Defend the Bible?
I would as soon defend a lion!
Unchain it and it will defend itself.
- C.H. Spurgeon-
We live in a day and age where the Bible, the Holy Scriptures of God, is under attack.
The Bible is unlike any other book...
Writings spanning 1300-1500 years
Written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek
It consist of narrative, poetic, legal, and argumentative texts
Written by over 40 people, Kings, fishermen, tax collectors, military leaders, farmers, priest, shepherds, Jews and gentiles, servants, prisoners
Yet, it has one consistent message throughout, even with multiple themes, events, teachings, and the message of scripture never contradicts itself...
As Peter challenges his readers in their growth spiritually… he establishes some truths for them that will prepare them to stand against false teachings.
2 Peter 1:12-21
We need to be reminded of God’s Truth and we need someone to remind us… Verses 12-15
Three times in these verses Peter states “I will remind you”
Peter has just reminded them of what they should be adding to their faith
He has challenged them to remember what Christ has done for them
Peter has taught the truth, lived it out before the people, as he prepares to die soon he wants to remind them again!
It is crucial for us as followers of Christ to be reminded of the things of scripture.
In order to be reminded, there must be someone to remind you!
Peter is an apostle, one giving God’s Word / Scripture to people
Peter has recieved what he is teaching from Christ Himself
Time is closing in, his death is imminent… that is why he is writing, diligently giving the people the truth of God’s Word!
God’s Word is timeless, when one leader passes from this life, God’s Word still works, teaches, instructs, leads the believer in the will of God
Church, whoever leads you, teaches you, preaches… MAKE SURE they teach the powerful, unchanging, TRUTH of God’s WORD!!!
You can only know this if you know God’s Word as well, go back to the scriptures, test what is being taught Acts 17:11 The believers in Berea...
God’s Word is written down, what He wants us to know, do, and respond to, is written down for all time!
We can have a confidence in God’s Word! Verses 16-18
In this section Peter transitions from “I” to “WE” (Peter, James, and John)
The other disciples too if you are speaking of what Christ taught!
This is not just from Peter’s perspective, or his own experience...
There were others!
Eyewitnesses… Peter is challenging his readers at that time…
Look into these things… this is based on fact not just clever stories!
Peter is referencing back to the Mount of Transfiguration
They saw Christ’s glory!
Never to be forgotten!
Peter is starting his argument against the false teachers he will refute in chapter 2…over the second coming of Christ! vs 16
There were at that time just as there is now all sorts of ideas and stories of gods.
Hercules, Zeus, and others.
These were gods the people could relate to, understand, and at some level even control
These kinds of gods entertained the minds of people… much like our super heroes do today.
Peter is saying here… these tales have no foundation in fact, evidence, and especially an eyewitness.
Paul too warns Timothy of these myths that take people away, tickle their ears
Something about man made substitutions fro truth just seem more appealing, less convicting, allow us to go on with our lives as is...
Peter, there with Christ, hearing His teachings, there at the transfiguration, hearing God speak from Heaven, Peter tells his readers, what you are being taught...
Can be trusted, the promises will be fulfilled, the return of Christ will happen, He is who He said He was and He did what God had said would occur
Even the kingdom of God… that night on the Mount… a glimpse of it was seen… and there were EYEWITNESSES!!!
This truth brings LIGHT into a Dark world…
The Word of God sheds perspective, brings clarity
The same God who gave us His Word, lives in you and me!
He leads and directs you and me through His powerful unchanging, light bearing WORD!
This experience Peter had, God had written in His Word, why… because experiences can fade away… BUT God’s Word remains.
Men like Peter and you and me may die, BUT God’s Word lives on...
God’s Word, God’s Will… NOT Man’s Opinions!
What Peter writes for us is so crucial for you and I to understand today! 2 Peter 1:20-21
This passage of scripture finds its counterpart in 2 Timothy 3:14-17 when Paul speaks of this same issue...
Paul states “ALL SCRIPTURE” not in part
Peter states “NO PROPHECY” by human will or interpretation
God used men, moved by the spirit to write His Word! R.C. Sproul explains it this way...
God made it possible for His truth to be communicated in an inspired way while making use of the backgrounds, personalities, and literary styles of these various writers.
What was overcome or overridden by inspiration was not human personalities, styles, or literary methods, but human tendencies to distortion, falsehood, and error.
That is why we see unique styles, we can tell the difference between what James writes and Paul...
The danger we see is when we begin to look at this book… come across something we don’t like or understand completely and we determine that it is not “God Breathed” or Not from God!
We at that point take God out of the equation and place our selves, our personality, our culture, our opinions in the place of Authority and remove God
To make our case and argument “sound” good we begin to find scriptures out of context to prove our point!
There is a phrase well known among those who study the bible… “isolated text, apart from context, become pretexts”
We make our own teachings to fit our agenda, plans, desires
Let me illustrate with a well known scholar… Dr Seuss one of his well known works “The Cat in the Hat”
To take a part from his writing and make a case is ludicrous… yet we do it with scripture all the time!
Think about the logic of man picking and choosing… we will believe the big things but debate on the smaller things… REALLY!?
At what point do we begin to question Jesus deity?
At what point do we question Jesus resurrection?
At what point do we challenge what Christ said about Himself being the way to God?
We either have to take all of it or ultimately we can’t believe any of it!
We sing the song as children “Jesus Loves Me” how do we know?
The Bible tells me so...
If we question that this book IS the Truth the Word of God, God breathed, then we ultimately will have to question it all!
Some argue that some things have changed over years of translations, and writings...
Jesus said in Matthew that not even a jot or tittle would pass away from the scriptures!
God can and has protected His Word!
As you and I grow in Grace and Knowledge of our Savior Jesus Christ what a blessing He has given us His Word
May we as His followers handle it accurately!