Peter planned to wake up the believers.
They were to wake up by remembering the prophecies, and they were to wake up by remembering the commandments.
“1 This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, 2 that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, 3 knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires.” (2 Peter 3:1-3–ESV)
Remember the predictions
The true prophets, those sent by God, among the people of old told of God’s intentions. They taught of God’s care and interest. They taught of judgment for sin. They taught of forgiveness. They taught of repentance. They told of future events which then were seen. The most important of those was that of the Messiah’s arrival as well as his suffering. In chapter 1 of this book 1 Peter spoke of the prophecies being made more sure. Now that the Messiah had come and lived among them, died among them, been raised from the dead and interacted with them the prophecies of the scriptures were made more certain.
Remember the commandment
Peter also pointed to Jesus Christ. Jesus came teaching us the way to live. Jesus said that he gave us a new commandment: Love your neighbor as yourself. Love and benevolence are the sum of all the commandments. Peter and the apostles had been the eyewitnesses and now they are the chief proponents.
Remember for a firm foundation
Peter has told them these things and he wants them to be aroused and engaged to avoid lethargy. Things normal can be things forgotten. Prophecies fulfilled can lose their luster as one gets adjusted to their reality. Putting the luster back on them is not what Peter is teaching. Luster of new discovery is not the point. Maturity from that is. The recipients of this letter, as well as ourselves, need to develop a concrete foundation as a result of these observations. The luster was good at the beginning, but that “Aha!” of fulfilled prophecy needs to become the bedrock of faith. From there is built out goodness, knowledge, self-control, and all the other facets Peter began this second letter with (see the scriptures here, or the link to that lesson here).
Look out for another enemy
Peter just finished saying, “You can think rightly by remembering fulfilled prophecy and the commands of Christ,” and upon the heals of this reminder he brings into the picture another enemy of the Christian: the scoffer. In chapter 2 the enemy was the false teacher twisting a new religion from the old. Now in chapter 3 he says the scoffers will come and make fun of the old religion. Their motives are personal. They are rebellious. The results are disastrous for all involved (the scoffer will face judgment and the listener can follow the scoffer’s advice throwing out the faith). So Peter wants them to be aware, ready, aroused, on guard if you will, so that those who are just escaping the way of evil will be safe from the onslaught of these rebellious men and women.
Key topics for this section:
- Remember the predictions of the prophets (from the scriptures)
- Remember the commandment of Christ (from the apostles, the eyewitnesses)
- Remember them for a firm foundation
- Be stirred to action, be aroused, be awakened by remembering these things.
- Be on guard for the scoffer