2 Peter (623b)
A Word more certain...
2 Peter says a remarkable amount about the word of God, about the Scriptures. In fact, one can easily claim that 2 Peter emphasizes the Scriptures. It is a wonderful book for our study, since a great need in our society is to emphasize the Bible.
We have just about forgotten the nature of knowledge and truth. Francis Schaeffer, in Escape from Reason (1968) spoke of this epistemological gap when he referenced a "theory of knowledge and the limits and validity of knowledge." When truth is viewed differently, God's word is viewed differently. When the rules for determining the validity of knowledge are changed, the underpinnings of God's word are altered.
There are two problems with the changing views of knowledge in our society and culture.
- 1. Recent generations have been taught that truth is relative. Not in the absolute sciences, although some have even questioned cognitive certainty, but especially in the areas of philosophy and religion. Thus two conflicting views can be right according to the views of many today.
Add that the recent generation tends to be non-confrontational (tolerant). Thus many just accept anyone's view. This is not just the affirmation of the right to have a view, this is the acceptance of the correctness of everyone's view regardless of apparent conflicts. How can Jesus be the Son of God and not God? Many say it is simply that we interpret the Bible differently. Such views make 2 Peter as current as today's newspaper (1:19-21).
- 2. Many today believe that experience is the primary test of truth. If it feels good, if I feel good about my beliefs, if it works for you, it must be true. "You light up my life...it can't be wrong when it feels so right..." Such is classic baby boom epistemology. But it is wrong, even it if feels good and sounds right.
Bible truth is absolute, Acts 4:12. When we reject absolute truth, we reject the Bible and turn our back on logic as well. The principle of contradiction is the major basis for rational thought. Something cannot be true and false at the same time. Contradictory thoughts cannot both be rational, although both can be irrational. Consider morality: if God intended sexual relations for marriage only, adultery must be wrong. Jesus is either God or he is not.
In a world rejecting rational thinking, we need the message of 2 Peter to avoid moral anarchy. This is the thrust of 2 Peter 2. Here we can see the ultimate destination and application.
Alan Bloom, Closing of American Mind, relativism does not open the mind to new truths, but only closes it to old traditional ones. The greatest fear today is not error but intolerance. And he wrote that in 1968.
The nature of the Bible is based in the nature of God.God does not violate his own laws of reality.
Man thinks as he does because God thinks as he does.
Man is made in the image of God.
God is not self-contradictory, Jas. 1:17; Num 23:19
Finally, this applies to hermeneutics, how we interpret and understand the Bible. We use rational logic, grammar, knowledge of culture and history, along with basic laws of writing and logic. We are saying that 2 Peter speaks to where many in our world live today. It speaks to where we live.
I. The sufficiency of Scripture, 1:3-4A. Sufficient...
B. Sufficient because God has given us all things
- For life and godliness in all ways
- For knowledge of Christ and his calling
- For Christian living with virtue, through the divine nature, with the ability to escape corruption.
- Through knowledge
- Through calling us to glory and virtue
- Through giving great and precious promises
- Through enabling us to partake of divinity
- Through escaping corruption in the world through lust
II. The Source of Scripture, 1:16-21A. God or man?
B. Five statements about Scripture
- Eyewitnesses (man) observed how God acted, 1:16-18
- Eyewitnesses of his majesty (16)
- Eyewitnesses of the Father's blessings with glory and honor (17)
- Eyewitnesses of the Father's testimony concerning the Son (18)
- The word of prophecy (man) was unloosed by God, 1:19-20
- The prophecy was not of man's will, but men spoke by God (Holy Spirit)
- Surety of Scripture, 1:19
- The significance of Scripture, 1:19
- The solution of Scripture, 1:20
- The spirit of Scripture, 1:21
- The speaking of Scripture, 1:21
III. Singleness or Solidarity (unity) of Scripture, 3:1ffA. It is of God
B. It is of man--Prophets and Apostles
Let's call this speaking of Scripture its singleness, or solidarity. The message of Scripture is one message. It is solid. Solidarity, identifying with us. But also solid, dependable, reliable. This Scripture has a two-fold nature.
IV. The scope of Scripture, 3:14-15 (which is in reality an outline of 3:3ff)A. It speaks of the future, 3:14 (referring to vv. 9-13)
B. It speaks of the present, present lifestyles, present situations, 3:14
C. It speaks of the past history of God's dealings with mankind, 3:15 (cf. vv. 3-8)
V. The Subversion of Scripture, 3:16-18Scriptures are often wrested to destruction by the unlearned and unstable, 16
Beware lest we be caused to fall from steadfastness by such errors, 17
Always grow, 18
ConclusionThere is a truth that is absolute, it is truth whether recognized or unrecognized
Truth is knowable, ascertainable
Truth in Scripture is above feelings
God gave us truth in his word, the Bible. It is sufficient...From God...through man...dealing with all of life and time
Yet many seek to deny it or change it
Last updated March 20, 2005.