Those Who Believe in Christ are all Prophets

Transfiguration Monday

2 Peter 1:19

“We have a firm, prophetic word, and you do well to pay attention to it as to a light that shines in a dark place until the day breaks and the morning star rises in your hearts.”

Here St. Peter really gets into it, meaning to say: “Everything I preach is about making your conscience certain and enabling your heart to stand firm on the Word so that it does not let it be torn from it, so that both I and you are certain that we have God’s Word.” For keeping the gospel free and unalloyed, without any additions and false doctrine, is a serious business. This is why Peter then proceeds to write against the doctrine of men. But why does he say, “We have a firm prophetic word”? Answer: To be sure, I do not think that we will have the kind of prophets the Jews had in the Old Testament. But actually, a prophet should be someone who preaches Jesus Christ. Thus, although many prophets in the Old Testament prophesied about future things, they actually came and were sent by God to proclaim Christ. Now, those who believe in Christ are all prophets. For they have the true chief part prophets ought to have, although they do not all have the gift of prediction. For just as we, by faith in the Lord Christ, are brothers, kings, and priests, so we all also are prophets through Christ. For we all are able to say what pertains to salvation, God’s honor, and a Christian life. We can even speak about future things as much as is necessary for us to know, e.g., that the Last Day will come and that we will rise from the dead. Finally, we also understand the entire Scripture. Paul also talks about this, 1 Corinthians 14:31, “You all can prophesy, one after the other.” Therefore, Peter now says: “We have the kind of prophetic word that is firm in itself. Only see that it is firm for you.” He also says, “You do well to pay attention to it.” By this he means that it will be necessary that you cling to it firmly. For with the gospel it is just as with someone who, in the middle of the dark night, is locked up in a house–there it would be necessary to light a lamp until the day broke so that the person in the house could see. In this way, the gospel is in the midst of night and darkness. For the reason of all men is nothing but error and blindness. Likewise, the world is nothing but a realm of darkness. Now, in this darkness God has lit a lamp, namely, the gospel, in which we can see and walk so long as we are on earth until the dawn rises and the Day breaks. Accordingly, this text militates strongly against all teaching of men. For since the Word of God is the light in a dark and gloomy place, it is concluded that everything else is darkness. For if there were another light without the Word, St.Peter would not speak in this way. Therefore, do not consider how reasonable the people are who teach differently, no matter how grandly they put it. Where you do not sense God’s Word, do not doubt that there is nothing but darkness. And do not be tempted by the fact that they say they have the Holy Spirit. How can they have God’s Spirit if they do not have God’s Word? This is why those people do nothing other than calling darkness light and turning the light into darkness, as it says in Isaiah 5:20. This is God’s Word, the gospel: We are redeemed from death, sin, and hell through Christ. Those who hear this have the light and the lamp lit in the heart by which we are able to see, which enlightens us, and which teaches us what we ought to know. Where this light is not, we go about trying to find the path to heaven with self-chosen life and works. You can judge this by this light and see that it is darkness…And we need this light and cling to it until the Last Day. Then we will no longer need the Word, just as one extinguishes the natural light at daybreak.

St. Louis ed., 9:1359-1361.

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