Memorial Day. Remember. What do you remember? We have almost forgotten the focus of this day. I remember as a youngster, final appearance of HS band, Memorial Day parade, to cemetery, celebration, somber moments. Now, another holiday. Three-day weekend. Perhaps we should not have moved Memorial Day. Few are at home ready to remember. Yet remembering is essential to our identity, our commitments, our understandings of life.
Remembering is essential to knowing our heritage. I can read my family's history, recorded in a book. I know better who I am. Fred Craddock illustration: guide who claimed, this is the place, down in the Negev, the place where we hid, jumped out, overcame the enemy. Six Day War, what? Philistines. A 20th century guide in touch with a time 3000 years earlier. It has shaped his understanding of the world.
Remembering is part of our religious heritage. In the Supper we remember. Two ways of remembering: bring past to the present, or go back to the past. I often hear in our communion prayers, let us go back, or let our minds go back. May I in love suggest that maybe a better prayer would be, help us bring the crucifixion of Christ to bear in our present lives, and let us go forward this week in the power of his death and resurrection, bringing the past to the present.
Peter knew how important it was that his readers of his second letter remember. We see an introduction to the idea in 1:7-11. Possess these equalities, increase, be effective in knowledge, lest you forget. Always anticipate.
Look carefully at 1:12, 13, 15. Compare 3:5, some deliberately forget, 3:8 do not forget, there is promise, keep looking forward. I put these two sections of 2 Peter together to study what Peter says about God.
Chapter 1, remember what?
Chapter 3, remember what?
I am part theologian. My mind thinks that way. I like texts, expository study and preaching, but within those smaller texts, I seek themes, ideas, concepts. Here is a way to grasp what we should remember based on 2 Peter: we must remember God.
Why? Summarized briefly -- because we can be like him. How we see God determines all of life. The thoughts in this lesson are all taken from chapter 1 and what Peter says about God.
I. The Powerful God
1:3,16. Omnipotent. God is able, is anything to hard for God (Gen. 18:14; Num. 11:23). With God, all things are possible (Rich Young Ruler). I can do all things.... But do not expect God to do contradictory things.
II. The Generous God
1:3. This relates to promises. God is generous, Jas. 1:17. 2 Cor. 8:; 9:15. He has given us all things. 2 Tim. 3:16-17.
III. The Revealing God; The Speaking God
1:3, 16, 19-21. The real question of life is this: is it reasonable to believe (1) that there is a God and (2) that he has revealed himself. The resounding answer of Scripture is: John 1:1-14. This is NT, but in reality Isaiah gives us more of God than all of the OT, and then NT shows the emotion of God. A God who comes loving, dying, saving. A God of communication with despite his holiness and our unholiness.
IV. The Knowing God
1:3,16; 1:5; 2:20; 3:18. John 6:44-45, can be best explained by Jer. 31:31-34. Shows why in Acts 19 some were baptized again. Our God is a God of knowledge.
V. The Calling God
1:3,10. God calls us out of individualism into relationship, out of darkness into light, our of singleness into community. For a purpose.
VI. The Glorious God
1:3,16-17. Compared these to Isa. 57:15; 6:1-8.
VII. The Excellent God
1:3,5,17. Excellence is a characteristic of God, and of God's people. Eccl. 9:10.
VIII. The Promising God
1:4; 3:9,13. These are precious promises. God omnipotent can surely perform his word, will, and way.
IX. The Delivering God
1:4; 2:4-9; 3:9; 2:20. The entirety of chapter is both warning and comfort, because we serve a delivering God.
X. The Sharing God
1:4, koinonia, sharing his nature, power, person.