We have the prophetic word made more sure.
–2 Peter 1:19
In 1 John 5:13, John said, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.” A key word in this verse is “written.”
Do you remember the old hymn “He Lives”? The lyrics say, “I serve a risen Savior; He’s in the world today.” I like that song until the last line, which is terrible theology. “You ask me how I know He lives. He lives within my heart.” Really? Is that the best evidence Christ is alive today–some feeling I have that He lives within my heart? What happens if I wake up one morning and don’t feel like He’s in my heart? Has that changed things? Our faith doesn’t rest on whether we have warm, fuzzy feelings inside. Our faith rests on the written Word of God that never changes.
That’s why John said, “These things I have written to you.” Our faith does not depend on subjective feelings, but on the objective truth of the Word of God. Let’s look at 2 Peter 1:16. Peter, remember, was Jesus’s chief apostle, and 2 Peter was written toward the end of Peter’s life as he reflected back on his Christian experience. He said, “We did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” He was saying, “James, John, and all of us didn’t get in a room together and concoct some myth about Jesus Christ.”
He continued, “But we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, ‘This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased’” (vv. 16-17). Peter was talking about that experience on the Mount of Transfiguration. Jesus brought Peter, James, and John with Him, and they caught a glimpse of Jesus transfigured, changed for an instant into His glorified state. Peter was saying, “Not only did we see that, but we also heard the voice of God the Father from heaven saying, ‘This is my beloved Son.’” Can you imagine an experience like that? Don’t you ever wish sometimes, “If I could just hear the audible voice of God, then I would truly believe”? But look at what Peter said in verse 19. As great as that experience was, he said, “We have the prophetic word made more sure.” That is, as faith-affirming as it was to hear the audible words of God, it is equally if not more faith-affirming to read the written Word of God.
Peter went on to describe the written Word of God: “Know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God” (vv. 20-22). Our assurance of salvation is based on the written Word of God. The Bible is the best evidence that every promise of God is true and can be trusted. That’s what our faith rests on. Our faith isn’t based on changing experiences, but on the unchanging, written Word of God.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Eternally Secure” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2014.
Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible®, copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by the Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.