If anyone qualified as the original charismatic, it was Peter. – He spoke in tongues, healed people, and prophesied. – And he had the most fantastic experiences of anyone, one of the greatest being what he describes here:
2 Pet. 1:16-18 – Jesus pulled back the veil of His flesh and displayed His glory! – They saw His majesty, they heard God’s voice, they were stunned by it all. – Yet look what Peter writes next, look at what Peter thinks about that incredible and very real experience they had:
vv. 19-21 – v. 19a, “more sure” than what? – Than experience. – I.e., Scripture was a brighter light than their experience of Jesus on that day. – Scripture was a firmer foundation for their faith than even the best of experiences.
Don’t miss a crucial principle Peter is giving us here: All experience must be tested by the more sure word of Scripture. –
Experience must never be our starting point for any belief. – Scripture must be our starting point. – We filter experience through Scripture, not Scripture through experience.
~ Jonathan Edwards, after experiencing revival like none of us has ever seen, and like the modern Church has never experienced. – Edwards’ ministry was at the heart of the First Great Awakening that shook N. America & England. – Tens of thousands were won to Christ, and missionaries were sent around the world. – These were some of the most passionate & emotional & experiential Christians that ever lived. –
YET Edwards writes (read slowly): I would therefore entreat the people of God to be very cautious how they give heed to [seeking experience]. I have seen them fail in very many instances. I know by experience that impressions being made with great power, and upon the minds of true, yea eminent,—saints even in the midst of extraordinary exercises of grace, and sweet communion with God, and attended with texts of Scripture strongly impressed on the mind—are no sure signs of their being revelations from heaven.