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The Holy Spirit: The Author of Scripture

A bit from John Piper on 2 Peter 1:20-21

The Holy Spirit: Author of Scripture

February 26, 1984

2 Peter 1:20-21

First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by the impulse of man, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

On June 27, 1819, Adoniram Judson baptized his first convert in Burma. His wife, Ann Hasseltine, described how Moung Nau had responded to the Scripture: “A few days ago I was reading with him Christ’s Sermon on the Mount. He was deeply impressed and unusually solemn. ‘These words,’ said he, ‘take hold on my liver; they make me tremble.”‘ God spoke through Isaiah the prophet 2700 years ago and said, “This is the man to whom I will look, he that is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word … Hear the word of the Lord, you who tremble at his word” (Isaiah 66:2,5).

For two thousand years the Bible has been taking hold of people’s livers and making them tremble—first with fear because it reveals our sin, then with faith because it reveals God’s grace. A single verse, Romans 13:13, convicted and converted the immoral Augustine. For Martin Luther, a miserable monk, the light broke in through Romans 1:17. He said,

Night and day I pondered until I saw the connection between the justice of God and the statement that “the just shall live by his faith.” Then I grasped that the justice of God is that righteousness by which through grace and sheer mercy God justifies us through faith. Thereupon I felt myself to be reborn and to have gone through open doors into paradise (Here I Stand, p. 49).

For Jonathan Edwards it was 1 Timothy 1:17. He says,

The first instance, that I remember, of that sort of inward, sweet delight in God and divine things, that I have lived much in since, was on reading these words, 1 Tim. 1:17, “Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” As I read the words, there came into my soul … a sense of the glory of the Divine Being; a new sense quite different from anything I ever experienced before. Never any words of Scripture seemed to me as these words did. (Works, I p. xii).

From century to century, from Egypt to Germany to New England the Bible has been drawing people to Christ and making them new.

Why? Why has the Bible had this abiding relevance and power? I believe the answer is found in our text. 2 Peter 1:20-21, “First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by the impulse of man, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” This passage teaches that when you read Scripture, what you are reading does not merely come from a man but also from God. The Bible is the writing of many different men. But it is also far more than that. Yes, men spoke. They spoke with their own language and style. But Peter mentions two other dimensions of their speaking. First, they spoke from God. What they have to say is not merely from their own limited perspective. They are not the origin of the truth they speak; they are the channel. The truth is God’s truth. Their meaning is God’s meaning. Second, not only is what they spoke from God, but how they spoke it is controlled by the Holy Spirit. “Men, moved by the Holy Spirit, spoke from God.” God did not simply reveal truth to the writers of Scripture and then depart in hopes that they might communicate it accurately. Peter says that in the very communicating of it they were carried by the Holy Spirit. The making of the Bible was not left to merely human skills of communication; the Holy Spirit himself carried the process to completion.

That entire sermon is located here:


http://www.desiringgod.org/library/sermons/84/022684.html

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Comments (2)

  1. I really, really appreciate you. I stumbled across your site and I…had to take in my breath.

    I SO love a brotha who’s grounded, sound and knows the importance of doctrine. Doctrine IS important.

    In Him,

    A Nappy Girl for…life

  2. Well nice to have you through! 🙂 Hope you pop in and visit from time to time and I hope what’s posted is edifying to you.