2 Peter 1:5-9 (NIV) 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.
Faith and works
Faith without works is dead! Nevertheless, our faith comes FIRST and “these things”, the works, are then ADDED.
Hearers and doers
James 1:19-27 (NIV) My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
Faith in action
Faith is from the Greek word pistis – to believe, trust, have confidence in God’s divine persuasion. It is a gift from God which must then be put into action.
Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
John 6:29 (NIV) Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
Faith is a common word nowadays, but what is your faith in? What do you believe/trust/have confidence in? Is it in your intelligence? Your beauty? Your abilities? Who you know? How much is in your bank account? Your middle classness? OR is it in the ‘one he has sent?’..Jesus Christ?
So we see from this, that the work is to believe and to have faith in Jesus Christ.
So who is this Jesus Christ anyway?
Jesus’ name in Hebrew (Yeshua) means “he will save” and Christ means the anointed one. He is the anointed one who saves..but what are you saved from?
2 Peter 1:9 states that we’ve been “cleansed/saved/forgiven from past sins”.
Saved by faith
Ephesians 2:8-10 (NIV) For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
It is our faith in Jesus Christ that saves us and not our works. God has prepared works for us to do, but these works are to be added to our faith so we cannot boast about them. Faith is the key!!
Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists AND that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
The solid foundation
So if we think of faith in Christ as our foundation, let’s read what God’s word says about Christ.
1 Peter 2:6 For it stands in Scripture: (Isaiah 28:16-17) “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious,
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” – the one who relies on it will never be stricken with panic.
Ephesians 2:19-21 (NIV) Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.
When you are building a house, it takes more time to construct the foundation than the rest of the house. The foundation contains all the electrical, plumbing, etc.. the important stuff that’s needed for inside the house. A house without a foundation cracks up under pressure.
It’s not that once we are saved there is no more pressure, it is that we have the foundation to stand on that can bear the pressure.
Where does this faith/this foundation come from and how do we build it?
Romans 10:17 (NIV) Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.
So ask yourself..what do you KNOW of Jesus and why is that significant to you? More importantly, do you have personal knowledge of who He is through relationship with His Holy Spirit and His word.
– He is born of a virgin. A miracle baby.
– He is the ONLY son of God which makes Him unique, special and eternal.
– He is the son of man (he came as a man). He lowered Himself so that we could relate to Him.
– He was perfect and did not deserve to die, however He was sent to die for us as a sacrifice for us. This makes me feel special.
– He chose to die, showing His surrender to fulfill God’s purpose.
– He is the resurrection and the life (John 11:25). He rose from the dead so that the Holy Spirit could come and live IN us transforming us from physical to spiritual.
– He is one with the Father : John 10:30
– He is the Prince of Peace : Isaiah 9:6
– He heals the sick and broken hearted
– He is the way, the truth and the life: John 14:6
Let’s be on a never ending quest to KNOW Him.. the cornerstone of our faith.
By Lisa Marshall