Life-Study of 1 Peterby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In the foregoing message we considered 1:5 and 6. We saw from verse 5 that we are being guarded by the power of God through faith unto salvation and that this salvation is ready to be revealed at the last time. The power of God is the cause by which we are being guarded, and faith is the means through which the power of God becomes effective in guarding us. We also saw that the salvation spoken of in this verse denotes the full salvation of the Triune God in three stages: the initial stage, the stage of regeneration; the progressing stage, the stage of transformation; and the completing stage, the stage of consummation. This salvation is ready to be revealed at the last time, at the time of the Lord’s coming. According to verse 6, Peter tells us that we should exult in this last time, though for a while, if necessary, we are made sorrowful by various trials.
In verse 7 Peter continues, “That the proving of your faith, much more precious than of gold which perishes and is proved by fire, may be found unto praise and glory and honor at the unveiling of Jesus Christ.” In this verse Peter gives the reason we are put into trials. We are put into trials because our faith needs to be tested, proved.
The Greek word rendered “proving” means testing for approval. It is the proving, the testing, of our faith, not our faith itself, that may be found unto praise. This may be compared to an examination in school related to a student’s study. It is not the student’s study itself that is found approved; rather, it is the examination that is found to be approved. Of course, the approval of our faith comes out of the proper faith. The emphasis here is not on our faith; the emphasis is on the proving of our faith by the trials through sufferings.
A good student will actually welcome the opportunity to be examined. An examination will prove how thoroughly he has studied and how much he knows concerning the material on which he is being tested. Without examinations, a superior student would never be proved to be outstanding. A student who studies diligently may look forward to an examination because it will prove, both to the student himself and to others, that he is an excellent student. This is an illustration of what Peter means by the proving of our faith.
In verse 7 Peter says that the proving of our faith is “much more precious than of gold which perishes and is proved by fire.” The words “much more precious than of gold...by fire” do not modify faith; they modify the proving. This means that the proving of our faith is much more precious than the proving of gold. The comparison here is not that between faith and gold. Many Christians understand verse 7 in this way; however, this understanding is wrong. The comparison here is that between the proving of our faith and the proving of gold. Gold is proved by the purifying fire. In like manner, our faith is proved by trial. This proving is certainly more precious than the proving of gold.
In verse 7 Peter uses the adjective “precious.” Peter in his two Epistles presents us five precious things: the precious stone, which is the Lord Himself (1 Pet. 2:4, 6-7); the precious blood (1 Pet. 1:19); the precious promises (2 Pet. 1:4); the precious faith (2 Pet. 1:1); and the precious proving (1 Pet. 1:7).
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