Saturday, 15 February 2020
Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), 2 Peter 3:1
Here the Greek reads, “This, already, beloved, a second letter to you I write.” The word “now” is an indicator of the short amount of time between the writing of the first and second epistle. His words are going out to basically the same group of people, and there is a sense of urgency in his words which is certainly based on what he said in verses 1:12-15. He could be executed at any time, and he felt it necessary to remind his audience of what was most important while he could.
The words, “this second epistle,” are an interior confirmation that he wrote 1 Peter. And then, adding in words that a forger would certainly fail to include, he says, “in both of which I stir up your pure minds.” The word “both” is inserted, but it is implied. A forger wouldn’t bother stating this, thinking that the words “this second epistle” were sufficient. But Peter did include them, showing that the intent of both letters was the same.
Next, he uses the term “stir up.” The Greek word is diegeiró. It has the intent of arousing the reader to be fully awake and attentive in his understanding. However, the word “minds” is incorrect. The Greek is a singular noun. Their individual minds may have been impure, as certainly all are, but their collective mind was pure, meaning uncontaminated.
The word he uses is only elsewhere found in Philippians 1:10. It comes from two words which indicate “the shining of the sun,” and “to judge.” Thus, it signifies that which is properly judged because it is seen in the full light. There is a divine clarity which results in true and proper discernment.
Peter wishes to stir up this pure mind as a reminder. The intent of the words is that the reminder is in the mind of the audience. They knew the information already, but to draw that forth to the forefront of their thoughts, the reminder is given. It is the same idea as is expressed in 2 Peter 1:13. A “refreshing” of the memory is the anticipated result.
This is similar to a pastor asking his congregation to continually read their Bibles. The information may be there, but it dulls over time. Eventually, it gets crowded out by all of the other things which creep in and take center stage of the mind. But highlighting that which is important, and then asking those in the church to solidify that through staying in the word, is the refreshing of the mind which brings about right thinking and right understanding of the word.
Life application: The book of 2 Peter was the last one recognized by the church as canon, meaning that which is meant for inclusion in the Bible. Other books were disputed as well, but eventually the 66 books we know as the Holy Bible were all accepted as received from God as His word to mankind.
This particular book was claimed to have been written by Peter in the first verse of Chapter 1. Then again in Chapter 1, in verses 13-18, he makes claims concerning his time spent with the Lord. Then, in this verse, he claims this to be his second letter. None of this proves it wasn’t written by an imposter, but the style of writing and the admonitions it proclaims fit into the overall theme of the Bible. It contains the power of God’s written word, and it is written in a manner which edifies the individual and the church overall. Certainly, it is an inspired text.
Peter wanted to stir up the collective mind of his audience. Likewise, we should read the entire Bible with this frame of mind. Rather than reading it in a way which helps us to sleep through our earthly lives, we should read it and take it to heart in a manner which arouses us to be active, watchful, and careful in our life and doctrine.
The previous chapter – dedicated almost exclusively to false teachers – is a clear indication of the importance of sound doctrine, right living, and proper focus. Let us be ever attentive to the words of Scripture and let us keep our minds pure by continuously referring to it in our daily lives. And further, let us return praise and honor to the Lord for so tenderly caring for us that He sent Jesus for our sins, the Holy Spirit for our comfort, and His word to build us up until we meet Him face to face.
Hallelujah Heavenly Father! Thank You for the pages of the Bible which inform us, correct us, instruct us, and lead us to a fuller and more intimate relationship with You. Stir up our minds to be pure, and to help us to be cleared of defilement as we pursue You through its pages. To Your honor and glory we pray. Amen.