Remember the Gospel (2 Peter 1:12-15)

2 Peter 1:12-15

 

12 Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. 13 I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder, 14 since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me. 15 And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things.

   

            By the time that he wrote this letter, Peter was already becoming an old apostle.  The brash younger man who had, in one evening, both flashed a sword and denied the Lord was now a much more level-headed older saint.  In fact, according to verse 14, Peter believed that he was soon to die.

 

            The key for us is not in Peter’s outlook on dying—though that is incredible—the key is for us to see what Peter makes sure he does until he dies.  As he looks forward to a time when the church would be without his presence, Peter makes his mission one major thing.  He will, no matter what happens, no matter what they should already know, he will remind the church of the truths of the gospel and of the call to sanctified living.

 

            Peter said in verse 13, “I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder.”  He wants them to live strong in the hope of Christ.  He wants them to live lives that begin to match the glorious gift of righteousness in Christ.  So Peter simply reminds them of the message of Christ.  He reminds them of the gospel.  He reminds them of the central truths of the faith.  And he will remind them again and again and again until the day he dies.

 

            Paul seemed to have a similar focus.  In Galatians 6:14, he wrote, “But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”  In 1 Corinthians 2:2, Paul declared, “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.”  Paul was as brilliant as any man who has ever picked up a pen.  He could have focused on a thousand things, but he chose to regularly focus on one central thing: the gospel.

 

            Do you want to contend for the faith?  Do you want to contend for your faith in the middle of a difficult and doubting generation?  Remember the gospel.  This is not about steps and clever points in a tract; remember the gospel.  Remember the holiness of God.  Remember your sinfulness before that God.  Remember how you deserved his wrath.  Remember how God, by his will and for his glory, chose to make a way to not have to destroy every last man, woman, and child on earth because of our sin.  Remember how Jesus died and rose from the dead, fully paying the penalty for the sins of all of god’s children and fully assuring their eternal life.  Remember your own salvation.  Remember how you saw your sin in the light of God’s holiness.  Remember how you cried out to Jesus for mercy, and how Jesus granted you that mercy.

 

            If you will remember the true Gospel, speaking its truth to yourself again and again, you will find strength to stand strong.  You will find courage to counter the lies and temptations of this culture.  If you will preach the gospel to yourself daily, you will contend for the faith as you contend for your own faith.

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