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Foundations of the "Like Precious Faith"
(Thread begun by: RandyP )
In respect to your valuable time I will get right to my point: it is good to have faith, it is best to have the right faith. There are so many variations of faith. The Apostle Peter described one that he called the "like precious faith"; a faith based on a long time, very personal, very public journey deep inside the very heart of the gospel of Jesus Christ. If you have come to the end of your faith and expended all of your remaining answers may I suggest a thorough exploration of Peter's treasured faith.
The prophet Isaiah put it this way:
The problem is not always in believing, the problem is more often in not believing the direction that the actual "Arm of the Lord" is moving. Peter himself you will recall struggled with the direction his "Master" was taking even though he believed in the messianic claims of Jesus. Perhaps like no other, he was always willing to surrender life and limb if it need be so. He often got crosswise to Jesus however, even to the point of temporarily denying him thrice. The problem being the direction and our expectation of where it leads.
Belief for most of us is fine and dandy as long as it can be kept off at a reasonable distance, as long as it is on our terms, as long as it doesn't demand upon us, as long as it doesn't make us to step out into the realm of the uncomfortable. We prefer directing Jesus as to which way He should go and how He should go about serving us. Is that your faith?
The "like precious faith" passage of kjv@2Peter:1 is monumental to the truer foundations of Christian faith as it not only describes what things we most believe in and how we came to believe them, but also how our faith properly bridges over into everyday living producing abundant fruit in the knowledge of Christ. It contains many things that we may think we are already doing, but need constant reminding of the truer implementation. Might I suggest that it be well worth your effort to at least search this particular faith out.
Like Precious Faith - The Top Down View
Though I can give you the top down view of this precious faith, I will not (can not) give you all of your answers. You will have to invest yourself in discovery and come to conclusions on your own. I can provide you plenty of additional resources to outfit your expedition even offer some layman comments, but I cannot be a substitute proxy for you to the one on one relationship much more deserved of you by our Lord. I will point you to scriptures and try best I can to allow the scriptures to interpret themselves.
- The basic core view goes like this:
The essential "like precious faith" comes from and is in the righteousness of and righteousness performed by God the Father and God the Son as confirmed and taught by God the Holy Spirit. It is this righteousness that better defines the convergence of God's truth and judgment/mercy and grace upon mankind. Personal belief is otherwise nebulous, self imagined and self justified, ignorant even arrogant of the inexpressible holiness and immutability of the Godhead's character/plan and purpose for creation.
The initial presumption of righteousness helps drive faith into a further pursuit for and eventual reverence for the fuller nature of God. Reverence leads to spiritual knowledge, knowledge leads to spiritual fruit. (see RighteousnessOfGodAndSavior) (see study guide FoundationsOfFaith2a)
As the central view of/alertness to God's righteousness grows and develops, so too does the real life realization of where the "Arm of the Lord" is being revealed; where His strength is moving and found. This effects and multiplies areas in our soul/lives such as grace and peace, the provision of all things pertaining to life and godliness, the partaking of His divine nature which is our only escape from the very same corrupted decisions and actions failing us all along. (see study guide FoundationsOfFaith2b)
Having then a pursue-able ever broadening core of faith based upon God's righteousness and the strength of His arm, this faith is put forward into our daily lives, into our actions, into our relationships, being performed more and more on His terms. Peter provides specific points of focus to carrying this faith forward that with proper diligence and correction will produce spiritual fruit. Fruit will build both assurance in our full salvation and generate awareness of the abundant entrance given leading up and into the eternal kingdom.
Here courage towards a moral excellence such as His righteousness and revelation knowledge are added to faith. (see study guide FoundationsOfFaith2c)
The core items of diligence presented by Peter continue. Here emotional/physical/spiritual temperance along with patience and godliness are added to the knowledge courage and faith recently presented. (see study guide FoundationsOfFaith2d)
The core items of diligence presented by Peter continue further. Here brotherly kindness and agape love are added.
This complete series of focus items focus in on the tangible actions of faith in all daily living. Having it empowered and provided by God, having it escaped/released from our all to familiar corruptions makes every difference between common faith (positive attitude, self confidence/determination, cherry picking biblical truths for self improvement) and Like Precious Faith (on equal footing to Peter's, trans-formative, victorious, God infused). (see study guide FoundationsOfFaith2e)
The process once begun and put into action always remains a process of remaining plugged into and expanding the conduit of God's righteousness. As we become less and less blind to the knowledge made available by His righteousness, as we become less and less shortsighted to His direction and movement, as we allow ourselves to be detached from our former sinful natures the more of that fruit can be produced. (see study guide FoundationsOfFaith2f)
With God our election is sure. In our minds there is much doubt. How then does God communicate the surety we need without adding the cockiness and detachment more natural to us? This very same process of applying faith forward into our lives and into the lives of those that we will be lead to serve. (see study guide FoundationsOfFaith2g)
Enter now the problem that this "like precious faith" is so dependent upon the presumption and pursuit of God's righteousness that the human tendency is to revert back to our own efforts and resources. Peter concludes that the faithful will always need to be put in remembrance of these foundational things. We will always drift.
We will always try to get by with the least effort and discomfort. We will set out, get started, but seldom sustain. Whatever success we have we will attribute to our own skill and craft. Even the best of us, I am sure that he is talking about himself as well. (see study guide FoundationsOfFaith2h)
The reality of these spiritual truths are well documented. Though we do not have the face to face experience of a Peter (yet) or the divine visions of say a prophet Isaiah, we still believe and put the like precious faith forward. Prophecy and scripture are not just about some future heaven; they are also about the real life real people real time requirements of this current life as well. (see study guide FoundationsOfFaith2i)
The Foundational Challenge
With every section that I have begun to summarize above, you will notice that I have provided a link, each link to a myriad of biblical resources designed to help you navigate your way through this. With each resource verse remember that there is a fuller passage context and broader chapter context and so on... The challenge is to go as deep into this as you dare.
Reports are that the deeper you dig the more that you will be driven to go deeper. With each thing you discover however there has to be a putting forward into your daily life. There is no use in being a book of knowledge if you are not going to be a fountain of life giving spiritual fruit. You have your situations. Your have a world of similar situations all around you to effect. Do this - Be this "like precious faith"
Come back as often you need.
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