29th September 2023
Read - 2 Peter 3:15-16
Message Alan Burke
Peter had been encouraging those to whom he wrote about the certainty of scripture, reminding us how the word of God that we have before us is Ian inspired book (2 Peter 1:21) God used human authors and worked in them by the Holy Spirit, God used them to communicate his revelation they spoke as they were carried along but the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21). While each book of scripture is distinctive, those who wrote them were carried by the Holy Spirit and their individual personality and writing styles were used by God to communicate to us his revealed will, both authoritative and unified in its teaching.
Some argue that what we are being taught here by Peter and likewise in 2 Timothy by Paul speaks of the Old Testament. That the scriptures of the Old Testament alone are God breathed, the authors were carried by the Holy Spirit. If this is the case it would mean that the cannon of scripture is limited from Genesis to Malachi, but look to what Peter then goes on to say in chapter 3:15-16;
Peter here clearly considers that Paul’s writings, ie the epistles were written with the wisdom of God and included under the category of all of all scripture. In v15 Peter asserts that it was according to the wisdom given to Paul, it was God given wisdom, not wisdom he had learnt, but given to him by God. Then in verse 16, “as they do the other scriptures”. Also one of the things that we miss in translation is that the word here used to speak of scriptures is used 51 times in the New Testament, bar this and one other instance speaking of the apostles writing it speaks of the canonical Old Testament, but in each instance it shows forth that the writings of the apostles were seen and understood to be the very word of God by the apostles. The other instance is in 1 Timothy 5:18 where both the gospel of Luke and the book of Deuteronomy are quoted and identified as both equally scripture.
What we have before us is the word of God, all of it, as the book of Revelation closes in Revelation 22:18-21 we are told;
18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. 20 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. 21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.
The word of God that we have in the scriptures of the Old and New Testament is one unified work, they are the word of God to which we cannot add or take away from. What does it matter that the Old and New Testament are the word of God?
First that it is inerrant, what that means is that whatever it asserts to be true is true. Secondly it is the plain revelation of God, while it is not all equally clear the things that are necessary for us to know, believe and to obey are, are so so that we may life to the Glory of our God accordingly. When it is not clear we can deduce by good and necessary consequences. For example there are no Bible verses that say we shouldn’t speed but we know that it against the law of the land and we are to obey those who rule over us so we don’t speed. Thirdly that God by his providence has kept his word throughout the ages for us, so that in all controversies in the church it should be the place that we look to for guidance, it should be the place that we turn to to be our rule of faith and obedience. Fourthly, scripture should be used to interpret scripture, not the world, not how we feel or think because scripture helps us to understand all of scripture, we should not take one part in isolation from the rest. Fifthly, the Old and New Testament as the word of God in all its sixty-six books focus on Jesus, the one Lord who is the terminal point of God’s promises. It is the story of Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, ascension, reign, and return which is the Bible’s big theme. There is unity between them as they point us to Christ and our need for him.
Q59 Which day of the seven hath God appointed to be the weekly Sabbath?
From the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, God appointed the seventh day of the week to be the weekly Sabbath; and the first day of the week ever since, to continue to the end of the world, which is the Christian Sabbath. (Gen. 2:2–3, 1 Cor. 16:1–2, Acts 20:7)