2 PET 1:19-21
INTRO: At v. 16 the apostle Peter had declared that we have not followed cunningly devised fables... But cunningly devised fables must have been floating about the world when he wrote. He speaks later in this book of scripture that is twisted to the destruction of them who twist it. This is a letter the theme of which could be (as one author has termed it) be alert. Be alert to the fact that there are those who would, with cunning fables and twisted scripture, deny the person and deity of the Lord. Oh, yes, there were so many who simply did not want Jesus to be the promised Messiah ... and there are those who still cannot bear to believe that He is truly the Son of God. But Peter confirms with eyewitness testimony that the prophecies of and about the Messiah have been fulfilled in Jesus!
I. THE CONFIRMATION HE OFFERS?
A. First, think about the word of prophecy
1. Peter clearly refers to the Old Testament (as we know it) in which there are so many references to the coming Messiah
2. passages such as Isa 7:14; 9:6,7;53:4-7 would be known to his readers
3. Acts 17:2,3 - it was such passages from which Jesus was preached
4. so, Peter calls attention to scripture - and so should (must) we
B. But he notes it is prophecy made sure!
1. false teachers, then and now, would say scripture did not refer to Jesus
2. those prophecies are there, true - but they do not refer to Jesus ... perhaps not even to a Messiah (they say)
3. but Peter was at mount of transfiguration and heard the voice of God!
4. and that experience, shared with two other credible witnesses, confirmed the prophecies of old ... Jesus is the Christ; Jesus is the Son of God; Jesus is the One Whom we must hear
C. So, it is well to take heed to the prophets who spoke of Christ
1. throughout the New Testament reference is made to those prophets
2. in Acts 2 reference is made to both Joel and Psalms - confirming that the events of Pentecost were prophesied and the Jesus is the One of whom David spoke in Psalms
3. Lk 24:44 - a great body of prophetic evidence cannot be ignored
4. fulfillment of prophecy concerning Jesus is testimony well attested
D. Scripture is light in a dark world
1. dark place - a dirty, musty, unpleasant dungeon of a place
2. a world in sin is truly that sort of place - I. Jno 5:19
3. what hope does the world have? how can the shadows and darkness be put away?
4. Ps 119:105 & 119:130 - what the world needs now is the word of God!
II. THE SOURCE OF SCRIPTURE?
A. Scripture is not of human origin
1. 2 Pet 1:20 clearly notes that prophecy odes not belong to the province of the prophet
2. a fundamental truth is that prophecy did not originate with the prophet
3. Peter is giving powerful testimony to the truth of inspiration, revelation!
4. this is further confirmation of the dependability of scripture
B. Scripture came from the Holy Spirit
1. he refers to the will of man - the prophets did not decide anything
2. in fact, the prophets often did not know the meaning of that which they prophesied - 1 Pet 1:10,11
3. the Holy Spirit revealed to them the word of God - the language here indicates that they were passive instruments of the Holy Spirit
4. but wht kind of men were they? Holy men of God... - here is more confirmation in the form of the lives the prophets lived - they were men of integrity!
CLOSE: We live in a skeptical world ... a largely unbelieving world. We live in a world of the antichrist. So, we will be faced daily with challenges to faith, to conviction. What shall we do? Peter gives us the answer. Dont be confused by what you see or hear. Go to the scriptures for enlightenment.
Cecil A. Hutson
26 June 2005
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)