2 Peter & Judeby Eileen Poh
As I grow older, I find that my memory is becoming more unreliable. Once, during a class on the Old Testament prophets, I asked my students to name the twelve minor prophets. They named eleven, but were not able to recall the twelfth. ″Who is the twelfth, Eileen?″ they asked. And at that moment, my mind went blank. I simply could not remember. It was most embarrassing!
We all need help to remember biblical truths that we have been taught. That is why Peter wrote his letter. He wants to ″remind you of these things″ (2 Peter 1:12), and ″refresh your memory″ (v. 13) so that ″you will always be able to remember these things″ (v. 15). By using ″so″ at the beginning of this section, Peter is linking ″these things″ in verse 12 to what he has just said in verses 3 to 11–that is, the need to live godly lives, thus confirming that they are true disciples of Jesus Christ.
It is not that his readers have completely forgotten what they had been taught. Peter acknowledges that they know and are firmly established in the truth (v. 12). But he is very much aware of the presence of false teachers in their midst, and he needs to remind them to continue to hold on to the truth so that they will not be swept away by ″destructive heresies″ and ″fabricated stories″ (2:1, 3).
Peter must have felt it imperative to remind his readers of the truths they had been taught. He knows that he is about to die soon (putting aside his metaphorical tent, 1:14), and will receive a rich welcome into Christ's eternal kingdom (v. 11). He hopes this last reminder will make a powerful impact on his readers.
Before Jesus left His disciples, He, too, knew that they would need reminding of the truths He had taught them. He promised that ″the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you″ (John 14:26).
We all have a tendency to forget. Forgetting one of the twelve minor prophets may be embarrassing but has no severe impact on my Christian life. But forgetting the fundamentals of our Christian faith and not living godly lives may cause us to stumble and stray away from God. We all need reminders; hence we need to read the Bible regularly, and we need to rely on the Holy Spirit to remind us of the biblical truths we have been taught.
What practices in church and in your life can help you remember biblical truths? For example, what truths does the Holy Communion, which Jesus established, remind you about? (See Luke 22:14-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26)
What practical steps can you take to help you remember God's Word? Think about some methods you use to remind yourself of other things, such as the main points of a sermon you have heard.