The Foundation of Faith

The Foundation of FaithText: 2 Peter 1:5

In this passage, Peter discussed the need to add various virtues/qualities to our lives as Christians. While all of these are essential, they must be built upon a foundation of faith. In this lesson, we will discuss this foundation of faith.

Define Faith

  • Greek word (pistis) – “conviction of the truth of anything” (Thayer); faith in God means we have the conviction that God is true (Romans 3:4), that His word is true (Psalm 119:160), and that He will reward the faithful (Hebrews 11:6; 6:18)
  • Definition from Scripture (Hebrews 11:1) – assurance of things hoped for means what we hope for is real, not just a wish; conviction of things not seen means we have a reason for our faith
  • The source of faith is the word of God (Romans 10:17)
  • Understanding what faith is shows why this is the foundation – without faith we have no reason to believe God over man, no reason to pay attention to His word, and no reason to look beyond this life; therefore, faith must be the foundation of all that we do

The Active Nature of Faith

  • More than just belief – belief is certainly included (Hebrews 11:1, 6), but there is more to it than just that; after all, the demons believe (James 2:19), but they do not have faith
  • Biblical faith is an active faith (James 2:17, 26) – we show our faith by our works (James 2:18); Abraham was “justified by works” as “faith was working with his works” (James 2:21-22); we are justified by faith (Romans 5:1), but “not by faith alone” (James 2:24)
  • Faith is an obedience based upon a trust in God and His word – if we believe Jesus is Lord, we must obey Him (Luke 6:46); if we believe His word is truth, we must obey it (1 Peter 1:22)

The Reason We Are to Do This

  • For this reason…” – several reasons why we are to add to our faith in the verses prior to this
  • We are of “like precious faith” (v. 1, KJV) – “equally precious” (Thayer); “of equal value” (Strong’s); faith is valuable because it leads to salvation (1 Peter 1:9; cf. Matthew 16:26)
  • God has give us everything pertaining to life and godliness (v. 3) – if we trust God that He has given us all that we need, we need to add the qualities He expects
  • Called by God’s own glory and excellence (v. 3) – implies that we excel; continue to improve our service to God (1 Thessalonians 4:1)
  • God has granted us His precious promises (v. 4) – so that we could become partakers of the divine nature (we can be like Him); so that we could escape the corruption of the world (we can be saved, not perish with the world)

Apply All Diligence

  • Again, faith is active – we show our faith by our works (James 2:18); be willing to do hard work
  • More than that, this word means we do this with “haste” and “earnestness” (Thayer) – this is an urgent responsibility (2 Peter 3:10-14); we need to be sure we are right with God


  • We must be sure we are adding to our faith, but it all starts with faith – an obedient trust in God
  • If you are not living by faith, now is the time to start

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