The Inspiration of the Bible
2 Peter 2
September 4, 2021
Pastor Craig Ledbetter
Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland
I. Introduction (1Thessalonians 2:13)
A. 1Thessalonians 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
B. This month is going to be awesome in Church!
C. Learning about four great events: Inspiration, Preservation, Translations, and Proclamation of this Book we call the Bible!
D. Starting next week, our Activity Centre will become a teaching Museum about how we got the Bible for us to go through and see what I am going to be talking about all month
E. Please, be here EVERY Sunday, and bring a friend to see the miracle of the making of the word of God - Kids will enjoy some activities that help them learn next door
F. But every Christian needs to know WHY we can believe the Bible we hold in our hands IS the perfect, inspired, and preserved words of God
II. Background (2Peter 2:12-20)
A. The Promise of Permanent Scripture (2Peter 2:12-15)
1. The apostle Peter was getting older. It is 66 AD. He probably has less than a year to live
2. He is hated and hunted in his own country, and living in Babylon at this time
3. And he writes to fellow Christians who are scattered everywhere themselves (1:1) to encourage them, even though they were going through intense persecution and troubles
4. He ‘writes’ his letter because he won’t see them anymore and won’t be able to personally encourage them face to face
a. He WANTS to constantly remind people of what Jesus said and did, and remind them to trust Jesus’ will and care for them no matter how hard it gets
b. But knows knows that shortly his life will be over
5. So he is determined to make sure they can always be encouraged, and reminded by the words of God, even though he will be gone!
6. How? By being able to always have these words for themselves
B. The Purpose of Scripture (2Peter 2:16-18)
1. #1 To Reveal Jesus Christ – the most important Person in history (2:16)
a. Scriptures is not mainly about you, and “God’s plan for your life…”, No.
b. It is about His birth, perfect life, miracles, teachings, crucifixion, and resurrection!
c. These words are not cunningly devised fables like Evolution is:
1) Or Tir na Nog
2) Or Catholicism
3) Or Dark Matter, and Multiverses
d. These 1200 pages record the power and majesty of the Lord Jesus Christ, and his coming to this world 2,000 years ago
e. Peter, James, John, and all the apostles were EYE-WITNESSES of all that Jesus did and said – they didn’t “hear” about it – they actually SAW everything
f. Especially on the day Jesus was transfigured right in front of them in Matthew 17
1) Matthew 17:1-5 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,
2) And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.
3) And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.
4) Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.
5) While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.
6) Jesus was Honoured by God the Father (forget Nero, Instagram, the Emmy’s)
7) Revealed to be God the Son in such blinding light (“this is my beloved Son”)
8) Is said by God to be the only One who has ever lived and pleased God perfectly
g. Note the words God’s “voice out of the cloud…” for later – it will be important!
2. #2 To give faith to a world with only religions and reason, but no hope or assurance
a. Richard Dawkins said “Life has no purpose and that is exciting!” HAH HAH HAH
1) Nothing more ahead of us than a hole in the ground, or a small pot of ash!
2) No purpose, no hope, nothing to live for and certainly nothing to die for!
b. Yet THIS one Book gives a man the greatest reasons to live EVER! It reveals God, and gives us the way TO God – gives us FAITH
1) Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
2) You don’t get faith by someone laying their hands on you
3) Or by someone praying for you to get faith
4) Or for YOU praying for faith
c. You ONLY get faith as you read and hear THESE WORDS yourself!
d. THAT is why Peter wanted to make sure THESE WORDS were written down so anybody could have them and believe them!
C. The Pre-eminence of Scripture (2Peter 2:19-20)
1. As amazing and miraculous it was that God SPOKE throughout history…
a. Remember God speaking at the Mount of Transfiguration?
b. God spoke also at creation “And God SAID, Let there be light…”
c. And at Mt Sinai “I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me…”
d. And at Jesus’ baptism “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
2. But each time, it was only a passing moment – a singular event
3. Having what God said written down, and preserved for all people, throughout all time IS FAR BETTER!
4. The words of God, when written down are ‘more sure’
a. More certain, more guaranteed, more accurate that a voice, or a vision could ever be
b. Voices & visions are always changing, and no one can tell if they are real or made up
c. But when WORDS are written down, they become a contract, and can be tested and examined and proven
5. So, Scripture is BETTER than the audible voice of God! (REPEAT)
a. Say goodbye to all the Pentecostal/charismatic churches who think God talks to them!
b. Stop asking God for a vision, or a dream
c. Stop waiting for God to speak to you through your ceiling (PICTURE) He already has
6. These are NOT private words for private interpretation (2Peter 2:20) – there are NO secret meanings that only the very few are able to decipher… like a code
7. But these are words open to the public, for all to see, and examine and learn from
a. Especially because these words are filled with PROPHECIES
b. This book is not just a written record of historical events
c. But every book in the Bible is filled with prophecies that can be checked and tested and verified and proven
d. NO OTHER BOOK HAS EVER BEEN LIKE THIS BOOK!
D. So, How We Got the Scriptures is our focus today
E. It is called ‘Inspiration’, and it is awesome!
A. The Process of Inspiration (2Peter 1:21)
1. These words are obviously Ancient Words – from long ago (old time)
a. This Bible was NOT written by monks about 500 years ago
b. Not written by the latest scholars and theologians either
c. We read in this Book words that were spoken by God in eternity past (Job)
d. And what God will say way out in eternity future (Revelation)!!!
e. These are words from very long ago
1) Job is the oldest book in the Bible written around 1,900 BC
2) Genesis was written around 1450 BC
3) Psalms in 1000 BC
4) Malachi in 400 BC
5) Revelation in 95 AD
f. 95 AD was a long time ago! But that means God wants them read by us today!
2. Written by Holy Men
a. All the writers of Scripture were men - Jewish men - Godly men
1) Not mad men like the paedophile Muhammed was
2) Like Jim Jones and David Koresh and so many other deadly religious leaders throughout history
b. And all were Spirit filled
1) Yes God used a donkey one time to speak, but all the WRITERS of Scripture were holy, godly men
2) Deuteronomy 18:18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.
c. Who were the holy men Peter is referring to?
1) A man named Elihu wrote the book of Job
2) Moses wrote Genesis to Deuteronomy
3) Samuel wrote 1 Samuel
4) David wrote much of Psalms
5) His son Solomon wrote Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon
6) Ezra wrote 1st and 2nd Chronicles and his own book, the book of Ezra
7) Daniel wrote the book of Daniel
8) Matthew wrote the Gospel with his name
9) Paul wrote Romans and over half of the New Testament
10) Luke wrote his Gospel and the book of Acts
11) John wrote his Gospel, as well as three small books at the end of the Bible, and the Book of the Revelation at the very end
a) 40 different men were used by God
b) Living on three different continents
c) Spanning almost 2,000 years of history from 1900 BC to 95 AD
d) These men were used by God to write these words you hold in your hand that we today are privileged to read and hear and learn and enjoy!
e) One Story… HIS Story!
d. And even though God used so many different writers, these words that they wrote were NOT their own words, but the words of God! (1Thessalonians 2:13) For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
3. They were Moved by the Holy Ghost – Inspiration
a. That means they were supernaturally enabled and guided to say and write exactly what God wanted said – THIS IS WHERE IT GETS GOOD]
1) God breathed out His words
2) And these men heard and wrote those same words perfectly
3) Matthew 4:4 But he [JESUS] answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
b. Many “prophets” have dreams and vision and ideas about what God thinks
c. But compared to what God says and is written, they are like chaff to the wheat
1) Jeremiah 23:28 The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD.
2) How come these religious prophets of today never tell you how many hurricanes are coming, and when?
3) How come ALL of them predicted Trump would win, and were wrong?
4) How come psychics never attempt to win the lottery?
d. ‘Inspiration’ is how we got these words
1) Exodus 20:1 And God spake all these words, saying… [10 COMMANDMENTS]
2) Exodus 34:27 And the LORD said unto Moses, Write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel.
3) 2Timothy 3:16,17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness
e. Example: the use of a pen on paper…
1) When I write a sentence like, “In the beginning was the Word… (John 1:1)”
2) Did “I” write it, or the pen?
3) Fact is: The pen did the writing - I guided the pen to write what I wanted written
4) In the same way God guided Peter, John, Paul, David, Moses, to write HIS words
4. Not doing their own will
a. Not one word was what the writers would have spoken if they had their own way
b. David never would have written Psalm 22 and said that God had forsaken him, because he admits in Psalm 37 that God had NEVER forsaken him!
c. Solomon never would have written Ecclesiastes 7:20 For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not. He would have tried to show that HE was not a sinner!
d. YOU would never write anything in a holy Book that would actually make YOU look bad in that Book!
e. Moses never would have written about his own failure as a father in Exodus 4, when he neglected to circumcise his own children
f. Daniel could never have known of a future kingdom called Greece defeating the great Babylonian empire, and that an even greater kingdom was coming called Rome!
5. They simply SPAKE and wrote what God said
6. That makes these words, God’s PERFECT words (Psalm 12:6; Proverbs 30:5)
a. Psalm 12:6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
b. Proverbs 30:5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
B. Why Does it Matter?
1. You may say… My family is in pieces, broken, messed up. My life is in shambles. I can’t sleep at night. My health is bad.
2. And you are telling me about “inspiration” of the Bible? Why?
a. Otherwise this is just another book – another stupid religious book
b. Full of lies, exaggerations, fairy-tales. A book that CANNOT be trusted
c. And we are wasting our time here reading it and obeying it
1) 1Corinthians 15:32 If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die.
2) 1Corinthians 15:17-19 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
3) We are wasting valuable time!!!
4. But if it IS the word of God… (AND IT IS!)
a. Then God wants you to know Him, to walk with Him, and to believe Him (not just believe IN Him, but trust Him)
b. You can find ALL the answers that you are crying out for, and the world is spending Trillions to try and find!
c. You can find LIFE and SANITY in the pages of this Book
1) Peter said it to Jesus when everyone was leaving Jesus
2) John 6:68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
d. Best of all, you can find JESUS, because every chapter speaks of HIM!
1) John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
2) Luke 24:27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he [Jesus] expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
3) Luke 24:44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.
Do you want to know God?
Find Jesus in this Book, and He will show you the Father!
e. Most importantly, You can be born again just by reading, understanding and believing these eternal words! (1Peter 1:23) Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
A. God is still speaking, right now!
1. Not new words, through “new” prophets
2. But through the words that we already hold in our hands!
3. They are alive - They are eternal (Hebrews 4:12) For the word of God is quick [ALIVE], and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
4. That’s why I am here PREACHING these same words… because they are God’s voice to us today – we had better HEAD them
5. 2Peter 1:19 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
B. Are you listening?
1. Deuteronomy 6:6 These words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine… heart
2. Matthew 13:15 For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
C. And are you DOING what God says do? Or just FAKING it?