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Faith Obtained Through the Righteousness of God and Savior

(child thread of FoundationsOfTheLikePreciousFaith series begun by RandyP )

kjv@2Peter:1:1 @ to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:

Faith Obtained

The understanding of this one clause is absolutely crucial to our understanding remainder of the discourse to follow in this chapter. We are going to be exhorted to diligently add much more to this understanding of our faith in a few short verses; what and how we intend to go about this diligence will depend greatly on how well we anchor to this preliminary clause. The trick will be to grasp this faith in a fully regenerated and increasingly sanctifyed way.

What the Apostle Peter is about to say about faith only applies to a certain people, people whose faith is based on grounds similar to his own. His premise from the start will be that the caliber of "like precious" faith is not based upon the caliber of the person's character, it is a result of the caliber of God's own character.

Let us begin by asking ourselves this: Where did our original saving faith come from? Did it come from within us? Did we have to manufacture or muster/wrangle it up? Or was it something foreign and external that was brought upon us? Where then would our continuing faith after that come? I mention this because our tendency (even as Christian) in crisis is to attempt to summon up even more faith from within than we already have, to believe even stronger until we are "blue in the faith". Is that really the way faith works though?

Think of it in these quaint terms: A wife has faith in her husband (or does not) through the observance of his equitable and long established character, specifically the resulting acts of said character. Unless he is this/exhibits this there is little ground present for her to believe in. The caliber of his character directly results in the caliber shall we say of her faith. The same is true in respect to our faith in God and Savior; the only firm ground for us to stand on is found in the observance of God's substantial acts and character. Our faith is born of this righteousness and is sustained and grown in this righteousness.

Please take notice of how much of the following is being sourced from God:

Contextual Anchors -

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.

1. Obtained/Given seemingly as by lot:

Quoted resource: strongs 'G2975'

G2975 @ λαγχάνω lagchanō lang-khan'-o A prolonged form of a primary verb which is only used as an alternate in certain tenses; to lot that is determine (by implication receive) especially by lot: - his lot be cast lots obtain.

Usage #1
kjv@John:19:24 @ They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did.

Usage #2
kjv@Luke:1:9 @ According to the custom of the priests office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.

2. More than the simple nebulous belief or hope:

Quoted resource: strongs 'G4102'

G4102 @ πίστις pistis pis'-tis From G3982; persuasion that is credence; moral conviction (of religious truth or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher) especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; abstractly constancy in such profession; by extension the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself: - assurance belief believe faith fidelity.

(see: word study - PistisFaith or slidy:PistisFaith )

3. Is as a result of and is in God's/Savior's righteousness:

Quoted resource: strongs 'G1343'

G1343 @ δικαιοσύνη dikaiosunē dik-ah-yos-oo'-nay From G1342; equity (of character or act); specifically (Christian) justification: - righteousness.

(see: word study - DikaiosuneRighteousness or slidy:DikaiosuneRighteousness )

Doctrinal Study

(see: doctrinal study TorreyRighteousnessOfGod or slidy:TorreyRighteousnessOfGod )

Practical Aspects

In the section of the Epistle to the Hebrews commonly referred to as the HallOfFaith (nkjv@Hebrews:11 ), this "like precious" faith is illustrated in the lives of the many listed inductees typically as them having observed something in God's most excellent character and promise that produced something in them strong enough to forgo what might be due them here and now for something hoped for long into the future; often at great personal consequence. The hope was always something future, always something bigger and beyond themselves and their human capacity, something being done by God for the establishment of HIS promise towards future generations. The substance or evidence to us is that God in deed was able to use them toward HIS purposes; having obtained in HIM a good and lasting report. The substance or evidence to them that God was going to be able accomplish this for their future generations was what HE had revealed to them of HIS most excellent character; the righteousness of God and Savior.

There is a vast difference in how the two common approaches to faith proceed forward. If one's faith is from within self, such faith can proceed going as far as adding to itself similar traits of virtue/knowledge/temperance/patience/godliness/brotherly kindness/agape love, but these traits and their tangible output then are also largely a product of self. We can even say that there would likely be personal benefit from such an exercise of this form of faith. But then we would have to ask whether such personal benefit of this form is the same benefit as what would be offered by God by regenerated and progressively sanctified means. Note: The issue of God's righteousness can be minimized or even avoided under such a mode of operation (and often is).

If however one's faith is both in and as result of God's own righteousness, the steps such faith takes moving forward draws much more power and resource from it's divinely hosted source. Virtue/knowledge/temperance/patience/godliness/brotherly kindness/agape love all would have their beginning, end and resource squarely derived from the strength of God's equitable and lasting character and act. If you'll notice how the next few verses nkjv@2Peter:1:1-4 are constructed, you'll notice how Peter is outlining this very same second form of faith.

The difference initially between these forms can be very subtle. The fact that we are very familiar with the first form and mostly alien to the second is nearly a guarantee that we are presently operating from the first, which in turn means that we are acting from a form that any other person with or without Christ Jesus could and with similar results/fruit. Peter however is alerting us to superior form and though we probably know of the form, we are needing to be put back into remembrance of that form having drifted back to it's more corrupted form.

More directly, the "like precious" faith form of righteousness as I am becoming more and more aware is less about God gaining enough control to make all this right eventually (as many Christians suppose), it is that God is sovereign and that it has always been right all that HE has done and allowed and offered (despite what it appears to be in our limited minds), that it always will be right what HE is going to do/allow/offer; it all precisely fulfills HIS manifold purpose. It is the perpetual and unchanging equity of HIS character and actions.

Please consider the operation of each upcoming "like precious" element in light of from where (or whom) the resource to do such has been obtained:

Obtained (as by lot): From self? Through God+Savior's righteousness?

Consider that in Jesus' Sermon on the Mount the very first exhortations given are to be of a yielding spirit/humility/hungry for righteousness/pure heart/etc... Again in the same sermon Jesus exhorts "seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you". Consider that Solomon counseled to trust in the Lord with all one's heart, lean not on one's own understanding, to acknowledge the Lord in all one's ways, that the Lord Himself will then direct one's path. What else could these pointers possibly mean if not along these very "obtained through the righteousness of God and Savior" lines?

We will want to come back to this study point frequently..

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Comment Board:FaithObtainedThroughRighteousnessGodSavior

Further Resources:
strkjv@STRING:G1343+AND+G4102 - other verses with Pistis and Dikaiosune present

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