1Pe 1:5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
If you do a word study on the word “kept” in the above verse, you will find it means to garrison, keep with a guard, protect or to hem in, so one cannot escape. The same Greek word is used in 2Co 11:32 and Ga 3:23. From past experience faith has protected me, encouraged me and kept/prevented me from walking away from so great a salvation. God be thanked. In light of being justified by grace it is essential that God garrisons us by faith so we can complete the justification process. All knowledge gained, all fruit cultivated and all righteousness acquired, so as to be found qualified for the first resurrection in Jesus Christ, can only come about by God teaching us, disciplining us, throughout our life in tandem with the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Ghost. The faith in Christ Jesus is given as a gift, Eph 2:8, and keeps those in the body of Christ from walking away from the process of God justifying that ungodly person. Well over a decade ago God chastised me sternly. I have a spinal cord injury. I was paralyzed for 10 days in 1984 following a car accident. Since 1995 I have been living with moderate to severe chronic pain. I was at a real low point. Pain dictated and controlled my life. I spent many hours in bed reading the scriptures from a small vest pocket New Testament, and due to much disinformation on the Internet concerning the validity of the bible and scriptures in general, and my inability to understand sound doctrine, I had come to the point where I was seriously questioning my faith. Due to the constant pain in my life, I was in great despair. I questioned God and His plan of salvation in Jesus Christ, and in my mind the truth of the scriptures seemed questionable. I was at the point where I was going to give up on the notion of being saved, because of the dire state of my life. It troubled me all that day. That night the presence of the Holy Spirit moved on me and I felt God’s stern presence. I was standing by the bed I spend so much time in due to weakness and pain and tucked my head into my shoulder and leaned against the wall, feeling like a five year old child being corrected by my Father. Two scripture verse came strongly to my mind.
2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Php 3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
The word “I” of course was not in the Philippians verse. I was being admonished for questioning my belief in Jesus Christ. This type of strong presence of the Spirit had come on me one other time. In 1984, following a bad car accident and ten days of paralysis, I had a extremely hard and painful time walking again. It took me three months of intensive physical therapy in the hospital to be able to walk a hundred feet on my own. There was questions of whether I could go home with or with out a wheel chair. Whether a ramp would have to be built into my house. I was in a similar state of mind at that time also. And the presence of God moved on me and spoke a scripture in my head.
He 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
God’s powerful presence at these difficult times in my life galvanized me and gave me strength and patience to endure a difficult situation for many years thereafter. These instances in my life have shown me how the power of God through faith keeps us unto salvation. The chastising and stern correction in my life four or five years ago also brings these verses to mind.
He 10:36 & 38 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
Living by faith is a lifetime occupation and if you read the 11th chapter of Hebrews you find mention of many of the old testament saints of God who demonstrated faith and although certain moments of their lives were highlighted to demonstrate their faith, it should be understood that they lived a life of faith. We are also to live a life of faith, faith in the one who saves us by his gospel, Mt 4:23, the gospel of the Kingdom of God.
Ro 1:16-17 ¶ For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
The trial or testing of our faith , 1Pe 1:7, tests the trustworthiness and growth of our faith. Jesus learned obedience by the things he suffered, Heb 5:8. It seems obvious to me we need to learn obedience in the same manner. Obedience under fire, so to speak, is the only real determination of the trustworthiness of our godly character. The amazing thing about all the pain and suffering I have had in my life is that I have more faith now than I had 30 years ago. This refining of faith by fire and the acquisition of the other fruit of the Spirit, is the work of God in our lives. And the power of God through faith keeps us from walking away until God has accomplished His purpose in us. In Colossians, Paul gives thanks to the Father who makes us competent to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light, Col 1:12. Having faith and believing that God will accomplish in us, that which He promised since the foundation of the world, Eph 1:4 , He 4:3, can be quite difficult in the midst of grievous trials but God gives the necessary grace to overcome and grow towards maturity as children of God. The power of God keeps us by faith unto salvation, through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ.
Ga 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.