Remembering Your ABC’s

Years ago, when I taught at a Christian school for special needs students, I told my oldest daughter that I was going to be teaching history. She heard that and said: “History is boring,” with an emphasis on “boring.” I told her, “Not when I teach it!” Not to toot my own horn, but my students loved my history classes because I always looked for ways to make the lessons relevant and the people in those history lessons real. My history classes were one of the classes my students went home and told their parents about (in a good way). I have always been passionate about history because it’s important. If you don’t know your nation’s history or your people’s history, anyone can come along and misrepresent it, and from that misrepresentation spew all kinds of lies about your people and your nation. It is important for a people to know their past so that they don’t forget who they are.

Peter understood the importance of putting people in remembrance:

2 Peter 1:12-15
(12)  Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.
(13)  Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;
(14)  Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath [shown] me.
(15)  Moreover I will [endeavor] that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.

In verse 14 he mentions that he would soon be “putting off his tabernacle.” By that, he meant that he was going to die soon and he was going to die as the Lord had predicted, by crucifixion (John 21:18-19). According to church tradition, when Peter was crucified he asked to be crucified upsidedown because he saw himself as unworthy to die in the same manner as his Savior. Peter was a man who had learned humility well. Knowing that he would soon pass, he was urgent to make sure that the current generation was solidly rooted in the faith and that the faith was being passed onto the next generation. This is what he meant when he said, “I…put you in remembrance of these things” (v. 12). Knowing human nature, he anticipated the reactions he would get from those who had been in the faith a while. Theirs would probably the same as my oldest daughter’s: “History is boring,” but none of us can afford the attitude that we have graduated past the basics. The foundational truths of the faith must be remembered and rehearsed regularly. I’ve said it before: If God has you listening to a sermon on a “familiar passage” it’s because you need the refresher. Why? Because we are a forgetful people. As a Jew, Peter was probably thinking of the many memorials that God had his people build in the OT so that when their children asked, “What’s the meaning of this altar, or that altar?” the adults in their lives could put them in remembrance of what God had done and remind them of why. This was Peter’s concern as well. It’s not enough to teach the next generation what to believe. It’s also important to teach them why they should believe it. In his previous epistle where Peter also put his readers in remembrance of the basic truths of the faith, he admonished them to “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15).

You cannot do that unless you are regularly remembering your doctrinal ABC’s.

[Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash]

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