2 Peter 1:16-21
16 For we did not follow cleverly contrived myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ; instead, we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. 17 For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, a voice came to Him from the Majestic Glory: This is My beloved Son. I take delight in Him! 18 And we heard this voice when it came from heaven while we were with Him on the holy mountain. 19 So we have the prophetic word strongly confirmed. You will do well to pay attention to it, as to a lamp shining in a dismal place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20 First of all, you should know this: No prophecy of Scripture comes from one’s own interpretation, 21 because no prophecy ever came by the will of man; instead, men spoke from God as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
Peter writes to churches in Asia Minor in order to combat false teaching on a number of issues, one of which was skepticism concerning Jesus' return. He battles that heresy in our passage today by defending his authority as an apostle and by recounting the Transfiguration of Jesus (Mark 9:1-13, Matthew 17:1-13, Luke 9:28-36). This testimony provides the basis for trusting in the Second Coming of Jesus: the Transfiguration was a glimpse of what was to come.
We will focus on verse 21 for today's devotion: because no prophecy ever came by the will of man; instead, men spoke from God as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
Philosophy attracted me because it was presented to me as the search for truth: the lover of wisdom unearthing the most fundamental truths of reality. What I have learned in my study since that naïve introduction is that very few philosophical systems get close to the truth of the Bible, even though they may have pieces of the truth within them.
As I pored over the pages of Plato, Aristotle, Kant, and Nietzsche, I discovered that seeking the truth outside of the Scriptures is a futile effort. Philosophy has been good to me by honing my reasoning abilities, by exposing me to the plethora of beliefs “out there,” and by teaching me ways to unpack the truths I receive through Scripture—but it has also left me wanting in the end.
In seminary I was exposed to the beauty of what philosophy should be by reading the great work of Christian philosophers, both those heroes of the faith who have long since passed and those still battling for truth today. Ultimately I learned that I actually had the truth years ago, when as a toddler I sang Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Secular philosophy is God's image gone haywire, full of little more than one's own fancy.
Remain steadfast in your study of the Scriptures, because they were penned by men who spoke from God as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. Seek not ultimate truth in the creation itself (sciences) or in the study of wisdom (philosophy), but in the very Word of the One who created the universe and the human mind.
Try to develop the habit of bringing the Scripture to bear on propositions you encounter in your daily living. When you hear some truth claim on the news, in a TV show, or from some speaker, do not let it simply go in one ear and out the other. Try to write that claim as precisely as you can and then seek to determine what the Bible says about such things. In doing so you will remain close to the Word, you will begin to develop good arguments against false beliefs and good arguments for true beliefs, and you will become more bold in your evangelism, since you will be able to bring the Scripture into direct contact with people's actual circumstances.
- Make a list of doctrinal claims you have learned throughout your life, but which you have some doubts about. Then seek the truth of those claims in the Bible. Just as Peter brought his testimony against the skepticism of false prophets, so can we bring the testimony of the Holy Spirit in the Bible either for or against our doubts.
- Consider the ways your life may be manifesting a doubt of biblical testimony. Seek out those biblical passages that provide the necessary testimony for you to better follow the Lord's commands.
- Pick one attribute of God (love, holiness, justice, patience, etc.) and find biblical testimony for the truth of that attribute.