Tuesday, December 8, 2015

1Peter 1:6-9 comments: the trial of your faith

6 ¶  Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 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: 8  Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: 9  Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

Even though believers have a great many difficulties and, in many parts of the world today, much persecution they should rejoice. From what Peter wrote before we have much to rejoice over. Rejoice in your salvation constantly for as David said or sang;

Psalm 30:5  For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

The trial of your faith is a fire that purges and purifies. Here to the church of the Laodiceans, John writes in figurative language what Christ commanded of them;

Revelation 3:17  Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

18  I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

Paul said to the Roman church;

Romans 5:1 ¶  Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2  By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3  And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4  And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5  And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

…that we may be found praising, honoring, and glorying in Jesus Christ when He appears.

In Job’s trials of faith we have;

Job 23:8 ¶  Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him:

9  On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him: 10  But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

James wrote;

James 1:2 ¶  My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3  Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4  But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

What are these temptations, these tribulations, these trials of faith? They are when you are tempted to deny God because of great troubles in your flesh, persecution from without, doubts and uncertainties, all things that cry against your faith such as sorrow and grief.

Galatians 4:14  And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.

Matthew13:21  Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.

2Corinthians 8:1 ¶  Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia;2  How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.

We love and believe in Christ, whom we have not seen, and if our faith, which we pray for, is strong, we can see the end of our faith, even our salvation. One characteristic of the Christian is his or her love for Christ, who is God in the flesh.

Deuteronomy 6:5  And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

Matthew 22:34 ¶  But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together. 35  Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, 36  Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37  Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38  This is the first and great commandment. 39  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Romans 8:28  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Do you love God or are you just terrified of Him or perhaps want to do business with Him, you know, make a deal, for a relatively painless existence?

A word of warning is warranted here in these passages. When you believe in false doctrines and hold onto things you have been taught that are not Biblical, your faith is in great danger, as is the faith of your children. For instance, Christians will quote the following verse and express confusion and dismay when some horrible thing happens to them;

Jeremiah 29:11  For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

However, the context of this verse is God promising that the exiles in Babylon will be able to return to Israel. See the verse before;

Jeremiah 29:10  For thus saith the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.

By taking this verse and applying it to yourself doctrinally you then must deny the warnings to people in the book of Job and elsewhere about suffering.

Job 2:10  But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips. [see Matthew 6:34 for evil as trouble]

Jonathan Edwards, the famous Congregationalist preacher of colonial America wrote in his A History of the Work of Redemption, “…the spirit of true Christians is, viz. a spirit of suffering.”(5)

So, how would that verse in Jeremiah apply to you spiritually since it does not apply to you doctrinally and every verse in the Bible has at least three applications; historical, spiritual, and doctrinal?

Well, its shows that God has an abiding love for His people and in the end, if you take eternity into consideration and stop thinking in the immediate desires of the flesh, whatever He does or permits to be done will be to our betterment. See Paul writing to the Romans, which is written directly to Christians, not unsaved Jews or pagan Gentiles.

Romans 8:28  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

But, it doesn’t mean you can’t have a car accident or lose someone you love to physical death.

(5) Jonathan Edwards, A History of the Work of Redemption (1774, repr., Seattle, WA: Amazon Digital Services, 2013), Kindle ed.

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