************ Sermon on 2pt1v12-15.html ************
By: Rev. Adrian Dieleman
This sermon was preached on September 13, 2020
2 Peter 1:12-15
"Always Remember These Things"
Lord's Supper, Church Year Kick Off
"Remember the Alamo." It is a song. It is a movie. It is a book. And, it is an actual historical event. "Remember the Alamo." Remember, don't ever forget, the sacrifice made in Texas for liberty.
A Peter also tells us to remember and not to forget. He says it three different ways: "I will always remind you ... I think it is right to refresh your memory ... remember these things" (1 Pet 1: 12, 13, 15).
Today is all about remembering. What is written at the front of the Lord's Supper Table? "Do this in remembrance of me." Why do we teach our children and youth in Sunday School, Catechism, GEMS, Cadets, Youth Group? Because we want them to remember, because we don't want them to forget, the truth of the Gospel; we want them to remember God's work and God's Word.
B "Remember," says Peter. "Don't forget." Why does he need to say this? Two reasons. First, people forget what you tell them. "So I will always remind you of these things," says Peter, "even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have" (1 Pet 2:12). Why? Simple, really: people forget.
I read a discouraging statistic this past week: within an hour after hearing a sermon, most people have forgotten ninety percent of it. That's one of the reasons I use an extended outline: to help people remember.
People forget. That's one of the things that happens as we get older. As I saw firsthand with my dad and with members here, events that happened decades ago are crystal clear but what happened recently cannot be remembered. That is one of the reasons why it is so vital to expose our children and youth again and again to the Gospel. In future years they may be able to remember it, even after a lifetime of ignoring God. At the same time, it is also necessary to work with older people, reminding them of things they have already learned as children.
The second reason Peter tells us to remember: people tune out if they hear the same thing over and over again; that is, familiarity breeds contempt. That's why I read other Bible passages in place of the Ten Commandments in our worship services. That's why we have a Candle Light service: the good news of the Gospel is presented in a new and fresh way. That's why I work so hard to make my sermons sound different from each other. I want people to listen. I want people to remember. I don't want people to forget. So Peter pleads with his audience to remember. Yes, it is the same old thing. Yes, you have heard it before. But you need to remember. It is essential you don't forget.
C Notice the word "always." "I will always remind you ... you will always be able to remember." Peter is like mom: did you remember your lunch, did you remember to do your homework, don't forget you have youth group tonight. Peter is like my dentist: two weeks before my appointment I get an email; the day before I get an email and a text; the day of I get a text. Peter is like my cell phone. It doesn't let me forget a single appointment. Remind, remind, remind. That is Peter. Why? He doesn't want them -- or us -- to forget.
D Notice also the phrase "refresh your memory." It means to stir you up, to rouse, to wake up. Do you remember the time when Peter needed this in his own life? He was with Jesus in the Garden. Jesus wanted Peter, James, and John to pray. What did they do? They fell asleep. They needed to be stirred up. They needed to be awakened. That's something every preacher, teacher, and leader wants to do with those under their spiritual care. We want you to wake up out of your slumber and pay attention. Don't be lazy, lethargic, sleepy, or drowsy about the things Peter wants you to remember.
E "And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember ..." Even after he is gone Peter wants to remind them. How did he do that? Well, let me ask, how is Peter reminding us today? With what he wrote in 1 Peter and 2 Peter. Peter's writings are a continual reminder from him. But also consider those who carry on his ministry: Silas, Mark, Luther, Calvin, Joel Weaver, Adrian Dieleman. Whenever we preach the apostolic truth we are reminding God's people not to forget but to remember God's Word through Peter.
II Remember These Things
A "I will always remind you of these things ... I think it is right to refresh your memory ... remember these things" (1 Pet 1: 12, 13, 15).
What does Peter want his audience to remember? "These things." What things are they? The things we have been looking at so far in 2 Peter. Remember, don't forget, that you are righteous in Christ. Remember, don't forget, the grace and peace that is yours. Remember, don't forget, His divine power has given you everything you need for life and godliness. Remember, don't forget, His great and precious promises. Remember, don't forget, that you participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption of the world. Remember, don't forget, the assurance of salvation that is yours when you make your calling and election sure; when you see in your life in increasing measure such qualities as faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love. Remember, don't forget, "these things!"
Peter is not concerned that you remember him. He couldn't care less about that. He is concerned that you remember what he taught. He is concerned that you remember "these things."
Christians who forget "these things" can easily wander into sin. Christians who forget "these things" can easily be led astray by false teachers. Christians who forget "these things" lose assurance of salvation. So remember, don't forget, "these things."
B Much of the ministry of the church is a ministry of reminding. What are we doing this morning? The Lord's Supper. To remind us of something we already know: Jesus' suffering and death. What are we starting with the children and youth this morning? Sunday School and Catechism. To remind them of the Gospel. Like Peter's audience, they already know this. Like Peter's audience, they already are firmly established in the truth.
So remember these things. Don't forget these things. That's the message of Peter. That's the message of this sermon. That's the message of the Lord's Supper. That's the message of Sunday School and Catechism and Bible Study and our youth programs.
The sign of a healthy mind is the ability to remember essential things. Likewise, the sign of a healthy spiritual mind is to remember Jesus who died on the cross and rose from the grave. The sign of a healthy spiritual mind is to remember "these things."
III Remember While There is Time
A Peter is desperate to remind his audience of "these things." Peter views his calling as urgent. Look at verse 13:
(2 Pet 1:13) I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body,The Greek uses only the word "tent" not the phrase "tent of this body." But the translation hits on Peter's meaning. What is the human body? What is Peter's body? It is a tent. What does this mean? Take a drive on J Street in Tulare. What do you see along the railroad track? Tents. What do you see alongside Highway 41 in Fresno? Tents. Dozens of tents. Who lives in those tents? The homeless. Tents are for those who have no permanent dwelling, only a temporary place, where they unfold a tent, stay for a while, then fold it up and move on. From Abraham onward life in tents was the pattern for God's people until they came to Egypt. And, then, they resumed this pattern for the forty years in the wilderness until they came to the Promised Land.
What is your body? It is a tent. Your body is only a temporary, transitory place for your soul to live and someday it will be folded up and your soul will move to another place.
Peter's body is a tent. Something temporary. Something transitory. Something that isn't permanent. "While I live in this tent," says Peter, "I will always remind you of these things." He is desperate to remind. Why? Because he will not always be around. Because his body is a tent, not something permanent. Because someday he will die. And someday you will die too. "So let me remind you while I am alive and while you are alive."
If you don't remember in this life, congregation, it will be too late after you die. Remember Jesus now. And girls and boys, we want to tell you now about Jesus so when you are old you will remember Him and not forget Him.
B Peter's tent is a body. He expects to die. Look at what he writes in verse 14:
(1 Pet 1:14) because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me.Not only does Peter expect to die, but he expects to die soon and he expects his death to be quick.
How does Peter know this? Because Jesus told him. I want to remind you of what Jesus said to Peter when Peter was forgiven and reinstated as one of the apostles:
(Jn 21:18-19) I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go." (19) Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God.
Jesus says two things about Peter's death. First, Jesus indicates Peter will be old when he dies: "when you are old." Which means at the time Peter wrote his second letter his death is soon because he is in his 70s. He has outlived most people of his age.
Second, Jesus also indicates the kind of death Peter will die: "You will stretch out your hands." This phrase is used to speak of crucifixion. Peter is not going to die a lingering death in a sick bed. Peter is not going to slowly waste away as an old man. He is going to die the quick death of crucifixion. Imagine being alive and knowing for forty years you are going to be executed?! How would you like to have this hanging over your head?
Peter knows he soon will die a quick death. This is his last opportunity to remind them about these things.
"I will always remind you of these things ... I think it is right to refresh your memory ... remember these things" (1 Pet 1: 12, 13, 15).
Today, as I said, we are being reminded of these things in the Lord's Supper. Today, we begin another church year of reminding our children and youth of these things. May the Lord bless us all so that we remember and do not forget.
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