Foundations of the "Like Precious Faith"
(Thread begun by: 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 through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:
We begin today a course of study that is a bit different than the normal course assuming that you are of or near to being of faith in Jesus Christ. This exercise in our faith begins with the presumption that this faith in this Jesus as being our Christ makes for something completely different than any other faith near or opposite to it can produce in the heart/spirit/life of the believer. The question becomes what might that difference be and how to partake of it? Peter begins us down that course stating that it is first and foremost a faith that is obtained/given/handed to us in and of and by the righteousness of God/Christ rather than a faith that is manufactured from the well intended but corrupted heart of man. What this "like precious faith" (faith on equal standing to the apostle's own faith) means and produces in the course of one's daily life is then likely to be something much different than that which would result from anything less than it.
Beside being a tremendous evangelist spreading the new and revolutionary gospel of Jesus Christ, Peter was also a tremendous pastor over people already believing in the salvation of the gospel, but struggling in the fruitful walk of the faith in real world real situation real time life. People much like us. Two thousand years later beyond this epistle, we turn back to the wonder of this great pastor seeking a remembrance of it's foundational principals in the same light. Foundations that we probably already know and are somewhat established in, needing though to be put back into the abounding and abundant flow; the flow that is different than all others. The flow only Jesus Son of God is able to transmit.
Our course today begins at one chapter, a chapter that you can easily bookmark and remember to find in any situation. Perhaps you find yourself struggling with addiction; here is your chapter/starting point. Maybe it is suicidal thought; here is your chapter/starting point. You and your spouse are perhaps staring at the angry teeth of separation or possible divorce. You are believers are you not? Here is your chapter/starting point. Any situation whatsoever, the starting point can be the same. Maybe you are a pastor yourself and need back into that abiding flow; brother here is where Peter says that it all starts. It is a chapter in the bible that can lead (if you allow it) to a fruitful understanding and practice of all the other chapters both the bible and your future life/mission yet hold.
Think top down!
Think God given and God influenced!
Think these things foundational elements "abounding in you"!
And you'll be heading down the right course with these foundations.
For the purpose of this study kjv@2Peter:1 works so well for us because we can divide it up into three essential building blocks for you to follow:
Please survey the many many links to other resources that this exercise brings forward for your examination.
Helpful hint: Click on verse numbers once then once again to get to a parallel rendering of the KJV with Strongs Greek Lexicon mapping and Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge links.
Helpful hint: Click on the underlined words and phrases to get to the Seeker search page for that word or phrase. There you will find a wealth of resources such as dictionaries and system look ups.
- Think in terms of being a servant and (Aa)postle of Jesus Christ -
- What in your situation currently are you being servant and delegate of/to?
- How would being a servant/delegate of Jesus Christ differ from being a servant/delegate of anything else?
- Is it possible to be servant and apostle to the religion surrounding Jesus Christ and not serve/be delegate of the person of Jesus Christ?
Think in terms of the faith that you are currently operating from -
- What or who is it actually in?
- How is that faith any different from what any mans faith minus Jesus could perform?
Think in terms of the righteousness performed between God and HIS appointed Savior?
- Is that where this faith that you are currently operating has come from?
- Is that faith bigger than you? Much more defined than nebulous? Encompass all creation and eternity? Working you out from your own self up and into union with HIM and His self?
- Is this righteousness of any greater effect upon you than it is a man who knows nothing of it?
Think in terms of grace and peace -
- What would Peter mean by grace and peace that the man not believing in Jesus Christ would not be able to mean saying the same thing?
- How much does this new and revolutionary meaning of grace and peace influence what you are doing now within your present situation?
Think in terms of the knowledge base that you are operating from -
- Is it the influence of Christ's perfect knowledge upon you?
- Is it a knowledge that any man regardless of his belief can operate in?
Think in terms of divine power having given us -
- In what form was it given?
- To what was this power to be applied?
- Is it in that power that you are currently operating from?
- Does that power have it's effect on both your lives and your form of godliness?
Think in terms of your calling to glory and virtue -
- Is this situation and the way you are reacting to it serving the righteous divinely influenced progression towards that calling?
- Might this service and progression have been cut out of your decision process until now? Could it again be even after knowing this?
Think in terms of exceeding promises -
- Who is backing these promises and how is it that other faiths cannot claim similar positive affirmation?
- In whom are all bible promises completely fulfilled?
- Do the many promises that we could cherry pick from the bible regarding our situation exceed the promise of Christ connecting us back to God in the eternity? If so, are those promises then reliably "exceeding"?
- Does our desperation to receive our own selected promises exceed our eagerness to obediently serve and be delegate of Christ's larger process calling us beyond to His glory and virtue?
Think in terms of partaking of divine nature -
- The partaking of that nature as exhibited and executed by the apostles, the martyrs, the prophets and the early saints... is that the nature exhibited and executed today by you?
- How close and related is our nature to His?
- How can a man being directly influenced by divine nature be similar to the nature of a man who rejects or omits the influence of the truest nature of Christ?
Think in terms of this world's corruption -
- What is this corruption if it is not the corruption of the truer image and influence of it's one and only Christ?
- This world's corruptions, are they any different from any of our personal corruptions?
- Can the influence any of these many corporate and personal corruptions be escaped from without the divine influence of Jesus Christ?
- Are you operating in this corruption? Any form of it in this present situation?
These are some tough questions that we each have to put ourselves through in preparation for the remaining passages of this chapter. And we are not likely at this point to come to any firm answers other than beginning to see a general direction. Often times we make such haste of finding answers that we will grab for most anything to fill that need. But true answers are not found in haste, they are found by first ending haste then heading in the right direction.
Perhaps you can already feel the Spirit's influence over you to indulge yourself upon the many links and circular contexts abundant in the Bible. Take as much time as you need to grasp the sense of direction that HE is leading us towards. Then join us in the next section ApplicationsOfTheLikePreciousFaith.