“This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, 2 that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles,” (2 Peter 3:1-2)
The purpose of Peter’s second letter to the same collection of displaced believers he previously wrote (I Peter 1:1-2) was to stir up their sincere minds. The word sincere (εἰλικρινής; eilikrines) means these believers did not have any hidden motives. Their minds (διάνοια; dianoia), or their thinking, was in keeping with God’s truth.
The English word “sincere” is from the Latin words sine cera, “without wax.” Some pottery salesmen would use wax to cover cracks and weak places in pottery. Such a cover-up could be detected only by holding the jug up to the sun to see if any weaknesses were visible. Such a vase was called “sun-judged” (the lit. meaning of the Gr. eilikrinēs). The Lord wants believers in Christ to possess sun-judged minds, not minds which their sin have been covered over.”
Please notice that Peter referred to the recipients of his letter as beloved. These are people who are near and dear to the apostle’s heart. They are his dear friends. He will use the term beloved (ἀγαπητός; agapetos) four times in this chapter (vs, 1, 8, 14, 17). Most importantly, they are beloved by God.
Knowing the sincerity of these believers, Peter wanted to remind them that they should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandments through the apostles. The word predictions (ῥῆμα; rhema) is referring to a message, a word, or a saying originating from a specific source. The word commandment (ἐντολή; entole) refers to an order. Both pertain to what God’s Word says about the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The two sources Peter mentions regarding this message and commandment were respectively the holy prophets and the apostles. The word holy (ἅγιος; hagios) refers to that which is pure, dedicated and separate from sin. This adjective pertains to the Old Testament prophets of God. The prophets spoke utterances and messages from God. The apostles did the same thing with the commandments of the Lord Jesus Christ. Peter was one of the apostles. Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior of not only the holy prophets but also the apostles.
Dr. John Walvoord explains that, “Peter again reminded his readers of the need to remember (cf. 1:12–15). Others, like Peter, referred to the holy prophets (cf. Luke 1:70; Acts 3:21; Eph. 3:5), whose words were oracles regarding the day of the Lord and related topics. The command of our Lord and Savior refers to His teachings, which were then proclaimed by the apostles (cf. Jude 17). Peter’s linking the prophets and apostles placed them on the same level of authority (cf. Eph. 2:20). This also suits Peter’s earlier purpose of distinguishing the true servants of the Lord from the false. Believers do well to recall the writings of both Testaments regarding the Lord’s return.”
Believers in Christ are wise to not only study the New Testament regarding the Lord’s return in power, might and glory but also the Old Testament. Both testaments are inspired, inerrant and God’s revelation (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Soli deo Gloria!