Foundations of the Like Precious Faith SeriesLayman RandyP
Introduction 2Peter:1 :
- Who and to Whom? What?
- Who? Peter:
- Servant of Jesus Christ
- Apostle of Jesus Christ
- What? Like (like to the apostles) precious (rare/of extraordinary worth) Apostolic Faith
- How? Through the righteousness of (God/Savior)
- Through (Epignosis) Knowledge of (God/Jesus Christ)
Question: Are you one of those who have obtained Apostolic faith? (Is Peter addressing this letter to you?)
How are we to know that the substance of our present faith is indeed the "like precious apostolic faith" in both composition and consistency; not some lesser or corrupted variant?
- Peter's faith at quick glance - What does Peter mean by his explanations herein?:
- Obtained through righteousness of God/Savior? kjv@2Peter:1:1
- (God's) divine power has given us all things pertaining to? kjv@2Peter:1:3
- Through the (Epignosis) knowledge of Him who called us to? kjv@2Peter:1:3
- Whereby are given us exceeding great/precious promises <-That by these we may partake -> Having escaped corruption? kjv@2Peter:1:4
- (Spirit given/influenced) Faith that is increasingly virtuous, knowledgeable, temperate, patient, godly, brotherly kind, agape? kjv@2Peter:1:5-7
- These spiritual influences in us bountifully? Not lacking? Not blind? Not spiritually shortsighted? Not unregenerate? kjv@2Peter:1:8-9
- Inciting a diligence in us to make our calling and election sure? kjv@2Peter:1:10
- Ministering an abundant entrance into the everlasting kingdom to us? kjv@2Peter:1:11
- In full keeping/a continued remembrance of the Apostles' original teachings? kjv@2Peter:1:12-15
- Exhibiting the power and coming our Lord Jesus Christ? Testifying of His majesty? kjv@2Peter:1:16-18
- According to the more sure word of prophecy? kjv@2Peter:1:19
- Correctly receiving/dividing scripture given not by the will of man but by the movement of the Holy Spirit? kjv@2Peter:1:20-21
By searching out what is meant by Peter's language I believe that we might more readily come to an understanding of what our faith like and precious should better be. Is this what Peter is describing here the composition and constancy of any of our faiths? If so then our faith is on equal standing with the Apostles. If not then our faith is from something other.
"Established in the Present Truth"
Our present faith... what can be said about it? What during all this time has our faith established us as? Let us honestly examine ourselves!
In comparison to this brief description of this great apostles' faith, is there much of anything that we should be at grace and peace about? If Peter were to look upon us here today would he joyously proclaim: "yes Lord, this is the kind of faith for which I so wholeheartedly gave my own life to you in order to bring about similar faith inside them"? Or would he say "No Lord, I don't recognize that form of faith, it's not at all like when with you I imagined, it bares little resemblance to what I had tried to put them in remembrance of"?
Our present truth... what can be said about it? Which truth have we now established ourselves in?
Is it the truth of partaking in our Lord's divine nature having escaped this world's otherwise inescapable corruptions? Or is our present truth just as corrupt as this world's if not more so by virtue of associating Christ's sacred and holy name to it? Prancing and parading ourselves around, servants and apostles of something else, supposing to have His victorious stamp sealed upon it? Need we look any closer at the evidences? Rather dare we?
Diligence... what can we say about what things we are diligent at? Faith, virtue, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, agape? The making sure of our calling and election? Perhaps so yes but, perhaps so only in lesser degrees; lesser degrees with little or no fruit. What shall be said then of this our present truth?
Grace and peace multiplied... what is it that of late has been multiplying? The word used here for knowledge (dict:strongs G1922 ) could better be described as recognition/acknowledgment; meaning the recognition/acknowledgment of Jesus our Lord. With Lord (dict:strongs G2962 ) the meaning is supreme in authority. The bigger picture painted by Peter here is the living recognition (not just intellectual or emotional) and public living acknowledgment of Jesus as one's supreme authority. This is how true spiritual (Holy Spirit influenced) grace and peace in the apostolic believer is multiplied. Frankly I have to ask each one us (myself included): is our present recognition/acknowledgment of Christ as our supreme authority what is multiplying our grace and peace spiritually? Do we even have such a things presently in us known as spiritual grace and peace in our lives right now? If not, shouldn't it be asked whether Christ Jesus is in fact our supreme authority?
"Neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ"
"For if these things be in you, and abound...Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things...For we have not followed cunningly devised fables...whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts"
Hopefully these words of Peter's are beginning to make a little bit more personal sense now. I doubt that we have yet come to the full sense but, perhaps we are getting a better sense somehow. See the apostles of that day faced some monumental spiritual battles, battles that only the apostolic form of faith could ever succeed in. In our day there is very little difference in the type of battle that confronts us, sadly however, these are the battles that we choose not to see or choose not to fight, not having the desire to, niether having the form of faith that holds any power to enable us to any victory.
Like precious faith is the only faith that can be obtained through the righteousness of God and Savior. It is their righteousness (Father/Son) that has brought it about. It is their righteousness that formed it and shaped it and breathed it into our hearts. It is wholly righteous just as they are wholly righteous and therefore effectually results in the bringing about wholly of their righteousness into us. The newly born trust that results in us from it we invest back into their continued righteousness. This trust we diligently live forward in our daily lives via the suitable expressions of it such as virtue (think valor), knowledge (think discernment), temperance (think self control), patience (think perseverance), godliness (think walking worthy of), brotherly kindness (think sacrificially), charity/agape (think as Christ has so loved us). Should these once carnal now spiritually derived expressions be in us and abound,most assuredly Christ like (abiding) fruit naturally shall be produced. The process intended is no different for us as it was for the Apostles. It was the gift righteously given to/obtained by the Apostles. It is the faith on like terms/in equal standing to the Apostle's given to every like precious believer.
"Having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust"
Here's the first key point as I see it: "having escaped".
The escape for us is in the partaking, the partaking centered in the exceedingly great and precious promises, the promises in large measure the sum of what all has been given pertaining to life and godliness by God's divine power righteously by the righteous God and Savior. The world desires to go about this an opposite way; any other way perhaps, other than God's way. This is why their faith and virtue and knowledge and temperance and perseverance and morality and tolerance and charity appear much different; the fruit of which tastes and smells much more worldly and corrupt. If our fruit as Christians has the same look and smell, chances are it is because we have become blind/short sighted and or impure/corrupted, not Christ partaking. It would be the same as saying barren, lacking fruit because spiritually speaking that's exactly what it is. The tree after all is known by it's fruit.
What fruit is our tree known by?
Remember also Jesus once saying:
Is what we have here Christ's fruit? Or is it our futile approximation of His fruit by our own carnal or blind or shortsighted resource and power? The question has to be asked!
Where can we find more of this like precious faith? Look into and consider more of God and Saviors' inexhaustible fount of righteousness. Not only consider it but, recognize and acknowledge it in your life as your supreme authority. Let said authority bring about the multiplication and overwhelming influence of grace and peace in every facet of your life. God's divine power has indeed given us all things pertaining to life and godliness and has exceedingly blessed us with the direct quickening influence of His great divine nature as promised; has provided us sinners with the ultimate escape.