A Faith of Equal Standing

2 Peter 1:1-2 ESV

“Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,

To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:

May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.”

There are many people who profess to have faith in Jesus Christ, but not all of them have genuine faith in Jesus Christ, especially not in our day and time when the cheap grace gospel has supplanted the true gospel of our salvation in the hearts and minds of many people.

So, to have a faith in Jesus Christ of equal standing or equal in honor as the faith of the New Testament apostles is to have God-persuaded faith which submits to Christ as Lord, which dies with Christ to sin, and which lives to him and to his righteousness. It is a faith which walks according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-32).

This faith is by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ. It is by the judicial approval of God, a faith which comes from God and is approved of God and is in right standing with God. It is what is deemed right by God; therefore, it submits to God and obeys him and his word (1 Jn 2:3-6).

2 Peter 1:3-4 ESV

“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.”

So, those having this faith which dies with Christ to sin and which lives to Christ and to his righteousness have been granted, by God’s divine power, all things that pertain to life and godliness. And godliness shows reverence for God and for what God deems as sacred.

And we have been called of God to (or by) his own glory and excellence. But whether “to” or “by” it is still that we are called of God according to his own glory (honor, praise, good opinion) and excellence (uprightness, moral goodness) and for his glory and praise.

For, Jesus Christ did not die on that cross just to forgive us our sins so that we could escape hell and so that we can go to heaven when we die. He died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us (1 Pet 2:24; 2 Co 5:15, 21; 1 Co 6:19-20; Eph 4:17-24).

God’s promises are conditional. We need to read them all in their context and not remove them from their context and misapply them. If they were in the Old Testament, we need to see if they are repeated for us in the New Testament, and then we need to see the conditions for those promises.

For, what’s the purpose of God’s promises to us? It is that through them we might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. Amen! This is the message of the gospel of our salvation.

When we believe in Jesus, we die with Christ to sin and we are raised with Christ to newness of life in him, “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” We are freed from our slavery to sin so that we now become slaves of God and of his righteousness (Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-32).

2 Peter 1:5-9 ESV

“For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.”

This is not adding on to our faith works of the flesh. These are by-products of genuine faith in Jesus Christ. This is faith being lived out in our daily lives. We must exercise these qualities. We must put them into practice, by the Spirit, but they are not of our own doing.

For, again, we are not saved from our sins just so we can one day go to heaven when we die. We are saved from slavery to sin so that we can now be slaves of God and of his righteousness. Our lives are to change to be more like God in his character and in his holiness.

Therefore, if we put these qualities into practice in our lives they will keep us from being ineffective and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. And that is because daily we are putting on Christ and his righteousness instead of putting on the things of this sinful world.

But if we lack these godly qualities, we are so nearsighted that we are blind, for we have forgotten that Jesus died to free us from our slavery to sin, not just to forgive us our sins. We have forgotten that through faith in Jesus we died with Christ to sin that we might live to Christ and to his righteousness.

2 Peter 1:10-11 ESV

“Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

So, what’s this saying? It is not saying that it is okay for us to continue living in sin and that it is okay if we don’t live for the Lord and for his righteousness. It is definitely not saying that God is okay with us ignoring his commands, going our own way, and us doing our own thing.

We need to remind ourselves regularly of what our salvation is all about, and of what God saved us from, and of what God saved us to. And we need to live accordingly to that. And we need to not get caught up in the cheap grace gospel which gives us permission to keep on in our sins.

If we put the life God has granted to us into practice in our daily lives, by his Spirit, it will prevent us from falling into sin. If we do not put righteousness and godliness into practice in our daily lives, then we are opening ourselves wide to falling back into sinful lifestyles.

So, what’s the issue? It is that if we make sin our practice, no matter what we profess with our lips, we will not inherit eternal life with God. But if by the Spirit we are putting into practice what is of God and what is of his righteousness, then we have the hope of eternal life with God.

[Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; Tit 2:11-14; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; 1 Co 6:9-10; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; 2 Co 5:10]

Servant of the Lord

An Original Work / July 26, 2012
Based off Romans 1:1-17

Servant of the Lord;
For the gospel you’re set apart.
Promised through the prophets of old:
Jesus, Son of God.
Through Him, and for His name alone,
We receive His grace
To call people, Him to obey;
Coming from their faith.
Servant of the Lord,
For the gospel you’re set apart.
Promised through the prophets of old:
Jesus, Son of God.

You belong to Christ;
Loved by God, and called to be saints;
Serving God with whole heart and mind;
Preaching Jesus Christ;
Always praying for others’ needs;
Helping hand to lend;
Giving courage to others’ faith,
For the praise of God.
You belong to Christ;
Loved by God, and called to be saints;
Serving God with whole heart and mind;
Preaching Jesus Christ.

Servant of the Lord;
Of the gospel, I’m not ashamed;
For salvation, power of God
To those who have faith.
In the gospel find righteousness:
Being right with God.
Turn from sin, and trust Jesus Christ.
By faith, live in Him.
Servant of the Lord;
Of the gospel, I’m not ashamed;
For salvation, power of God
To those who have faith.

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