Like Precious Faith (1)
Sermon preached at Glad Tidings Tabernacle and Bible Training School, 1536, Ellis Street, San Francisco, California August 1, 1922
Published in Pentecostal Evangel p. 1-2 October 14, 1922
Published in Triumphs of Faith p. 29-32 February 1923
Published in Triumphs of Faith p. 269-272 December 1928
Published in Faith That Prevails Chapter 2 1938
God will do great things for us if we are prepared to receive them from Him. We are dull of comprehension because we let the cares of this world blind our eyes, but if we keep open to God, He has a greater plan for us in the future than we have seen or ever have dreamed about in the past. It is God’s delight to fulfil to us impossibilities because of His omnipotence, and when we reach the place where He alone has the right of way in all things, then all mists and misunderstandings will clear away.
I have been asking the Lord for His message for you this morning, and I believe He would have me turn to the second epistle of Peter, first chapter, beginning with the first verse:
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: Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Probably there is not a greater word that anyone could bring to an audience than this word, “like precious faith.” “Like Precious Faith” means that God, who is from everlasting to everlasting, has always had people that He could trust; that He could illuminate, that He could enlarge until there was nothing within them that would hinder the power of God. Now this “Like Precious Faith” is the gift that God is willing to impart to all of us. He wants us to have this faith in order that we may “subdue kingdoms,” “work righteousness,” and, if it should be necessary, “stop the mouths of lions” (Hebrews 11:33).
We should be able under all circumstances to triumph. Not that we have any help in ourselves, but our help comes only from God, and if our help is only in God then we are always strong and never weak. It is always those people who are full of faith who have a “good report,” who never murmur, who are in the place of victory, who are not in the place of human order, but of divine order in God. He is the Author of our faith, and our faith is always based on “thus saith the Lord.”
This “Like Precious Faith” is for all. There is a word in the third chapter of Ephesians which is very good for us to consider: that you “may be able to comprehend with all saints...” (Ephesians 3:18). What does this “Like Precious Faith” mean to you this morning? Every one here is receiving a blessing because of the faith of Abraham. But remember this, this “Like Precious Faith” is the same that Abraham had. This “Like Precious Faith” is the substance of the power of eternal life which is given to us through the Word. You may not be able to use this faith because of some hindrance in your life. I have had a thousand road engines come over my life to break me up and bring me to the place where this faith could operate within me. There is no way into the deep things of God, only through a broken spirit. When we are thus broken, we cease forever from our own works for Another, even Christ, has taken the reign. Faith in God, and power with God, come to us through the knowledge of the Word of God. Whatever we may think about it, it is true that we are no better than our faith. Whatever your estimation is of your own ability, of your own righteousness, or of your work in any way, you are no better than your faith.
How wonderful is this faith that overcomes the world! “He that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God overcomes the world!” But how does he overcome the world? If you believe in Him you are purified as He is pure. You are strengthened because He is strong. You are made whole because He is whole. All of His fulness may come into you because of the revelation of Himself. Faith is the living principle of the Word of God. If we yield ourselves up to be led by the Holy Spirit we shall be divinely led into the deep things of God, and the truths and revelations and all His mind will be made so clear unto us that we shall live by faith in Christ.
God has no thought of anything on a small scale. In the passage which we have read this morning are these words, “Grace and peace be ‘multiplied’ unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord” (2 Peter 1:2). God’s Word is always on the line of multiplication, and so I believe the Lord wants us on that line this morning. We see “Like Precious Faith” is to be obtained “through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ.” God’s Word is without change. We are to be filled with the righteousness of God on the authority of the Word. His righteousness is from everlasting to everlasting, the same, yesterday and today and forever.
If I limit the Lord, He cannot work within me, but if I open myself to God then He will surely fill me and flow through me.
We must have this “Like Precious Faith” in order to have our prayers answered. If we ask anything according to God’s will, we are told that He hears us, and if we know that He hears us, then we know we have the petitions that we desire. Oh, brothers, sisters, we must go into the presence of God and get from Him the answer to our prayers. Hear what Mark 11:24 says,
...What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
In the twenty-third verse we see mountains removed, difficulties all cleared away. When? When the man believes in his heart and refuses to doubt. We must have the reality, we must know God, we must be able to go into His presence and converse with God.
This “Like Precious Faith” goes on multiplying in grace and in peace through the knowledge of God. It places our feet on the Rock, and brings us to an unlimited place in our faith. This faith makes you dare to do anything with and for God. Remember that you can only be built up on the Word of God. If you build yourself on imagination or your own thoughts you will go wrong.
The Bible is the Word of God: supernatural in origin, eternal in duration, inexpressible in valor, infinite in scope, regenerative in power, infallible in authority, universal in interest, personal in application, inspired in totality. Read it through, write it down, pray it in, work it out, and then pass it on. Truly it is the Word of God. It brings into man the personality of God; it changes the man until he becomes the epistle of God. It transforms his mind, changes his character, takes him on from grace to grace, and gives him an inheritance in the Spirit. God comes in, dwells in, walks in, talks through, and sups with him.
Your peace be multiplied! You are to rejoice greatly. Oh! the bride ought to rejoice to hear the Bridegroom’s voice. How we love our Bridegroom and how He loves us! How adorable He is and how sweet is His countenance. At the presence of Jesus, all else goes.
Oh, my brother, my sister, we have the greatest tide of all our life. There is no tide like the power of the “latter rain.” We must not fail to see what remarkable things God has for every one of us.
Beloved, I would like to press into your heart this morning the truth that God has no room for an ordinary man. God wants to take the ordinary man and put him through the sieve and bring him out into a place of extraordinary faith. The cry of our souls can be satisfied only with God. The great plan of God is to satisfy, you, and then give you the vision of something higher.
If ever you stop at any point, pick up at the place where you failed, and begin again under the refining light, and power and zeal of heaven and all things will be brought to you, for He will condescend to meet you.
Remember, beloved, it is not what you are but what God wants you to be. What shall we do? Shall we not dedicate ourselves afresh to God? Every new revelation brings a new dedication.
Let us seek Him.