Monday 18 September 2017

Bible Book:
2 Peter

“until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts” (v. 19)

2 Peter 1:19-21 Monday 18 September 2017

Psalm: Psalm 84


The Early Church struggled just as much as we do with knowingwhat is true or not. We need to be attentive to this difficultybecause the day hasn't dawned and the morning star is yet to risein our hearts. For now, we only have a lamp shining in a dark placeand have to wait for greater clarity and certainty to come. As Paulwrites in 1 Corinthians 13:12: we now see only a part asthrough a glass dimly. This is our struggle to know what is trueand what is not and there is no easy way around it. Christians mayargue that truth is simple and that they do what the Bible says,but one can never do that without some personal interpretation ofthe Bible. And Peter is clear: "No prophecy of scripture is amatter of one's own interpretation" (v. 20). Here is a caution tothose who proclaim simple truths without noticing their owninterpretations and experiences. Through the ages people havedogmatically called on their selection and interpretation ofScripture to justify the most dreadful and appalling acts andbeliefs. Peter's suggestion is that it is the human being moved bythe Holy Spirit that will have the answers, but this only locatesthe struggle for truth within the complexity of experience andfellowship.

The struggle, however, is not without hope. We do have a lamp -Psalm 119:105. God's Spirit does speak throughour experience and through Scripture. While we have a lamp in thedark for the time being, the morning star will come. One day wewill 'know fully as we are fully known' (1Corinthians 13:12). Just because discerning God's will is astruggle doesn't mean we can't have a go at it! It does mean,however, that we need each other to check things through, and wemust use our experience and wisdom to see the sense. We must beopen to God's continuing prompting as the Holy Spirit brings theword to life in our hearts. Peter's words are an encouragementquite as much as they are a warning. A warning not to be quite sodogmatic! And an encouragement to seek and find the life-givingtruth of the gospel (good news of Jesus).

To Ponder

  • Where have your certainties been challenged as you haveencountered other people's points of view?
  • What is a helpful challenge?
  • How is your understanding of the gospel different today fromthree/five/ten/twenty years ago?
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