Growth in Christian Virtue
1Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ:
1Simon 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:
How will a Christian stand fast in the midst of trials, and not be discouraged by the continued attacks on Christianity and how few people are following the Lord? In this sermon on 1 Peter 1:1 titled “Preciousness of Faith,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains how believers can honor the Lord and hold fast to His word in the midst of persecution. Often when Christians are in the midst of hard times, they tend to think that they need something new to help them out of the rut they are in. However, Dr. Lloyd-Jones teaches that they need to grasp what they already believe—that God is all-powerful and that their salvation is precious. In this passage, Peter describes faith as precious for a couple of reasons. First, it is rare—many believers are discouraged when they see how many people are not Christians when instead they should be rejoicing that they are part of His family. Instead of counting heads, Christians should look to the character of the few. Second, it is rare because it cost God His own Son. Third, it gives so many blessings—forgiveness of sins, being partakers of the divine nature, companionship, and more. The Christian faith is the most precious thing in the universe, and this alone is a magnificent truth they can stand on in the midst of hard times.
- Peter is writing to encourage Christians who have become discouraged and unhappy in their faith.
- One reason for their discouragement is that they have become slack and negligent in their faith. They have failed to continue growing in faith and knowledge.
- Another reason is that false teachers have been teaching them wrong doctrine and leading them into sinful living. This has upset their faith.
- Peter reminds them that they do not need any new message or gospel. They simply need to remember what they have already been taught.
- Peter calls their faith “precious” because of how they obtained it - as a gift from God through His grace, not by their own works or efforts.
- Their faith is precious because of who gave it to them - God Himself at the cost of the sacrifice of His Son.
- Their faith is precious because it is rare and scarce. While few people find the way of faith, they have been chosen by God to receive this gift.
- The character of the few with faith also makes it precious. Their faith is the same as that of the apostles and great heroes of the faith. They belong to that noble company.
- Their faith is precious because of what it gives them - forgiveness of sins, adoption as children of God, escape from the corruption of the world, access to God, and entrance into the eternal kingdom.
- Christians should rejoice in their precious faith and share it with others. Their joy and confidence in God should draw others to faith.
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.