Summary: Closing this amazing chapter, Peter emphasized the importance and great significance of the Gospel. Not only does faith in the Gospel lead unto salvation, but the Gospel should continue to shape and guide our lives.
The Gospel of the Saints
2 Peter 1: 16-21
Having spent several weeks in this opening chapter of Peter’s second epistle, we have discovered his love and devotion for the church. He sought to strengthen their faith, encourage their spiritual maturity, provide guidance for their daily lives, and challenge them to continue in the faith. Peter desired the truths he had taught them to remain long after his decease.
Peter opened this letter by striving to instill biblical principles in their lives. Basically, but not insignificantly, Peter taught them the Word of God, and in particular the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Really, when we pause to consider the entirety of Scripture, the Bible’s ultimate purpose is to expose the reader to the Gospel, leading to salvation, and then a life of adherence to the Gospel. Having been transformed by the Gospel in salvation, the believer’s life ought to be continually shaped by the Gospel.
As we discuss the aspects of Peter’s instruction, I want to consider: The Gospel of the Saints.
I. The Foundation of the Gospel (16) – For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. Our text today begins with Peter’s defense of the foundation of the Gospel. Consider:
A. The Truth Revealed (16a) – For we have not followed cunningly devised fables. Peter adamantly rejected the modern teachings and philosophies of that day. Realizing the church was surrounded by Gnostics, those who embraced a variety of religious practices and deities, mixed with human philosophy, he declared he had not preached mere fables. The Gospel and teachings of Christianity were not fairy tales or human legend. The Gospel was founded upon the person and work of Jesus Christ, the crucified and risen Lord. The Gospel was not a story born of man’s desire to deceive and mislead the masses. He shared the truth of Christ – His death, burial, and resurrection for the salvation of humanity to restore our relationship to God. He wanted the church to know and believe the Gospel was absolute truth and could be trusted to endure!
B. The Testimony Conveyed (16b) – For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. Peter had faithfully preached and proclaimed the power of the Lord and the promise of His return for those who believe upon Him unto salvation. Everyone would not believe the message Peter preached, but he had no doubt about the truth of the Gospel. In fact, he had been an eyewitness to the power of the Lord and the work He accomplished upon the earth. Peter had witnessed the miracles and heard the authority with which Jesus spoke. He had entered the borrowed tomb and found Him no longer there, having resurrected just as He promised. He had shared a meal with the resurrected Christ, seeing Him alive and well. He was among those who received the Great Commission and watched speechless as Jesus ascended into heaven. He had received the power and anointing of the Spirit at Pentecost. Peter was an eyewitness to the majesty and power of Christ! (I have never experienced the Lord in a physical form, but I too have experienced the presence of His power through the Spirit. I am an eyewitness to His majesty!)
II. The Confirmation of the Gospel (17-18) – For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.  And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. Peter sought to reveal the solid foundation of the Gospel, and that was further affirmed through a divine confirmation of the person and work of Christ. Consider:
A. The Source – Peter shared another eyewitness encounter he had with the Lord and the heavenly Father as he was on the Mount of Transfiguration with Jesus. While they were there, a voice came out of heaven from God the Father. He declared that Christ was in fact His beloved Son, and He was well pleased with Him. The majority of mankind may have rejected Jesus as the Christ, but Peter witnessed confirmation from God regarding Him.
The believers in Peter’s day dealt with doubters and scoffers. Those remain today, and they will continue until the end. All will not believe, but we can rest assured in the promises and Word of God regarding the person and work of Christ. He was, and is, the only begotten of the Father. He finished the work of redemption as He died on the cross for our sin. He rose again triumphant, securing justification and eternal life for all who believe. We may never hear God speak in an audible voice, but we know that Jesus is the Christ and the Gospel is true!