#7 As Long As I Am In This Body
This blog entry is part of a series through the book of 2nd Peter.
Text: 2 Peter 1:12-15
“Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder, since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me. And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able to at any time recall these things.”
As Long As I am In This Body
Death is real. Despite the crescendo of modern culture, we will all die in these bodies. Our lives will someday end, and at a time unknown to us. It could be many years from now, or it could be in just a few short hours. What do you want to do with the rest of your life? How do you want to live before you die? Many scholars feel confident that this epistle is written as a farewell address. Peter’s time on the earth is soon to come to an end, “as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to [him],” and he has one aim in mind: encourage the saints! Peter wants to die pointing people to the truth of the gospel for the glory of God, and It is for this goal that he will “make every effort” until the end.
What do you want to do with the rest of your life? It is easy to give lip service to a life of ministry and sacrifice, but what do the ordinary moments of our days proclaim we are truly living for? Is it God’s glory or our own? Is it the upbuilding of Christ’s kingdom or the procurement and preservation of ours? Are we living for the benefit and blessing of others, or the comfort and convenience of ourselves? Oh that we would not run from the conviction these questions bring! We need to be melted by the fire these questions cast into the dark places of our hearts and drawn to repentance. We need to be “reminded of these qualities” because we are so prone to wander away from them and forget.
It Is Right To Stir You Up By Way Of Reminder
What exactly has the Apostle been reminding us of? What has he been trying to teach our hearts? I want to provide a short list for us to ponder, but please keep in mind that this is not exhaustive. So far, we have learned that...
1. God gives every repentant sinner the same abundant salvation through faith in "the righteousness of Jesus Christ." (v. 1)
2. We lack nothing which is necessary for our success and growth "in life and godliness." (v. 3)
3. We were saved for the purpose of eternally displaying God’s infinite "glory and excellence." (v.3)
4. It is through growth "in the knowledge of God" that our sinful nature is conformed to his "divine nature." (v. 4)
5. We must pursue obedience to God through perpetual growth in the “qualities" of Christ. (v. 5-8)
6. The truth of the gospel must never be “forgotten." (v. 9)
7. The "practice" of obedience increases our joy and peace as we sojourn in this world. (v. 10-11)
Peter’s aim is to plant “these qualities” deep in the belly of our souls. These are the things we ought to "be able to recall at any time,” the things it is “right” for us to be “reminded” of. And let us keep in mind that Peter is not only addressing those who are lingering in disobedience, he is also addressing those who already "know [these things] and are established in the truth.” Take heed of this point lest you fall: no christian ever outgrows their need to be reminded of the basic truths of our faith. It is always right to be stirred up by way of reminder, and only the prideful heart will reject such a gift.
Let us never cease to marvel and wonder at the gift of grace which we have received through the shed blood of our Lord.