“Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder) …”
by way of reminder
Note the emphasis on remembering in this second epistle of Peter: 2 Pe 1:12,13,15. This is the purpose of the epistle.
The phrase “by way of reminder” has to do with the application of truth to our experience. God’s Word is worth repeating. All good things in life are worth repeating. We cannot get through the Christian life with one shot from God’s Word. That is true for life in general, much less than God’s Word. What we really want to know is what we can apply to any experience of life. We need truth for times of success. We need truth in times of trouble. When we go to sleep at the switch of knowing God’s Word, we will enter deep spiritual trouble.
The word “remind” comes from two words: under and remember. The word “under” carries the idea of authority, conveying the idea to remember our true authority (under), which is the Word of God. Christians are to put to mind, bring to remembrance the truth Peter taught them in his epistles. This truth deals with the application of truth to experience.
Repetition is important for teaching God’s Word. Truth needs to be inculcated into our way of thinking, our attitudes. One-shot at the truth will not give us the stability we need against the forces of Satan.
Is 28:10, “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept,
Line upon line, line upon line,
Here a little, there a little.”
We need to know God’s Word so thoroughly that we cannot forget it in times of temptation and suffering.
There is a tendency to ignore God’s Word in times of success. When we sleep at the switch spiritually, things fall apart spiritually, and we wonder why. This is the reason we should apply truth consistently to our experience.
Most people apply the truth when things go wrong. That is usually too late. We need to be prepared before the crisis comes. God’s truth needs implanting into our minds before we enter the pressure cooker. God wants us to use God’s Word for more than suffering. He wants us to use it for life. We base our capacity to love God on our knowledge of God, not on subjective thinking.
We cannot recall what we have not learned; we cannot apply what we do not know. Application depends on recalling the right truth at the right moment. The principle is that we need to know God’s Word so thoroughly that we cannot forget it. We know more than we ever live. Our primary need is not a new truth but to live out the truth that we have. Harry Ironside speaking of the doctrinal teaching, said, “If it’s new, it’s not true; and if it’s true, it’s not new.” Many people are always on the outlook for something new. They do not appreciate the truth that they possess. They do not appropriate the truth that they have. We must remind ourselves of what we know.
It is important to learn biblical truth and to apply it to our experience. Our capacity to love God, love others, enjoy life, operate on a scale of values, all revolve around knowing and applying truth to our experience. We cannot love another human being without holding the knowledge of that person. We need to know their scale of values. If their values approximate ours, we can love them with reciprocal love. I am talking here about human love. We can enjoy people if they have a rapport with us.
We need to know the truth to recall the truth. The application of truth depends on remembering God’s truth when we need it in our experience.