Summary: The Apostolic witness, the testimony Holy Scriptures, & the Holy Spirit’s conformation in the heart & life are the basis for our Christian faith. These witnesses give powerful testimony to the veracity of God’s Witness to mankind.
2 PETER 1: 16-21 [Our Precious Faith Series]
THE AUTHORITY OF SCRIPTURE
This paragraph is a strong statement on the inspiration of Scripture. Peter affirms that the Old Testament Prophets wrote God’s message to man. He then groups himself and the others apostles in the same category, because they experienced the same inspiration of God in their writings. The Bible is not a collection of fables or human ideas about God. It is God’s very words given through people to people (CIT).
Peter also emphasized the authority of eyewitnesses to the events in Jesus life as reinforcing the God-inspirited authority of Scripture. The Apostolic witness, the testimony Holy Scriptures, and the Holy Spirit’s conformation in the heart and life are the basis for our Christian faith. These witnesses give powerful testimony to the veracity of God’s Witness to mankind.
I. EYEWITNESS TESTIMONY; 16-18.
II. THE PROPHETIC WORD; 19-21.
Verse 16 his testifies that the accounts of Jesus life are bast on eye witness testimonies. “For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty.”
The testimony is that “we,” meaning the Apostles, did not cunning devise and present a myth. A myth or tale is a story manufactured to express one’s own desire without being true to reality. Since it is man centered it has no redemptive power. The Greek and Roman world abounded in stories about the gods. They were mere human speculations that tried to explain the world and its origins. No matter how interesting these myths might be, the Christian is not to be occupied with them.
The apostles, instead of fabricating fables, made know the true historical reality of Jesus. Their doctrine held forth Christ coming in flesh to redeem man from sin, as the most certain and serious purpose under heaven. This Jesus is the only one who can save man from the eternal consequences of his sinful, thoughts, words and deeds. Those who reject Jesus will be separated eternally from Him and from all that is good, right and loving.
[This self same person, Jesus, preached as being both Christ and Lord, is coming a second time. This time in power to defeat all the forces arrayed against Him and His Kingdom. When He returns He will introduce a New Heaven and New Earth and will lead us to an everlasting state of blessing, joy and perfection.] What guarantee do we have that this is right and that it is all true? We have believed and accepted it and have suffered for that belief, but how do we know it is really true? The two solid foundations of certainty on which the Christian can be absolutely confident and sure are given as the eyewitness testimony of the Apostles and the inspired witness of God’s Word.
Peter declares that he and the apostles were eyewitnesses of Jesus’ glory and majesty. They saw with their physical eyes Christ’s glory in human flesh. They saw Him heal the sick, give sight to the blind, raise the dead, command the elements, calm the sea, and still the wind. He displayed His majesty as Lord over creation, disease, pestilence and demons. They witnessed the working of these miracles. They saw Him nailed to a cross, die, be buried in a tomb, rise again, speak to them for 40 more days, and then ascend to heaven promising to return again.
Out of all these glorious events that Peter saw he chooses the Transfiguration where Jesus openly displayed His glory as a certain proof of His eternal majesty. Verse 17 affirms, “For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory,”
Peter wrote a summary of what He saw and heard on the Mountain of Transfiguration. Peter, James, and John saw Jesus’ “face shine like the sun and His clothes became as white as light” (Mt. 17:2). Why was the Mount of Transfiguration singled out? There these men saw more clearly than anywhere else the special and amazing glory of our Lord. Suddenly Jesus was transfigured before them. A blazing, dazzling light shone from His face and His body radiated out through His clothing with an unearthly splendor. That amazing glory, which almost blinded them, imbedded itself eternally in their memory. They saw in an amazing scene where Elijah and Moses came to help prepare Jesus for the exodus He was to perform. These prophets came from beyond the grave to minister to our Lord. The Transfiguration had special significance for Jesus Christ who was headed toward Calvary. It was the Father’s way of preparing and strengthening His Son for that terrible ordeal of being sacrificed for the sins of the world. “The Transfiguration was proof that suffering leads to glory when we are in the will of God.” [Wiersbe, Warren. The Bible Exposition Commentary. Vol 2. 1989. Victor Books. Wheaton IL. p. 442.]