“I will be careful to ensure that you always have a reminder of these things after my decease”2 Peter 1:15
From very young we learn and remember many things as a result of repetition. A parent may often say, “How many times have I told you …!” Repetition was how we learned the “times tables”, and how we memorised verses from the Bible.
Where did Peter get the idea that we needed reminders of the essential truths revealed by God? Since Peter spent more than three years with Jesus and heard him preach some things several times it seems likely that he is following Christ’s example. There are two key examples of repetition given by Jesus that He has commanded His church to observe. These remind us of what He has done for us and what He has done in us.
Communion, or the Lord’s Table, is a reminder of what Jesus has done for us and the church has the responsibility to observe this in a manner that will express true teaching to the unsaved as well as remind the saved how that came about. Paul refers to it as an opportunity to focus and reflect on what Jesus has done for us in remembrance of Him (1 Corinthians 11:23-26). The focus is on Jesus but we can’t do that completely without remembering what He has done for us. Remembering Him and reflecting on what He has done will keep our hearts humble and thankful.
Baptism is the other ordinance that He has given to the church (Matthew 28:19) and is given as a living picture of what Jesus has done in us. Baptism tells the story of what has already happened in us from being dead in sin to being created new in Christ and rising to new life in Christ. It reminds us of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection.
Communion and Baptism tell the Easter story and its application. They are regular reminders for us. Peter writes in this letter that there are those who would corrupt the message. This is all the more reason to keep reminding each other of these essential truths. Some nominally Christian groups have corrupted both these reminders by giving power to the ritual which is only a shadow of that which is real. Shadows have no power in themselves and disappear when the true light comes. Jesus, Paul and Peter all expect us to be continually mindful of the means by which we are saved and the extent of that salvation but primarily be mindful of the One who made it all possible.”I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things” (2 Peter 1:12).