1 Peter 1:6-9
Wherein you greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, you are in heaviness through manifold temptations:…
I. THE VALUE OF FAITH
1. Even considered intellectually, as a mere belief of revealed truth, faith is of the highest possible value, as the great instrument by which we obtain religious knowledge and wisdom.
2. But its value — as it is not merely an intellectual exercise, but an act of trust, and thus a work of the heart — is shown by this, that it connects us immediately and personally with the merits of the great Atonement.
3. The value of faith is seen in this, that it not only connects man, as guilty, with the meritorious atonement of the Saviour, but man, as weak and helpless, with the omnipotence of Divine grace.
4. Another proof of the value of faith is found in that wonderful property which the Apostle Paul assigns to it, and which, indeed, we find by actual experience that it possesses — the property of fixing its eye on invisible and eternal realities, and keeping the soul continually under their influence.
II. THE TRIAL OF FAITH.
1. In its lower sense — merely considered as belief of truth — faith will be tried. This may occur in many circumstances, and especially from infidel sophistry.
2. But our faith will not only be tried by sophistry; it will be tried also by what may be termed practical unbelief. This is especially the ease in all temptations to sin.
3. Faith, in that higher sense in which the word is used — as implying a simple trust in the atonement of the Saviour — will be tried by our proneness to self-dependence.
4. Faith is also tried by afflictions and sorrows. In sorrows our faith has to repose entirely on the great doctrine that all that concerns us is in the hands of God, that here there is no chance, no oversight, no delegation of the Divine power to the creature.
III. THE FINAL HONOURS OF FAITH. It has, indeed, its honours now, far greater than any of which unbelief can boast. Is it not that which brings man to God for the blessings of reconciliation and adoption? Is it not that which brings with it the mighty influence of that Holy Spirit which works in man the death unto sin and the new life unto righteousness? Is it not that which is the source of our spiritual victories, which gives us strength to do and strength to suffer? Is it not that which enables us to resist the temptations with which the present world continually surrounds us? And is it not that which extracts the sting of death? Such are the honours of faith here on earth. Where shall we look for those of formality and unbelief? But the apostle refers to its future honours, to the praise and glory in which our faith shall issue at the appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ. Then shall the faith which has received the mysteries of God be honoured.
Parallel VersesKJV: Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: