A More Sure Word
Rev. Jan Neels
We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts—2 Peter 1:19
One of the greatest blessings from the Reformation we have today is the Reformers’ focus on “scripture alone.” Of the five so-called solas of the Reformation, sola Scriptura forms the foundation of Reformed theology. None of the others would exist had they not been revealed in the Holy Word of God. Along with this return to the authority of the Scriptures came a turning away from unbiblical tradition, papal supremacy, and mancentered mysticism. This would be expected since the Bible itself stresses that it alone “is able to make (us) wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 3:15).
The apostle Peter emphasizes this, too, in his second letter. As you read the latter part of the first chapter (vs. 12-21), you find Peter expounding the basis of true knowledge. He is reminding his readers before he dies what the Lord Jesus Christ has shown him. He says that what he writes is not fables, but that he is making known the “coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (v. 16). Peter explains that he and others were eyewitnesses of Jesus’ majesty. He describes his experience on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matt. 17); not only were he, James, and John eyewitnesses, but they even heard the very voice of God the Father saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 17:17).
But then, in verse 20, Peter writes, “We have also a more sure word of prophecy.” The message is clear: our Bibles offer something that is even more sure than if we could see Jesus with our own eyes or hear God’s voice with our own ears. Peter says we “do well to take heed” to this word of prophecy. Rather than look for visions of Christ or hope to hear God’s voice audibly, we must pay attention to the written Word. This Word, he says, is a “light that shines in a dark place.” In and by the Word of God, the day will dawn and the “day star shall arise” in our hearts. This refers to the Lord Jesus Himself, who is called “the bright and morning star” (Rev. 22:16b). Our gracious God has given us a full revelation of His Son in Holy Scripture. We do not need, nor should we expect, any extra-biblical revelation.
In the closing verses of this chapter, Peter reminds us of the glorious truth that Scripture comes directly from God Himself. “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (v. 21). Sharing Peter’s emphasis, the Reformation fathers directed us to “scripture alone” as the foundation of all doctrine, the basis of all Christian experience, and the source of all knowledge of God and Christ Jesus. Since God does not change and His Word does not change, we can trust His Word to be our perfect guide for faith and life.
Do you believe this Word of God? Do you believe everything it says about you and your sin? Do you believe everything it says about the Lord God against whom you have sinned? Do you believe what this Word teaches about God’s Son, Christ Jesus, who is the only hope for sinners to be reconciled to their God?
Take the Bible, read and meditate on its truths every day. Ask for grace to love and live its truths, for in it are the words of life.