by Roland W. Keith
In his second letter to Timothy, Paul informs us that “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work (II Timothy 3:16-17). According to Paul, though the books of the Bible may have been penned by the hands of men they are not their words, rather the writers were inspired by God to put His words on paper. God used certain men to reveal His will, plans and actions to mankind.
It is through the written word that God reveals and draws us to Himself and extends to us a pathway that leads to redemption and salvation. According to Peter, “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him Who called us to His Own glory and excellence, by which He has granted to us His precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire (II Peter 1:3-4).
Under the first covenant, or Old Testament, God spoke to mankind through His prophets. Through them He instructed man in His ways and prepared them to receive a second and final covenant that would be handed down by a coming Messiah. That Savior is Jesus Christ, His Son. As Paul wrote, “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed the heir of all things, through Whom also He created the world” (Hebrews 1:1-2).
With regard to that message Jesus said, “For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent Me has Himself given Me a commandment—what to say and what to speak” (John 12:49). All that Jesus taught was given to Him by His Father and was faithfully passed on by Jesus and His followers (John 14:26; Acts 1:2), even so, concerning the salvation of man, the Father has given all authority to His Son (Matthew 28:18-20).
Jesus spent three years instructing His followers, particularly the apostles, in the plan of salvation they were to carry out into the world. However, their education did not end with His ascension into heaven. The Holy Spirit continued that work until all had been made known and recorded so that those who seek God may be made complete (John 16:12-15; I Corinthians 13:10; Hebrews 5:9; 7:28; James 1:4-5, 25).
When we hear or read the word of God it becomes implanted in our hearts and minds, and is capable of transforming us if we are open to its wisdom and willing to accept the law of liberty it sets forth (James 1:21-25). That which was made perfect has come down to man, and the mystery of God’s will has been made clear in the written text of the Bible, which was completed during the lifetimes of the apostles (I Corinthians 13:10-12; II Timothy 3:16-17).
Considering the mystery surrounding God’s plan Peter wrote, “Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look” (I Peter 1:10-12).
Later, in his second letter Peter would beseech his readers not to forget the works of the prophets and the word handed down to the apostles by the Lord Himself (II Peter 3:1-3). Many today view the Old Testament as an obsolete or unimportant document, however it is the foundation of all that God set forth to accomplish through His Son and the New Testament that would be established by His death and resurrection. Moreover, it is a proof-text to all that Jesus claimed and accomplished. As Jesus Himself said, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled." Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things” (Luke 24:44-48).
For those of us in the modern world the last words of that quote are very telling. Jesus was informing His disciples that they were being sent out into the world as eyewitnesses to His life and all that He accomplished on behalf of man, including His resurrection from the dead which validated all that He had done and proclaimed in His lifetime. In reference to that testimony Peter would tell his readers that what they were being taught were not myths but eyewitness accounts of the majesty of the Only Son of God, confirmed by the fulfillment of prophecy and duly testified to and recorded by those who had been a part of His historic life as they were given inspiration by the Holy Spirit (II Peter 1:16-21; II Timothy 3:16-17).
Hi! I'm Roland. I began writing after retiring from the Navy in 2015. I believe that we each should strive to learn from one another, by sharing our thoughts and ideas. As a writer my goal is to help other seekers of truth to find and grow in Christ.