(this transcript has been lightly edited for readability)
So, we've looked at the concept of hope. We've looked at the concept of spiritual safety. And then we want to finally look at the concept of faith. This is verse 9 of the first chapter of 1 Peter, “Obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” I am so glad that we can spend these months together in 1 Peter. This letter that is so current, that speaks with such power to the experiences we're having in this particular generation of Christianity.
And what is this thing, ‘faith,’ that Peter is talking about, “Obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls?” I think there's so much confusion around faith. I know in these studies, I've given this example before, but I was speaking on faith to a small group, and I decided to ask the question from somebody. I said, “Just define faith for me.” Someone said, “Well, it means to trust.” I said, “Well, what does it mean to trust?” Someone else said, “Well, it means to believe.” I said, “What does it mean to believe?” And somebody said, “Well, it means to have faith.” We’d just come full circle.
Let me define faith for you. ‘Faith is a radical heart commitment to entrust myself and my life to God, that results in a radical change in the way that I live my life.’ I love Hebrews 11:6, it says in defining faith, “We must believe that he exists.” That's the heart’s conceptual aspect of faith, and that “he rewards those who seek him.” That's the living aspect of faith. Notice the description here in verses 8 and 9, I just love this. “Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of our souls.”
Five things about faith. First of all, it's not based on what you can see. We serve a God whom we can't visibly see, and we can't audibly hear, we can't physically touch. Faith involves the love of your heart. Your life is shaped by what you love the most. And it says here, “Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” Though you haven't seen Him, you love Him.
It's expressed in joyful gratitude, “rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory.” I would ask you this question, “Do you celebrate more than you complain? Do you give thanks more than you grumble?” Faith is joyful because it's rooted in the awesome, amazing gift of God's grace in His Son. “Obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls;” the epicenter of faith is God's saving work and saving promises. I believe that I am His both now and forever. I believe that I've been forgiven. I believe that I'm indwelt by the Spirit. I believe that I'm being transformed by His grace. That's the epicenter of my faith.
And then it's convinced of the outcome. Even though in between ‘the already and not yet’ is messy and confusing, I know God will be faithful to His promises.
Now, if you're going to exercise that kind of faith, you need to be in His Word, and you need to embrace His work because His Word and His work is what faith is about. The life of faith is a life of joy, ultimately involving my surrendering my glory, to the glory of this One who is so loving, so giving, so merciful, so powerful, so faithful, and He has unleashed all of that, for my good. Faith is a radical commitment of the heart that radically changes the way that you live your life!