Bible Study

The Danger of a Bad Memory

Michael Beck

Old Testament saints were warned to diligently keep their souls by not forgetting what God had shown them.

“Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons” (Deuteronomy 4:9)

New Testament saints have been shown a more powerful deliverance from greater enemies through the cross of Jesus Christ. They have been given a greater salvation than Israel at the Red Sea.

“Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” (2 Peter 1:2-4)

Having been shown so great a salvation, New Testament saints are warned to diligently add to this faith every virtue and good fruit of the Spirit.

“And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.” (2 Peter 1:5-7)

New Testament saints are warned not to forget that the blood of Jesus Christ purged them from all their old vices, follies and ungodly ways.

“For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.” (2 Peter 1:8,9)

New Testament saints (“brethren”) are exhorted that it is a dangerous thing to forget and a safe thing to remember why Jesus saved them and what He has called them to.

“Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:10,11)

New Testament ministers believe it is part of their duty to always help the New Testament saints remember these things and be firmly grounded in the truth.

“Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.
Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;
Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me.
Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.” (2 Peter 1:12-15)

When New Testament saints become weary in their minds with trials and temptations and get ready to “throw in the towel” on pressing forward into “glory and virtue,” New Testament ministers remind them not to forget the many exhortations they once cleaved to.

“And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him” (Hebrews 12:5)

New Testament ministers also remind New Testament saints of what they “once knew” (i.e., you cannot return to the evil place God saved you out of without being “afterward destroyed.”)

“I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.” (Jude 1:5)

May those who have been once “quickened” in the truth, not wind up with a case of eternal forgetfulness.

“I will never forget thy precepts: for with them thou hast quickened me.” (Psalm 119:93)

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.