Precious Faith By Ben Fronczek
2 Peter 1:1-2
“Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours: 2 Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.”
Introduction to 2 Peter:
Most scholar believe that this letter was sent to the same audience as his former letter; to those Christians, gentile or Jew spread throughout the evangelized Roman empire. In this letter Peter will refer to his imminent departure from this life in 1:13-15. This letter was composed just prior to his death just before he was martyred which would have been the year AD 67 or 68, Just a couple of years before Rome lay siege to Jerusalem and eventually destroyed the temple. Many believe that this letter bears some marks of a Last Will and Testament And the purpose of this letter is seen by many to call Christians to grow spiritually so that they can combat the coming apostasy as we look forward to the Lord’s return.
To begin with Peter himself identifies himself as the author of this letter in the first verse. We also see who he was writing it to, and that was
“to those who have received a faith as precious as ours.”
As I read and considered that first verse it stopped me in my own tracks. In this first verse I read that: Faith in Jesus is something very precious.
And as I thought about this I thought, “Precious to some and sadly not to others.”
For me, as a Christian I can understand why faith in Jesus is something precious to Peter and other Christians, then and now.
I know that Jesus is that part of God who came to earth and lived among us as a man. Like everyone of us He was born of a woman and got to experience what it feels like to be flesh and blood. But He would go on to teach us more about God than was ever taught before. He would go on to performed miracles, He lived a holy righteous life, He showed us how to love and serve others, and then died on that cross. These are not only Biblical facts, they are historical facts as well.
Can you imagine that God the Creator, God the Word, God the life giver, God the Sustainer, the eternal all powerful, all knowing one sitting by your side cracking a joke? Peter had that opportunity to hang out with Him for over three years. He walked with Him, talked with Him, ate with Him, camped out with Him, learned from Him, and so much more.
One day Peter along with James and John even got to see a glimpse of Jesus’ true nature, Hi s glory on the Mt of Transfiguration, (Matt. 17:1-5) There we read that Jesus’ face became a bright as the sun (Have you ever tried to look directly at the sun for very long? You know that you can’t; it’s so bright that it will destroy your eyes.) Yet here that how bright Jesus’ face was. And his clothes also became as bright as light. After this happened Peter James and John also heard the voice of God Almighty say,
“This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”
Peter also witnessed His arrest and I’m sure His beating and crucifixion with horror. He himself probably felt the stabbing pain of shame and guilt because like a coward he disowned his friend and Lord not once but three times and ran and hid like frightened mouse. He with others then mourned His death.
He was also there to witness one of the greatest and most important event ever to take place – Jesus’ resurrection after He rose from the grave. He saw Jesus, he touched Jesus, he ate with Jesus. Jesus had proved Himself to be both lord of all, including lord over life and death and He also proved He was the Savior for all those who would accept and believe in Him.
Before ascending into Heaven itself to return to His rightful place, Peter heard with his own ears the Great Commission which Jesus gave before He left. And that was to
“go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20
How Precious these memories, these facts must have been to Peter as he wrote this letter. His faith was based on those precious events and memories. And how precious are those facts for those of us who have learned them and believe; facts that were not only provided by Peter but by other Biblical writers as well.
Our faith, which is based on these facts help us to know for certain that there is a God and that we have a God who really loves and cares for us. John. 3:16 Says
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
This faith is also precious because we know that based on all these facts which we read about here in our Bible, and believe, we know that we have something to live for; – that this life is just a stepping stone to a glorious heavenly existence where we can be with, and live with our Lord and our God, with all His angels and with all the saved for a long, long time in that place of peace and glory. (That is if we accept the Father’s wonderful gift of salvation from our sins)
This faith is precious to us because we know that in Christ, we are no longer alone. We are part of a collective larger than ourselves – the church – a vast now eternal body of fellow believers you have something in common with and who can be a comfort and a support to you when you need it. And likewise it is a place you can find ways to develop and use your talent and abilities to help others as we all do our best to serve God and one another together.
We also believe and know believe that God also shares another part of Himself with us, and is in us. His Spirit helps us, He teaches us, He convicts us, He comforts us, and even relays our deepest prayers to the Father in ways most of us do not understand. We are never really alone.
Because of that Precious faith we also believe that there are those waiting for us who have gone on ahead of us; mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, grandparents, friends, all the saints who have obeyed Him all the way back to Adam. They’ll be there to welcome us into glory. What a reunion that will be.
And because of that precious faith we also know that even now, God is still in control,
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,whohave been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
Peter said that our faith is precious, but how sad is the fact that for many, for most, these facts, what we believe is nothing more than religious mumbo-jumbo, or just a diluted fantasy made up by people a long time ago. How sad for whatever reasons that most refuse to believe these facts after hearing them. I know that these are the ones that Jesus calls us to preach the Good News to, but He also said,
“For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:13-14
Here’s a question for you; How precious are these facts, this faith to you?
Not too long ago sweet members of our church let my wife and I pick some sweet corn on their farm. Being organic and haven’t taken the as much time to cultivate the field as they probably would have liked to, there were certain parts we had to battle with weeds as thick and almost as tall as the corn itself. I am sure that some of those corn plants were stressed and had to fight to survive. I’m sure some did not fare too well where the weeds were thicker.
I could not help but think of the parable of the soils, where seed was spread on different soils. Some seed produced well, while others did not. I was reminded of the seed that fell into the soil, started out real well, but then was later choked out by the weeds around it. Jesus told the disciples that the weeds choking those plants are like the worries of this life, and the deceitfulness of wealth which makes a person unfruitful.
Here in our text Peter goes on to say in the next verse,
“Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.”
I believe what he is saying here is, because of what we know and believe about God and Jesus we should be enjoying an ABUNDANTANCE of GRACE and PEACE as we live our Christian life?
Isn’t that what he says here? But I have to admit I have not met too many truly happy, overly tranquil, or people at peace as of late. And I have to admit I am not without guilt in this matter.
God saved the Israelites from cruel Egyptian slavery. He fed them and took care of them and promised to bring them into a land of milk and honey; and what did they do? It wasn’t too long before they were all complaining and bellyaching to Moses. Where was their faith?
Where is our faith?
Is it being choke out by our contemporary society? Are you letting the stress of this world and pressure and lust of materialism get to you. Is there something that is choking this precious faith out of you; maybe the people you hang out with, or your job, your business, your farm? Are your hobbies or how your entertain yourself weakening your faith, preventing you from enjoying what you know? Are they robbing you of the peace that Peter said we should have? Don’t let anything rob you of something so precious.
I would imagine for Peter the saddest and darkest time in his life is when he turned his back on that faith and denied even knowing Jesus. But you know, like us Jesus gave him a second chance, and now we read here that Peter expected to die for that that faith. Tradition states that when he was about to be crucified, not feeling worthy of being crucified like his Lord, Peter asked to be crucified up-side-down. That faith was precious to him even worth giving his life for.
What about you? If it’s worth dying for then it’s worth living for. And when we learn really to appreciate this faith and who and what we have faith in, Ibelieve that GRACE and PEACE will be ours.
Weed the thing out of your life that is choking this precious faith out of you. Nurture that faith and draw closer to Jesus.
What helps me is to practice His presence and talk to Him through the day. His Spirit is in you, why can’t we talk to Him. And if He is in us, why can’t He talk to us and communicate with us through our conscious? I challenge you to try this. You just may be surprised how much peace it gives you and the blessings that come with drawing closer to Jesus provides.
For more lessons click on the following link: http://granvillenychurchofchrist.org/?page_id=566