|^ FoundationsOfTheLikePreciousFaith||ServantApostleOf >|
(child thread of FoundationsOfTheLikePreciousFaith series begun by RandyP )
kjv@2Peter:1:1 @ Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ...
It should be obvious on the first read of this chapter that this is not just anyone writing to counsel us here, this is one extremely important person under the direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit: Simon Peter - servant and Apostle of Jesus Christ. We might be wise to consider the counsel of many (as directed in the Proverbs) but, with all that other wise counsel we must so too consider the very source of said counsel whether it be of any corrupted or fallible tinge (which on a human scale is always the case to some extent). It is rare that a man/woman be put through what Peter had been put through by his master to come to this wisdom presented herein. It is rare that any man/woman have this particular measure of the indwelling Holy Spirit influencing down upon them.
The Apostle is seen here writing to counsel a very specific type of believer, a believer that came to a very specific form of faith, obtained in a manner very similar to himself; a faith in/a faith acting upon/a faith resulting from one specific thing: "the righteousness of God and Savior" (nothing other stated). Obviously there are a great many forms of faith, most all having to do with self, most all having to do with human intellect and moral judgment. Not so with Peter nor those to whom he is addressing; thus it can be said to be "like" to Peter (and the other Apostles) and also "precious" being uncommon in substance and value.
Further, the reader can immediately observe that the Apostle Peter is writing to address with all these recipients of the obtained "like precious" faith a very common issue found among many of them to which he shall diligently seek the remainder of his ministry to put "us" in remembrance of; the issue of fruitlessness and lack in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. All is meant to include all leadership and laity/productive and unproductive/mature and newborn regardless of location/predicament or church age. In other words all is meant to be everyone; perhaps even Peter himself.
The question that you and I need to ask today being as far removed from the the days of the direct Apostleship of Peter is what this abundant fruitfulness "in the knowledge of Christ" is meant to be and what it is meant to look like? The second question is then are any of us today producing any of this fruit and being this abundantly fruitful? And if not, why not?
Our first effort in this section toward this realization is to get to know who this Simon Peter truly was and what he was brought by his Christ through these many experiences to stand for.
Contextual Anchors - Simon Peter
Note: There is an overwhelming amount of scripture needing to be provided here, so where appropriate key foundations have been broken off into digestible pieces. It will become more and more important to keep coming back to these foundations and explore each morsel's greater depth and individual context as they will become the fuel that ignites true spiritual productivity. These pieces then can be used as element specific study/meditation tools.
Before being a disciple:
- Named Simon G4613 , He was the bar (son of) Jona kjv@Matthew:16:17 (His father had probably died while he was still young - Easton). Younger brother Andrew kjv@Matthew:4:18 follows with John the Baptist kjv@John:1:40
- A Galilean from Bethsaida kjv@John:1:44, guttural accent and unlearned nature easily betray him kjv@Mark:14:70 kjv@Acts:2:7 before royal servants and scholars and elites.
- A fisherman by trade kjv@Matthew:4:18 kjv@Luke:5:1-7 kjv@John:21:3, in business with the sons of Zebedee John and James kjv@Mark:1:19 kjv@Luke:5:10
- Married kjv@Matthew:8:14 kjv@Mark:1:30 kjv@Luke:4:38
- Introduced to Jesus by Andrew kjv@John:1:40-42
Having become a disciple:
- Called by Jesus to discipleship kjv@Matthew:4:18-20; kjv@Mark:1:16-18; kjv@Luke:5:1-11
- Surnamed by Jesus, Petros (rock) G4074 , Cephas (stone) G2786 kjv@Matthew:16:16-19; kjv@Mark:3:16; kjv@John:1:42
- Later settled in Capernaum kjv@Mark:1:29
- His mother-in-law healed kjv@Matthew:8:14; kjv@Mark:1:29-30; kjv@Luke:4:38
- An apostle kjv@Matthew:10:2; kjv@Matthew:16:18-19; kjv@Mark:3:16; kjv@Luke:6:14; kjv@Acts:1:13
- An evangelist kjv@Mark:1:36-37
- Confesses Jesus to be the Messiah kjv@Matthew:16:16-19; kjv@Mark:8:29; kjv@Luke:9:20; kjv@John:6:68-69
- His presumption .In rebuking Jesus kjv@Matthew:16:22-23; kjv@Mark:8:32-33 .When the throng was pressing Jesus and the woman with the blood disorder touched him kjv@Luke:8:45 .In refusing to let Jesus wash Peter's feet kjv@John:13:6-11
- Present .At the healing of Jairus' daughter kjv@Mark:5:37; kjv@Luke:8:51 .At the transfiguration kjv@Matthew:17:1-4; kjv@Mark:9:2-6; kjv@Luke:9:28-33; kjv@2Peter:1:16-18 .In the garden of Gethsemane kjv@Matthew:26:36-46; kjv@Mark:14:33-42; kjv@Luke:22:40-46
- Seeks the interpretation of the parable of the steward kjv@Luke:12:41;
- Walks upon the water of Lake Galilee kjv@Matthew:14:28-31
- Sent with John to prepare the Passover meal kjv@Luke:22:8
- Calls attention to the withered fig tree kjv@Mark:11:21
- His treachery foretold by Jesus, and his profession of fidelity kjv@Matthew:26:33-35; kjv@Mark:14:29-31; kjv@Luke:22:31-34; kjv@John:13:36-38
- Cuts off the ear of Malchus kjv@Matthew:26:51; kjv@Mark:14:47; kjv@Luke:22:50
- Follows Jesus to the high priest's palace kjv@Matthew:26:58; kjv@Mark:14:54; kjv@Luke:22:54; kjv@John:18:15
- His denial of Jesus, and his repentance kjv@Matthew:26:69-75; kjv@Mark:14:66-72; kjv@John:18:17-18, kjv@John:18:25-27; kjv@Luke:22:55-62
- Visits the gravesite of Jesus kjv@Luke:24:12; kjv@John:20:2-6
- Jesus sends message to, after the resurrection kjv@Mark:16:7
- Jesus appears to kjv@Luke:24:34; kjv@1Corinthians:15:4-5
- Present at Lake Tiberias when Jesus appeared to his disciples; jumps into the water, and comes to shore when Jesus is recognized; is commissioned to feed the flock of Christ kjv@John:21:1-23
- Lives in Jerusalem kjv@Acts:1:13
- His statement in front of the disciples concerning the death of Judas, and his recommendation that the vacancy in the apostleship be filled kjv@Acts:1:15-22
Having received the Holy Spirit:
- Preaches on Pentecost day kjv@Acts:2:14-40
- Heals the immobile man in the portico of the temple kjv@Acts:3
- Accused by the council; his defense kjv@Acts:4:1-23
- Foretells the death of Ananias and Sapphira kjv@Acts:5:1-11
- Imprisoned and scourged; his defense before the council kjv@Acts:5:17-42
- Goes to Samaria kjv@Acts:8:14
- Prays for the reception of the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit kjv@Acts:8:15-18
- Rebukes Simon, the sorcerer, who desires to purchase this power kjv@Acts:8:18-24
- Returns to Jerusalem kjv@Acts:8:25
- Receives Paul kjv@Galatians:1:18; kjv@Galatians:2:9
- Visits Lydda; heals Aeneas kjv@Acts:9:32-34
- Visits Joppa; stays with Simon, the tanner; raises Dorcas from the dead kjv@Acts:9:36-43
- Has a vision of a sheet containing ceremonially clean and unclean animals kjv@Acts:10:9-16
- Receives the servant of the centurion; goes to Caesarea; preaches and immerses the centurion and his household kjv@Acts:10
- Advocates the preaching of the gospel to the Gentiles in the hearing of the apostles and elders kjv@Acts:11:1-18; kjv@Acts:15:7-11
- Imprisoned and delivered by an angel kjv@Acts:12:3-19
- Writes two epistles kjv@1Peter:1:1; kjv@2Peter:1:1
- Martyred on cross upside down (according to church tradition)
Doctrinal Study - Regeneration
(see: Topical study - TorreyNewBirth or slidy:TorreyNewBirth )
Quoted resource: torrey 'New Birth'
I believe that the practicality of this initial information is expressed in the name Simon Peter which was a name given Simon Barjona by Jesus Himself. The new name expresses a change in identity. Now of course there is more to one's identity than just a mere name change, we do not fully see the change internally in Peter until the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
This is very important to note because anybody of any faith can change their name, anybody could change their identity to some noticeable extent on their own. This change in Peter is a much different thing however, being that Peter's identity was changed by the profound effect of Jesus' immense influence over him. His transformation is a testament to the overwhelming forgiveness of Christ, personal witness of resurrection power leading to the Father's ultimate glorification of Christ to the right-hand throne, the indwelling of the promised Comforter/Guide/Instructor, as well as our inherited regeneration/justification by faith/cleansing/adoption/divine calling/sanctification; all as prophesied by verifiable prophets of Yahweh publicly for ages beforehand. There is no comparison of this "obtained" highly influenced identity with that of what we commonly manufacture ourselves in some self-help mode of self improvement.
This is the first of several mind blowing realizations Peter attempts to put us in "remembrance of though you know them, being establish in the present truth". How quickly the concept of Christ's direct influence upon us causing utter spiritual transformation fades as we go about our daily lives just doing, determined as we are to go about the day as we ourselves see fit.
When it comes to our identity, the bible speaks in terms of image (ie. being created in the image of God which applies to all mankind, being designed to be image bearers or reflecting surfaces of God's own holiness which because of original sin we are not, being predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ HIS Son which we only fully become when we see Him as He really is in person). This then is the transformation better understood as in image that Peter and therefore all of a "like precious" obtained faith are brought into by His influence. It is being re-imaged in fact to be better image reflectors of God's holiness to mankind as a whole.
One might well ask what forms this transformed identity evidenced itself as? For that we can look to the words of Peter as he expresses in this chapter how each our transformations also is to be evidenced:
- The transformation is evidenced in that he is now a true servant of Jesus Christ, not a want-a-be as he once was, not as best as he could awkwardly make out, not as he thought he was all those times that he was found actually working against his Lord in need of Jesus' reproof. He has been brought by the glorified Jesus Christ Himself into the position of being a true servant and Apostle.
- The transformation is evidenced in that he believes the very bases on which his "obtained" faith exists at all is because of the righteousness of God and Savior alone, it is hopeful of that righteousness performing all that has been promise, it is appreciative of that righteousness, it is to be molded in said righteousness, it is determined/given over to move forward in the presence of that righteousness.
- The transformation is evidenced in that because of said influence God's favor is upon him and HIS rest; it continues to grow outwardly and multiply in the true recognition and living acknowledgement of Christ Jesus.
- The transformation is evidenced in that God's divine power is counted/relied on for all things pertaining to life and godliness.
- The transformation is evidenced in that the promises of us escaping this corruption through Christ and being brought to partake of His divine nature are fully expected and acted upon.
- The transformation is evidenced in that the influence drives the man forward in a diligent progression of applying a highly influenced form of brave virtue to his faith, a highly influenced form of knowledge to his virtue, a highly influenced form of temperance to his knowledge, a highly influenced form of patience to his temperance, a highly influenced form of godliness to his patience, a highly influenced form of brotherly kindness to his godliness, and a highly influenced form of agape love to his brotherly kindness.
- The transformation is evidenced in that all these things afore mentioned are actively abounding in him, the influence of Christ is real as he abides in it producing the fruits that only Christ alone can produce in/through him. He is neither being short sighted nor blind about his Christ and how this is coming to happen in/through him, nor has he forgotten that he has been purged of his former nature.
- The transformation is evidenced in that because of the experience of these many things that he could not have produced because of himself that his confidence in his very salvation in Christ is made sure. He is seeing an increasing abundance of tangible evidences as he continues to approach the blessed entrance into God's eternal kingdom.
These things are not merely fable being that these things are being evidenced in some and witnessed by many. They are just as undeniable to us experiencing them today as for example was Peter's private experience on the Mount of Transfiguration. More and more we come to see clearer with more revealed light what the prophets of old actually penned under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. This is why Peter at this late date in his earthly journey sought to spend the remainder of his time putting us into remembrance of these very specific things.
Now this is but our first realization - The immense spiritual influence of Christ bringing about the true and distinct transformation of "like precious faith" believers. There are many more realizations yet to come in this series devoted to the understanding of this "like precious faith". Please continue to expose yourself to this series of foundations but, please do come back often to study in greater detail the specific scriptures provided to prove/flesh these truths out.
Also check out the various resources and user commentary listed below.
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