2 Peter 1:12-15 – The God Given Ministry of Reminding

Although Peter was an apostle and could have focused on some esoteric aspects of the faith, he brings his readers back to the basics. He reminds them of essential truths that they already knew. The false teachers may have been luring people by talking about new, secret truths that sounded very interesting. But sound teachers stick to the basic truths. Peter knows that his readers (v. 12) “have been established in the truth which is present with you.” But that doesn’t keep him from saying it again.

Peter’s statement about being established in the truth shows that there is a body of definable, knowable spiritual truth that is foundational for the Christian life. Without knowing these things, your Christian life will be shaky, at best. Contrary to those in the “emerging church,” who say that doctrine is not important or that we can’t really know spiritual truth for certain, Peter says that there is a body of truth and that such truth is foundational or strengthening (the meaning of the Greek word). It is the same word that Jesus used when He told Peter that after his denials, when he was restored, he should “strengthen” his brothers (Luke 22:32).

“Therefore” and “these things” (v. 12) take us back to verses 1-11, where Peter lays out the essentials of the gospel and the entire Christian life. The gospel involves a faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, which we receive “by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (1:1). At the instant that we are born again, God gives us everything pertaining to life and godliness through the knowledge of Christ, who calls us by His own glory and excellence (1:3). God gives us His precious promises, which make us partakers of the divine nature, so that we escape the corruption that is in the world by lust (1:4).

Given these all-sufficient resources, we are responsible to add to our faith and grow in seven qualities, which Peter sets forth (1:5-7). Then (1:8-11), Peter motivates us by showing us the results or benefits of growing in these qualities, namely, that we will be useful and fruitful, assured of our salvation, and headed for a glorious eternity in heaven. All believers who have received a basic grounding in the faith know these things. But, we need reminders of them.

Thomas Schreiner (The New American Commentary, 1, 2 Peter, Jude [Broadman], p. 309) says, “Believers know the gospel, and yet they must, in a sense, relearn it every day.” Milton Vincent has a helpful little book, A Gospel Primer [self-published], in which he makes the point that we need to preach the gospel to ourselves every day. Jerry Bridges makes the same point (“Four Essentials for Finishing Well,” in Stand, ed. by John Piper and Justin Taylor [Crossway Books], pp. 22-28). Let your heart be warmed often by the gospel and by other essential truths, such as those that Peter rehearses for us here.

 Steven J. Cole

Read 2 Peter 1:12-15.  Do you set out daily to remind yourself of gospel truths?  Do you also stir these truths up in others?  Consider and pray how you might grow in both respects in the coming week.

This I Believe (The Creed) by Hillsong

Posted on: February 19, 2021 - 12:00PM

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