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|Posted on November 16, 2016 at 2:10 PM||comments (0)|
Session 13 – 2 Peter 3:17-18 - WITH ANTICIPATION – Day 5
2 Peter 3:17 Therefore, dear friends, since you know this in advance, be on your guard, so that you are not led away by the error of lawless people and fall from your own stability.
Since we know the truth of Jesus’ return and the eventual judgement, we should be vigilant, alert, and steadfast in obeying the Lord and relying on Him. In this way, we will remain confident and less likely to be seduced and led into doubt by false teachers.
2 Peter 3:18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
Grace – charis - …the divine influence upon the hearts, and its reflection in the life…(The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible)
We grow in grace through submission to Jesus and His Holy Spirit’s work within us. It cannot be found in intellectual knowledge of the Bible alone. We must know Christ intimately, a relationship in which Jesus is our closest confidant. We must go to His throne before we go to the phone for encouragement, comfort, and counsel. We must apply that knowledge by the grace of God to how we live our daily lives. This divine intimate, vibrant, personal influence will be evident to those around us by how we act and react in this world. Peter ends his letter by giving glory to the Lord Jesus Christ now and forever.
Question: Are we living a life that is glorifying to Jesus? Are we daily growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus? Can you list some ways you personally need to grow in your relationship with Jesus? Give it some thought today.
|Posted on November 16, 2016 at 2:00 PM||comments (0)|
Session 13 – 2 Peter 3:14-16 - WITH ANTICIPATION – Day 4
2 Peter 3:14 Therefore, dear friends, while you wait for these things, make every effort to be found at peace with Him without spot or blemish.
We can be at peace with no fear of the end of the world or the judgment to come because we have and are trusting in Jesus alone for redemption. I can live a righteous life because it is no longer through my own effort but because the Holy Spirit lives in me.
Galatians 2:20 (CJB) When the Messiah was executed on the stake as a criminal, I was too; so that my proud ego no longer lives. But the Messiah lives in me, and the life I now live in my body I live by the same trusting faithfulness that the Son of God had, who loved me and gave himself up for me.
The assurance of our salvation, our future entrance to heaven, is that the Holy Spirit is sanctifying us (making us more and more like Jesus).
2 Peter 3:15 Also, regard the patience of our Lord as an opportunity for salvation, just as our dear brother Paul has written to you according to the wisdom given to him. 16 He speaks about these things in all his letters in which there are some matters that are hard to understand. The untaught and unstable twist them to their own destruction, as they also do with the rest of the Scriptures.
As stated before, the delay of judgment gives more time for us to witness. It gives us as believers time to fulfill our job description as salt and light, as His ambassadors to bring people to an understanding and we pray an acceptance, a heart knowledge, of the gospel. The apostle Paul had urged believers through His letters to continue proclaiming the message of Christ. Peter is clearly equating Paul’s writings with the Old Testament Scriptures. Paul, himself, was aware that the apostles wrote the message of God.
1 Thessalonians 2:13 This is why we constantly thank God, because when you received the message about God that you heard from us, you welcomed it not as a human message, but as it truly is, the message of God, which also works effectively in you believers.
As in Peter’s day, there are many twisters, those who contort the word to fit their own purposes.
Chew on this: Over and over, Peter has warned us about these human tornadoes and urged us to recognize them and avoid them. If the weather forecaster says a tornado is headed my way, I go to my safe place or drive to the safest place to avoid it. The forecast is that false teachers will multiply like rabbits as the Lord’s return nears. The safe place is found in the word of God, relying fully on Jesus, and having discernment to run in the opposite direction from the twisters!
|Posted on November 16, 2016 at 1:45 PM||comments (0)|
Session 13 – 2 Peter 3:8-13 - WITH ANTICIPATION – Day 3
2 Peter 3:8 Dear friends, don’t let this one thing escape you: With the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.
Peter may have been alluding to the following verse:
Psalm 90:4 (HCSB) For in Your sight a thousand years are like yesterday that passes by, like a few hours of the night.
God sees the end from the beginning. We see time totally different from God. We are walking it out, living it, moment by moment, and to us, a painful moment can seem to last forever. We are limited by the concept of time: we see a beginning and an end. We do not see the future end as God does, nor do we understand that life here is but a breath compared to an eternity spent with God or in the case of the ungodly, without Him.
James 4:14 (NASB) Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.
The depth and breadth of eternity is endless, no beginning and no end. As human beings, we have a difficult time comprehending the concept of eternity. But for God, eternity is reality.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord does not delay His promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance.
God is not dragging His feet. He is not delaying judgment for the sake of the wicked but is waiting patiently until the time that all of His children are gathered into His family. All those who are His will come to repentance, but judgment is prepared and will be brought upon those who reject the only remedy to the condition of sin, trust in Jesus Christ. Do not see the delay as a negative thing. It is God giving more time for salvation.
2 Peter 3:10 But the Day of the Lord will come like a thief; on that day the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, the elements will burn and be dissolved, and the earth and the works on it will be disclosed.
The day of judgment, the end of our present earth, will be a complete surprise, especially to those who are unprepared. I would not want to be in that group, taken by total surprise and unprepared to face the Lord Jesus on His judgment seat. The picture Peter paints is of a huge crackling fire burning so hot that the elements, the atoms, neutrons, etc. that make up all matter will be completely consumed.
2 Peter 3:11 Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, it is clear what sort of people you should be in holy conduct and godliness 12 as you wait for and earnestly desire the coming of the day of God. The heavens will be on fire and be dissolved because of it, and the elements will melt with the heat.
We need to be living as if Jesus’ return could be tomorrow or today. We desire to be found being faithful to our calling and living Christ-like lives at that time. We need to live expectantly as if His coming is in the next few moments. We are to long for that day. Wait, wait, wait! We are to desire the cataclysmic event that will end our world?!
2 Peter 3:13 But based on His promise, we wait for the new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness will dwell.
I feel better. I finally have understanding of why I should be excited for this event. He is going to create us a brand new heaven and a brand new earth wherein there will be no sin! Righteousness and godly living will be all that is there. No more evil, no more temptation, no more tears. Therefore, peace will reign because Jesus is the King. I find it hard to wrap my mind around a perfect earth filled with perfected people, but I still want to be there! Absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt, that is the place I want to live, thrive, and flourish. I am ready for this to be my reality as it has been God’s all along, to see things from God’s perspective. We will bask, not in the light of the sun, but in the light of the SON!
Chew on This: For the unbeliever, the thought of the earth dissolving and a final judgment sounds terrifying. For the Christian, it is the beginning of eternity with our Lord on an earth cleansed from all evil. In light of this, we need to be sharing the gospel with everyone we meet and living each moment as if the Lord’s return is immediate.
|Posted on November 16, 2016 at 1:35 PM||comments (0)|
Session 13 – 2 Peter 3:3-7 - WITH ANTICIPATION – Day 2
2 Peter 3:3 First, be aware of this: Scoffers will come in the last days to scoff, living according to their own desires, 4 saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? Ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they have been since the beginning of creation.”
Scoffers taunt those who teach the second coming of Christ. They will not embrace the truth of a final judgment because they want to live in their lust, enjoying sexual promiscuity and carousing of all kinds, without threat of retribution. They pare down and try to make of no significance the second coming of the Lord Jesus.
They scorn the idea of Jesus’ return saying that nothing has changed since He left. The early church believed Christ’s return was imminent, so people were already impatient that it had not yet happened. Today’s scoffers, say that it has been 2000 years and nothing yet. They expressed the idea that no world-wide event such as is prophesied had ever happened before, so why would it now. They like to use the Bible like an a la carte menu, picking and choosing what they want to believe.
2 Peter 3:5 They willfully ignore this: Long ago the heavens and the earth were brought about from water and through water by the word of God. 6 Through these waters the world of that time perished when it was flooded.
Those who say there has never been an event on the level of destroying the earth have conveniently forgotten the miraculous beginning of our world being spoken into existence. That then the Lord parted the waters and created dry land, animals, man from NOTHING. Those who say He would not judge the entire world have forgotten the cataclysmic flood which only Noah, his family, and selected animals survived by the grace of God. God has exercised judgment in the past and will in the future.
2 Peter 3:7 But by the same word, the present heavens and earth are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
The same Word, Jesus, who spoke the world into existence, sustains the earth until such time as God executes His final judgement on ungodly men. The all-consuming fire of God is suspended at this time because His time has not yet come. Thanks and praise be to God that those who believe and trust Him for their very lives will not experience this horrible end. By His grace, He is allowing us time to share the gospel with others that they, too, may be saved from judgment.
Challenge: The end of the world is nearer than it was in Peter’s day, and possibly much nearer than many would like to think. This should spur us to action to live godly lives as well as to share the gospel message with everyone we know. I challenge you to share your faith with at least two people this week. This can be through your personal testimony, presenting a tract, or even inviting the person to church.
|Posted on November 16, 2016 at 1:25 PM||comments (0)|
Session 13 – 2 Peter 3:1-2 - WITH ANTICIPATION – Day 1
2 Peter 3:1 (HCSB) Dear friends, this is now the second letter I have written to you; in both letters, I want to develop a genuine understanding with a reminder, 2 so that you can remember the words previously spoken by the holy prophets and the command of our Lord and Savior given through your apostles.
Peter addressed his letter to “dear friends,” fellow believers whom he loved dearly. His desire was that they not be in a place of denying the Lord and His Lordship as Peter himself had been on the night the Lord was arrested. Peter had walked with the Lord, seen His miracles, and even seen His glory on the mount of transfiguration; but he still denied knowing Jesus when fear overtook him. He wanted to make the prophecies of the Messiah and the fulfillment of those prophecies in the Lord Jesus very clear to those who would read and hear his letter lest they, too, fail to stand strong in their faith. By this time, Paul had written many epistles (letters) and others of the apostles were teaching and writing as well. Peter wanted his fellow believers to understand that the apostles’ teaching was as much Scripture as the Old Testament and that it was instruction from the Lord Jesus. Peter wanted Christians to know that the teachings of the apostles should be viewed with the same weight and reverence as the Law and the Prophets.
Jesus had told Peter to feed and shepherd His sheep. Part of shepherding is protecting and guiding the sheep. This is what Peter was doing by writing these letters. He was warning the flock about and guiding them away from false teachers. Peter wrote these things in the form of letters so that even though he was about to abandon his earth-suit and join the Lord, they would be able to hold on to the truths of the scripture with the aid of the Holy Spirit.
Chew on this: Most of us reading this in the West, are blessed to have the Word of God readily available to us. Do we read and study it as we should? There are many believers around the world who long to have one copy or even a portion of scripture available to them, who are hungry to read God’s word. Thank the Lord for your Bible and USE it daily! Pray about sending Bibles to those who do not have them. You can do this through several different organizations. We like to go through www.persecution.com
Instead of exchanging gift cards among the adults in your family this Christmas, we suggest donating Bibles in their names.
|Posted on November 14, 2016 at 9:10 PM||comments (0)|
Session 12 – 2 Peter 2:17-22 - ON GUARD – Day 5
2 Peter 2:17 These people are springs without water, mists driven by a whirlwind. The gloom of darkness has been reserved for them.
Jude compared the false teachers to clouds that did not give rain. Peter says they are dried up springs providing nothing to drink, nothing to quench the thirst. In contrast, Jesus provides rivers of living water that flow through the believer constantly (John 7:38). These false teachers, unless they repent and trust Jesus, will be thrown into the pit of hell.
2 Peter 2:18 For by uttering boastful, empty words, they seduce, with fleshly desires and debauchery, people who have barely escaped from those who live in error.
The false teachers loudly proclaim they know the way to freedom but turn around and seduce people back into ungodly ways. They particularly work their wiles on those who are trying to climb out of sinful lifestyles but are still weak because they have not trusted Jesus and are relying on their own strength and efforts.
2 Peter 2:19 They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption, since people are enslaved to whatever defeats them.
They preach freedom while still entangled in the corrupt ways of the world. They are slaves to their lusts, their sensual appetites, and are conquered by them. They are not free nor can they help anyone else to freedom.
Luke 6:39 (VOICE) Luke 6:39 Jesus told them this parable: Jesus: What happens if a blind man leads a blind man? Won’t both of them fall into a pit?
The Holy Spirit is the one who opens our eyes in order to lead us to faith in Jesus. He can also open our eyes to spot and avoid these blind guides.
2 Peter 2:20 For if, having escaped the world’s impurity through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in these things and defeated, the last state is worse for them than the first. 21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness than, after knowing it, to turn back from the holy command delivered to them.
If a person has heard the truth of the Gospel but then disregards it, he is no better than he was before, and is, indeed, worse off. They walked away with head knowledge of the truth, but did not entrust their hearts and lives to The Truth incarnate, Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 2:22 It has happened to them according to the true proverb: A dog returns to its own vomit, and, “a sow, after washing itself, wallows in the mud.”
Those who hear the good news but turn away from it to go back to a life characterized by sin, are like the two illustrations Peter gives. They would rather cover themselves with filth than be washed by the blood of Jesus and made clean.
Question: How should we pray for those people we know who are wallowing? Can we ask the Holy Spirit to open their eyes to the truth, to wake them up from their sleepwalking in the muck? If you are bogged down in sin, lift up your eyes and ask the Lord Jesus to pull you out. No matter how hard you try, you cannot do it without Him.
John 15:5-6 (VOICE) I am the vine, and you are the branches. If you abide in Me and I in you, you will bear great fruit. Without Me, you will accomplish nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is like a branch that is tossed out and shrivels up and is later gathered to be tossed into the fire to burn.
|Posted on November 14, 2016 at 9:05 PM||comments (0)|
Session 12 – 2 Peter 2:10b-16 ON GUARD – Day 4
2 Peter 2:10b Bold, arrogant people! They do not tremble when they blaspheme the glorious ones; 11 however, angels, who are greater in might and power, do not bring a slanderous charge against them before the Lord.
Speaking flippantly about angels, even fallen angels, is arrogance. Peter is saying even angels do not slander demons. As we saw earlier in Jude, Michael did not rebuke Satan directly but called upon the Lord to do so. As mere flesh and blood, we need to realize that angelic beings, whether good or fallen, have power beyond ours. We need to call upon the Lord to deal with them.
2 Peter 2:12 But these people, like irrational animals—creatures of instinct born to be caught and destroyed—speak blasphemies about things they don’t understand, and in their destruction they too will be destroyed, 13a suffering harm as the payment for unrighteousness.
False teachers live with little or no restraint or impulse control. They speak out against beings they do not understand thinking that in their own power they can subdue them. Since they live as beasts who cannot control their desires, they will be destroyed like animals.
2 Peter 2:13b They consider it a pleasure to carouse in the daytime. They are spots and blemishes, delighting in their deceptions as they feast with you.
Most people try to hide their sin under cover of darkness, but these apostates are bold in their sinning, carousing in the light of day. They thrive on their covert manipulation of others to join them in their evil escapades. They do all this right beneath the noses of the church like an unnoticed pimple, feasting alongside us, disguising themselves as messengers of light.
2 Peter 2:14 They have eyes full of adultery and are always looking for sin. They seduce unstable people and have hearts trained in greed. Children under a curse!
Their minds are always seeing the potential for adulterous relationships. They prey on those who are not strong in the word especially baby Christians. Children under a curse indicated that Peter saw them as deserving of eternal damnation.
2 Peter 2:15 They have gone astray by abandoning the straight path and have followed the path of Balaam, the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness 16 but received a rebuke for his transgression: A donkey that could not talk spoke with a human voice and restrained the prophet’s irrationality.
They abandoned the way of God, the narrow path, and went the way of God’s enemy, Satan. Balaam was the prophet who was paid by the King of Moab to prophesy falsely and try to lead Israel into ungodly ways. The Lord used his donkey to talk to him and show him the warrior angel in his path, sent to deter him (Jude 11, Numbers 22-24).
Challenge: False teachers prey on those who are not rooted and grounded in the Bible. Is there a new Christian you should be pouring into, discipling to strengthen their discernment? If you are a new Christian, is there a person you respect that you could ask to guide you in studying the word of God? Evaluate your understanding of the Bible and begin now to improve your “swordsmanship,” your ability to wield the sword of the Lord which is the word of God (Ephesians 6:17).
|Posted on November 14, 2016 at 9:00 PM||comments (0)|
Session 12 – 2 Peter 2:4-10a - ON GUARD – Day 3
2 Peter 2:4 For if God didn’t spare the angels who sinned but threw them down into Tartarus and delivered them to be kept in chains of darkness until judgment;
This is referring to the fallen angels of Genesis 6 who lusted after and cohabitated with women. They were also referenced in 1 Peter 3:18-19.
John MacArthur Study Bible
Peter borrows a word from Greek mythology for hell, “tartarus.” The Greeks taught that tartarus was a place lower than Hades reserved for the most wicked of human beings, gods, and demons. The Jews eventually came to use this term to describe the place where fallen angels were sent. It defined for them the lowest hell, the deepest pit, the most terrible place of torture and eternal suffering.
God judged them by sending them to the lowest part of hades, the belly of hell, and will ultimately throw them into the lake of fire.
2 Peter 2:5 and if He didn’t spare the ancient world, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others, when He brought a flood on the world of the ungodly;
God sent judgment in the form of a world-wide flood in the days of Noah, killing everyone and everything except Noah, his family, and the animals God had commanded him to take on the ark for protection.
2 Peter 2:6 and if He reduced the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes and condemned them to ruin, making them an example to those who were going to be ungodly; 7 and if He rescued righteous Lot, distressed by the unrestrained behavior of the immoral 8 (for as he lived among them, that righteous man tormented himself day by day with the lawless deeds he saw and heard)—
The Lord also brought severe judgment on the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah for their ungodly and especially sexually perverse behavior by destroying both cities completely by fire and brimstone. However, he spared Lot and his family because of his righteousness and the plea of his righteous uncle Abraham. However, due to her disobedience in looking back at the burning cities, Lot’s wife was turned to a pillar of salt.
2 Peter 2:9 then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, 10 especially those who follow the polluting desires of the flesh and despise authority.
If, or better yet since, God had executed judgment in these examples and mercy toward the righteous, those who trusted Him, we can be assured that He is still able to rescue His children. He still judges the ungodly, the unrighteous, the unbelieving ones and preserves to the utmost those who trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.
The apostates, the false teachers, Jude and Peter have been warning us about may seem to prosper for the moment, but they will be judged if they do not turn from their ungodly ways and submit to Jesus Christ as Lord.
Chew on this: It is sometimes tempting to be overcome by the evil in this fallen world, especially those who operate covertly under the guise of being ministers. We need to be sure we can discern false teachers from the true Christians shepherds. However, we need not become frightened because of them. God will deal with them in His perfect timing. We must remain faithful and trust our Father to sustain us. Read all of Psalm 37.
Psalm 37:7 (NASB) Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.
|Posted on November 12, 2016 at 6:25 PM||comments (0)|
Session 12 – 2 Peter 2:1-3 and Jude 16 - ON GUARD – Day 1
2 Peter 2:1 (HCSB) But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, and will bring swift destruction on themselves.
There have always been false prophets, the obvious ones like the prophets of Baal in the Old Testament and the sneaky ones that infiltrate the church as “tares among the wheat” (Matthew chapter 13). They slither in like snakes to poison and divide Christ’s church. Or they be more like chameleons, changing their colors to fit in. Jesus called them wolves in sheep’s clothing (Matthew 7:15). We can recognize them by the fact that they teach things that do not line up with the word of God. They deny the lordship and deity of Jesus Christ. One cannot have salvation without lordship. Jesus bought us with His blood and is our Master as well as our Savior. A true Christian’s life will be characterized by repentance and obedience, growing in godliness as they mature.
2 Peter 2:2 Many will follow their unrestrained ways, and the way of truth will be blasphemed because of them.
False teachers often lead a promiscuous lifestyle, downplaying or even denying the truth that Jesus taught us to live in purity. How often have we seen a person who claims to be a teacher of the word of God fall (or dive headlong) into sexual sin? The world, the unbelieving ones, see this and think that Christians are no different than the rest of the world. Baby Christians and non-believers come away with the impression that “you can have your cake and eat it to.” They feel they can turn to Christ and continue to drink to excess, do recreational drugs, and have sexual relationships outside of the marriage bed. This harms the witness of those who do seek to follow the Lord. Jesus calls us to a life of holiness, a life set apart from the rest of the world and to obedience to Him. We are to be the light that guides people out of the darkness of sin and into the glorious light of Christ.
Matthew 5:14 (VOICE) And you, beloved, are the light of the world. A city built on a hilltop cannot be hidden.
As we studied in 1 Peter, we are to be holy – set apart.
1 Peter 1:15 (AMP) But like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves in all your conduct [be set apart from the world by your godly character and moral courage];
2 Peter 2:3 They will exploit you in their greed with deceptive words. Their condemnation, pronounced long ago, is not idle, and their destruction does not sleep.
False teachers gather large crowds in order to exploit them. They are the type that convince impoverished people to give their last dime in order to receive healing or special blessings and then use those dimes to purchase luxuries for themselves. They want to extort money from these people, taking their livelihood, to foot the bill for their own fleshly appetites.
These false teachers may prosper for a time, but their condemnation is certain. We do not want to be riding on their coattails when they go down, so we need to use discernment when listening to teachers.
Jude 16 These people are discontented grumblers, walking according to their desires; their mouths utter arrogant words, flattering people for their own advantage.
Remember what the Lord did with the grumblers in the party Moses led from Egypt? He had the ground swallow some up, destroyed some by fire, and sent plagues among His people to judge them. Those who grumble against the Lord had best beware! Everything the apostates, false teachers, do and say is counterfeit and motivated by their own agenda. They want to trade the freedom from the law found in Christ for license to do as they please.
Jude 1:4 (NIV) For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.
The false teachers “utter arrogant words.” Be wary of anyone who claims to have a new, never heard, perspective from the Lord. Check all claims against the Bible! If something being taught in any way contradicts God’s word, do not trust it.
Walk away from flattery as well. Again, if someone is teaching exactly what you want to hear, make sure it lines up with what God declares in His word.
2 Timothy 4:2-4 (NASB) preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.
Chew on This: Increasingly this study is showing us how crucial it is to be in the word of God, to study it, meditate on it, internalize it. The only way we can unmask the false teachers is to have a firm grip on the Truth.
|Posted on November 8, 2016 at 12:40 AM||comments (0)|
Session 11 – 2 Peter 1:19-21 (HCSB) - WITH TRUST – Day 3
2 Peter 1:19 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.
The prophetic word was the entire scripture as they had it at that time, the whole Old Testament. The disciples had studied the Old Testament from the time they were twelve years old (and had been taught orally at their mothers’ knees). As they followed Jesus, they began to see that He was the fulfillment of all of the messianic prophesy in the flesh standing before them. They based their trust on the word of God, not just their experience of seeing miracles or a man who could draw large crowds. Their belief in Jesus as Messiah was not based on a series of emotional, feel good events. The foundation of their faith was all the word of God taught about the Messiah. Their teaching about Jesus was based on sound, biblical doctrine and insight as well as His own words to them and in their presence. Our personal testimonies are valid, but the word of God trumps experience.
Romans 10:17 (VOICE) So faith proceeds from hearing, as we listen to the message about God’s Anointed.
The message we share is the word of God rather than our own words. It is the scripture that is used by the Holy Spirit to draw men into faith. The Bible is the light guiding us to the end of this dark tunnel called life on earth. We need to keep our focus on The Light, Jesus, and the light He provides in His word.
Psalm 119:105 (VOICE) Your word is a lamp for my steps; it lights the path before me.
2 Peter 1:20 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.
Peter is saying that he and the other writers of the scripture did not generate or initiate the words they recorded. They were under the influence and inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (AMP) All Scripture is God-breathed [given by divine inspiration] and is profitable for instruction, for conviction [of sin], for correction [of error and restoration to obedience], for training in righteousness [learning to live in conformity to God’s will, both publicly and privately—behaving honorably with personal integrity and moral courage]; 17 so that the man of God may be complete and proficient, outfitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Question – Why is it important to quote or read actual scripture when witnessing? Is it enough to commiserate with a fellow believer that you’ve had a bad experience similar to theirs, or is it more effective to also share something directly from the word of God?
Hebrews 4:12 (NASB) For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.