Foundations of the Like Precious Faith SeriesLayman RandyP
kjv@2Peter:1:1 @ Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us...
Table of Contents:
- → Preface
- → Introduction 2Peter:1 - I will not be negligent.
- FoundationsOfTheLikePreciousFaith01 - An Initial Overview.
- FoundationsOfTheLikePreciousFaith02 - The Righteousness of God and Savior
- FoundationsOfTheLikePreciousFaith03 - Grace and Peace Multiplied
- FoundationsOfTheLikePreciousFaith04 - Power and Providence and Calling
- FoundationsOfTheLikePreciousFaith05 - Great and Precious Promises
- FoundationsOfTheLikePreciousFaith06 - The Furnishings of this Faith Top Down
- FoundationsOfTheLikePreciousFaith07 - Add To Your Faith
- FoundationsOfTheLikePreciousFaith08 - These Things They Make You
- FoundationsOfTheLikePreciousFaith09 - Diligence Made Toward Assurance
- FoundationsOfTheLikePreciousFaith10 - (UNDER CONSTRUCTION)
EDITOR: TO BE ADDED
(by RandyP )
The Church today is very much in need of the advice and wisdom of this "servant and apostle of Jesus Christ Simon Peter today. This is a much older Apostle Peter towards the end of his earthly ministry that we read from. Has has seen a lot since the first day his brother Andrew introduced him to Jesus. It might be better to ask at this age and situation what hasn't Peter now seen?
Imagine would you that you were coming to the end of your ministry, knowing what you know, having seen what you've seen, anticipating what you are anticipating concerning the future generations of the church and the extreme forces up against it, what would your final counsel to that Church be? Granted, in the space of one letter you wouldn't be able to cover all that needed to be covered in any great detail. When does one ever have the time afforded to do all of that? So then you'd have to boil it all down to the essentials, trust in all that had been said and done and written previously, both by yourself and certain others, yet put it all as succinctly and deliberate as one short letter allows. In other words you'd need to bring it down to the core foundations yes but, in a style that draws an overall top down picture. The Church today could certainly use such concise brevity.
The first concern that you would probably have to consider in such an effort is the human tendency of all future generations to get too comfortable with what they already know, to become too established in what they know, what they think that they know, what becomes established as the present truth. It's a danger I say because present truth fades into convention, convention into bureaucracy, bureaucracy into the older ways, the older ways into the archaic, the archaic only to be revived every several generations when the desperation arises. It's a danger I say because the future generations like us tend to know what they know for no other reason than they just know it, and they believe that either what they know is what the previous generations knew or that what they know is now somehow superior to what was then known. Well this might be true for example about farming but, how on earth could it be true about a certain influential historic person? When we are talking about Christianity and we are talking about matters of faith and doctrine, aren't we really talking about the certain person of Jesus Christ, once Jesus of Nazareth? How then could we nowadays know the person of Jesus Christ any better than this "Simon Peter servant and apostle of Jesus Christ"?
"To stir you up by putting you in remembrance" is how this apostle puts it. That is his intent and his writing style. Oh you may know, he says, or you might think that you know, says I, "Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things" he is thus convicted.
Some of what Peter will write we will think that we already know. Doesn't matter, whatever it is we think that we know about faith in Jesus he intends to stir up by putting us into truer remembrance. Plenty of this we will think is already well established as present truth. We would likely tell him "we already know and do this". Doesn't matter. Whatever it is we think that we know about faith in Jesus, he intends to stir up by putting us into truer remembrance. Can you guess why he would be convinced that going back over all this isn't just time wasted or time being neglectful? Honestly? It is because though we think that we know what we know about all these same facts and details, the simple fact is that the further we get from apostles like Peter the further we get from the truer person of Jesus Christ, whom we swear to have committed our lives and modern Christianity. More than likely though, we do not know this Jesus to any such extent as we think that we do. That my friend is human nature. It would take a man so acquainted with Jesus to be able to sense this and be able to do something about it.
The very next thing Peter writes after this might be the thing that best describes why such an apostolic task such as this would be required and undertaken. It describes the future generation's "know it all" tendencies:
You see, that is the eventual point that the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ begins to devolve and not make the same influence or impact: the point where it starts to become like a fiction. A sizable portion of the Church came to that point when it adopted the intellectual mindset of post modernism. The Word of God became no longer "literal", it became "literature" intended to teach morality. The Word of God became no longer "infallible", it became "relative" to whatever anybody wanted to make out of it. The word of God, especially the New Testament became no longer "historical", it became "mythical". Jesus became only a good teacher a good servant, a good martyr instead of the living Christ. Well, try to tell Peter what distant resemblance of Christ you've made out of it would you.
It is not that this hasn't happened before or that this doesn't happen all the time, this fictionalization is a well proven human tendency. Follow the generations presented to us in the Old Testament. What the first generation witnessed of God first hand in person, by the time of their death if not sooner, their witness to the generations that followed had been lessened to the point of little or no substantial impact on either the Church or the nation. I have no doubt that in Peter's time he had already begun to see this human tendency take hold in various shapes and sizes. Oh, they might believe in Jesus, they might believe in Peter's personal testimony, they might still be swept up in the hope of the good news and the excitement but, little by little there is something more and more missing. Peter has to stir them up more and more to put them into remembrance. Think of how far beyond that point in our day and age we've come. Even after Peter's own decease he will still be called upon to stir us up this way to put us also into remembrance.
- The Apostle draws from two separate sources in order to do this:
- The Apostolic Witness
- The Prophetic Witness
The two witnesses that he draws upon to stir us are very important. One involves us taking the word of those that knew Jesus personally and could testify to the accounts and descriptions of the teachings and miracles and death and resurrection of Jesus; taking their word because we did not experience these insights and relationships ourselves. The second involves us taking the words of the Old Testament prophets; seeing the connections between what they said was going to happen and what eventually did happen in the life and accession of Jesus Christ. Remember, Jesus after His resurrection spending quite a bit of time with His disciples reviewing all that had written with all that He had fulfilled. For us two thousand years later, God in HIS unsearchable wisdom put the unique experience afforded to Peter simply down to our trust, our remembrance the testimonies and teachings of it, our further personal experience of it as guided and convicted by the Holy Spirit given because of it. It is not a weakness that we have not been afforded these same experiences, it is a blessing that the same Holy Spirit that worked in them continues to work in us aided by their grounding witness and testimony.
So then we come to Peter's initial statement about there being such a thing as a "like precious faith". What he is meaning is that we today have a faith on equal standing with those first apostles. It is a faith that has been given to us "through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ". Those apostles as disciples for three years saw and heard so many things, that had such an interesting relationship with the man Jesus. Yet even with all that, they still had to be given something. They had plenty of opportunity night and day to make out of all of this all that they could have, figure a thing or two out, coming to some personal realizations of who they were in light of who He was. Yet even with all that, they still had to be given something much more. What they had to be given is the same exact thing that we today have to be given. That which has to be given man above and beyond his powers of intellect and deduction, his formative personal environment and experience, is that which in this series we will call "the like precious faith". It is a gift brought about by God's righteousness. This is what we will study to stir up back into our collective remembrance.
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- (Previous Series Notes)