Let’s go ahead and turn our Bibles to Second peter chapter One. Today we continue our study of the second letter written by Peter to the churches. Peter starts his letter here in second Peter in verse one, and I think this fits into the context of what we’re going to talk about today. Go ahead and turn to second peter chapter one. But I did want to look at how he starts this letter. And Tyler, he kicked it off a couple of weeks ago when he hit on this.
But in this letter, Peter addresses the churches, and this is what he says to those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours. Think about that for a second. We can skip right over that. But that’s how he addresses the letter. This is profound if and when you really believe it. In other words, the recipients of this letter. And by extension, you and me today, as Christians, we have received a faith that is equal to that of Peter and the Apostles. Let that sink in.
What you and I have in Christ in no way, shape or form takes a backseat to what was first given to Peter, James, and John. We, too, have escaped the corruption of this world. We also have intimate knowledge of Jesus, and we have the same great and precious promises of God. In fact, in verse three, Peter tells us that by faith in Jesus, you and I have been given everything we need to live a powerful Christian life just like the Apostles did long ago. So when it comes to our faith, that’s a fact, Jack.
So if you’re visiting with us today or you happen to be watching online, maybe you’ve slipped in your faith. I get it. That happens. Or maybe you’ve grown up around the Church. But you’re not sure if you believe what your parents believe. I’ve been through that, too. And that’s very normal. All I ask today is when we dive into the scriptures is that you summon up the courage to ask someone to study the Bible with you. Let’s discover together what it really means to be a Christian, as the Bible defines it.
Don’t miss out. But I will say this for all of us. If you’re anything like me, you still have your doubts about this, right? I mean, come on. I wasn’t born yesterday. The first disciples walked with Jesus. They talked with Jesus. They saw the miracles. If I could only see Jesus today or hear a voice of God talking directly to me from the sky, then I’ll really believe then I can live the powerful life just like the first disciples. You see, when we read this in verse one, it sounds good when Peter States, we have a faith, an equal standing with His.
But deep down, let’s be real. We have our doubts. Are you with me? In comparison with those first disciples? Maybe we’re missing something or what’s happening here. And what I would say to all of us today is don’t think that our doubts are anything unique or anything new. Our doubts are the same doubts that Christians have wrestled with for centuries. And that’s exactly why Peter writes this section of scripture that we’re going to read this morning. Let’s start reading together Second Peter chapter one, verse 16.
Peter writes for we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. But we were eyewitnesses of His Majesty, for when he received honor and glory from God the Father. And the voice was borne to him by the majestic glory. This is my beloved son, with whom I am well pleased. We ourselves heard this very voice from heaven, for we were with him on the Holy mountain. Now for paying attention, if I just stopped right here, we could easily say, hey, Peter, you just proved my point.
How in the world could you say that I have an equal faith with yours? I mean, you saw Jesus, Moses and Elijah on that mountain. Then you heard the voice of God Almighty. But we have to keep reading. Let’s keep reading here what Peter writes next in verse 19. And we have something more sure, that’s you and me, we have something more sure, the prophetic word to which you would do well to pay attention to it. As to a lamp shining in a dark place until the day dawns in the morning star rises in your hearts.
Knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. 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. So this is our emphasis for our sermon today. This is our sermon title. This is what you need to know from our lesson today. This is what I appeal to you to consider today. And in the days to come, we have something more sure.
You and I have the prophetic word of God. And that’s why Peter can state as a fact yesterday today and until Jesus returns, Peter can state as a fact that you and I have obtained a faith equal to the Apostles. By faith you and I have been given everything we need for life and Godliness. That’s because we have something more sure. It’s right here in my hands. It’s right there in your hands. The prophetic word of God, the word of the living God in written form. Now let’s back up for a moment to verses 16 through 18.
Peter makes this Crystal clear in verse 16. We do not follow cleverly invented stories. All right, Bing, Bong and Riley from the movie Inside Out. What you read about Jesus in the Bible. This is not some fairy tale or bedtime story. Okay, many religions are based on myths. Peter is saying not this one. Peter tells us, Jesus is not my imaginary friend. All of this really happened, guys. In fact, the truth of Jesus is the very reason that Peter would soon be crucified upside down for his faith.
Peter is emphatic here. The faith we share with him in Jesus is no joke. Then four times in these brief verses, Peter writes about what he saw and heard. Peter saw many miracles. Peter walked on the water with Jesus. I’d say that’s pretty cool. He chooses here, though, of all the things he saw and witnessed and what he was a part of, he chooses to focus on one supernatural event. It’s the Transfiguration of Jesus. And I’m thinking, Why would he choose that one?
It’s amazing and all, but it’s kind of mysterious and there were so many other things. Why did he choose the Transfiguration to make his point right here? Perhaps it’s because more than any other time, this is when the prophetic word of God is confirmed for both Peter and you and me today. Here’s what I mean. Now stay with me here the Transfiguration. It is kind of mysterious, but it’s in the first three Gospels. And this is the only other time it’s mentioned after that. But Peter wants to hit on it to make his point.
It was this camping trip. I think many of you know about this. Jesus takes Peter, James, and John for a special camping trip up the mountain and they get to the top of the mountain during this time away. And then all of a sudden, Moses and Elijah show up and they start talking with Jesus. And what happens next is loaded with spiritual symbolism, faithbuilding, symbolism. If you think about it and we could spend hours on this, this is such a great teaching to uncover and try to figure out.
But you have Moses on the mountain, he represents the Old Testament law. Then you have Elijah who represents all the prophets. So there you have it. You have the Old Testament represented in these two guys. Then you have Jesus, who is the good news. Jesus is the gospel. And then with him, Peter, James and John, your Apostles who were eyewitnesses to the gospel. So we have the entire Old Testament and New Testament covered on one camping trip. So you have the entirety of the word of God, all in one place.
So suddenly, in the midst of all of this, Jesus begins to transfigure transform into this blazing, bleach white figure. And then a voice from heaven puts it all together. God speaks to the situation and God exclaims. This is my son, whom I love, whom I am well pleased. Listen to him.
So in other words, now all of us today have a complete picture of the Bible, all of the written word of God. All of this comes together in Jesus, all of it. Now we can view everything we read in here from cover to cover through the lens of Jesus. That’s the blessing we have. That’s what Peter’s telling us. Yeah, Peter says I was an eyewitness. But you have something more in the Bible. He’s telling us that you and I now have the God given hindsight that the prophets longed to see.
So, yeah, we need eyewitnesses to Jesus. But now you and I have something more sure.
That’s why Peter says in verse 19 of the Word of God. You would do well to pay attention to it. Says you would do well to pay attention to this. More on that in a moment. But eyewitnesses, yes, they are essential. But God does not need to appear in the flesh every 30 or 40 years to confirm he exists or to prove that he loves us. Remember this with Christian faith. Seeing isn’t believing but reading and obeying God’s word. That’s believing. That’s what it is. And I get it.
And I thought this many times, hey, if I just heard a voice from heaven, just like Peter did, of course, I would be a powerful man of God. I would obey it. I’d be good. But that’s not the way God has chosen to communicate with you and me. He’s actually given us something more. We have a timeless written communication from the creator of the universe. We have something equal or even better. Think about it this way. Tell me this. If you received a personal email or text message from someone, is the content of that text or that email any less true than if you had the spoken word from the same person.
Are you with me? They’re both true. I kept it here. This is a recent receipt of mine from Lowe’s Hardware Store, and because I have, yeah, if it was CVS, it would be across the whole stage. Good point. I don’t always keep those, but I keep the Lowe’s ones, especially because I don’t know my way too much around tools. How many times do I go to Lowe’s or Home Depot? And I have to return things. So I need the receipt because I’ll get the wrong part. So I need a written record.
I need proof of what I bought in case I want to take it back. It’s important. This is much more important than the voice of the cashier. Or if you bought something on Amazon this afternoon. Is that transaction more valid if it’s spoken in an invoice? Or would you rather have the invoice in black and white? So I venture to say most of us would actually prefer written proof of the contract in black and white. And that’s what we have in the word of God. That’s what we have in the prophetic Bible that we’ve been given.
Do not say I would listen to God if he spoke to me, but I will not listen because it’s written to me. I get it. But that’s a double standard. That’s not how we live. It’s a lame excuse in comparison to how we really live our lives and the expectations we have of truth. And just because we don’t hear a voice like Peter or Elijah or Moses heard a voice, this does not mean God is not speaking to you and me today.
We have something more sure, the written word of God, heaven and Earth will pass away. But the Word of God will never pass away. So that’s why Peter appeals to us in verse 19. He warns us about obeying the Word of God. You would do well to pay attention to it. And Peter is setting us up for what’s coming in chapter two, Eddie Francis will teach about this next week. He’ll talk about the danger of our itching ears. False teaching rises up in and around the Church like weeds.
It sounds good. It feels good. It promises less pain. It promises less self denial. It promises quick healing. It tells us there’s a secret knowledge that the Church and the Bible have missed. We must always go back to the Word of God. You would do well to pay attention to it. Let’s read our final two verses again, and they give the explanation why we have something more sure. Peter writes in verse 20, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation, 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. Just a few brief words on this, Peter utilizes a fascinating Greek word in verse 21 in the English Bible, the writers say carried by the Holy Spirit. The Greek word here gives you the sense of an actual ferry. You see the picture here. A ferry boat. A ferry is a boat that carries people to the same destination. So in essence, Peter tells us that all the writers of Scripture were ferried along by the Holy Spirit, and all of them arrived at the same destination.
I love this. The Word of God. The Bible, written over a span of 1500 years, three languages, 40 plus authors from all walks of life. One congruent written message for all of us that comes together with the arrival of the Messiah.
I love it behind all the genres, all the different authors, we find absolute divine inspiration. And that’s the brilliance of the Bible. It’s all these human minds, all these personalities, all these different situations that were happening throughout time. They’re not bypassed. They’re actually used by God. Instead, the Holy Spirit works through all of them to breathe God’s words into human words. We have something that’s so much more. And that’s exactly why Peter tells us you and I have something more sure.
The prophetic word of God.
So to conclude, I’ll say again what I said before, you would do well to pay attention to it. And so would I.
Because in the next chapter, as we study this next week, Peter will go for the jugular. He will warn us against false teachings. He doesn’t want us to get sucked back into the world once again. We must be men and women of God’s Word. Ask yourself these questions as you think about these scriptures today. How often do you dig into the prophetic Word of God?
This book. Many of us, including me, listen to podcasts. We read supplemental books. But are you reading the book? How often do you reread the Gospels for the accounts of the life of Jesus above all else? How much conviction about Jesus do others see in your eyes and they hear in your voice? And I encourage us today. I appeal to you today. Simply take God at His Word. Bathe yourself in His Word. Study God’s Word with others. Teach detox. Because if you stick with God’s Word, the fog will lift and the light of this word will guide your path. The Word of God that says here in the text, it’s a lamp shining in a dark place. And until the day dawns, the second coming of Jesus Christ and the morning star rises in your hearts.
Brothers and sisters. We have something more sure in the written word of God. Jesus is coming soon.
Are you ready? And until then, we must make every effort to add to our faith the Word of God. You and I would do well to pay attention to it.
Amen. Thank you.