriptures for private purpose or by yourself in your house as the Roman Catholics teach. You need to closely look at your translations so that the correct translation is, “No prophecy of came about by prophet’s own ideas.”

5)  The prophetic Word is Scripture (v.20)
“… prophecy of Scripture…”
It is very interesting that while in the previous verses Peter put all the weight in the spoken Word of God, in this verses he vouches for the written Word of God. And he is pointing out the important doctrine of the inspiration of Scriptures. The prophets were speaking the Word of God. The origin of Scriptures is not human – it is divine. Old Testament is Scripture, not because some council sat, but because it is God’s Word. Later on Peter says that the letters of Paul to the churches are just like any other OT Scripture – 3:16.

6)  The Prophetic Word is God’s Word
“…men spoke from God…”
The men who spoke did not invent what to say – they spoke from God. In other words they said what God said. They spoke what God wanted spoken. They said only what God wanted said. When God did not say anything, they did not go on overdrive trying to work out what to say. They faithfully kept quiet when God had not spoken but also faithfully spoke after God had spoken – they spoke from God! God gave them the words and ideas. God instructed them what to speak and when to speak. So when they spoke, they said, “Thus says the Lord” or “This is the burden of the Lord.” They were not free to be creative or to make God’s Spoken Word more attractive.
Men spoke means that the Holy Spirit employed men not computers to write the Scriptures. He used their characteristics, talents and experiences as well as their unique insights but kept them from errors. He was in control of them. Their personalities are visible [as we are not advocates of mechanical inspiration] is seen, yet you can discover Paul’s character in his letters just like you can very easily know John’s letters from their unique Johanine peculiarity. But they did not speak from their peculiar experiences – they spoke from God.
7)  The prophetic Word is the product of God the Holy Spirit
“…as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit…”
The men who spoke were under the influence of the Spirit of God. Look at what happened to the ship that Paul and company were in after the heavy storm in Acts 27. They threw overboard whatever luggage was in the ship in order to save themselves from the storm, they also undergirded the ship and lowered the gear – whatever it was and they were driven along (v.17). This is the same Word used upon the prophets who wrote – they were carried along by the Spirit not by their own creativity or wisdom. While their personalities are visible yet the Holy Spirit was in control of them, using their characteristics, talents and experiences as well as their unique insights but kept them from errors. They were not free to say or write anything – they only wrote what the Spirit wanted written.
IMPLICATIONS FOR US:

v Are growing in our love for God’s Word that He has graciously made available to us, in languages that we understand? God has given us His Word in every form that we may want – even in our phones and computers.
v Do we read the Word of God as God’s Word? Do we receive the Word of God taught and preached to us as God’s Word or words of men? We must be careful to pay attention to the Word that is spoken to us. God brings His Word to us to transform us.
v Has the Word of God worked in your life? What is the evidence? That we have the Word of God means that we also have a responsibility that comes with this privilege. We have to ensure that the Word of God is at work in us by the Spirit of God.

v Are we in constant prayer to the Spirit, who inspired the writing of Scripture that He may lead us to the truths of His Word? We ought to pray earnestly that we may be taught of Him so that we may learn how to rightly handle the Word of truth.

No comments:

Post a Comment