TEXT: 2 Peter 1:16-21
READING: Matthew 17:1-21
SUBJ: The concern of Peter that the Word of God be remembered in the minds and hearts of those to whom he ministered.
AIM: That we might more effectually claim the Word of God as to us and in us working the things of Christ in our lives.
INTR: Peter reveals to us that he is advanced in years as he wrote this epistle and is determined that the things he had witnessed and taught should be remembered and employed.
1. The several verses preceding this passage relate the burden of Peter for the word and his responsibility to “stir up” those to whom he wrote.
2. He would see the development of faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness and charity (agape love) as the means of making one’s calling and election sure.
3. As a means of assurance to them he would enhance their sense of the credibility of the inspired Word by way of personal witness.
THESIS: The inspiration of the Word of God is certainly a matter of faith and does not need verification from any other than the Lord Himself. However, there need that we see that in Christ the Scripture (that which was then in hand) promise was essentially confirmed.
I. The witness of things to come (vv. 16-18)
1. There were no doubt many experiences etched indelibly in Peter’s heart and mind including the walking on water and the denial of Christ.
2. None was as important to him as that which he experienced on the Mount of Transfiguration.
1) He noted the power and coming of Christ
2) He witnessed the majesty of Christ
3) Of the appearance and significance of Moses – his encounters with the Lord
4) Of the appearance and significance of Elijah – his ministry and departure
3. Other times of a Voice heard from Heaven:
1) At His baptism
2) The Father to Him: “Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him. Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes.” (John 12:27-30)
3) Jesus to Paul on the road to Damascus.
4. Even more of impact was the accreditation (honor and glory) that came from the Father in that declaration to which we have often been referred – “This is my Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.”
1) Added to this was the mandate: “Hear ye Him!”
2) And we remember the effect on them as the scene was ended.
3) And we are reminded of Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. Isaiah 42:1.
5. There was an awareness of messianic prophecies among Jewish believers and certainly this is manifested in the prophets.
II. The confirmation of Old Testament prophecy (vv. 19-21)
1. It is to be noted here that this “more sure word” is set in opposition to the “cunningly devised fables” mentioned in v. 16. We would also note the aim of Peter in verse 15.
2. It is not that Peter would put the apostolic experience above that of Scripture.
3. It is rather that what he saw there and so vividly remembered was confirmation of the inspired Word.
4. It was not only the shining of Christ in their hearts, but the truth concerning Christ and His coming that Peter would have them see.
5. We are often driven to: For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. 2 Corinthians 1:20. This we see in opposition to the fascination of many with the events of the second coming.
6. The thought of “no private interpretation” is that no man may presume apart from the leadership of the Spirit thus connecting Him with that delivered to the prophets of old!
7. And verifies the fact of divine inspiration in them and received as such by us!