2 Peter1:12-18

2 Peter 1:12-18

(A Bible Study Led by Dr. Larry Reynolds)

March 20, 2014

 

1.      So far in our journey through 2 Peter 1 we have explored six (6) specific things about the Christian life: It is a life of--

--equal standing before God (v.1)

--knowing God in personal, intimate way (v.2)

--sharing in the power of God (v.3)

--being recipients of the precious and magnificent promises of God (v.4)

--growing and maturing in our walk with God (vv.5-9)

--persevering in the faith (vv.10-11)

In this session we are going to explore the seventh thing Peter tells us about Christianity in this chapter, and that is it is rooted in history (vv.12-18)

2.      Many of us are like the man who said “I still can learn things but I can’t remember them!”  There is an old story about an absent-minded professor who had habit of becoming so absorbed in his work would forget the simplest of details...one morning as he was leaving for work his wife said, “Now honey, don’t forget that we are moving today.  I’m putting a note with our new address in your pocket.  That’s where you need to go when you finish teaching.”...the day passed and the man completely forgot that conversation...he went home to his old house, walked in, and found the place empty...confused by that, he walked out and sat down on the curb in front of the house...after a while he noticed a little boy sitting there on the curb beside him...he turned and asked, “Little boy, do you know the people who used to live here?”...to which the boy replied, “Yeah, dad.  Mom said she was sure you’d forget!”

3.      The Apostle Peter certainly understood the importance of remembering...in 2 Peter 1:12-18 three times Peter uses a word which means “to remember”...

--the first use of that word is in v.12 where Peter says, “I shall always be ready to remind you of these things...”

--the second use of the word is in v.13 where Peter speaks of stirring them up “by way of reminder...”

--the word is used again at the end of v.15 where Peter says he desires for them “to be able to call these things to mind (or to remember)...”

4.      Now, with that in mind follow in your Bible as I read 2 Peter 1:12-18...

 

T.S. - Specifically, what is it that Peter wants us to remember?...think the answer to that question is in v.16 - “For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty.”...Peter wants us to remember that our faith is not built on some made up story...the phrase “cleverly devised tales” means myth or fable which has no basis in fact or in history...that phrase was used to describe something which did not really happened...”cleverly devised tales” means something which has been merely made up...in the 1st century world, a world heavily influenced by Roman and Greek mythology, such tales were very common and many religions were built on such fables or myths...

 


In contrast to that, Peter seems to go out of his way in these verses to remind us that Christianity has it roots not in fables and myths and tales...Christianity has its roots in historic events.--

--Christianity is built on an historical person, the person of Jesus Christ...

--Christianity rests on an historical event, the coming of Jesus to our world...

 

The very foundation of our faith is that at a particular, specific time in history--

--Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea...

--Jesus grew up in Nazareth, a small village in northern Israel...

--Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River...

--Jesus was lead by the Spirit into the Judean wilderness to be tempted by Satan...

--Jesus moved to Capernaum and began to teach and minister in the towns and villages around the Sea Galilee...

--Jesus called to Himself 12 disciples, real men who lead real lives...

--Jesus was crucified on Friday of Passover week just outside the gates fo Jerusalem, laying down His life for the sins of the world...

--Jesus was placed by some friend in a borrowed tomb near the place of crucifixion...

--Jesus rose from the dead early on Sunday morning...

--Jesus appeared to His followers on numerous occasions after the resurrection...

--Jesus ascended from earth back into heaven from a hilltop near Jerusalem...

 

Those things are not fables...not myths...not cleverly devised tales...they are facts of history...how do we know that?...we know because reliable people like Peter were eye-witnesses to those events of history as he tells us in the last part of v.16...they saw Jesus...they walked with Him...they were taught by Him...they witnessed His miracles...they touched the resurrected Lord...and they have passed those truths along to us...

 

Want to point out to you from this passage two things...

 

I.       From time to time we need to be reminded about the historical facts of the gospel

1.      William Barclay has an interesting definition of preaching.  He says that “...preaching is very often reminding a [person] of what he/[she] already knows...”[Barclay, p.363]... and that is pretty much what Peter says in v.12 - “I shall always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them...” The Apostle Paul said essentially the same thing to the Philippians when he wrote in 3:1, “To write the same things again is no trouble to me, and it is a safeguard to you.”

 

2.      We need to be reminded because there is something about us which causes us, in the words of Warren Wiersbe, “To forget those things we should remember, and to remember those things we ought to forget.”... the truth is, we can become so familiar with sacred things that we push them to the back of our minds...we forget, not in the sense of not knowing, but in the sense of not allowing the things that we know to impact our lives as they should...when we get to the point where we talk or sing in a matter of fact way about the amazing thing God has done for us in Jesus, we are not really remembering it in the right way...

3.      In v.13 he tells his readers that he reminds them of things they already know for a purpose...and that purpose is “...to stir you up...”...the verb translated “stir you up” means “to awaken, to arouse”...it’s the same word used in John’s Gospel to describe a storm stirring up the surface of the Sea of Galilee...and we need to be reminded of the basic historic facts of the gospel because those facts should stir us, motivate us to a deeper love for Jesus and a greater commitment to Jesus...when we stand again before the cross...when we remember what He gave for us...we can’t help but be stirred, awakened, aroused in our spirit...

 

1.      One of the things in my life I will never forget is my first trip to Israel... from my earliest days I had heard the gospel story...I knew the historic facts of Jesus life...but to go there gave me a new appreciation of those facts and it brought the story alive to me...to—

--visit the Church of the Nativity, place of His birth...

--see Nazareth, the town in which he grew up...

--stand on the hillside near Capernaum where He delivered the Sermon on the Mount...

--sail on the Sea of Galilee with which He was so familiar...

--be at Golgotha, the place of the skull, where He was crucified...

--enter an empty tomb which could have been His tomb...

touched me spiritually like I had never been touched before...being there reminded me of the reality of things I already knew...

2.      And from time to time we need to be reminded of those things we have long known...

 

II.  We need to pass along those things we know and remember to those who come after us


  1. V.15 almost sounds like a riddle when you first read it...Peter says, “And I will be diligent (saw that word in v.5 and again in v.10...means to be eager, to be characterized by sense of urgency) that at any time after my departure (means Peter’s death) you may be able to call these things to mind.”...what in world does Peter mean by that?...there is debate about that among Bible scholars, but some suggest (and I agree with them) that Peter is referring to the Gospel of Mark...it is widely believed that Peter was Mark’s major source for his gospel...and I think Peter is saying here before I depart this world I want to make sure I leave for you a systematic record of the historical events on which our faith is built...and because Peter sensed that his death was approaching, he felt a sense of urgency about getting that task done...

 

  1. There’s an important lesson in us for that...not enough just for us to know and remember the historical realities of our faith...we must have about us a sense of urgency about passing along that historical record and what it means to those who come after us...the old saying that ”Christianity is always only one generation away for extinction...” is true...if we don’t tell the story over and over again, those who come after us will not know it...the very best thing we can do for the generation coming behind us is to instill in them the historical reality of what God has done in the coming of Jesus to our world...

 

  1. Carol and I are blessed to have four of our grandchildren living very near to us…they spend a lot of time with us and we get to have an impact on their lives…and of all the things we share with them, nothing is more important than sharing our faith...that will make a greater difference, a more positive difference in their lives both in this world and in eternity than anything else we can give them...and that is true for every parent and grandparent...I will never understand how parents and grandparents can be so careful about making sure their children get proper health care and a good education and are kept safe from things that would harm them, but seem to have no concern about the spiritual welfare and training of their children...

  2. This part of 2 Peter reminds us of the importance of passing along those things we know and remember to those who come behind us...

     

CONCLUSION

  1. As I studied this passage this week, couldn’t help but ask myself why Peter was so adamant about his readers remembering the basic things of the faith... why mention three times in the span of four verses the important of remembering?...

  2. Then the thought struck me...Peter had experienced first hand the negative consequences of forgetting...remember what happened to Peter on the night Jesus was arrested...earlier in the evening he professed his absolute, total, complete loyalty to Jesus...he told the Lord that he would stand beside Him no matter what...but just a few hour later Peter forgot that commitment and as a result three times he denied even knowing Jesus...

  3. Remembering what Jesus has done in history and remembering our commitment to Him, helps us to be faithful, to live for Him today... ”Therefore, I shall always be ready to remind you of these things...”

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