Genuine Faith

Peter 1:3-7

3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.


Have you ever personally seen or touch a tiger? How big, how heavy, how huge can tigers grow? Accordingly, the average weight of tiger is about 450 pounds. And how wide can a tiger opens its mouth? Probably, 12 inches! How about their teeth? 4 inches!

Once upon a time, a father and son visited a friend who had collection of exotic animals as pets. He showed them his favorite pet, an old tiger. He said, “This tiger has been with me for more than 20 years; he is very old and moves slowly.” The curious child asked, “Can I touch him?” “Yeah!” the owner replied. The father whispered to his child, “Don’t touch that thing. It will bite you into pieces!”

The owner observed that the father was hesitant and assured them, “It’s ok! Children come and touch this tiger. It doesn’t care anymore.” Suddenly, the tiger yawned; it opened its mouth and showed its 4 inches canine teeth. All the more the father was scared, but his child moved next to the tiger and touched its side. The tiger glanced at the child, its mouth still open. The child touched its cheek, and the tiger closed its mouth and eyes and nodded its head as approval of the touch.

True or fiction, the father was cautious on possible harm but the child easily trusted it when his father’s friend assured them that the tiger was harmless.

The Lord Jesus teaches in Matthew 19:14, 14Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.

What did Christ imply when he declared that the kingdom of heaven belongs to children? How do children respond when they hear the gospel of Christ? Have you tried telling children about Jesus Christ, his death and resurrection? For you to know, try it!

Bible scholars suggest that to have child-like faith is all we need to enter heaven. Most often, adults are harder to convince than children? First and foremost, adults want to understand what they should believe. Adults may consider beneficial possibilities to be convinced. And, intellectuals are the most difficult people to convince.

Spreading the gospel in hostile environment is a risk but genuine believers would certainly take. The story of the child who did not hesitate when he touched the tiger could be fictional. They were assured by the owner that the tiger was harmless. The father knew it’s risky to touch a tiger; he hesitated and cannot believe that the tiger was harmless even if he was assured by his friend that the tiger was harmless.

Similarly, many Christians love to sing the song, “What a friend I have in Jesus!” but not necessarily want to risk their life for him. How about you? Do you consider Jesus Christ as your friend? How strong do you trust Jesus as your friend, Lord and Savior?

When we practice faith in Christ, the end result would be praise and gratitude. What have you experienced lately that caused you to praise and thank God?

When the Lord answers our prayers, we praise him; when we share stories of answered prayers, listeners will praise with us. Actually, you can share your praises and prayer requests if you join us every Wednesday at 7:00pm during midweek service.

Come! Attend our midweek services and share with us your praises to our God.

1.  Praise

3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 

Changes and transformation of life cause us to praise God spontaneously, right?

Christ is our living hope that we live in heaven eternally. By faith in Christ, our old self died with him. Meaning: Faith in Christ is exhibited in practical transformation from former old lifestyle to new lifestyle in Christ. Have you been transformed yet?

By faith, we believe in what Apostle Paul said in Roman 6:5-7, 5For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.

Reflect: Do you personally sense that you were already freed from the control of sin, ever since you have believed in Christ? Sin cannot control believers anymore. And we praise God for our freedom from sin, and now, we desire life of godly righteousness.

We do not force praise of God for the sake of praising him. Sincere praise of God is actually a regenerating work of the Holy Spirit of Christ in us; he helps us realize and acknowledge the transformation that he did in us, for us and through us. If we let his authority over us, Christ changes our outlook in life, choice of lifestyle and attitude toward others, so that we pray even for undesirable individuals to believe in him.

By faith we believe what it declares in 2 Corinthians 5:17, 17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

How often do you personally express your praise and gratitude to the Lord?


A popular Asian celebrity did her best to earn and hoped to purchase a house for her family, but her best is not enough. Then, at the twist and turns of events, someone purchased a house and lot for her family. She just cannot believe it that her family can own a very beautiful house. What do you think? How did she respond? Words are not enough to express her gratitude. So in teardrops, she just cried in gratitude.

How do you appreciate what Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 7:30-31?

30Those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; 31 those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.

Do you have any idea how we live or what activity we will do in heaven forever? Think of activities you do that may cause you to praise and thank God. Eating, relaxing, exercising, fishing, gardening, baking, playing; those activities are beneficial to health.

Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior is our living hope that we are given the right to become children of God. When Christ returns, he takes you and me into heaven.

How grateful are you that you will be living in his paradise, in heaven with God? How did you show your gratitude to God for the gift of eternal life he gave you?

By faith, we abide by what the Scripture said in Ephesians 5:15-20, 15Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

When we are filled with the Spirit of Christ, we thank God spontaneously without forcing ourselves to praise him. And as if living in heaven is never enough, God prepared inheritance for us. By faith, we look forward to the inheritance that can never perish.

2.  Perish

4and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 

This is self-explanatory: eternal inheritance can never perish, spoil or fade. It is added bonus to the gift of eternal life that we receive when we placed our faith in Christ as our Lord and Savior. Eternal inheritance is exclusively reserve for genuine believers of Christ. To be assured of our share in the eternal inheritance, the Lord sent into our innermost being the Holy Spirit of Christ as guarantee of what is to come.

It says in Ephesians 1:13-14, 13When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

Christians are God’s possession. Have you explored on the inheritance you may receive? What is your idea about the inheritance of God’s children? If you were to paint a picture of your eternal inheritance from the Lord, what could that be?

By faith in Christ, we have eternal inheritance that others cannot take from us and cannot be diminished or destroyed. How do you imagine our eternal inheritance?

Take note that the exiled believers scattered in Asia Minor were the original recipients of this letter [1 Peter]. To be scattered away from their homeland implies they have abandoned their ancestral inheritance; other people may have taken advantage of their absence from their homeland such that the exiles cannot protect their ancestral inheritance.

The Lord had instructed Moses about Israel’s inheritance in Numbers 6:53-54: 53The land is to be allotted to them as an inheritance based on the number of names. 54 To a larger group give a larger inheritance, and to a smaller group a smaller one; each is to receive its inheritance according to the number of those listed.

The life story of the Israelites illustrates practically our spiritual life as believers. Just as the Lord freed the Israelites from the Egyptian slavery, he also freed us from the slavery of sin. Joshua led the Israelites into the Promise Land of their inheritance. Likewise Jesus Christ takes us into our inheritance in his promised heaven when he returns.

Interestingly, the Hebrew name “Joshua” is transliterated into Greek name “Iesous” and properly translated into English name “Jesus.” “Joshua,” “Iesous” or “Jesus” means “the Lord is salvation” or “Yahweh saves!”

The Lord allocated the Promised Land as inheritance of the Israelites according to the number of their genealogical record. Similarly, how will the Lord allocate eternal inheritance to us? Will it be according to how faith deserves or according to lifestyle?

Among the Israelites, the Lord had chosen the Levites to serve him, and he said to Aaron in Numbers 18:20, 20You will have no inheritance in their land, nor will you have any share among them; I am your share and your inheritance among the Israelites.

The Levites spent most of their time serving the Lord in the temple. Among the Levites, Aaron and his descendant were chosen as priests of God to intercede.

Similarly, believers are chosen to bring praise to God. In 1 Peter 2:9, 9But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

Reflect on our Christian identity as royal priesthood. We are chosen to declare praise of God, from the time we become believers until eternity. Just as the Lord sustained the needs of his priests, he will sustain our eternal needs forever, so that we will declare praise to him for all eternity. And whatever may cause us to declare praise would be our eternal inheritance which will be revealed in God’s perfect time.

God kept it secret. It is not possible to know at this moment what inheritance we may have in heaven. By faith, we trust that God had already prepared our eternal inheritance that would cause us to praise and thank him throughout eternity.

Meanwhile, we should be more concerned on proving that we really have genuine faith in Christ. How should we prove that we have genuine faith in Christ?

3.  Prove

6In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 

Time is coming nearer. I hope that it would be sooner in our lifetime when Christ returns. At that time, the Lord will reveal who has genuine faith in him and those who pretend to believe in him. How do you personally know that you have genuine faith in God? When it says that genuine faith has greater worth than gold, what does it means?

Gold and everything in this temporal world will perish. It says in 2 Peter 3:10-13, 10The day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. 11Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.

The Holy Spirit of Truth helps us to understand and accept such truth. Every single day throughout the week, we make choices to serve God or to serve materialism. We know that we have genuine faith if we choose to serve God over materialism.

Make sure that you have genuine faith in Christ. Make sure you don’t miss it!

The Lord declares in Isaiah 65:17-19, 17See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. 18But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy. 19I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people; the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more.

The new heaven and the new earth will endure forever. Can you believe that?

No more problems that may cause weeping and crying. There will be so much rejoicing of delighted children of God. We should be very serious and make sure our faith in God is genuine and not bothered by the mysterious particularities of eternal inheritance.

Our lifestyle, our choices in life practically show if we have genuine faith.

It must be absolutely true when Christ declared in Luke 16:13, 13No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

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