Sin has affected all the parts of our being… including our memory. It would be nice if after hearing the gospel once, we believed it, and continued to remind ourselves of its glory with insane consistency. But the truth is that rarely an hour goes by when we don’t need something or someone outside of ourselves to remind us of God’s truth.
This is much of what the book of Second Peter is about. Peter does not want his audience to be enticed by certain false teachers and their immoral lifestyle, so he sets out in chapter one to remind them of what they have in Christ and what they are called to through his salvation. In fact, in verses 12 and 13, Peter straight-up tells his people that he is reminding them of these things. This he is doing even though they “are established in the truth that [they] have” (v. 12). It’s not that these Christians are ignorant of the gospel and holiness or living lives contrary to the Word, but Peter understands that when it comes to the truth we hang our lives on, we don’t move on to something new, but instead, we keeping going back to the old, old story.
This ministry of reminder becomes even more crucial when we realize in verse 14 that Peter’s life is near its end: “I know that the putting off of my body will be soon.” If there was anything new that his audience needed to know, this would be the time to tell them, but instead Peter is telling them things they already know. And we find out in verse 15 the reason for this is so that “after [his] departure [they] may be able at any time to recall these things”. Peter is making “every effort” (v. 15) to remind these Christians of the gospel and holiness, so that when he is dead and gone, they will be able to remind themselves.
Church, sin has affected our memory, but we can get to a place, by the grace of God, where it is easier to remember the gospel. But that requires frequently being reminded of the gospel from outside sources. After first making sure we are diving into God’s Word on a regular basis, another way to train your memory would be to put people like Peter in your life, people who will tenaciously remind you of what you already know, but desperately need to believe and live by.