The Book of Second Peter

Lesson 1 - "A Family of Like Precious Faith"

by Pastor Frank J. Cuozzo

Pastor Frank Cuozzo

2 Peter 1:1-4, “Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”

I am beginning a series on the subject given here in II Peter 1:1 where Peter addresses this letter to “them that have obtained like precious faith.” The faith of believers is called “precious” because it is connected to the Precious One, amen! The Lord Jesus Christ is called “precious” by Peter three times.

          -1 Peter 2:4, “To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious.”

          -1 Peter 2:6-7, “Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner.”

Peter called the blood of Christ, the trial of your faith, and the promises of God “precious” also,

          -1 Peter 1:18-19, “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”

          -1 Peter 1:7, “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.”

          -2 Peter 1:4, “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”

The word “precious” used here means highly valued, very dear, more honorable. You see folks, to Peter, the Lord Jesus and all things related to Him were precious. Is this true in your life? Gospel hymn writer Charles H. Gabriel was born in 1856 and at age 46 he penned the words to the hymn “He is so precious to me.” It contains some very beautiful and true words,

*So precious is Jesus, my Savior, my King;        His praise all the day long with rapture I sing.

To Him in my weakness for strength I can cling,           For He is so precious to me.

Chorus: For He is so precious to me. For He is so precious to me. ‘Tis heaven below, my Redeemer to know, For He is so precious to me.

When Peter speaks of his faith, he uses the expression “precious faith.” As he writes in II Peter chapter one, he says, “To them that have obtained like precious faith.” He is writing to others concerning the same faith that he has.

The question for us is, do we think of our faith as precious? Sometimes we use the expression “saving faith.” The truth is that it is not our faith that saves us, but the object of our faith. It’s the Lord Jesus Christ who saves.

We also speak of our faith as an expression to summarize what we believe about God’s word and the body of truth we hold to as believers. We often say, “This is our faith,” or what we believe and trust in. Peter is saying here in II Peter that the faith that he has in Christ is the same precious faith as all other true believers in Christ. “Like precious faith.”

Why do you think that Peter uses the term “precious” to describe our mutual faith in Christ? I believe it’s because of the difference Christ made in his life since he trusted him. For example, Peter at one time made his living on the Sea of Galilee. Perhaps he thought before he met Christ that he would have the best and biggest fishing business someday. He had a fishing business with his brothers and no doubt it meant a great deal to him to become successful at it.

Once he met Christ, he was told that everything would change. Matthew 4:18-20, “And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.”

After meeting the Lord Jesus, it was not fishing that was precious and meaningful to Peter, it was his faith in Christ, a faith that he now calls “precious.” After you met Christ and were saved, you along with Peter can say we have “like precious faith.” Let’s look at three things about this precious faith.

#1) The Power of this faith.

There is a divine power in this faith. 2 Peter 1:3 says, “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.”

Peter was a man’s man. No doubt he was a very strong man. We are given insight into his life as He followed Christ. In John chapter 21, when others are trying to pull fish to shore (careful reading tells us that there was 153 fish in the net) but Peter single handedly pulled the net himself to shore (John 21:11). He was no doubt a powerful man, but here in II Peter, he is talking about another kind of power. Peter came to realize that there was a power that only God has. A power that he now had that enabled him to live the Christian life pleasing God.

He saw this power demonstrated in so many ways as he followed Christ:

          -When Peter and the disciples were on the Sea of Galilee and a strong storm arose and they feared for their lives, Peter saw the Lord Jesus speak to the wind and waves saying, “Peace, be still” and the sea and waves immediately ceased. He saw His power over nature.

-When Peter’s mother-in-law was sick, he saw the Lord come and heal her and he witnessed the Lord’s power over disease.

-On multiple occasions, Peter saw the Lord cast out demons and heal demon possessed people and saw that Christ had power over Satan.

-Peter saw Jesus raise the dead. He saw the lifeless bodies of several people restored to life and health. He was standing at the tomb when Jesus called Lazarus from the grave. He was in the house of Jairus when Jesus raised Jairus’ daughter from her deathbed. He was with Jesus in the city of Nain when the widow’s dead son was being carried to his burial and saw Jesus raise him up from the dead. He saw the Lord’s power over death.

-Peter of course saw the Lord Jesus crucified and die. He knew the Lord had risen the third day just as He promised because he saw the risen Savior. He knew the Lord Jesus had power over death, hell and the grave.

And so Peter saw first-hand the power of this precious faith!!! Paul wrote of this power in Ephesians 1:19-20 when he said, “And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places.”

Peter saw the power of this precious faith because he knew a powerful Savior amen!!! If you come this morning and trust Christ as your Savior, you too will obtain like precious powerful faith!!!

#2) The Promises of this faith.

This precious faith comes with precious promises. II Peter 1:4 says again, “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises.” We are living in perilous times. People are asking questions like, “What’s in store for us in the future?” or “What about Israel and the coming tribulation?” What we need to do is live on the precious promises of God!!!!

What about these promises from God’s Word?

          -“I will never leave thee or forsake thee.”

          -“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

          -“And we know that all things work together for good.”

Numbers 23:19 says, “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it?” In other words, God is not like us, when He says something, He will do it!!!! We have His word on it!!! Precious promises!!!!

A precious promise from God is a divine assurance on which we can depend! 2 Corinthians 1:20 says, “For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.” If God says it, you can say a hearty AMEN, it’s going to come to pass!! No doubt about it! Precious promises!!!!

Jesus promised Peter that He would pray for him. In Luke 22:31-32 the Bible says, “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” This prayer promise from the Lord Jesus meant something very special to Peter! Peter was about to deny Christ, and Jesus knew this would happen and He wanted him to know that he was going to come through it stronger and ready to lead the New Testament church.

No wonder Peter said that these are precious promises! Faith in God does not see its way through life; it “faiths” its way through life on God’s precious promises. We walk by faith and not by sight!!!

We saw the power of this faith, and the promises of this faith,

#3) The Partakers of this faith.

We as believers have the joy of being the partakers of this faith!!! The Bible says in II Peter 1:4, “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” We have to be very careful not to misinterpret this verse. The correct way to explain this verse is that we receive this “divine nature” rather than saying we have God’s nature.

We are not becoming gods. We still have our old nature but God has given us a “new nature” upon salvation that enables us to live the victorious Christian life that pleases God and glorifies Him. Peter said that we have escaped corruption. We can escape because Christ didn’t escape!  He tasted death for every man. He suffered our hell on the cross so that we don’t have to die and go to hell.

The Lord Jesus gave us the reason to live- not just a reason, but THE reason, to bring honor and glory to Him. He has placed in us, as “partakers of the divine nature,” the desire to do what He wants us to do.

If you have trusted Christ today, guess what? You have that like precious faith, this powerful, promised faith that we can all partake of by being born again by faith.

Let’s pray.

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