Only by faith can we have a relationship with God and only by unbelief (lack of faith) can we lose it. From start to finish the Christian life is all about faith. Faith is the means God chose for us to display our trust in Him. Whatever lasting good a person does in life will be a direct result of their faith in God. Grow in faith because everything you are and will be depends on it!
2 Peter 1:1-11, “1 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.
3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.
10 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
- The Importance of Faith: Faith is the gift of God which is given to all who willing receive the Word of God (Ephesians 2:8 & 2 Peter 1:1). Mankind cannot choose faith unless God’s grace first frees our will, which was bound to the flesh because of Adam’s curse (Romans 3:10-18). Yet, since the fall, God has graciously freed man’s will through the light of Christ (John 1:4-5) partially in nature via the conscience (Acts 17:27-28) and completely through the preaching of the Word (Romans 10:17).
- Faith’s Attributes: According to Hebrews 11:1 (KJV) faith is, “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
- Faith’s Necessity: Hebrews 11:6 (KJV) states that without faith, “it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
- Faith & Works: Some have pitted James against Paul in their teachings on faith (James 2:24 & Romans 5:1). However, Peter is teaching that faith alone saved us, but like James said, true biblical faith has additions (evidences).
- The Seven Qualities of Faith: Our faith should grow in seven ways resulting in us being effective, productive and free from stumbling.
- Goodness: To follow the commands found in Scripture and the leading of the Holy Spirit in one’s daily life, 2 Thessalonians 1:11.
- Knowledge: To learn more about God, one’s identity, and the perfect will of God through the Bible and personal experience confirmed with Scripture, 2 Peter 3:18.
- Self-Control: To live free from all sinful, fleshy desires, 2 Timothy 1:7.
- Perseverance: To never give up on the things of God, Galatians 6:9.
- Godliness: To live like God in all situations, 1 Timothy 4:8.
- Mutual Affection: To love one’s neighbor as one’s self, Mark 12:31.
- Love: To display the character of God in self-sacrifice and strong positive interpersonal emotion, John 15:13.
FINAL THOUGHTS: FAITH OR UNBELIEF? THE CHOICE IS YOURS!
- The Kindness & Sternness of God: Romans 11:11-24.
- The Hard Heart: Hebrews 3:7-19.
- Overcoming Unbelief: Mark 9:14-27.
- How Faith Comes: Romans 10:17.
Everything is possible for one who believes!