Monday in the Eleventh Week of Ordinary Time

2 Peter 1:12-15

Every Preacher’s Task

As I began these devotions on Second Peter, I made mention that scholars call the genre the Apostle is adopting in this letter a “Farewell Address.”  This passage is one of the reasons they say this, as well as the fact that similar literary works of the ancient world employ the same type.  Though literary genres in the Bible need not concern us overly much, we can certainly sympathize.  Peter tells them that the Lord Jesus has informed him that he shall soon die.  In light of that, he wants to “remind” them of some things he has said before.  The day may come when you know your end is at hand and you feel very much as Peter does in this epistle, wanting to say everything to your children and grandchildren that you’ve said before but need to say again—just to make sure they got it the first (or one-hundred twenty-seventh) time. 

But beyond the “farewell” genre, I see something here what pastors and preachers should always be doing.  I remember my Dad telling me of a time long ago when a preacher stood up in the pulpit and began by saying that he had nothing new to say but that gospel that had been preached since the beginning.  Now, I certainly agree with John Robinson who declared upon the departure of the Pilgrims from Leiden that “the Lord hath truth and light yet to break forth out of his holy word,” which declaration was plainly attested by Christ himself (Matthew 13:52).  But at the same time, preachers must always be about reminding the flock, exhorting the people, and encouraging them to continue in “the faith once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).  In this case, the stirring up by way of reminder has to do with the “qualities” mentioned in five through six, that is, matters of behavior—the gracious manner of life that is expected of Christians.  This might seem like a boring task at first—repeating oneself over and again.  But this is exactly what is required of creatures such as ourselves who quickly grow dull of hearing and blurred of seeing and slow of thinking, all the while being quick (and stupid) to speak.  Much of preaching is reminding.

So please don’t be one of those who go searching for a different favorite preacher or church every so often.  There will always be a better preacher.  But if your preacher is standing by the word, if he is “stirring you up by way of reminder,” if he is preaching nothing other than that the age-old gospel, and if even once in a while he does light upon a truth from God’s word, much like an old blind sow upon an acorn, well then you have every reason to thank God for your pastor and commit those reminders to memory.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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