A More Sure Word (2 Peter 1:19-21)
A MORE SURE WORD (2 Peter 1:19-21)
A. Not only did Peter experience a superior mountain encounter with the Almighty than did Israel in Moses' day (vs.16-18), he says of the apostles, "we have ALSO a more sure word of prophecy...." v.19.
B. In these verses, Peter sets the inferior glory of the O.T. revelation over against the superior glory of the N.T. revelation given to the apostles.
C. This is not to say that there is error in the O.T. or that it clashes with the N.T., for the O.T. prophets spoke (and wrote) by Divine inspiration. vs.20-21.
D. The O.T. revelation came to man via created beings: prophets and angels.
ACT 7:53; GAL 3:19; HEB 2:2.
E. The N.T. revelation has come via the Creator Son. HEB 1:1-2; 2:3-4.
F. God Incarnate spoke in person to His apostles and then by His Spirit.
JOH 14:26; 16:13.
1. The apostles would be the standard of truth over all other men.
1JO 4:6 c/w GAL 1:9.
2. They were given thrones of judgment which emphasizes the importance
of their word. MAT 19:28 c/w DEU 21:5.
G. Peter here describes Apostolic revelation as being "a light that shineth in a dark place..." (v.19).
1. Comparatively speaking, the O.T. was darkness--a dispensation of
shadows. HEB 10:1.
2. The law eclipsed a clear view of the Sun of Righteousness Whom it
portrayed. 2CO 3:13-16; GAL 3:23.
3. With the coming of Jesus Christ, the glorious things which the O.T.
prophets could only see hazily from a distance are now made clearly
manifest. MAT 13:17; EPH 3:3-6.
4. For the N.T. Christian, all that he needs to know and cultivate of the O.T. may be found in the writings of the apostles.
a. The O.T. must be understood through THEIR words.
b. It is an error to try to interpret the N.T. by the darkness of the O.T. JOH 12:35.
c. Beware therefore of those who would build their religion from the
darkness of the O.T. in opposition to the plain light of its explanation found in the N.T. JOH 1:5; 3:19.
5. Peter emphasizes to his hearers that they do well in giving superior attention to apostolic prophecy "until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts" (v.19).
a. Christ is the day star. LUK 1:78-79; REV 22:16.
b. Consider that Peter's addressees are primarily people of Jewish
ancestry, well acquainted with Moses and the law, from which they
needed to be weaned.
c. Through apostolic revelation (much more than the O.T.), these Jews
might realize fully that:
(1) The law was a temporary expedient. GAL 3:19, 24-25.
(2) Law works eternally justified nobody. ROM 3:20.
(3) Jesus Christ embodied the law and fulfilled it for them.
d. Until the "day star arise in your hearts," and they better understand the temporary, limiting and dark nature of the O.T., Peter recommends them to the N.T. revelation. Good advice for all.
e. Paul describes this as Christ being formed in a saint. GAL 4:19.
H. "Knowing this FIRST...." Peter now gives a fundamental rule of Bible study. v.20.
1. Prophecy: "The action, function, or faculty of a prophet; divinely inspired utterance..."
2. Private: "Withdrawn or separated from the public body..."
3. In context, the "public body" would be the entirety of the Divine revelation, i.e., all the Scripture, thus stating that there are no contradictions in the Bible.
4. This means that any interpretation of a given passage of Scripture which is in manifest disagreement with plainly revealed truth elsewhere in Scripture MUST be wrong.
5. This also forbids us from using Scripture selectively. MAT 4:4.
6. Without this basis, legitimate inquiry of the Bible becomes impossible, and will invariably produce schisms.
7. His reason for so stating the harmonious nature of Scripture (and particularly the agreement between the O.T. revelation and that of the apostles) is because the same God inspired it all. v.21 c/w 2TI 3:16.
a. The Bible is a harmonious, multi-colored fabric comprised of many
individual parts but forming one truth. ECC 12:11; PSA 119:151.
b. This greatly differs from the nature of Catholicism, which is built upon contradictory Ex Cathedra Papal utterances and Tradition which oppose each other and Scripture.
I. v.21 describes the method of prophetic inspiration. It "came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."
1. It came "in old time..."
a. God has had prophets in this world from the beginning. LUK 1:70.
b. Enoch and Abel were prophets. JUDE 1:14-15; LUK 11:50-51.
c. Not all of His prophets' words have been committed to Scripture, only those which are needful for us. c/w JOH 21:25.
d. What is written suffices us and we should not be wise above that. ROM 15:4; 1CO 10:11; JOH 20:30-31.
2. It came not "by the will of man..."
a. The prophecy of the Scripture did not come from shepherds' sage observations while communing with nature or by men deliberately concocting stories to explain their world-view (like the "cunningly devised fables" just mentioned in v.16).
b. The prophets were passive instruments of God's revelation.
3. They "spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."
a. They "SPAKE..."
(1) The prophets "spake" in an oral sense. 2SA 23:2.
(2) The prophets also "spake" in a written sense.
PSA 45:1 c/w LUK 24:25 c/w MAT 24:15.
b. "...they were moved by the Holy Ghost."
(1) The Spirit of God was responsible for the utterance.
2SA 23:2; 1PE 1:11.
(2) The Spirit of God was also responsible for the utterance being recorded in written form. HEB 10:15-16 c/w JER 30:1-31:33.
(3) One does not need the sensational gift of tongues to hear the Spirit of God speaking. He speaks with abundant power and clarity through the written word.
4. The prophets were "holy men of God...."
a. Except when it pleased God to do otherwise (as with Balaam), His word came through holy men. 2KI 4:9; LUK 2:25-26.
b. All were men of human feelings and infirmities. JAM 5:17.
c. Some, like Solomon, erred from the truth. But all of God's prophets have a home in glory. LUK 13:28.
J. How indebted are we to the Holy Ghost Who inspired the prophets and the apostles
with a consistent, harmonious message.
1. The prophets have all emphasized four things: Jesus Christ, His sufferings, resurrection and His day of judgment. ACT 10:43; 26:22-23; 3:18-21.
2. These are major themes of Peter's and the other apostles' writings also.
3. Thus, there truly is a harmony of Divine revelation between the words of the O.T. prophets and the N.T. apostles.
4. We should be mindful of the words spoken by both groups. 2PE 3:1-2.
5. But we should give more earnest heed to the more sure word of the apostles.
HEB 2:1 c/w 2PE 1:19.