"False and True"
2 Peter 1:16-21 - For we did not follow cleverly devised myths 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, and the voice was borne to Him by the Majestic Glory, "This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased," we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with Him on the holy mountain. And we have the prophetic Word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
Peter writes this letter as an eyewitness—one of Jesus' twelve apostles who lived with Him and heard Him teach for several years, and who witnessed His resurrection. Peter knows that soon he will die, and the young Christians will lose his counsel and advice. So he warns them to hold on to the truth about Jesus with all their hearts, as strongly as they can.
But now that the apostles are dying, how will the young church do this? How will they know the difference between what is true and false?
Peter points them to the Bible. He calls it "Scripture" and "the prophetic Word more fully confirmed." What does that mean? Simply that Peter and the others of his generation had seen God fulfill all those Old Testament prophecies. They saw Jesus teach, preach, heal, and do miracles; they watched Him suffer and die to rescue all of us who trust in Him; and they were eyewitnesses to the fact that God raised Him from the dead, never to die again. All the words God put in the Bible about Jesus came true. And so Peter points us right back to the Bible as our safest guide for the truth about God. The Bible will keep us in the right way until Jesus, our Morning Star, returns to us, and all evil and confusion is gone forever.
So what should we watch out for? Anyone who distorts or contradicts the Bible. As Peter emphasizes, "No prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit." When people turn up with new, strange explanations of the Bible, we should smell a rat. When they come up with clever myths and ideas that push Jesus out of the center of our lives, we need to shut our ears and run away. Such people are up to no good. They are trying to lead us away from Jesus, usually to get power or money. They are dangerous, wolves in sheep's clothing (see Matthew 7:15).
Our safety lies in Jesus. If you are ever in doubt about what someone is teaching, run to Jesus as you see Him in the Scriptures and hold fast to Him. Jesus is enough, and He is all that we need. No new teacher, no secret doctrines, should ever take His place. He is our Savior forever.
WE PRAY: Lord Holy Spirit, keep me in the truth forevermore. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
1. How comfortable are you with reading and understanding the Bible?
2. What could you do to become better acquainted with it and with the things it says?
3. When have you run into false teaching, and how did you avoid it?
Today's Bible Readings: Exodus 21-22 Matthew 27:51-66
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