Summary: Sermon 19 in a study in 1 & 2 Peter
“Therefore, I will always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them, and have been established in the truth which is present with you. 13 I consider it right, as long as I am in this earthly dwelling, to stir you up by way of reminder, 14 knowing that the laying aside of my earthly dwelling is imminent, as also our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. 15 And I will also be diligent that at any time after my departure you will be able to call these things to mind. 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. 17 For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, “This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased”— 18 and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. 19 So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. 20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”
I don’t remember the exact figures and I didn’t see it as important to research them, since I know you have all heard the figures once or twice yourselves. But studies of groups of students and audiences of public speakers have revealed that in a very short time after hearing a speech or a sermon people remember less than something like 25% of what they heard, and that’s probably on a good day. If I’m remembering right, the typical number was somewhere around 10%. We preachers are probably doing a great job if on any given Sunday you can remember a single quote from the previous Sunday.
Now that’s not a criticism of you as the audience. It’s just a fact that we all learn best by repetition. The things you remember best about any subject are going to be the things you have heard over and over again.
This is something we can compare to the eating of physical food. If we think hard enough we may be able to remember what we ate for dinner last Tuesday. But how many of us will remember what we ate four Tuesdays ago? Further, how much nutrition is our body still gleaning from the meal we ate four Tuesdays ago? We got what we needed then, but we still had to eat the next day and the next.
If we all got all that we would ever need, remembered it all, gleaned all the available spiritual ‘nutrition’, from one good sermon or a handful of good sermons, then we could go to church for the first month we’re a Christian and live victoriously for Christ the rest of our lives. That’s not how it works, any more than we could eat several healthy meals and never have to eat again.
Your physical health and growth are accomplished and maintained by a repetition of eating healthy foods on a regular basis. It is the same with the Word of God.
Jesus knew this:
“Remember the word that I said to you…” He admonished His disciples in Jn 15:20
Paul knew this:
“Finally my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things again is no trouble to me, and it is a safeguard for you” Phil 3:1
Peter says so here in our text and again in chapter 3 verse 1,
“This is now, beloved, the second letter I am writing to you in which I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder”
And Jude knew it:
“But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ”
In the previous two sermons, “True Knowledge” parts 1 and 2, we saw that Peter reestablished in their minds the fundamental truths pertaining to their acceptance with God through Christ, the precious and magnificent promises that are theirs from the One who called them, the fact that they were now partakers of the Divine Nature, and that by the exercise of faith they should now apply with all diligence the true knowledge they have of Christ and manifest in their own lives the marks of Godliness.
This could not have been the first time they heard these things. They were Christians. They were the church. They had heard the preaching and read the letters of the Apostles and their partners in ministry. He was reminding them; teaching them by repetition. What we are going to focus on today is the reason it was so important in the heart and mind of Peter that they be well-established in the truths of their eternal security and the working out of their faith in life and practice.