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Prophecy of Scripture July 20, 2014

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
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Here are my thoughts on 2 Peter 1:12-21.

Summary: In light of Peter’s exhortations in the previous passage, he now reminds his readers that:

  • the truth that he has taught them is important
  • they have a constant need of it – since they face great dangers.

Thus, he is strengthening them in this letter. Moreover, he knows that his physical death is imminent, and so he alludes to the Gospel of Mark, which will strengthen them after his death.

Peter then states that he did not waste his time in carefully tracing out many sophisticated myths when he preached the Gospel message to them; instead, he told them the truth regarding the first and second coming of Christ. His message was confirmed by the Transfiguration, when he heard God the Father testify that Jesus is God the Son.

Now Peter asserts that the first coming of Christ was the fulfillment of prophetic testimony, and so his readers should carefully study this testimony in the Old Testament. Indeed, the Old Testament is a light that reveals the dirt and filth of sin. They should also study the Old Testament in glorious expectation of the second coming of Christ. Peter concludes by asserting that the writers of the Old Testament did not unfold their own prophecies; instead, these prophecies came from God.

Thoughts: In verses 16-18, Peter uses the example of the Transfiguration to prove that he was an eyewitness of Christ and His power. Thomas offers some insights on this point:

The apostle thus shows that the Father’s testimony to his Son was the crowning proof of the power and authority of the gospel message…Once again the apostle introduces his own testimony. Not only did he see the glory of the Son, but he heard the voice.

While the resurrection of Jesus Christ may have been the driving force behind Peter’s faithful service as an apostle, this passage shows that the Transfiguration also influenced Peter’s ministry. I assume that whenever he reflected on this awesome event (in light of the resurrection), he was reminded that Jesus Christ – given the testimony of God the Father – truly is the Son of God, and this great fact demanded that he respond to it appropriately. Indeed, this great fact demanded that he give his whole life in service to Jesus Christ, and so he suffered to the point of being crucified upside down. Perhaps if I had been in Peter’s position, I would have walked the same path in light of this overwhelming experience of Christ and His power.

In verses 20 and 21, Peter asserts that the writers of the Old Testament were guided by the Holy Spirit. Recently I thought about how the Bible is “divinely inspired.” My understanding of this phrase is that the Holy Spirit did not dictate the exact contents of each book to its author. Instead, the Holy Spirit called each author to convey one message (or set of messages, depending on the book) to their readers. Given this message (or set of messages), the author was given the freedom to determine how to convey it to their readers; the final result is the set of books that Christians have enjoyed for centuries. For example, Paul displays his clear, logical mindset in his masterpiece, Romans. Also, Jeremiah pours out his passions and sorrows for his country in his eponymous book and in Lamentations. In addition, Solomon’s writing in Ecclesiastes is marked by his weariness from chasing after temporal pleasures. We can be thankful that the Holy Spirit allowed each writer to convey His message in their own words – allowing us to relate to His message.

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