2 Peter 1:1-21 ESV
Illustration: Parents of young children understand the use of nightlights; a nightlight can be the most important light in the house.
Connection: Peter tells us a second witness to the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1:16). Yes, he is an eyewitness to Christ’s majestic glory, and there is another witness that gives highly valuable testimony.
I. A light to set forth
A.Meaning of “and we have the prophetic word more certain”
1.We possess the Old Testament Scriptures, especially the prophetic portions. They are valuable since they are God’s word (1:20-21).
2.The question is “Compared to what are they more certain?”
a.The meaning is not that they are more certain than fables, because that would be nonsense.
b.The meaning is not that they are more certain than eyewitness testimony, because this is in addition to eyewitness testimony, not in comparison to it. Notice the “and”. Pay close attention to the exact words of the Bible.
c.But it the prophetic word now confirmed is more certain than the prophetic word previously unconfirmed. The apostles had seen the events of Jesus’ life confirm or make certain the truth that the prophetic word had declared. Compare how Paul says that Christ had confirmed the promises (Rm 15:8). But we must clarify. The historic event did not make the prophetic word true, but it demonstrated the truth of the prophetic word. There was now evidence in history of the reality of God’s word.
B.Consider the apologetic use of the prophetic word.
1.Here is the point. We believe in Christ’s second coming not only because of the testimony of those who were eyewitnesses of his glory, but we also believe it because of the confirmed prophetic word of God.
Comment: This is what is called “Christian evidences”.
2.Each one ought to learn how to use this line of evidence.
a.We find it in apostolic preaching (Ac 2:22-26; 3:12-26; 4:9-12).
b.We find it in the Gospel of Matthew (Mt 1:22; 2:5, 17, 23; 3:3; 4:14ff; 8:17; 11:10; 12:17; 13:14, 35; 21:4; 26:31, 54; 27:9f; 28:6).
Contrast: The Gospel of John uses the eyewitness type of evidence to make its point.
II. A light to pay attention to
A.Peter’s manner of instructing them – He uses kind instruction; there is no domineering attitude, but a “you do well” attitude. Peter was not a king over a spiritual empire.
B.How do we pay attention to the word as to a shining lamp?
1.We do it by reading it.
2.We do it by seeking to understand what God has written.
3.We do it by practicing its precepts.
a.As a standard of our conduct (accepting God’s word as our guide)
b.As a major influence over our conduct (presenting the standard to our conscience)
c.As obeying what God has written (following the standard in our conduct)
C.How should the prophetic word affect me?
1.When it speaks of Christ as the source of blessing, I should ask, “Have I been blessed in him? Am I experiencing the fruits of blessing in him?”
2.When it speaks of redemption by Christ’s blood, a proper response says, “I believe in his redeeming work!”
3.When it speaks of the spread of Christ’s kingdom, I respond by striving to seek the salvation of people.
4.When it speaks of his coming again, I consider, “Am I looking for his appearing?”
5.When it speaks of the end of the world, I should ask, “How then should I live?”
III. A light that is needed – Here is a remarkable claim. We are dependent upon the written word. It is the basis of all true spirituality.
A.To give us a true picture of the world’s condition—it is a dark or murky place
Illustration: It tells us much more than any newspaper or magazine article about any event or person (Heb 4:12-13). Yet people don’t like it when God makes the disclosure (Jn 3:20).
1.Amid its overwhelming failure, the worldly person tries to paint a picture of human sufficiency.
Illustration: It is like the dishonest salesperson who hopes that you won’t ask too many questions about the real condition of what is being sold.
2.But God tells us in the Bible the true extent and power of sin’s corruption and pollution (cf. 2 Tm 3:1-5; etc.).
Apply: Here is a test of a person’s Christianity. Do you agree with the Bible’s view of the human condition? To have a right understanding of this world is one of the first steps that a person must take in receiving Christian teaching.
B.To tell us where hope can be found
1.We are looking for the dawn of day; that is, the return of Christ (cf. Rm 13:12). Christ is called the “morning star” (cf. Rev 22:16), who is even now shining on us (Eph 5:14) by the Holy Spirit (2 Cor 3:18). But when he appears, his shining appearance will fully transform us (1 Jn 3:2). Until the appearance of the living Word, we need the written word to reveal the glory of Christ to us.
2.This warns against looking to other humans (Jer 9:23) and proclaims hope in the Lord (Jer 9:24; Ac 4:12).
Apply: As we remember the first coming of the Light of the world, let us be watching for his second coming by paying attention to the written word and what it says of the return of the Light of the world.