Remember

“So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have.” (2 Peter 1:12, NIV)

Peter wrote his epistles toward the end of his ministry — and it’s very likely that he had done the math: all those who walked and talked with Jesus would soon be gone, and he had something to say to the next generation church.

You see, even the apostolic church had its problems, and one of their biggest was false teachers. Could the next generation of churches survive their onslaught? Was there a litmus test for the truth? Did the church leaders have any techniques for surviving the stormy times ahead?

Peter, who was a fisherman, had an everyman’s answer to the false teacher problem: remember. But what did he mean by remember? In our key verse, he told us to remember these things even though we “know” them… so, what was that about? … and what things? … and why was he so determined that we should remember?

Peter said in verse thirteen, “I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body,” — and he would encourage the church to do this as long as he lived — so he must have been onto something.

Now, Peter listed some of the things which we should add to our faith… like virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, charity… that’s quite a list! But look at the reason he gives for people not having these things:

“But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.” (2 Peter 1:9).

Forgetfulness! Too many blessings are lost in this life by not bothering to remember.

Take Jesus’ miracles for example. Why did he perform them? To glorify the Father, to show compassion to the sick, to prove that God had sent him… and these are just a few. But what happens when the memory of these miracles fades? God’s testimony fades too… but the practical damage is worse: a miracle forgotten is no longer a miracle.

This is where Scripture does its work. God chose to record some miracles for eternity — and we have them! But what about the many works which Jesus performed that were not included in Scripture? (John 21:25). Those are lost to us, and therefore, they cannot edify people today.

This is why Peter told us that there is a penalty for forgetting (v8). We will be ineffective and unproductive in the knowledge of Christ. So, do you see what Peter saw? … and do you see why he was calling us to a higher level of remembrance?

We who are saved have the knowledge of Christ — this is true. But keeping the miracle of our salvation fresh in our minds improves both our gardens and our spiritual fruit. This way, even believers who know little else except that they are saved can give testimony to what Christ has done for them, and they will produce fruit because of it — and here, we can take a lesson from the not-so-humble computer.

The computer mimics human intelligence in many ways, but consider its cache. A cache is an area of memory that holds special data (like the bits that are likely to be needed next and/or used most frequently) very close to the processor. This facilitates efficient processing. So, if a computer does that with its mundane data, how much more should we keep the miracle of our salvation ready for instant retrieval? (1 Peter 3:15).

(For questions, or to join the Monday Musings mailing list, contact us at ep@mailsailministries.org.