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2 Peter 1:16-21 - Following Closely
by Gary Sims
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The Letters
2 Peter 1:16-21 - Following Closely

Key Verses:
  • 16: "When we told you about the powerful coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, we were not telling just smart stories that someone invented. But we saw the greatness of Jesus with our own eyes." - This is Peter's last letter just prior to being martyred. He knew his end was near and he wanted to share this important epistle with the Christian church.

  • 17-18: "Jesus heard the voice of God…when He received honor and glory from God the Father. The voice said, 'This is my Son, whom I love, and I am very pleased with Him.' 18We heard that voice from heaven while we were with Jesus on the holy mountain." - Peter is not only referring to the time He spent with Jesus in ministry. He experienced the Transfiguration first hand.

  • 19: "This makes us more sure about the message the prophets gave. It is good for you to follow closely what they said as you would follow a light shining in a dark place, until the day begins and the morning star rises in your hearts." - Until the day that the "morning star" returns we have the scriptures and the Holy Spirit to provide the light of guidance we seek.

  • 21: "No prophecy ever came from what a person wanted to say, but people led by the Holy Spirit spoke words from God." - God, through the Holy Spirit, inspired the writers of the Scriptures so that we could be truly led into His kingdom.
Points to Contemplate:
  • Do the stories in the Bible seem 'too good to be true?' When you read the stories of Jesus with all the miracles and fantastic things that happened, are you prone to think of them as a fantasy or work of fiction? As the Bible unfolds its message before you are you able to find the promises of the Gospel revealed throughout its pages? Do you have doubts? Do you see the Bible more as a collection of stories composed by humans than the literal word of God? Perhaps you find yourself somewhere in between. Does Peter's first-hand account of the Transfiguration lend credence to the truth he experienced and credibility to the Bible being the inspired word of God?

  • Have you heard the voice of God? Or is God silent in our modern age? If He still speaks to His followers, how does He speak to you? Has He spoken to you from the clouds high on a mountain or as a whisper in the night? Did He speak to you through a friend, in a song on the radio, or through an email on the Internet? When God speaks, do you listen or are you brushing it off as a figment of your imagination?

  • Are you listening to what the prophets have to say? Do you accept that they have been "led by the Holy Spirit and are speaking words from God?" How does this apply to your life today? Do these words of old have pertinent meaning in your life? Is it possible that God is working through modern-day prophets? Is He still inspiring poets, writers, and songwriters to be "a light shining in a dark place?" If God is continuing to inspire His prophets today, is this evidence of the Holy Spirit at work? Is this part of the process of sanctification? Is this His method for growing us into the image of Christ?
Promises of the Gospel:

Peter shares a testimony that he experienced first-hand. He sat next to Jesus when the voice of God came down from the heavens and announced Jesus as His son. From this personal experience, Peter tells us that we should believe. We are not only to believe in Christ as the risen son of God but also that the scriptures and lessons from the prophets are the inspired word of God. God works in our lives; not in an intrusive sense but actively all the same. He inspires the hearts and minds of those who turn to Him for guidance. In the same fashion that He led the prophets and authors of the Bible, He continues to inspire His people today. Peter stresses that "No prophecy ever came from what a person wanted to say, but people led by the Holy Spirit spoke words from God." And "it is good for (us) to follow closely what they (say)."

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