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The Testimony of God
2 Peter 1:16-21
We believe the gospel upon the testimony of the infallibly inspired Word of God. Peter had seen the LordŐs glory and heard the voice of God. He saw Moses and Elijah with the glorified Christ in the holy mount. Then, he declares, ŇWe have a more sure word of prophecy.Ó Peter, what can be more trustworthy than such experiences as the apostles had in the Mount of Transfiguration? — The Word of God!
The Bible Alone
Peter tells us that the Bible alone is sufficient to be the foundation of our faith. We believe, because God has spoken in his Word. The Word of God alone is that light which shines in this dark world. This Book alone causes light to shine in your sin darkened heart. Peter referred specifically to the Old Testament prophecies. But what he says of the Old Testament is equally true of the New Testament.
How did we get the Bible? It was given by divine inspiration. – ŇThe prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.Ó No one will ever believe the gospel and receive Christ into his heart, until he first recognizes that the Bible is GodŐs inspired Word.
Where must we go to find confirmation of GodŐs Word and learn its meaning? We do not go to seek visions and dreams. We do not go to a priest. We do not simply formulate our own opinions. The Word of God is a commentary upon itself. You learn its meaning by prayerfully comparing Scripture with Scripture. And the Bible is its own confirmation. There is no defense for Scripture like Scripture. Knowing this first, that Ňno scripture is of any private interpretation.Ó
What are we to do with the Bible? We must submit to its authority, bow to its claims, and believe its message. — ŇWhereunto ye do well that ye take heed.Ó God has spoken. Hear what God says in the Bible, because there is no knowledge absolutely necessary for a manŐs salvation except that knowledge which is found in the Bible. The Word of God tells us the truth about God. God is holy, just, righteous, sovereign, and majestic. The Word of God tells us the truth about man. Man is sinful. He is a traitor. He is doomed. He is helpless. The Word of God tells us the truth about Christ. The Word of God tells us the truth about salvation. Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.
The Bible is GodŐs message to men about his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Every type, figure, and metaphor in the Bible is a portrayal of Christ. The offering up of Isaac by Abraham is a picture of the offering up of Christ at Calvary. The lifting up of the brazen serpent in the wilderness is a type of the lifting up of Christ on the cross for the healing of his people. Joseph being sold into Egypt is a portrayal of Christ being betrayed by Judas. As Adam is the head of the old creation, Christ is the Head of the new creation. As Melchizedek is a priest without beginning of days or end of years, so Christ is a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. As David is the king of Israel, so Christ is the King of his purchased kingdom. As Aaron is the high priest of Israel, so Christ is the high Priest of the House of God.
Every institution of the Old Testament portrays the work of Christ on our behalf. NoahŐs ark is a picture of the believerŐs safety in Christ, being delivered from the judgment of God. The cities of refuge represent Christ our Refuge from divine justice. The tabernacle in the wilderness exemplifies in its ministries the atoning work of Christ. The mercy-seat represents Christ the place of reconciliation with God. The manna in the wilderness is Christ the Bread of Life. The water from the smitten rock is Christ the Water of Life flowing from our smitten Surety.
Yes, the Bible is a Book with one message. It has one revelation, one redemption, one hope, one salvation, one Way, one Truth, one Life, and that is Christ! The Old Testament is the story of the preparation for the coming of Christ. The gospels record the facts of ChristŐs life, death, resurrection, and glory. The Acts recounts the ascension of Christ the King, the propagation of his gospel, and the spread of his kingdom. The Epistles explain the message of Christ. And the Revelation presents the consummation of all things in Christ.
Hear what God says in his Word, because no book has ever produced such great effects upon the world as the Bible. This is the Book whose doctrines turned the world upside down in the days of the apostles. This is the Book whose message broke the arms of papacy in the Reformation. This is the Book whose doctrine produced the Great Awakening in our own land. This is the Book whose message will bring revival and power to GodŐs church today.
Hear what God says in his Word, because no book can do so much for you as the Bible, if it is made effectual to you by God the Holy Spirit. The Bible will make you wise unto salvation. The Bible is GodŐs instrument of conversion. The Bible is GodŐs means for sanctifying the church.
Hear what God says in his Word, because no book can settle matters of doctrine and duty for believers except the Bible. Hear what God says in his Word, because no book in all the world can strengthen a man while he lives, and comfort a man while he dies except the Bible.
Beware of the charismatics, or anyone else, who tries to add to the Word of God. Remember the last warning of this blessed Book. — ŇIf any man shall add to these things, God shall add to him the plagues that are written in this BookÓ (Revelation 22:18). — The only thing you need is Christ. Search for him where he may be found, in the pages of Inspiration. You do not need to change your ways; you need Christ the Way. You do not need a deeper life; you need Christ the Life. You do not need to speak in tongues; you need Christ the Word of Life. You do not need some ecstatic vision; you need a vision of Christ crucified. You do not need to fall into a trance; you need to fall at the feet of King Jesus and sue for mercy. And, if you get Christ, you will get everything you need, for Christ is all.