2 Peter 1:1-2
Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ…
Let us first of all glance at THE FAMILY THAT IS HERE ADDRESSED. The letter is directed plainly, and to deal honestly with Scripture, and to deal honestly with souls, we must do as an honest postman would do. When he takes his budget of letters from the office, he does not take pains to tear off the envelopes and directions, and scatter them in the streets for any one to pick up. This should be the case with regard to this Epistle. It is not addressed to us individually, but it is "to them that have obtained like precious faith with us." In order to ascertain if the letter belongs to me, I must ascertain if I have like precious faith with the author. The fraternity to whom all this Epistle is addressed, they have obtained like precious faith — apostolic faith. How is this? Did they buy it? Did they earn it? Did they trace it out by dint of study? Verily not. Those who really have it, have it inspired in their souls, implanted in their experience as a living grace, by the operation of the Holy Ghost. And this leads me to observe that this precious faith obtains and maintains a holy intimacy with God in all the persons and perfections of the Trinity. There is another point I must press upon you, and that is the basing of faith upon truth, as its solid bottom. If the faith of God's elect has taken possession of your heart, I know that the testimony of Scripture with regard to all the doctrines of grace, will be received in your creed.
II. Ascertain THE EVIDENCE OF OUR AFFINITY. "Like faith in us." "Like!" How am I to know it is "like"? Now I really think it will be quite fair to ascertain what is like the apostles'; let us appeal to the apostles' preaching, and to their practice. Now I think their preaching consisted of three things chiefly — affirming, admonishing, and advising. They were accustomed to affirm. Says the apostle — "opening and alleging that Jesus Christ must needs suffer and enter into His glory." Well, then, they went on to admonish, and they could say to the rejectors of the gospel, "Behold, ye despisers, and wonder and perish." And this led on to their advising them to continue steadfast to the truth, to flee the very appearance of evil, to gird up the loins of their minds, and so on. Moreover, I should like all such to ask the question, whether their practice is at all like the apostles'. Like precious faith will produce like precious practice. And we find the apostles active in the cause of God. So also we find that the apostles' practice way very affectionate — that they spoke in love to those who surrounded them. I want more of this affectionate deportment, as well as activity, and zeal, and vigilance in the cause of God. And then, mark, their lives were of an inspiring nature. They did not content themselves with earth — they wanted not its gaudy toys, but they waited for that crown of righteousness which was laid up for them. Well, just go on to mark that the apostles' faith was immovable and invulnerable. Now, I ask whether this faith that we profess is so much like the apostle's that it is unmovable. Can you stand a cannonading from the enemy? Can you stand a good volley of reproach and insult from the world? Just pass on to mark that this like precious faith, which thus appeals to the apostles is necessarily fixing its attention upon the name and perfect work of Christ, its object is to glorify Christ.
III. THE VERY WONDERFUL APPELLATION GIVEN TO THIS FAITH. It is "like precious faith." One of the first features of its preciousness is that it takes hold of all the stores of the covenant of grace, and appropriates them as its own. But there is one point in the preciousness of faith which appears to me more precious than all the others, and that is its habitual war. "Why we thought that, being justified by faith, we have peace with God." So we have, and yet there is habitual war. There is old Satan, with his roaring like a lion, seeking whom he may devour. What is to be done with him? "Whom resist steadfast in the faith." That is war, at any rate.
Parallel VersesKJV: 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:
WEB: Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained a like precious faith with us in the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ: