Friday, December 5, 2014

The Precious Faith

"Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who have obtained like precious faith with us
by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ" 2 Peter 1:1

a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ  -  Peter opens this letter with his credentials, yet it is not as though he is flaunting them, for right away he ties such a faith as he has to all other Christians. Even the order suggests humility.  A slave has no authority of his own - it is derived from the master and Peter's apostleship lays plainly to us that the authority is Christ.  (In saying this, I realize that this argument is true of all believers, however – we make no such claim that apostleship is based on our relationship to Christ – Apostleship is more than acknowledging Christ as Lord & master)

To those who have obtained like precious faith  -  Peters first letter was to pilgrims and strangers in the dispersion who were elect.  In this epistle he identifies his audience as those who have the same faith.  Peter is writing to Christians. 

by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ  -  Here Peter reveals that the gospel is obtained by the righteousness of another, Christ.  We are not made perfect by our good deeds, but we stand before God in Christ’s works - He is the only righteous one, and He alone will stand.  Apart from Christ, no man will see the Lord.

Peter describes how we get our faith - by Christ's righteousness. It is not by faith we come to know our condition and claim Christ. Rather by His work and righteousness he is afforded a people. And having chosen them, He quickens (or wakes) them.  They, having been made aware of their sorry state, trusting not at all in their deeds, evil as they are, trust in the finished work of Christ by faith in those works.  This is the gospel.  Such a wonder this book is!

Post script: Wednesday (the 3rd) our dog, Sunny died.  We had him as a pet 10 years, 9 months. So although he was sick for a time, the loss is real. I was not so apt to study that morning.  But putting aside my morose state I took up the task.
And I was blessed. 

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