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The Authority Of Scripture


"16 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. 17 For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, “This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased”— 18 and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain."

Good Morning my beloved,


Welcome to worship this Lord's day! We're so glad that you are here with us today. Please know, that we continue to lift all of you up in our prayers. We respectfully ask that you would pray for this ministry to continue to reach the lost, the broken and the hopeless. And for us. We are so grateful for those of you who have been sharing the ministry website with all of your family and friends. Your faithfulness to share God's Word with others has brought about tremendous results. Where will God's Word be heard today? With your help, and God's blessing, it will reach those that need it most.
As I pass by the check out stands at the grocery store, I am always amazed at the headlines of the various tabloids. They are unbelievable. I've seen headlines from "Alien bible discovered, they worship Oprah,"" Woman gives birth to frog."and "Baby born with antlers." These stories are so ludicrous that no one could possibly believe them. We obviously know better than to suppose such journalism should be taken seriously.
Many biblical revelations may seem similar, in that it too may be hard to believe. God’s miraculous parting of the Red Sea, His intervention in the lives of men, promises of forgiveness of sins and eternal life in the presence of God, it all seem too good to be true. However, Biblical truth is indeed true.  It validity has often been verified by none Christian historians, and eyewitness accounts, there is much evidence that exists beyond the Bible. Yet, when many people hear God’s Word today, they do not hear God. Christ’s self-authenticating glory shines through the pages of the gospel.
The Apostle Paul tells us in II Corinthians 4:4, "In whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God." 
God said, "Let light shine out of darkness." However, God chooses to whom He reveals Himself. The Bible has always had its detractors, and it always will. The Christian faith has taken many hits through the centuries, from formidable intellectuals sources who reject the Christian faith. Thomas Edison was quoted as saying, "What does religion mean to me? No a damn thing. Religion is all bunk." The German philosopher, Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, was quoted as saying "People to whom their daily life appears too empty and monotonous easily grow religious." He went on to say "Only they have no right to demand religious sentiments from those who daily life is not empty and monotonous." For centuries, men have endeavored to show the intellectual stupidity of Christians.
It is only through experiencing God's grace for ones self that Christian truth's are validated. We should not be surprised that the truth of God is validated not only by the revelation of a divine glory in the message of the gospel but it is also unveiled in the people whose lives have been profoundly changed.
Psalm 19:7 says "The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple." 
Let us pray
Heavenly Father,
Father, we thank You for Your Word for us today. How our hearts rejoice that our lives have been touched by the Holy Spirit, revealing to us the truth. What hope it gives us who have come to know and believe the truth. Help us to be faithful to our calling, to share the truth with confidence and boldness to the unbelieving world around us. Lord, reveal to us those whose hearts You have prepared, that we might plants to seeds of truth. May we always be people of the Word, who continually search its truths, whose lives are illuminated by its light, that we might shine Your light into the darkness of this fallen world. May it all be for Christ's sake and for Your glory.
In Jesus' name we pray
Today's Message: The Authority Of Scripture
Open your Bibles with me to II Peter 1, verses  16-18. As we continue our study of II Peter, we are quickly approaching the end of the first chapter. As I have previously noted, we are breaking the whole of the larger passage down into smaller, more manageable bites. I don't want to feel pressured for us to rush through any of this great treasure because of time constraints. 
So, I invite you to follow along with me as I read to set the text in our minds, as we prepare our hearts for a Word from the Spirit of God. Listen for the voice of our Lord. II Peter 1:16-18.
"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. For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, "This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased"—  and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain."
Peter gives us two lines of verification. The first, is a supernatural experience which we find in verses 16 to 18, which is our study today. And, the second supernatural experience is found in verses 19 to 21, which we will be looking at next time. In our text today, Peter's point is very simple and basic. He says you can trust the Bible writers, you can trust the apostles, primarily, because we're not giving you second hand information, what we have penned we have personally seen and experienced first hand.  The things that we've made known to you, are things to which we were eyewitnesses.
Verse 16, "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 apostles were convinced of the accuracy and authority of the Scripture, including that which came by their own hands under the inspiration and control of the Holy Spirit. 
I'd like note just a few observations here. First, the word "For," directs us back to verses 12 through 15, where he reminds them the reason that he teaches them what he does. Now, he assures them that what he teaches is true. He accredits himself by virtue of his experience. By his own experience, he says "we did not follow cleverly devised tales." Note he transitions from "I" to "we," he is speaking collectively here, all of us have experienced supernatural reality.
Secondly, Peter says we had already "made it known." Indicating that the power and coming of Christ were part of Apostle's earlier teaching to these people. By the way, this is just something that Peter decided to tack on last minute, this is essential. Christ has all power and authority, and He is coming again.This, of course, is one of the marks of a Christians living faith, we joyfully and eagerly anticipate the visible return of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Second Coming of Christ is the heart of our faith.
Next, the word "coming" refers to Christ's Second Coming, not just his first coming. It is the Greek word "parousía," which is a technical term with reference to the visit of a king or some other official. It is used 18 times in the New Testament and never to refer to the first coming. Our confidence in Christ's future coming in power, is not based upon speculation or myth, but on eyewitness experiences of His majesty in the past. This is the  result of historical observation and evidence. We do not rest on cleverly devised tales.
Peter's answer is very direct and straightforward. We have a word we can trust. Psalm 93:5 says "Your testimonies are fully confirmed."
Keep in mind, Peter is writing to Christians who were being tested by false teachers who are trying to do everything they can to discredit the Christian faith. Even today, people are still trying to discredit the Scripture. Contrary to what many believe, they are not all atheists. However, they are satanic liars, who have denied the Only true living God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Obviously, knowledge is very important to Peter. If you will remember, in verses 2 and 3, he said "Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence." True Christian faith does not flourish on ignorance, but knowledge of Him who called us.

In chapter 2,  Peter describes these false teachers in very vivid and I must say, unforgettable terms. He calls them exactly what they are. He wants all of his readers, and all of us, to recognize false teachers when they see them. However, its not enough to know who they are, you have to be able to defend yourself against what they say. Peter is building this epistle on three lines of defense. and they're all centered around knowledge. This is why knowledge plays such a crucial role for Peter.The first is, knowledge of your salvation. Second is knowledge of Scripture.  And third, is the knowledge of sanctification.

We'll get into to that more a little later, when we come to chapters 2 and 3. But, just allow me to boldly say, if you don't realize that you have you have in your hands a sure word, and go to that word as your line of defense, you are extremely vulnerable. Your defense is set when you know your salvation, you know your Scripture and you know your sanctification. Today, we're looking at the element of Scripture. 

You have to believe the Bible is a sure and true word, because how can a person who doesn't believe the Scripture is the inerrant Word of God, defend himself against error? What chance does he have to defend himself? In verses 12 through 15, Peter already indicated his concern for truth, and, he discussed his zeal to remind them of the truth, so that they would never forget. Peter is very passionate that his people would know the truth.

Peter is saying, we not giving you some cleverly concocted myth, when we gave you God's Word, we gave you new revelation. It's very likely that these false teachers were attacking his teaching on the coming of Christ. This is pretty typical of false teachers. The denial of the Second Coming obviously concerned him.

In chapter 3, verses 3 and 4, he says "Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation."

Nothing has changed, its the same today, those who say its been over 2000 years, and Jesus has never come, and so He never will.

At the end of verse 16, he says "We were eyewitnesses of His majesty." By the way, he uses "we" again, he's embracing the other Apostles. Because, to some degree, all of the Apostles had been eyewitnesses of His majesty. They had all witnessed His life, they witnessed His death, and, they all witnessed His resurrection. Because if they hadn't, they couldn't be an apostle. Eleven of them had been there on the mount when He ascended. So, to some degree, they had all witnessed His majesty. Peter's implication here, is that the false teachers make claims but they weren't eyewitnesses. The burden of proof is not on the eyewitnesses, the burden of proof is upon those who weren't eye witnesses, who seek to discredit them.

In verses 17 and 18, he says "For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, "This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased"— and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain." And then the Father added what Peter didn't record, "Listen to Him."

Peter is saying that we were the highest level disciples to experience fellowship with the glorified Christ in the majesty that attends His Second Coming. It was at that time, when He received honor and glory from God the Father. Honor means exalted status, glory means radiant splendor. God was there and gave glory and honor to Jesus. One identifies Him in His person, the other, identifies Him in the effulgence of His person. Effulgence, by the way, is brightness taken to the extreme.

That term "majestic glory," is used in the Septuagint, it was a substitute name for God. Jews refused to say the name of God, you remember that. They actually had many substitute names for God, one of the most beautiful, is The Majestic Glory. By verbally speaking, the Father gave honor and glory to the Son. A voice from the majestic glory Himself, God said "This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased" As a footnote, that statement basically means "This is One in essence with Me." In other words, the Father is affirming the deity of the Son. It speaks of His divine essence.

And then he says we were there, we were there when it happened "and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven." We were with Him in the holy mount. By the way, that mountain wasn't holy before this event but it certainly was holy afterwards, wasn't it? We know this event as the transfiguration.

The revelation of the majesty of Christ fills Peter's mind with awe, and he wants more than anything to share the hope of that vision with all of us.

Turn with me to Matthew 17, "Six days later Jesus *took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and *led them up on a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah."

Mark 9:3 says "And His garments became radiant and exceedingly white, as no launderer on earth can whiten them."

"Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah." Peter was saying let's make this permanent. This has got to be kingdom glory, let's put this all together. We'll all live here. Tabernacle by the way, means dwelling place. 

Jesus said some of you are going to live to see Me in My glory. And just six days later, they did. By the way, this does not contradict Luke's account. Luke included the day on each end and Matthew recorded only the intervening days, its just two different ways of looking at the same thing. 

Peter and James and John, were the most well-known of the disciples, they were the most intimate with Jesus. They were also the most verbal among the twelve. And, you only need three witnesses to confirm something. These three were reliable witnesses. They were those most respected, they were the ones who were the leaders, so they could best articulate what took place. Peter was a great verbalizer, in fact, you couldn't shut him up. John was a great verbalizer, three epistles and the book of Revelation. And James, he became the leader of the church.

Luke 9, says they all went up to the mountain, and typically, they fell asleep. Jesus was transfigured before them. In other words, they woke up when the action started. He was changed into another form right in front of them. The description is that "His face shone like the sun." The Shekinah was blazing from His face. Shekinah is the glory of the divine presence. All of the Apostles witnessed the glory and power of the Lord Jesus, the glory that we too shall see.

Then, there are Moses and Elijah who showed up and they were talking with the Lord. Luke 9:31, says they were having a conversation with Jesus about His departure. They represented the law and the prophets, Moses the great lawgiver, Elijah the great proclaimer of the truth of the law.  

Matthew 17:6-8 records that "When the disciples heard this, they fell face down to the ground and were terrified. And Jesus came to them and touched them and said, “Get up, and do not be afraid." And lifting up their eyes, they saw no one except Jesus Himself alone."

Peter, James and John saw Christ in glory and splendor, they saw Moses in glory representing the law, Moses affirmed Christ, they saw Elijah in glory representing the prophets, Elijah affirmed Christ. But even greater than that, God Himself affirmed Christ.

They saw an unbelievable kingdom preview. There even was the multitude down below, like the nations will be at His feet in the kingdom. This was an event that was forever etched into their memories.

In Closing..

Scripture is as a light and the Holy Spirit illuminates Scripture for us to guide us as we seek truth and live. God’s Word will continually shine forth, as the light that illuminates the darkness. The Bible is not merely the thoughts from the mind of its writers. Scripture did not originate in the mind of men, it was given to us by God Himself. The Holy Spirit is the author and He must illuminate and guide the minds of men, recorded on the pages so that the Word of God could bring life and light into the world. These words have brought and will continue to bring life and light into every age, until the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

May it be so..

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name
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