Remember we Speak the Truth of God!
2 Peter 1:12-21
I love the buzz that is created when people do something that is exciting. You know when you have just come off a terrifying ride at Gold Reef City and as everyone gets off that ride there is a buzz of people sharing their experiences.
We love to share significant stories.
In fact that still remains some of my best times is when we are away as a family on holiday and everyone shares stories of their childhood and I get to see a glimpse into my parents life.
Now stories are great however something changes when we are gripped by absolute truth. When something happens and there is a need to make sure everyone know about it.
Peter finds himself in this at the end of his life. He has experienced the things of God and seen things that have amazed him and changed him.
He simply cannot keep silent about the things that he has experienced. It overwhelms him and spills out in every conversation.
And it is at the end of His life that Peter now reflecting on his life and ministry realises that this truth that he has experienced is more important that anything and that this message must go on.
It is the blessing of age to take stock of what is of true value in your life.
To Peter there is only one thing in this world that is of significance and that is the message of hope found in the salvation won for us by Jesus Christ.
He will not stop sharing this message and he will not stop sharing the power of this message in the lives of people.
We are in 2 Peter 1:12-21.
Peter wrote this letter in the latter part of his life and it is here that he is convinced that the message he heard from Jesus is a message that must go on even when he is gone.
So I have titled my message this evening:
“Remember we speak the truth of God!”
And that is the challenge that Peter is facing as he pens this letter.
Peter reminds the church of the power of Christ, of the power of the promises of God that are available to us in faith in Christ.
He reminds the church that this is the very truth of God that we are talking about.
The message we have in Christ is:
1. Not Just a Story
Peter in verse 15 to 17 reminds the church that this is not stories made up by men. They were eyewitnesses of the glory of Christ.
The same encouragement is given to us today as it was 2000 years ago when Peter pen this letter to the church in the 1st century.
The message that we hold onto the message of grace that we have is not a clever story made up by men it is the very truth of God.
The temptation we find in our world today is to equate the message of Christ with other religions of our time each its own relative “Truth” about reality.
I want to encourage you tonight that the message of Christ is not a clever story it is the truth of reality.
This seems like a subtle change in thinking however it is fundamental to the message of Christ being powerful to us.
This is not a story to help people cope with life. Which seems to be what mainstream media wants you to believe. It is the product of history, fact born in the reality of history.
Peter reminds the church that what he was was the actual power of God revealed in Christ. He recalls the mount of transfiguration.
He is not passing on second hand stories but what he actually saw. He saw the very power of God revealed.
These are events that are rooted in Peter’s life.
The reality is that we have things of God that are rooted in the reality of our life; and that is what we are called to witness to the world.
Faith in Christ has impact, and has reality in people’s life it is far more than a belief structure that helps us cope.
I can’t tell you how tired I am of seeing and hearing how people need religion in their life to help them cope with life. Religion is packaged as this psychological coping mechanism for the simple.
Peter is reminding us tonight that this is not a coping mechanism this is the truth. something founded in reality and something that he saw with his own eyes.
The fundamental power and conviction of the early church - and in fact the success of the preaching of the early church - was in the fact that what they spoke about was a historical reality.
This might seem pretty obvious to say to believers (which you are here tonight). But it amazing how often we undermine our faith with the subtle thought that this is a story.
But we hold onto the reality that our faith is not unreal it is rooted in the reality of history.
The hope of your salvation is not in the story of Jesus; but in the fact that Jesus actually died for your sins and was resurrected from the dead.
That is where you hope lies that is where the power of our faith lies and that is what we preach.
Sometimes I fear that our faith is in the same class as the christmas story. That it is just another nice story to tell the kids.
The truth is that this is truth!
Peter makes sure that the church understands this by reiterating that this is not a story and it is...
2. Not Man Made
In verse 20-21 Peter shares how this is not the messages of man and in fact no prophet has ever spoken words of his own imagining.
Peter calls the church to remember that the Bible itself is not man made it is from God!
I want to take us beyond the issue that our faith is rooted in reality it is rooted in the fact that God has guided it and spoken it.
The truth we have is not the stories of men, it is not the logic of great minds it is the message of a great God!
The significance of this is that we are to speak it as such, we are not talking about theories or ideas, we are talking about the truth of God on high; that is why Peter was willing to continually talk about it and talk about it until he died!
The reality is this news we have is not simply the imaginings of men, it is not stories made up to make us feel better.
It is the absolute truth of God; that God became man, lived among men and died so that we could all find salvation.
It was John Calvin who said that The Bible could not have been man made for it alone in all the writings of men has so humbled mankind and so exalted God!
This message is the most important message that man has ever heard and that is why it is...
3. Not to be Forgotten
Peter wrote this letter in the latter part of his life realising that He and the other disciple of Jesus were dead or dying, he felt it was important to ensure that this message goes on. That it is re told and retold so that every generation hears the message of hope that is in the truth of Jesus Christ.
And this is my challenge to you tonight; How are we ensuring that the message continues to go out.
How are we invested in making sure that the world continues to hear the truth of God.
Lets remember that what we have here is not some story, it is not man made it is the very truth of God spoken through time to each generation bring hope and change with each person that hears it and takes it to heart.
You and I now are the carriers of that message and I want to encourage you tonight that what we have is so important we must be doing everything in our power to ensure that every generation hears the this truth.
So are we speaking boldly when given the opportunity?
Are we ensuring that the message is taking root in the generations below us?
If not what is keeping us from.
Most of us it is fear. A fear that we might fail or that the message does not want to be heard.
I want to say that we won’t fail because it is not our message it is a message of God, so he will be the one who ensures that it goes out in power we simply have to be humble before him.
And if we have a fear that this is a message that people don’t want to hear lets remember that this message is the only hope that they have.
The reality is that we need to each be personally involved in the propagation of this message.
I want to ask you tonight who are you involved with sharing and inputting to ensure that this message of hope, this message of truth and this message of power is continuing?
Are we invested in making this message known?
I am convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that my only call of life is to disciple others in the message of hope that I have heard and understood.
To ensure that that message is successfully passed onto others.
The problem with this is that it is not short term, nor is it easy. It takes time, it takes investing it takes people misunderstanding us and it takes us to have the strength of conviction to correct them.
Just last week in College we were discussing how to talk to our friends who are telling us rubbish about God; and it was agreed on that we cannot stay silent. The easy thing is to say,”Well that’s what you believe and you are welcome to is.” It is profoundly more challenging to speak the truth in love!
But The message we have is so important that we cannot stay silent!
So I wonder as we are gathered here tonight what is keeping you from speaking the truth of God?
I want to challenge to reevaluate just how important the message is that you have! I want to challenge you do not stay quiet! Do not let the most important message ever spoken (and spoken by God Himself) be lost!
Let us remember tonight that we speak the truth of God!