“Simon 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.” 2Peter 1:1
When Peter wrote his second letter to the brethren, he reminded them of their ‘like precious faith.’ This begs the question, why is it so precious? While there are several reasons why faith is precious, we will consider just one, that there is ONLY ONE FAITH.
To begin, we must go to the end, the end of Jesus’ earthly life. He prayed that we all would be one through THE WORD OF GOD.
“For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me;” John 17:8
He also sent the Holy Spirit to guide the Apostles, into all truth. They wrote these things down and when we read we may understand their knowledge in the mystery of Christ. [John 16:13; Eph 3:3-4]
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17
We obtain this faith through reading, understanding and obeying the revealed written word. [Eph 1:13; Rom 1:5; 16:26]
“Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;” John 17:20
What is remarkable about our Lord’s prayer in the garden is how He connects the Word, Faith (belief) and unity. The Apostles wrote of unity; Paul urged unity in speech, thought & judgement [1Cor 1:10]. John wrote about unity in obedience to God’s commandments and the unity in the word [1John 5:1-9].
YET DENOMINATIONS SAY SOMETHING DIFFERENT
There are some who would try to upset us by describing multiple faiths (beliefs about salvation, sin, worship and the Bible). One man told me, “the Holy Spirit led you to your church and He led me to mine.” How does this even make any sense?
“For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” 1Corinthians 14:33
Denominations are broken into thousands of different faiths and cannot be the “like precious faith” of Peter’s letter. The claim today is that they are all one faith, united in Christ, but how can this be with so many different beliefs and practices? They can all be unified in error, but they cannot be unified in truth. How can we know? We can know by God’s word.
“Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” John 17:17
God hates division. Another word for division is denomination. The prayer in the garden is a proof of this. Unity can only be derived through the revealed word of God. We can have faith, we can believe through the WRITTEN WORD.
“But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” John 20:31
Some claim that the Holy Spirit directly guides them, separate and apart from the written word. Then they say, “and it will agree with the written word.” However, the problem still exists in that there are many thousands of “Holy Spirit” led denominations and THEY DON’T ALL AGREE!!
Can anyone claim that there is only ONE FAITH and differ on names, differ about salvation, differ about the essential nature of baptism and countless other practices found nowhere in scripture? That can’t be a “like precious faith.”
Besides all this, Paul wrote to the Ephesians, “to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” He then made this list…[4:1-6]
ONE body, and
ONE Spirit, even as ye are called in
ONE hope of your calling;
ONE God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
Denominationalism can never stand against these words.
In Jude’s short letter, he wrote to those sanctified by God about their common salvation and “the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” Notice that he penned ‘the’ as in one. He then added ‘once’ as in already delivered. Some would trouble you into thinking that there is more and continuing revelation. Not according to inspired Jude.
My friends, the faith is so very precious. One of the things that makes it so is that there is only ONE. This ought to exponentially increase its value in our hearts. Let us, as Jude wrote;
“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” Jude 1:3