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The Source for Real Scripture 2 Peter 1:12-21

March 11, 2018 Speaker: Jim Galli Series: 1 & 2 Peter

Topic: Sunday AM Passage: 2 Peter 1:12–1:21

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       12 Therefore, I will always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them, and have been established in the truth which is present with you. 13 I consider it right, as long as I am in this earthly dwelling, to stir you up by way of reminder, 14 knowing that the laying aside of my earthly dwelling is imminent, as also our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. 15 And I will also be diligent that at any time after my departure you will be able to call these things to mind.
      16 For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. 17 For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, “This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased”— 18 and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.
     19 So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. 20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

We've been looking together at Peter's final letter to christians scattered everywhere.  Scatterd abroad.  Even scattered to the 21st century in Tonopah Nevada.

And Peter's concern is for the church after his departure.  Because like Paul recognized and told the elders at Ephesus, he knows that after his departure to heaven, false teachers will flood in and try to capture the minds and hearts of these precious believers.

Funny how when there's a strong biblical presence, someone like Peter, the false teachers are held at arms length, and when the main strong man is departed, things begin to degrade.

Will the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association keep it's strong position now that Billy is gone?  Will Grace Community Church stay strong after John MacArthur is gone?  There always seems to be this shift once the strong man is gone and Satan can figure out an angle.

Thus, the purpose of this letter is a warning about false teachers, false prophets, false messiahs who are already waiting in the wings, ready to pounce on the sheep and ravage them after Peter's departure.

Peter's approach is to first look at truth, so that the false will have truth as it's backdrop for contrast and comparison.  The Herbert Hoover thing.  We're going to study the real until it's coming out our pores, so that the false will be very obvious.

And Peter's done that in three sections.  What does real salvation consist of in vss. 1 - 4.  The gospel well defined.  And then in vss 5 - 11, what does real salvation produce.  What do real christians look like.  What are the attributes and fruits of a real salvation as described in 1-4.  

So we could break down this first chapter like this.  What is Real salvation  truth, vss. 1 - 4, what is real salvation's evidence vss 5 - 11, and finally in our section this morning, what do real apostles look like.  What does the revelatory source for real truth look like.

And here, in this third section, vss 12 - 21 Peter is going to get personal for a moment, and then he's going to describe what the real source for revelation from God looks like.  Where does the doctrine come from for the real church.

And that is our complete picture of the true to compare to the false.  Real gospel.  Real salvation.  Real christians.  Real sanctification caused by Real revelation.  Real doctrine from real apostles.  Real prophets.

Someone has to write this book with the doctrine God has revealed about this new thing He's doing.  Judaism is set aside.  Salvation has come to individuals.  The church is being formed.  God is calling the gentiles.  Everything's changed.  Everything's new.  Who will write the doctrines.  What do the real apostles look like?

Because when Peter's gone, and Paul's gone, Satan's got his doctrine writers who will move in among the real sheep.  And if possible, if God were not guarding His church, they would create false doctrines that would destroy what God has built.  

Peter confronts that question in this 3rd section about what the real thing looks like.  He's going to talk about real apostles.  

This is Peter's swan song.  Like Paul who wrote to Timothy that he was already being poured out as a drink offering, here Peter tells us that his death is imminent and this will be his final autograph.

      12 Therefore, I will always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them, and have been established in the truth which is present with you.

This is the preachers job.  This is the pattern of the old testament.  God knows about brain cells.  God invented them.  We forget.  We need to hear the truth over and over and over.

In Deuteronomy 6:4, the shema which any jewish child could quote, we see God's pattern for humans to ingrain truth in our forgetful minds.  

Deut. 6:4 “Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! 5 “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. 7 “You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. 8 “You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. 9 “You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Repetition and ubiquitousness.  We need to hear it over and over and over and it needs to be before our eyes, all the time.  This is the pattern given to us by God.

The early hymn writers sought to steep their hymns with doctrine intertwined with beautiful music.  Our hearts need to sing the truths of this book, daily, to keep scripture forefront in our forgetful minds.  

Holy, Holy, Holy;  Lord, God, Almighty;  Early in the morning, my song shall rise to Thee . . . God in three persons, blessed trinity.

Isaiah in his judgement message to Ephraim recalls what they heard and ignored;  28:10  For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:

God faithfully taught His people, repetitiously.  Still, they forgot.

We need to hear these truths over and over and over.  Sometimes I remind you that we've been in some text half a dozen times before.  I make no apology.  I'm in good company, and that's what Peter says here.

And we christians have a huge advantage that the jews did not have.  We have a resident truth teacher, the Holy Spirit of God dwelling inside our hearts, and still we need to hear the truth over and over, repetitively.

Therefore, I will always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them, and have been established in the truth which is present with you

They know the truth.  They aren't beginners, they are established in the truth.  They have good roots.  A solid foundation.  A house built upon the Rock.  Indwelt by the Holy Spirit.  And Peter says, as long as I'm still here, you're going to keep hearing it.  Repetition.

13 I consider it right, as long as I am in this earthly dwelling, to stir you up by way of reminder,

As long as I'm here, we'll keep beating on this drum, and he has a plan for when he's gone;

 14 knowing that the laying aside of my earthly dwelling is imminent, as also our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. 15 And I will also be diligent that at any time after my departure you will be able to call these things to mind.

Peter's plan for after he's gone is scripture.  The written word.  He understood that this very letter he was writing would be a permanent record of the truths he had taught them.

It has been God's design since olden times that His people would be a people of the book.  God Himself wrote the law on the tablets that Moses brought down to the already erring people.  The Jews were people defined by words from God.  

Christianity will continue that tradition.  We are people defined by words from God.  Revealed truth.  God's words have authority over who we are.  

When our culture comes along and says, you need to move away from what you believe and change with the times; we say, No Can Do.  We have a book that defines those parameters clearly, and we are people defined by those words.  

Christianity was only 30+ years old.  The original strong men are dieing off.  Who's writing the book? 15 And I will also be diligent that at any time after my departure you will be able to call these things to mind.

Peter recognizes that this important task, the writing of God's authoritative word, is the responsibility of God's chosen apostles.  He's working, one word at a time, for that legacy to be in place.  We're studying those words 1950 years later, this morning.

The church enjoys that continuum.  We have the words.  Intact.  And you'll notice that when we do these studies, quite often, we're looking at individual words for definition.  We are diligent to try to understand the meaning of the very words.  Because we believe Peter was writing God's words, and we are people defined by words.

In these verses we're considering this morning, Peter gives us a standard that the canonizer's would use to seperate what's in our Bibles from everything else non-canon.  

Peter considered these words scripture and he also says that what Paul wrote is scripture in chapter 3: 15 and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, 16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.

So then, let's look at the rest of what Peter says here and we'll mine out the elements that define what scripture is.  Of course when Peter wrote this, the Old Testament scriptures were already locked down.  We're not arguing for those.  But what are the elements that make new testament writings part of the canon of scripture?

Real salvation, real christians, real scripture by real apostles.

16 For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty.

Peter says, we didn't come preaching fiction.  mutho  the derivitive for our word myths.  

The christian faith is not based on stuff some man or men made up like greek mythology.  This isn't fictional stories that some one made up.

when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, the early church evangelism was always about the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and the imminent return of Jesus to depose Satan and crush evil and rule on this earth in righteousness.

Satan's authority to rule and reign on this earth will be crushed, and God's will and authority to reign will come with power when the risen and glorified Jesus returns.  A new world order.  Thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven.

Peter says we didn't make all that stuff up.  No angel appearances.  No magic glasses.  No prophets that couldn't keep their pants on.

but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty.

We have our gospel direct from reliable men who spent 3 years walking daily with Jesus.  Who witnessed Him alive after he was dead.  Apostles were eyewitnesses.

That becomes one of the requirements for those who would eventually write down our scriptures.  They were men who were with Jesus.  And in some cases they were emanuensis of those who were.  Mark was there, but he also wrote what Peter experienced first hand.  The gospel of Mark is a first hand account written by a second person.

Luke is the same with Paul.  He was Paul's physician and traveled with Paul.  Paul saw Jesus on the road to Damascus, post resurrection.

James and Jude and John, all with Jesus when He was alive.  Matthew, the tax collector who left his tax booth and followed Jesus.  First hand accounts.  Eyewitnesses of Jesus.

But Peter is even more special than that requirement, because he was one of the innermost three who accompanied Jesus up onto the mount of transfiguration and witnessed kingdom majesty and glory.  Eyewitnesses of Jesus transfigured.  

John describes the glorified Christ for us in Revelation chapter 1.  Peter and James and John saw Him transfigured on the holy mountain.  3 faithful, reliable apostles we were eyewitnesses of His majesty

17 For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, “This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased”— 18 and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.

I'm sorry for taking pokes at the Mormons.  But when you think about the comparisons of real revealed truth from first hand accounts from men who saw the glorified Christ and heard the Majestic Glory speak words, the difference is breath taking.

OH, you saw an angel and he told you where to dig.  1800 years after the real apostle who saw Jesus, one Paul wrote;  But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! Gal. 1:8  Paul repeats it twice.  And to the Corinthians he said;  For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully.  2 Cor. 11:4

It happened then and it happens now.  No other gospel but the one given to us by those who saw the resurrected Lord Jesus first hand.

Peter continues;  19 So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.

These words of the apostles who had first hand contact with Jesus are what we have until we see Him face to face.  Reliable first hand witnesses.  Witnesses who then lived lives that looked like the attributes we studied last week.  All of them.  We have no account of any of them being disqualified.

Compared to false religious systems who copy the witness idea and their witnesses are men who are later excommunicated for who knows what all and then later let back in.  I've read Marvel comics that were less tortured.  More believable.  Excommunicated from a cult.   

Finally, Peter defines for us the process by which scripture becomes scripture.  Because letters were written that we know about but we don't have.  Like Paul's missing letter to the Corinthians.

It turns out that not everything Paul wrote was instantly canonized scripture.  What was the difference.  Peter will tell us.  Scripture in our canon, our New Testament is a combination of real apostles who witnessed Jesus first hand, and also were writing under inspiration from the Holy Spirit.

20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

Scripture doesn't come from men who decide to sit down and write scripture.  Scripture comes by combination of godly men who are apostles who wrote and their writing was inspired by God.  God breathed.

Scripture isn't automatic writing where the man is catatonic and God takes over the pen and writes the words.  Scripture always has the autograph of the man who wrote it.  Paul's personality shows up in his writing, yet what he wrote became God breathed.  

Peter's personality shows up in his writings, yet, they became God breathed.  Each word is inspired by God.  Peter wrote it, but it's the word of God.

That was a unique function of the apostles.  When they were all dead, John being the last to write, scripture was finished.  There's no new scripture.  John, who not only was an apostle, but also witnessed the transfiguration like Peter, wrote these final words that close out our canon of scripture.

I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book:  if anyone adds to them, God shall add to him the plagues which are written in this book.  And if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.

Those words in Revelation 22 didn't just close the canon of scripture, they closed the doors of the scriptural canon like God sealed the ark for Noah before the waters came.  What we do is study the writings, the words, of these special men, chosen by God to be the bearers of His spoken word.

Paul wrote to Timothy in his second letter chapter 3:15 From infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for instruction, for conviction, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be complete, fully equipped for every good work.…

We inherited our view of inspired God breathed writings from the Jews.  They understood that their scriptures were the very words of God.  We followed in their footsteps and revere the Old Testament equally with what the apostles wrote in the New.  All scripture, Paul says.

And the writing of the second canon, the new testament, was accompanied by miracles.  Miracles like the ones Jesus did.  The apostles who wrote down scripture, were accomplishing miracles.  When the canon closed, the miracles stopped.

Jesus agreed that scripture was God breathed authoritative truth.  In Matthew 21:42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This is from the Lord, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?

I asked Google, how many times did Jesus quote the OT in the gospels?  And the following quotation came up on a site called Puritan Board.

"Jesus quoted the Old Testament 78 times, the Pentateuch alone 26 times. He quoted from Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Psalms, Proverbs, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Amos, Jonah, Micah, and Malachi.

He referred to the Old Testament as “The Scriptures,” “the word of God,” and “the wisdom of God.” The apostles quoted 209 times from the Old Testament and considered it “the oracles of God.”"

Jesus himself elevated scripture to the position that it is God's authoritative word.  Over and over, 78 times, He gives the scriptures the authority to speak.  Jesus quotes scripture as the final authority.

Peter said;  20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation,

And here we have a hermeneutical problem to solve.  To figure out what Peter is saying here, we use principals of interpretation.  That's what hermeneutics is.  Principles of interpretation.  And Peter says no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of ones' own interpretation.

What did he mean?  Is he saying to not interpret scripture.  Not at all.  If we go look at the words, we find that the word here translated interpretation is not the usual word.  It's a word only used one time and it's the classic greek word for solving a problem.  Solving an equation.

Reasoning something out.  Problem solving.  epilusis, not hermeneuo which is the usual word translated interpretation.  Epilusis in classical greek is used for solving an equation.  Figuring something out.

Peter's saying, the authority to solve the problems of the human race, in other words, the authority of scripture, this isn't coming from my mind.

He's saying not me, and not any other prophet who wrote has the authority to solve human problems.  This authority to tell people how to be saved from the wrath of God isn't coming from my brain, or any other prophet's brain.  It's not human generated.

21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

There it is.  The scriptures have ultimate authority over humans, because someone greater than humans, is the author.  The author and creator of the human race, is the author and creator of scripture.  He has ultimate authority over His creation.

With that in mind, it's sort of comical to watch 5 men in the Supreme Court of the United States over-rule God.  Those men do not have that authority.  

God wrote the book.  Pusillanimous, spineless, craven men do not over-rule God.  This nation will soon find that out.  

Isaiah 66:1,2  This is the word of God.  Hear it.    Thus says the LORD, "Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool. Where then is a house you could build for Me? And where is a place that I may rest? 2"For My hand made all these things, Thus all these things came into being," declares the LORD. "But to this one I will look, To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.

What will happen to a house that says, We reject your word and relegate it to the ash can of antiquity.  We know better than you.  Obergefell Vss Hodges, June 26, 2015 just to name one.

Be afraid.  Tremble at His word.  He can roll over this nation like a tidal wave, and change everything in one second.  And He will, in His perfect time.

Our goal as a church family, our job, is to immerse ourselves in the authoritative words of this book.  We are to tremble at His word.  We are to examine ourselves and see if we are defined by the words of this book, and we are to humbly and contritely be a people who worships the God of this book by getting very serious about rightly dividing, understanding and applying all the words of this book.