Life-Study of 2 Peterby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Second Peter 1:1 indicates that we all have been “allotted like precious faith.” We have seen that faith is the substantiation of the substance of the truth (Heb. 11:1), which is the reality of the contents of God’s New Testament economy. God’s economy is a matter of the Triune God dispensing all that He is into us. When we preach to others concerning the dispensing of the riches of the Triune God according to the New Testament, the Spirit will work in the hearts of the listeners, and there will be a certain kind of response. This response is produced through the hearing of the truth conveyed by our preaching. This response can be compared to the click made by the shutter of a camera in taking a photograph. As a result of this response, this click, faith is produced. Then faith substantiates the substance of the reality of the contents of God’s New Testament economy.
We need to have a clear understanding of what faith is. It should become easy for us to say that faith is the substantiation of the substance of God’s economy, and God’s economy is to dispense Himself into our being as our life and life supply. We need to know this, experience it, enjoy it, and practice it continually.
Such a faith has been allotted by God to all believers in Christ as their portion. Faith has become our portion of the New Testament inheritance. In 1:1 why is it that Peter does not say that God has allotted us a portion of the inheritance, but instead says that God has allotted faith to us? How can faith be allotted as a portion of the inheritance? In order to answer these questions we need to see that faith is not merely a means; it is also a portion. A means is an instrument through which we obtain something, but the portion is the very thing we obtain. In 1:1 faith is not a means; rather, it is the very thing, the object, we receive. Therefore, in this verse faith equals the inheritance. Faith is an allotted portion of the New Testament inheritance. Yes, according to the New Testament, faith in a certain sense is a means. In particular, faith is the means by which we receive salvation and eternal life. But in 1:1 Peter does not consider faith as a means. He considers faith an allotment, a portion of the New Testament inheritance allotted to us by God.
We still need to see how faith in 1:1 is equal to the New Testament inheritance. Our portion is Christ, and Christ is the embodiment of the Triune God. Therefore, our portion is Christ as the embodiment of the Triune God. This Christ is revealed in the New Testament, and He is conveyed to us through the New Testament. The entire New Testament is a container of the Christ who embodies the Triune God. Eventually, this container also conveys Christ to us. By what way is Christ conveyed to us through the Word? Christ is conveyed mainly by the way of the preaching or teaching of the Word. The preaching and the teaching of the apostles always conveyed Christ to others. This means that Christ came to the listeners through what was preached and taught by the apostles.
The Triune God is embodied in Christ, and Christ is contained in the New Testament. Then this Christ is conveyed to us through the preaching and teaching of the Word. The New Testament contains Christ, and those who preach the New Testament bring this container to us. Through this means this container conveys Christ to us. Faith, then, comes from hearing, and hearing comes from the Word. The function of the Word is to convey Christ to us. Therefore, Christ comes to us through the preaching and teaching of the word of the New Testament.
Our all-inclusive Christ is not only the Word, but He is also the life-giving Spirit. While Christ is preached to us through the Word and conveyed to us by the Word, He simultaneously cooperates with the preachers of the Word to work as the Spirit. This means that as He is being conveyed into those who listen to the preaching of the Word, He works within them as the Spirit. Then He “clicks” within them, and faith is produced in them. The issue of the faith produced within us is that whatever Christ is according to the word of the New Testament is imparted to us. As a result, we have the reality of Christ.
Faith and Christ are one. The faith which is the response to the content of the Word is actually Christ. This means that the response is one with that to which it is responding. In other words, faith (our response) and Christ are one. When in our experience our response and the Christ conveyed to us through the preaching of the Word become one, faith is produced within us.
It is very difficult to define what this faith is. It is hard to analyze it or explain how much of it is Christ and how much is our own believing. Actually, our faith and the Christ who is the object of our faith are one. This is the portion of the New Testament inheritance God has allotted to us.
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