2 Peter 1:1-2
Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ…
I. THE OBJECT OF FAITH as here defined. Revised Version reads more accurately, "faith... in the righteousness." Faith is trust, and the object of trust must be a person. We may say that we trust a promise, but that really means that we trust him who has made it. We may believe a creed, but for trust we must have a living Christ of whom the creed speaks.
II. THE WORTH OF THIS FAITH.
1. You remember that in one verse we read about the door of faith. What is the worth of a door? It is only a hole in a wall. The value of the door is that which it admits into. So faith is precious, not because of anything in itself, but because of what it grasps, and of what it admits into your heart. Just as the hand of a dyer that has been working with crimson will be crimson; just as the hand that has been holding fragrant perfumes will be perfumed; so my faith, which is only the hand by which I lay hold upon precious things, will take the tincture and the fragrance of what it grasps. A bit of earthenware piping may be worth a few pence in intrinsic value, but if it is the means by which water is brought into a beleaguered city, which else would perish of thirst, who will estimate its worth?
2. Then again, we may consider the worth of faith as a defence. We read of the shield of faith. I do not become safe by believing myself to be so, however strong may be the imagination or the fancy. All depends upon what it is that I am relying on. Your faith is precious because it knits you to Christ's immortal stability.
3. And in like manner we may consider the worth of faith as a purifier. But how does faith purify? Is there anything in my confidence which will make me pure? No! there is no moral efficacy in the mere act of trust. All depends upon what it is that you are trusting to. You will get like what you are trusting to. The only faith that purifies is faith in Him that is pure.
III. THE SUBSTANTIAL IDENTITY AND EQUAL PRECIOUSNESS OF FAITH IN ALL VARIETIES OF FORM AND DEGREE. The deepest thing in every man that has it is his faith in Jesus Christ, and likeness in that brings him near all others who have it, however unlike on the surface their characteristics may be. All manner of differences in opinion, in politics, in culture, in race which may separate men from men, are like the cracks upon the surface of a bit of rock, which are an inch deep, while the solid mass goes down a thousand feet. But I am not going to pretend that the man whose Christ did not die for him, and whose Christ gives him no righteousness in which he can stand before God, possesses "like precious faith with us." To say that he does is to worship charity at the expense of truth. The poor man's half sovereign which stands between him and want is made of the same gold as Rothschild's millions. And so the smallest and the feeblest faith is one ill character, and one in intrinsic value with the loftiest and superbest. Only as is the measure of the man's faith, so will be the measure of his possession of the precious things.
(A. Maclaren, D. D.)
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: