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“A More Sure Word of Prophecy”
2 Peter 1:16-21
Perter, James, and John were with the Lord Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. They beheld the Lord Jesus Christ in his transfigured glory, heard Moses and Elijah, representing the Law and the Prophets, and heard them talking to our Savior about the death he would accomplish at Jerusalem as the Surety of the everlasting covenant, by which he would fulfill all the Old Testament Scriptures in the accomplishment of redemption for his elect. Then they heard the Lord God speak from heaven, saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
After telling us about this, the most wondrous, most spectacular, most unexplainable thing ever seen on the earth, Peter says…
“We have also a more sure Word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”
The Bible alone is the foundation of our faith. It is God’s complete revelation of his will and purpose to man; and it is sufficient and authoritative as our only rule of faith and practice.
God’s Word Exalted
Here the Holy Ghost tells us the meaning of his statement in Psalm 138:2. — “Thou hast magnified thy Word above all thy name.” God’s name is the revelation of his being. The many names by which he has revealed himself are the means by which he shows us his distinctive attributes as God. Those attributes, the very being and glory of God, are revealed in only one name, the Name by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12), the Lord Jesus Christ. Peter had seen Christ, the crucified, risen, exalted, glorified Son of God upon the holy mount. Yet, he says, with regard to the written Word of God, “We have a more sure Word of prophecy.”
The Word of God, the written Word of God, is that more sure Word, surer than anything we can see, taste, touch, feel, think, experience, or even imagine. The faith of God’s elect stands upon the written Word of God, and that alone. I once again raise the cry of the Reformation, “God alone, Christ alone, the Scriptures alone!”
Charismatics ask, “If you do not have the gift of tongues, miracles, etc., how do you know that your faith is true?” This is answered for us by the Apostle Peter in this passage. Here God the Holy Spirit lays down a threefold testimony to the truth of the gospel. How can we be sure that the gospel of substitution is true? How can we be certain that the gospel of God’s free and sovereign grace in Christ is true? How can we know that our faith is the faith of the gospel? Peter gives us three reasons.
1. We believe the gospel upon the divinely affirmed testimony of the Apostles (vv. 16-18).
2. We believe the gospel upon the infallibly inspired Word of God (vv. 19-21).
3. We believe the gospel upon the revelation of Christ in our hearts (v. 19).
Those Apostolic gifts that ceased when the last of the Apostles went to glory are no longer needed. “We have a more sure Word of prophecy,” the Word of God!