2 Peter 1:1-6
“This letter is from Simon Peter, a slave and apostle of Jesus Christ. I am writing to you who share the same precious faith we have. This faith was given to you because of the justice and fairness of Jesus Christ, our God and Savior. 2 May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord. 3 By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. 4 And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires. 5 In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises.”
Every day we place our faith in the natural world around us without much thought or struggle, we rarely question this realm. The doctor tells us we have a disease that we’ve never heard of, so he writes a prescription that we cannot read, for a medicine whose name we can’t pronounce, which we take to a pharmacist who we don’t know, who gives us a bottle of something that tastes like poison and then we go back for more! Yet when God wants us to live in the supernatural faith realm we kick and scream and always question Him. As Peter talks about faith he reminds us of 4 aspects:
- Obtained Faith. Vs.1
Peter was writing to those who shared the same precious faith as he did, to those who had obtained faith. He reminds us that this precious faith is obtained through Christ’s righteousness, His completed work on the cross. God is the One who gives us a “measure of faith” and we are called to move in response to that faith. In 1895 a French tightrope walker and acrobat named Charles Blondin became famous after accomplished one of his greatest feats. He walked across a 1000 foot tight-rope suspended 160 feet above the waters of Niagara Falls. Blondin went on to walk across the falls several times each with a different theatrical flair. On one such high-wire walk, Blondin crossed over the falls pushing a wheelbarrow and when he reached the other side he asked the spectators if they believed he could do it again. Everyone cheered and he then asked if they believed he could cross the tightrope with someone in the wheelbarrow. Everyone cheered believing that he could do it and they all wanted to see this incredible stunt. Blondin then asked for a volunteer to ride in the wheelbarrow but no one stepped forward. It’s one thing to think that Blondin could do it and yet another to believe with such confidence that you would get in. It’s one thing to say you believe and another to act on that belief. The historical stunts of Blondin help us understand what it really means to have faith. First, faith is not mere intellectual assent, where we approvingly agree. If they had truly believed that Blondin could cross the raging Niagara with someone in the wheelbarrow they would have volunteered to ride along. Faith isn’t a feeling, it is trusting in someone or something. Faith is more than the words of mental assent shouted by the crowds lining the shores of Niagara. To say, “We believe” means that we believe not only with our head, but with our heart and our wills. Faith means that we believe that God can do what He has said and that we believe it so thoroughly that we are willing to fully act upon it. Faith does not merely mean that we believe God can do it, but that God can do it with us in the “wheelbarrow”.
- Objective Faith. Vs. 1-2
Secondly we see that faith must always be “in” something. When we say, we believe or that we have faith, we are saying that we have faith in someone or something. Faith can be in a person’s ability or work, so we trust a mechanic’s ability to repair our car or appliance. Faith can be in a promise, so we count on a person being where they said they would be because we have faith in them. Faith can be in an object, so we fully relax in that chair which we trust in to hold us. Whatever the object of our faith, it is always in someone or something. If someone had volunteered to get into Blondin’s wheelbarrow they would have been trusting in Blondin and in his promise to get them across the mighty chasm. If we say that we trust God then we must get into the wheelbarrow. Faith is no better than its object and the object of our faith determines the objective of our faith. Jesus said in Matthew 17:20 “…If you have faith of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, “move from here to there, and it will be move, and nothing is impossible for you.” Jesus reminds us that God must be our object, not the seed. Don’t ever get the idea that because your faith is weak that it won’t work. It’s not the amount of your faith that counts it’s the Almighty in your faith, the object of your faith.
- Overwhelming Faith. Vs. 3-4
When was the last time you looked over faith and were overwhelmed? In verses 3-4 Peter reminds us of our overwhelming faith:
In power – God has given us everything we need for living this life.
In purity – To live a godly life
In promises – He has given us great and precious promises pertaining to the abundant life.
In partnership – Promises that enable us to share His divine nature and participate in His plan
Take time today to rest on the foundation of your faith, to ponder your position as a child of God and be overwhelming by the overflow of faith.
- Obedient Faith. Vs.5
Peter tells us that In view of all this we must make every effort to respond to God’s promises. If we say that we believe God but don’t obey Him, then we really don’t know Him. Faith in the Father means responding in relationship. Faith is belief with feet, James 2:17 says that faith without works is dead. Today we like to talk about the theory more that the trusting, we like to reminisce instead of live out the reality of faith. Don’t tell anyone that you are obedient to God unless you offer to get into the wheelbarrow. Obedience does not mean obligation, when Peter tells us to make every effort he means to act with both eagerness and commitment. Obedience is not us obeying in an attempt to obligate God. Faith is not getting our will done in heaven but the Fathers will being done on earth. Today have you trusted Jesus with your soul? Jesus has promised to get us to the Father if we will believe that He died for our sins on Calvary. If you have trusted Him are you willing to put yourself in His hands believing that He will carry you over the chasm?