12 Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. 13 I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder, 14 since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me. 15 And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things.” (2 Peter 1:12-15)
Even this early in his letter, the Apostle Peter offers a conclusion in light of the preceding context of 1:3-11. This idea of a conclusion is indicated by the word “therefore.” It follows a similar conclusion in 1:10.
Peter wrote that his intent was always to remind the church of the qualities believers are to add to their faith (see 1:3-9). It was essential and a must for the apostle to remind (ὑπομιμνῄσκω; hypomimnesko) and cause his readers to remember the qualities of virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection and love.
This was the case even though the people to whom Peter wrote knew them with a personal experience and were established (στηρίζω; sterizo) or strong in the truth they already possessed. Imagine how much stronger they would become with the truth they would soon receive.
As long was Peter was alive he thought it a good thing to stir up (διεγείρω; diegeiro) or stimulate the church’s thinking with this second epistle. He felt this to be an urgent need because the Lord Jesus Christ had made it clear to Peter that he would soon experience death. With his soon departure from this life ever in the forefront of his thinking, he wanted to make sure his readers would always remember these qualities of sanctification or holiness.
Regarding Peter’s words from today’s text, Dr. John Walvoord writes that, “This could refer to Jesus’ words to Peter about his death by crucifixion (John 21:18–19) or to his awareness that through old age or the threat of persecution, his life was almost at an end. The image of this earthly body being like a tent fits well with Peter’s pilgrimage theme (1 Peter 1:1, 17; 2:11).” Dr. John MacArthur explains that, “Death is described aptly as laying aside one’s earthly dwelling (cf. 2 Cor. 5:1).
Peter was likely in his seventies as he wrote this letter (likely from a Roman prison) and anticipated dying soon. Nero’s persecution had begun and the apostle was martyred soon after writing this epistle. Tradition says he was crucified upside down, refusing to be crucified like his Lord. Peter wanted to make certain that after he died, God’s people would have a permanent reminder of the truth, thus he penned this inspired letter.”
Isn’t it interesting that even as he faced impending execution and martyrdom, the Apostle Peter was more concerned about fellow believers in Christ and their progress in the faith. This is a practical example of self-sacrificial love of the will.
Soli deo Gloria!