2 Peter 1:12-15
Greetings, everybody! Blessing, honor, power and might be to our great God, Father Son and Holy Spirit, and blessings in His name to each of you today as we come to Wednesday’s edition of EDiBS! I’m happy to have you along as we open God’s Word together, and as we do that today, we’ll be going back to the first chapter of 2 Peter. Take just a moment to turn there in your Bible, and then join me for a word of prayer, won’t you?
Almighty and everlasting God, we long to be like trees planted by a stream today – deeply rooted alongside living water, growing strong, lush and full of life. We know, Father, that such a life can only come through you, and so we ask that as we open the Scriptures today you would be gracious and merciful to us and feed us with your Word of truth. Speak to us through this time today, in Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
As we get started today, Peter shares the reason for the urgency and intensity of his words in this letter. Our focus: saying things while they can still be said.
2 Peter 1:12-15
12So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. 13I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, 14because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. 15And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things.
Not long ago, our family lost a loved one to an extended illness. Though it was a very difficult time and though she is terribly missed, there was a blessing in the whole thing in that she was able to prepare for her death — or more accurately, prepare us for her death. Our dear friend knew that she was going to die, but she also knew that she was going to be with the Lord, and so she had a peace about her that transcended her temporal pain and suffering. Because she had time to put her house in order and to say her good byes, she was also able to share what was most important to her with the people she loved: her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. She did this primarily through the writing of personal letters to members of her family and to her friends. There was even one that she wrote to be read at her funeral, and it very pointedly mentioned the all-important need to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior in order to be saved from an eternity absent of God. As you might imagine, her words were written with love, but they were also tinged with the urgency of a woman who knew her time was short.
Our family friend and the apostle Peter had something in common when it came to the writing of their respective letters: they both knew they were soon to die. This is Peter’s focus today as we see him share just why he is writing as he is.
Verse 12: In the four verses before us, Peter makes some very straight-forward, declarative statements, and the best way to examine them is to simply outline what is being said. Verse 12 says this: “So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have.” What “things” is Peter referring to? The things we’ve been studying this week and last from the first chapter of his letter. Though his readers already have a firm grasp of the truth, Peter says it is fitting that they be reminded of it, and not just once or twice, but continually. The things of God and of our salvation in Jesus Christ bear repeating over and over again because they are literally our lifeblood, and in hearing them we are not only reminded of their reality, we are also strengthened through them.
Verses 13-14: In verses 13-14, Peter continues: “I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me.” Here we see Peter reveal more of his mindset: He knows that he will soon lay aside his life, and in fact will lay it aside in the manner that Jesus had made clear to him, which, like the Lord’s death, will be through crucifixion (John 21:18-19). Because he knows he has very little time left, his desire is to do what? To refresh the memories of his readers; to ensure that they remain established in the truth. This phrase can also be rendered “It is right for me to stir you up by reminding you” of these things.
Verse 15: Finally, in verse 15 Peter takes things one step further. Not only does he want to continually remind his readers of the truth; not only does he want, with the time he has left, to stir them up so that the Gospel remains on the front burner of their minds; but moreover, Peter wants his words to be so ubiquitous, so ingrained in them, that those words will retain their power, influence, and authority long after his departure. That’s why he says, “And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things.” When we come back together tomorrow, we’ll look at Peter’s line of reasoning for such strong and confident statements, but for now, suffice it to say that for him, getting things right when it comes to faith in Jesus Christ has become the one thing that drives his life’s work. Nothing else matters.
As we wrap things up for the day, it’s my prayer that in the midst of your own very busy and often very compartmentalized life, you will stop and consider the urgency and importance of Peter’s message today…and how really, it permeates every part of who you are and supersedes anything of earthly importance in life. When it comes to faith in Jesus Christ for the salvation of your soul, do you have it right? Are you trusting in your good life to get you across the threshold of eternity and into the presence of God, or are you trusting in God Himself to bring you there through the finished work of His Son? Are you clear on the truths of the Gospel and open to being continually reminded of them, continually stirred up by them, and continually strengthened by them, or have you fallen into the trap of trying to do life on your own, having relegated God to nothing more than a Sunday morning religious ceremony? Those are heavy questions, I know...but they’re the most important questions you’ll ever ask yourself. May God guide you by the power of His Spirit to see what you need to see in His Word today.
Thanks for your time today, everyone; have a terrific day, God’s peace to you in Christ, and I’ll see you again next time. Until then, take care!