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Archive for February 22nd, 2017

The Epistle Reading for this coming Sunday, Transfiguration is 2 Peter 1: 16-21, in which the Apostle gives his witness to the Transfiguration.  Just before this, the Apostle wrote the quote below.  I use the King James Version translation of the Text because it has a more literal rendering of the highlighted word below.  

12 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.

13 Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;

14 Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me.

15 Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.

Here is a definition of “Tabernacle”:  σκήνωμα,n  \{skay’-no-mah}
1) a tent, a tabernacle  1a) of the temple as God’s habitation  1b) of the tabernacle of the covenant  1c) metaph. of the human body as the dwelling of the soul 

The word used by the Apostle has the same root as the emphasized words in  St. John 1: 14:  

 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

“Dwelt among us” is literally “tabernacled”.  The Apostle Paul teaches the Corinthians that your bodies are temple of the Holy Spirit.  The Apostle Peter in his first epistle teaches that we are like living stones are being built into a spiritual temple.  We are such on account of faith and Holy Baptism in and into Christ Jesus.  What do we do in this Temple?  First and foremost:  we hear, learn and inwardly digest God’s Word.  This encouragement from the Apostle Peter is amplified by the commentary below from Rev. Paul Kretzmann*, and Rev. Kretzmann concludes with an evangelical warning we need to hear in our day:

That Peter had not forgotten the commission of the Lord given to him on the shores of the Sea of Galilee is shown in the solicitude which he here displays for the spiritual welfare of his readers: Therefore I shall be careful that you be reminded concerning these things, although you do know them and are established in the truth which is present with you. That was the conception which Peter had of his pastoral office, as it should be the idea of every true pastor, to make it his care, his business, ever and again to remind the believers of all these facts concerning their justification and sanctification. It is true, indeed, the Christians have learned these facts, they know them, but it remains true at the same time that they cannot learn them too well and that the eagerness of the true Christian to hear the fundamental truths over and over again will not diminish. They were established in the truth of the Gospel, they were firmly grounded in the fundamental doctrines of Christianity as they concerned their spiritual life, but they needed the strengthening influence of the apostolic admonition from day to day. Note: We need a better realization of these facts in our day, when so many professing Christians are showing the symptoms of spiritual satiety, which almost invariably is the forerunner of spiritual decay.

The world will not give us the culture of the Word.  It won’t be heard in most of our schools, colleges and universities…and even sadder, in our homes and in so many churches.  Nevertheless, we need to be brought daily to be put into remembrance of the promises fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

 

* I think Dr. Kretzmann’s commentary is quite accessible because it is on-line but also it is written in  non-scholarly, plain English. It is a go-to source.

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