God's Truth

Text: 2 Peter 1:20
First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation… (NRSV)

I have often heard people say, “You can make scripture say anything you want it to say” or, “it all depends on how you interpret it.”  For me, that is kind of like saying that everyone’s “truth” is just as valid as anyone else’s.  But that is simply not right.  If someone is completely convinced of a lie, that does not convert the lie into truth.

Peter reminds us that God’s Word came at a specific time, for a specific purpose, to a specific people.  Now, this does not mean that an ancient prophecy cannot also have an ongoing meaning that encompasses all of time, or that God never intended a specific prophecy to have a greater fulfillment in another age.  However, what it cannot mean is that God’s word can be used outside of God’s intended purpose.  We cannot “make” God’s word mean whatever we want it to mean by taking it out of the context in which it was spoken.  In other words, it is never a matter of one’s own interpretation.

This is another reason why it is so important to read God’s word in our scriptures for ourselves.  It is too easy to be fooled by those who would teach things that simply suit their own desires.  One cannot recognize sound doctrine if they have not acquainted themselves with all of scripture in the context of its writing.  And those who simply want to hear what sounds good to them or who want to shape God into something other than the One True God, will hear what they want to hear if they don’t know the original purpose of God’s word (see 2 Timothy 4).

Do you spend time reading your Bible?  Do you scrutinize your beliefs based on the Word of God and not the opinions of others?  Do you test what others say about God and his word by an examination of scripture, or do you simply accept their opinion?

Pray with me:

God of truth and God of life you have spoken to us through your prophets and the authors of scripture.  Speak into our hearts and our minds through the power of your Holy Spirit. Encourage us to immerse ourselves in your word through reading and study that we might know the truth and not rely only on the opinions of others.  AMEN.

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