Wednesday in the Eleventh Week of Ordinary Time

2 Peter 1:19-21

The Prophetic Word

No, the gospel was and is not based upon cleverly devised myths; indeed, ours is an historical faith.  It begins in a Garden created just for us under probation.  We broke the law, but God continues to work in His world, even starting all over with Noah after sending a flood.  After mankind falls away after the flood, He calls a man named Abraham and through his loins creates a people called after his grandson, Jacob (renamed “Israel”), the Israelites.  Space would fail me to rehearse all of Old Testament history from slavery in Egypt to Moses to Joshua to the Judges to Saul to David to the divided kingdom to captivity to return—counting only from Abraham, some 2000 years.  But what I do need to emphasize is that during all those years, God spoke through men (and a few women) called, “prophets.”  And these were also in the early church along with the apostles as recorded in the Book of Acts.  No, Christianity is no myth; it is a religion whose truth relies on God’s activity in the world and revelation to chosen vessels.

And so moving on from speaking of the reality of our heavenly Savior come down in flesh, a reality Peter witnessed both on the mountain and on the cross, he now directs the attention of his readers to the prophetic word of both the Old Testament prophets and the New Testament apostles—that word which is to the Church of Jesus Christ ever as “a lamp shining in a dark place.”  The Church inhabits a dark world drowning in sin and degradation.  Its only source of hope and comfort, of light and wisdom, comes from the prophetic word now presented to us in the Holy Scriptures.  And to this word, we must give our full attention “until the day dawns and the morning start rises in [our] hearts.”  Until then, the Scriptures, the prophetic word, are our meat and drink.

And then the Apostle tells us something more about the prophetic word.  Unlike the words of other religions, the prophetic word is not the wise sayings of men—wise though they may have been—and there have been many.  No, the prophetic word, the biblical word, was not produced by any single individual who applied his mind to the heavens.  On the contrary, what we have recorded in the holy Scriptures are the words “men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”  That is, God the Holy Spirit spoke his words through these men enabling their hearts and lifting their minds to receive it.  God enabled; He did not violate: The personalities and writing styles of each prophet come through the words.  But we may be sure we have God’s word—a lamp shining in a dark place.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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