Don’t Forget to Remember, 2 Peter 1:12-21


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Don’t Forget to Remember, 2 Peter 1:12-21, Adapted from a David Owens sermon,

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Don’t Forget to Remember, 2 Peter 1:12-21

  1. 1. Don’t Forget to Remember2 Peter 1:12-21<br />Adapted from a David Owens sermon<br /><br />
  2. 2. An elderly gentleman was telling his friend about a new restaurant he and his wife recently visited. He said, “The food and the service were great!” His friend asked, “What's the name of the restaurant?” “Gee, I don't remember,” he said, “Hey, what do you call the long stemmed flower people give on special occasions?”<br />
  3. 3. “You mean a rose?” offered his friend. “Yeah, that's it!” the old man exclaimed and turned calling to his wife across the yard, “Rose, what's the name of that restaurant we went to the other day?”<br />So let me ask you: How good is your memory? Do you tend to forget things? Can you remember your spouse’s name?<br />
  4. 4. Can you remember what day is today or what you had for breakfast? What about Scripture? Do you remember what the Bible says and where it says it?<br />What about the Lord and your salvation? Do you remember what the Lord has done for you? Do you remember the commitment you have made to the Lord? These are things we don’t want to forget. Unfortunately, we often forget what we need to remember and we remember what we need to forget.<br />
  5. 5. We notice that God is often commanding His people to remember important things. We also notice that God often gives his people physical, visual aids to help them remember. God has given us the sign of the rainbow to help us remember that He will never again destroy all life by water.<br />
  6. 6. God gave the sign of circumcision to remind the people of Israel of the covenant of Abraham. God gave them the Passover to remind them of the great deliverance from Egypt. Similarly, God has given us the Lord’s Supper to give us a weekly reminder of our deliverance from sin through sacrifice of Christ. God knows how easily we forget and how important it is for us to remember.<br />
  7. 7. As we look at today’s text from 2nd Peter, we see Peter doing everything he can to leave the church some very important reminders. He is basically saying to all of us: Don’t forget to remember. Peter knows that false teachers pose a great danger to the church, both in his time and in ours. Let’s work our way through the text to see what things we need to remember.<br />
  8. 8. Remember to be Established in the Truth <br />2 Peter 1:12 NET Therefore, I intend to remind you constantly of these things even though you know them and are well established in the truth that you now have.<br />
  9. 9. 13Indeed, as long as I am in this tabernacle, I consider it right to stir you up by way of a reminder, 14since I know that my tabernacle will soon be removed, because our Lord Jesus Christ revealed this to me. 15Indeed, I will also make every effort that, after my departure, you have a testimony of these things.<br />
  10. 10. The first thing that stands out to us is the fact that there is a body of truth that Peter wants to be sure they remember. He compliments them saying, “you know them and are well established in the truth that you now have.” He wants to be sure that they will remember “these things” after his departure. Through their preaching and teaching, the apostles and prophetslaid the foundation of the church.<br />
  11. 11. Ephesians 2:20 NET because you have been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone.<br />We, in later generations, are building on that foundation. The truth about Jesus Christ is that foundation. <br />1 Corinthians 3:11 NET For no one can lay any foundation other than what is being laid, which is Jesus Christ.<br />
  12. 12. Peter implies that there is a fixed body of truththat must be held to and remembered. See how Jude describes it. Jude 1:3 NET Dear friends, although I have been eager to write to you about our common salvation, I now feel compelled instead to write to encourage you to contend earnestly for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. <br />the faith-conviction of the truth(Thayer)<br />
  13. 13. The receiving of this truthestablishes a person in thetruth, and holding on to that truth results in faithfulness and spiritual strength.Why was Peter so urgent and emphatic about reminding them of this truth? Because he knew his death was near.In John 21:18-19, Jesus spoke of the end of Peter’s life and the fact that it would be a violent death that would bring glory to God.<br />
  14. 14. John 21:18 NET I tell you the solemn truth, when you were young, you tied your clothes around you and went wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and others will tie you up and bring you where you do not want to go." 19(Now Jesus said this to indicate clearly by what kind of death Peter was going to glorify God.) After he said this, Jesus told Peter, "Follow me."<br />
  15. 15. I appreciate Peter’s lack of concern for his own death. He’s not concerned about himself, he’s concerned for them. He talks of his death, “I know that my tabernacle will soon be removed,” like taking off an old pair of clothes. Peter didn’t fear death and neither should we. Peter saw death, not as an end but as a taking off of the earthly and going out into the Promised Land of God.<br />
  16. 16. In verse 15 the word “exodus” is translated “departure.” But before his exodus, Peter was committed to doing everything possible to establish the church in truthand to help the church remember these things after his departure. <br />Peter wanted his readers to know the basic truths of Christianity so well these thingsdefined their lives.<br />
  17. 17. He didn’t apologize for repeating these things. He acknowledged that they already knew these things, but that he was going to go over them again so that they wouldn’t forget. Paul wrote something similar in, Philippians 3:1 NET Finally, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! To write this again is no trouble to me, and it is a safeguard for you.<br />
  18. 18. In life you must know some things so well you can’t stop to think, you automatically do. If a pilot has to take time to think in an emergency situation they’re dead. You must automatically spring into action. This is why it is necessary to spend much time training before flying without an instructor. The basics of flight & recovering from every possible emergency must be deeply ingrained so action is taken without thinking.<br />
  19. 19. I rarely, if ever, bringing anything new to the church, most of the time I’m trying to find ways to remind you of what you already know. Obviously, for the seeker or the new Christian, my preaching may contain a lot of things that are brand new to them, but not the older, more mature Christian. But that is an important part of my job – to help us remember and to be inspired to never forget.<br />
  20. 20. Let’s mention one final thing about Peter’s efforts to help us remember. 15Indeed, I will also make every effort that, after my departure, you have a testimony of these things.<br />
  21. 21. I believe Peter is talking about his writings. The very letter this is read from screams out, “Read me again & again as a constant reminder!” The letters of 1stand 2nd Peterare a part of the New Testament and have been ministering to the saints for centuries. It is also possible that Peter is alluding to the book we call The Gospel According to Mark. <br />
  22. 22. Most Bible scholars believe that the Spirit used Peter to give Mark the data for his gospel.<br />So the first thing that Peter wants us to do is,<br />Remember to be Established in the Truth <br />
  23. 23. Remember that Many of the Biblical Writers were Eyewitnesses <br />16For we did not follow cleverly concocted fables when we made known to you the power and return of our Lord Jesus Christ; no, we were eyewitnesses of his grandeur. <br />
  24. 24. 17 For he received honor and glory from God the Father, when that voice was conveyed to him by the Majestic Glory: "This is my dear Son, in whom I am delighted." (Mat. 17:5)18When this voice was conveyed from heaven, we ourselves heard it, for we were with him on the holy mountain.<br />
  25. 25. Why was it important that Peter point out that they did not follow cleverly concocted fables, but that they were eyewitnesses? As we will see in the rest of this letter, Peter was combating false teachers and their false teaching. These false teachers were not eyewitnesses and had some cleverly concocted fables.<br />
  26. 26. These false teachers were trying to cause people to depend on their spiritual experiences rather than depend on the Word of God. Peter calls their teaching “destructive heresies.” (2 Peter 2:1) Some of these heresies had to do with Jesus and His coming.<br />
  27. 27. Peter wants to show the contrast between the apostles who are eyewitnesses and the false teachers who come talking about their cleverly concocted fablesand their speculative theories and experiences. Peter wanted them to understand that the Christian faith is based on historical facts. Peter wanted them to understand that he was not speculating, nor was he stretching the truth, rather he was simply giving his eyewitness account.<br />
  28. 28. The incident that Peter is pointing to in these verses is the Transfiguration of Jesus. Of all the things that Peter was an eyewitness of, why bring up this one incident? Why not bring up the feeding of the 5000, raising Lazarus from the dead, or the crucifixion and resurrection? Why the transfiguration? Because the Transfiguration affirms several important doctrines of the Christian faith.<br />
  29. 29. What are these important doctrines of Christianity that are affirmed by the Transfiguration? <br />The Transfiguration affirms that Jesus is indeed the Son of God. They heard the voice declare: “This is my dear Son, in whom I am delighted.” <br />(Mat. 17:5)<br />The Transfiguration affirms the truth of the Scriptures.<br />
  30. 30. During the Transfiguration, Moses and Elijah both appear with Jesus. These are the two greats of the Old Testament – Moses represented the Law, and Elijah represented the prophets – both delivered the Word of the Lord. When Peter proposed doing something that memorialized Jesus, Moses and Elijah equally, God declared: “This is my dear Son…Listen to Him!” (Mat. 17:5, Mark 9:7)<br />
  31. 31. The Transfiguration points to the certainty of the Second Coming of Jesus. The heretics whom Peter was counteracting no longer believed in it. The Second Coming was so long delayed that people had begun to think it would never happen at all.<br />
  32. 32. Peter employed the Transfiguration incident, not as a foretaste of the Resurrection of Jesus, as it is commonly regarded, but as a foretaste of the triumphant glory of the Second Coming and our resurrection. <br />Moses and Elijah are not dead, but are very much alive. We will live with them and be like them when Jesus returns.<br />
  33. 33. So Peter declares that he was present for the Transfiguration – He was an eyewitness of that and so much more. What he knows about Jesus and what Jesus taught came to him first hand, no speculation and clever invention was necessary. And when you think about it, so much of the Bible was written by those who were eyewitnesses.<br />
  34. 34. The Gospels of Matthew and John were written by eyewitnesses, and as I mentioned earlier, Peter likely passed on the information to Mark.<br />Luke does not claim to be an eyewitness, but look how he gathered the information to write his Gospel.<br />Luke 1:1 NET Now many have undertaken to compile an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, <br />
  35. 35. 2 like the accounts passed on to us by those who were eyewitnesses and servants of the word from the beginning. 3 So it seemed good to me as well, because I have followed all things carefully from the beginning, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 so that you may know for certain the things you were taught.<br />
  36. 36. Luke followed all things carefully from the beginningso perhaps he was an eyewitness from a distance taking note & deeply investigating all that happened. Luke wrote Acts and he was present for the second half of the events of the book. Paul wrote much of the New Testament, and he wasn’t a believer during Jesus’ ministry, but Jesus appeared to him personally after the resurrection, and Paul became an eyewitness then.<br />
  37. 37. James & Jude are both most likely Jesus’ brothers. If so, they are definitely eyewitnesses. The only other is the writer of Hebrews if it wasn’t Paul.<br />Many of the writers of the Old Testament were eyewitnesses of the things they wrote about, like Moses, David, Solomon, Ezra, Nehemiah, Daniel and the Prophets.<br />
  38. 38. The false teachers were coming along in Peter’s day, and they weren’t eyewitnesses yet they were teaching something very different about Jesus than those who had been eyewitnesses. This is an important thing for us to remember, but there is an even more important thing to remember.<br />
  39. 39. Remember the Bible is Inspired by God<br />19Moreover, we possess the prophetic word as an altogether reliable thing. You do well if you pay attention to this as you would to a light shining in a murky place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. <br />
  40. 40. 20 Above all, you do well if you recognize this: No prophecy of scripture ever comes about by the prophet's own imagination, 21for no prophecy was ever borne of human impulse; rather, men carried along by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.<br />
  41. 41. When Peter says “we possess the prophetic word as an altogether reliable thing,” he was saying that the OT prophets spoke of the same things he did and that their words are made more certain because the Transfiguration is a preview of their fulfillment.<br />
  42. 42. In other words, the glory of Jesus on the mountain top and the visions of the prophets combine to make it certain that the Second Coming is a living reality which all people must expect and for which we should prepare.<br />Peter says we should pay attention to it like a light shining in a murky place.<br />
  43. 43. If you have ever walked around with only a flashlight on a moonless night, then you know the importance of paying attention to the small area that is illuminated by the light. The world is a dark place and therefore we need the light of the lamp of God’s Word.<br />We should be focusing on the promises of Scripture “until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.”<br />
  44. 44. All of this is an obvious allusion to the day of Christ’s coming. In the OT the Messiah is referred to as the “star…out of Jacob.” Numbers 24:17 NET 'I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not close at hand. A star will march forth out of Jacob, and a scepter will rise out of Israel. He will crush the skulls of Moab, and the heads of all the sons of Sheth.<br />
  45. 45. John the Baptist’s father, Zechariah prophesies about the forgiveness of sins that is coming. Luke 1:76 NET And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High. For you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, 77 to give his people knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins. <br />
  46. 46. 78 Because of our God's tender mercy the dawn will break upon us from on high 79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace."<br />
  47. 47. Jesus calls himself “the bright Morning Star.” Revelation 22:16 NET "I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star!"<br />Certainly Peter is pointing us toward the Second Coming of Jesus.<br />
  48. 48. Peter then ends this section with two of the best verses in the Bible that explain how Scripture is inspired by God. Peter wants us to know and remember that the Scriptures are not merely the words of men, but are the very words of God. First he declares: “No prophecy of scripture ever comes about by the prophet's own imagination.” Second he declares: “for no prophecy was ever borne of human impulse; rather, men carried along by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”<br />
  49. 49. Peter’s point is that the origin of Scripture is God, not man. Scripture did not come through human invention, imagination or will, rather it comes from God. All of this is an amazing mystery – Men spoke and wrote, but God so worked in them so that what they said and wrote was His Word.<br />
  50. 50. It was not through a process of dictation or through a state of ecstasy that the writers of Scripture spoke, but through the control of the Spirit of God. These men were inspired, but not in the same way we think of people like Shakespeare, Mozart, or Rembrandt were inspired; theirs was the work of genius, the writing of Scripture was the work of the Holy Spirit.<br />
  51. 51. Keep in mind that the Word of God was written to common people, not to theological professors. The writers assumed that common people could read it, understand it, and apply it, being led by the Holy Spirit who inspired it. The humble individual believer can learn about Godas they read and meditate on the <br />Word of God. <br />
  52. 52. No one needs the “experts” to do all the interpreting, although this does not deny the ministry of teachers who may have special gifts for explaining and applying the Scriptures. Nor does this deny the place of the “collective wisdom” of the church over the ages as the Word has been studied and doctrine has been clarified.<br />
  53. 53. We should be very cautious of new interpretation and teaching. It does not seem reasonable that billions of people over thousands of years would be completely wrong and in the dark about the meaning of Scripture.<br />
  54. 54. God has given us a powerful Scripture about Scripture: <br />2 Timothy 3:16 NET Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the person dedicated to God may be capable and equipped for every good work.<br /> The Bible is God’s Word and it is powerful and useful. We should love it, and strive to learn it, and to live it.<br />
  55. 55. When Jack Nicklaus, also known as “the Golden Bear,” was the undisputed number 1 golfer in the world, he was asked how he kept on top of his game. His answer was interesting and very applicable for us. He said that at the end of every golf season he went back to his first coach who taught him the basics of golf, and had him re-teach him the basics all over again.<br />
  56. 56. Every year he went back and learned the basic building blocks of a good golf swing. There wasn’t anything new to learn; there was just the need to be reminded again of the basics. It worked for Jack Nicklaus - he is widely regarded as one of the greatest professional golfers of all time because he won 18 major championships over a span of 25 years.<br />
  57. 57. Spiritually speaking, the same approach can work for us. We must not forget to remember. We must remember to be established in the truth – and review it regularly. We must remember that many of the Biblical writers were eyewitnesses – they truthfully passed on what they saw, heard and experienced. We must remember that the Bible is inspired by God.<br />
  58. 58. Where are you this morning? Are you established in the truth of Jesus Christ? Maybe it’s not that you don’t know the truth, it is that you have forgotten the value of it. Maybe you needed to be reminded that the Bible is God’s Word and it is different and unique.<br />
  59. 59. Maybe you needed to be reminded of the need to establish yourself and your family in the truth. Or maybe you needed the encouragement of the Second Coming to keep you walking faithfully. Whatever you do, <br />DON’T FORGET TO REMEMBER!<br />