Impelled By The Spirit
The written Word of God is not something that somebody dreamed up. It is the product of the force of the Holy Spirit impelling these sacred writers to put down that message…
Alright. Thank you very much and hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Are you doing Alright today? Oh, I trust so, bless your heart. You know this is the day on which General McArthur gave his famous speech about “Old Soldiers Never Die.” There has been a great many jokes made on that phrase, turning on that phrase. They used to kid me when I was president of a college about “Old college presidents never die. They just lose their faculties.” Yeah, and “Old bankers never die. They just lose interest.”
Well, Alright. McArthur said, “Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years.” He said, “People grow old only by deserting their ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin but to give up interest wrinkles the soul. Worry, doubt, self-distrust, fear, and despair, these are the long, long years that bow the head and turn the growing spirit back to dust. You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt, as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear, as young as your hope, as old as your despair.” That’s Douglas McArthur. He was quite a philosopher, wasn’t he?
Well, listen I don’t know how old you are but I know you can be young in spirit. You can have a hope for tomorrow that is steadfast and sure, you can live in the sunshine of God’s presence and even though you are in circumstances that are negative or difficult or even heartbreaking, Peter says, “Though now for a season, ye are in heaviness, through manifold testings.” But he said, “You can be rejoicing in the Lord Jesus, in whom though now you see Him not, yet believing ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.” You can have God’s joy everyday, no matter what the circumstances are.
Well, we’re in 2 Peter chapter 1, and Peter said “I’m not going to neglect you. I’m going to be faithful to you because I don’t know how much time I have.” These things are important. Now, remember the “These things.” If I seem to repeat them it’s because I want to. I want you to get it. The first thing is God has already given you everything you need to succeed as a Christian, chapter 1, verse 3. The second thing is God has given you the means of achieving it, in His precious Word, the promises of God, “That by these promises you might be partakers of the divine nature.” The third thing is, there is something you can do by faith to make a change in your life. “By faith you can add virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly love, Calvary love.”
And these things he says “Can be in you and abound.” You can have a spilling over, overflowing kind of Christian character that is a blessing to everyone. Hallelujah for that. Now, he said “Even after I die, I want you to be able to remember these things.” And so he says “I’ll endeavor that you may be able, after my death to have these things always in remembrance.” Now, why? Why make an emphasis on the written Word of God? He said, “We have not followed cunningly devised fables.” This is the 16th verse of the first chapter in 2 Peter.
“We have not followed cunningly devised fables.” “When we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,” but we were eyewitnesses of His Majesty for he received from God the Father honor and glory. When there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory saying “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” And this voice which came from Heaven, we heard when we were with Him, in the Holy Mount.
He said, “We also have a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto the light that shineth in the dark place.” Alright, and we’ll stop there a bit, and that’s a great passage. I just feel like I’d like to go on and read it for you and then preach from it. Well, let’s go back to where we were.
He said, “The reason that I am emphasizing all of these is because it’s based not upon cunningly devised fables.” That’s what some people were saying. These people who have gotten together, they have been in collusion, they have planned what they were going to say, they claim that Jesus rose from the dead, and they claim all these things were happening and it’s all a cunningly devised fable, it’s a myth. “No,” said Simon Peter, “We haven’t followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus. We were there.”
I’ll tell you something. Even the philosophers of the world admit that you cannot deny a personal experience. If you were there, you experienced it, it can’t be denied. And so he said “We were there. We saw Him. We were eyewitnesses. We heard Him, and we heard the voice from Heaven saying, ‘This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.’ “Where did we hear Him? When we were with Him in the Holy Mount, Mount of Transfiguration.” He said “We were there. This isn’t something we made up.”
The reason it’s important is that it’s eternally true and it’s based upon an experience with the Lord Jesus Christ. Not only that, but in verse 19 he said, “It’s based upon the written Word of God that we have already, a more sure word of prophecy.” No prophecy of the scriptures of any private interpretation because it came not by the will of man, “But holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”
So, what’s he saying? “I’m going to have to die one of these days.” That’s what he says in verse 14 but he says, “I’m going to make sure that you have these things always and remember it’s even after I’m gone.” Why? “Because they’re true, because we experienced it, because we know Jesus, because we heard the voice from Heaven saying, ‘This in my beloved Son,’ because we have the prophecies, every one of which was fulfilled concerning the first coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. When He was to come, of what lineage He was to come, and how He was to be born, and how He was to develop, and how He was to be killed and then rise again. All of the prophecies, a more sure word of prophecy, we’ve got it.” Now, he said “That is why I want you to keep all of these in mind.”
Alright, how does that apply to you and to me? Today, we have what we call the Bible, this is the Old and the New Testament. 2 Peter had the prophecies of the Old Testament and he was busy writing that which later became the New Testament, Peter, and James, and Paul, and Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John. And whoever wrote the book of Hebrews, it sounds to me like Paul, but then I won’t argue that.
The New Testament was in the process of being written by the Holy Spirit of God even as Peter was writing these letters to his friends. Today, we have the Bible, the written Word of God. Now, he said “I want you to keep this in remembrance.” Why? “Because it’s true,” second, “Because it has produced a personal experience on our part.” Have you had that personal experience of the Lord Jesus? I trust you have. If you haven’t opened your heart and mind to Him as yet, please do so.
The way to do it is to bow and say, “Lord Jesus, come into my heart. Forgive my sins and make me a child of God.” And the Bible says “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:9 says, “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth, Jesus is Lord and believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” In 10:13 it says, “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” And John 1:12 says, “If you receive Him, you’ll become a child of God.” So you put those concepts together, you call on Him, you receive Him, you ask Him for His forgiveness, you trust Him to be your Lord and your Savior, and you’ll become then, a child of God.
And you have then, that personal experience of the Lord Jesus Christ in your life. The Holy Spirit of God comes in to dwell in your life and to guide you, and to remind you of those things that are important in the Will of God. Now then, what is — what of it? Well, he said “The reason that these truths — remember what they are now, God’s already given you everything you need to be successful, the way to implement that blessed gift is through the written Word of God, the promises of God.
The way to change your own personality is through faith in the Lord Jesus. “Add to your faith.” And all of this is based on God’s written revelation; you and I have it, in what we call the Bible. Now, he said “I am doing this because it’s a personal experience. We haven’t followed the cunningly devised fables. It’s based on the spoken Word of God.” Verse 17, “We heard the voice” and he said, “It’s based on the more sure word of prophecy.” All of the written Word of God adds up to the conviction that the Lord Jesus Christ is indeed the Savior, and that you and I may claim Him as our Lord and our personal Savior.
Now then, what does he say about the scripture itself? This is the next thing we want to look at in 2 Peter 1:20, “Knowing this first,” said he, “That no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation, for the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” Paul says over in 2 Timothy, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” That’s his word about the scripture in 2 Timothy 3 and verse 16, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God.” That’s our phrase “God-breathed.” I like that.
“All scripture is God-breathed and is profitable for doctrine,” that’s to teach you. Reproof, that’s to straighten you out. Correction, that’s to direct you. Instruction in righteousness, that’s to smarten you up. That the Word of — the man of God may be perfect, that’s our word, “Grown up,” grown up and ready for all good works. Over here in 2 Peter he says “The holy man of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” That word “moved,” actually it means hustled along, like dry leaves before a fall wind, hustled along by the Holy Ghost.
The written Word of God is not something that somebody dreamed up but it is the product of the force of the Holy Spirit impelling these sacred writers to put down that message, and at the same time using their own personalities and their own talents. Well, thank God that, that’s so. They prophesied. Spoke as they were carried along. “Feromenoi” is the verb there, it means carried along, hustled along as leaves that were blown by the wind. These who wrote were impelled by the spirit of God.
Now, bring that up to Main Street where you and I live. What about today? Well, the Bible, as a written record is complete. God is not giving us any more written inspired records such as the Bible. But you and I have the delight of having the Spirit of God speak to us and through us everyday. The Lord Jesus said “It is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.”
And so you can depend on the blessed Holy Spirit of God to guide you and to speak through you as occasion demands. Will you today, beloved, start depending on the Spirit of God to guide you and to control you in what you say, and right and in what you do? When you make these decisions to say something, or to do something, or to write something, or to take some action, first whisper a prayer and say “O, Spirit of God in Jesus’ name guide me.” You’d be amazed of what God does in answer to that prayer.
Precious Father, today help us to live by the Word of God and to be impelled by the Spirit of God. I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Until I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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