2Pe 3:1 This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder,
2Pe 3:2 that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles.
In Peter’s second epistle, he is warning the church of false teachers who will lead them into sin and away from Christ. In warning them against error he doesn’t have them focus on the error but on the truth found in the revelation of Jesus Christ, the Word of God. He exhorts them to grow “in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord”, 1:2. To use the old adage, one becomes an expert spotting counterfeit money by studying the genuine, not the false.
In the above verses Peter also points out that much of what he is writing is not new but he is reminding them of things they have already been taught. So he is causing them to focus on the genuine over and over again. The implication is that we tend to forget what we have been taught and along with that we tend to store biblical teaching in the hard drive of our memory not the RAM. What I mean by that is that we walk out of church and we tuck the message away until next week as if it isn’t relevant and necessary every moment of every day. We don’t live our days with the Word of God constantly in our minds. We haven’t let it permeate our thinking so that it determines our world view and identity; so that it is readily available in our minds when we need it. We let our current financial or relational status or political climate or the discomfort we are in determine our thinking and actions and mood rather than letting the Word of God be continually guiding us.
It is amazing how so many modern day saints think that one message a week is sufficient Bible study. One would have to assume that they have retained everything they have ever heard and it stays fresh in the memories so it is right there when they need it. I think the reality is that we need to learn and relearn the Word and it needs to be drilled and redrilled into us because our natural bent to sin will easily take over our worldview and thought patterns if we don’t keep our minds saturated with the Word of God.
Peter gives us a good example of this in Luke 22:60-62. In the previous evening Jesus told him that before the cock crowed in the morning Peter was going to deny him three times. Now I know that if the Lord told that to me I would think that all I have to do is not forget what he said and hold out for a few hours. There is no way I am going to forget his words and deny him not once but three times. But my sinful tendency, just like Peter’s, is to let self dominate my thinking. Like Peter, as soon as I am confronted with the possibility of physical danger my natural tendency is self-preservation even if it means disassociating myself from the Lord. Instead of dwelling on Jesus’s words, Peter and we tend to dwell on self and this is why we need constant, steady Bible study and teaching. I think this is seen in the text in Luke, Luk 22:60 But Peter said, "Man, I do not know what you are talking about." And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. Luk 22:61 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, "Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times."
Can you image Peter looking at the face of Jesus and remembering what he had forgotten just a few hours before? How prone we are to forget and how much we need the power of God to keep the Word before us and to be controlled by it. But without the Word in our heads, it can never permeate our hearts. Let’s pray that we would have a proper desire to grow in the knowledge of the Lord and to be patient when the preacher preaches on something that we “already know and don’t need”.