Three Precious Things
This morning we want to notice three precious things, that are found in the books of First and Second Peter. But first we want to discuss what the word precious means. No doubt most of us have a pretty good idea what the word “precious” means. But to help us more fully understand what it means, lets notice some synonyms for the word “precious”.
These synonyms include: Valuable, costly, rare, prized, splendid, glorious, weighty, and influential. The word precious means all of these things in the Scriptures. This morning, we want to evaluate the three precious things in I & II Peter in light of these synonyms.
1. The first precious thing according to Peter, is Jesus.
First, we want to read 1 Peter 2:4-7
Here in this passage Jesus is likened to a precious stone:
Next, we want to read 1 Peter 1:18-19
In this passage we learn that the blood of Jesus is precious.
Now let us evaluate the preciousness of Jesus using our synonyms for the word precious.
1. First we want to consider the value and costliness of Jesus. Jesus is more valuable and costly than silver and gold. His worth is far greater than all earthly treasures put together. And the price that was paid for our redemption is more costly than all the silver and gold of a thousand worlds, because the price of our redemption was His own blood. I feel safe to say that one drop of the sinless blood of Jesus is worth far more than all the wealth of the universe, and yet it took every drop of His precious blood to make the a sinner clean and fit for Heaven. So we can see just how filthy and vile we were in our sinful state!
2. Secondly lets consider how that Jesus is rare and prized. Beloved, Jesus is rare. There are many “gods” in the world, but there is only one Jesus. Yes, there are many “Jesuses” being preached in the world, but there is only one true Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who “came to save His people from their sins.” In all of Heaven there was only one Jesus Christ, who was able to be the Lamb of God and take away the sins of His chosen people. There was not another man or angel in all Heaven, who was in the least wise qualified to be our redeemer. Yes beloved, Jesus is rare- He is the only Savior; the only door and the only way into Heaven; the only hope of salvation. His Name is the only Name under Heaven given among men whereby we must be saved! (Acts 4:12).
And because Jesus is so rare, He is prized by all of the elect of God who believe He is precious! How about us this morning? Do we count Jesus to be the greatest prize of all, even greater than the rarest of earthly treasures? May God help us to see He is precious!
3. Thirdly, let us consider how that Jesus is splendid and glorious. The word “splendid” means superb, marvellous, wonderful, and super. Truly Jesus is all of these things and more. He far excels all of His creation for holiness, and power, and wisdom, and beauty. Yes beloved, Jesus is the “chiefest of ten thousand,” “the altogether lovely one.” He is perfect in every way. There is not the least flaw in His Person, or in all of His marvelous works. In fact, Jesus is the standard of excellence and splendor in all of Heaven and earth.
And Jesus is most glorious. The brightness of His glory is above the brightness of the sun when shining is his strength (Acts 26:13). His glory lighteth every man that cometh into the world (John 1:9). His glorious gospel shines into the hearts of His elect people (2 Cor. 4:4), and enlightens them to the way of repentance, and faith in His work of redemption. And His glory will lighten New Jerusalem in the eternal age Rev. 21:23), so that there shall be no need for the light of the sun! Yes beloved, Jesus is splendid, and He is most glorious.
4. Finally we want to consider some ways that Jesus is weighty and influential. Jesus is weighty because the entire universe is dependant upon Him. Beloved, by Him all things consist, or are held together (Col. 1:17). The whole universe would otherwise fly apart into oblivion, if not for the power of Christ that holds it together. Jesus is weighty unto His elect people, for by His work of redemption on the cross of Calvary we are saved. Yes beloved, Jesus is weighty in the salvation of our souls. It is only by Jesus and His death, burial and resurrection for our sins that we are saved.
And Jesus is weighty to rebellious sinners who will die in their sins. Every lost soul shall stand before Jesus, and give an account of their sins, and shall be judged for their sins (Rev. 20). And who will be their judge? It is the Lord Jesus Christ, the Loin of the tribe of Judah, who shall judge the living and the dead at His appearing (2 Timothy 4:1).
Next we see that Jesus in influential. Beloved, there has never been a man that has influenced more people, and more nations, throughout the past 2,000 years than the Lord Jesus Christ! Jesus is the most influential man ever born into this old world. He has touched the lives of millions, and brought millions of men and women, and boys and girls, out of their bondage of sin and death, and has given them forgiveness of their sins, and new lives of true holiness, and true happiness and joy. And more importantly, He gave them eternal life with Him in glory! Yes beloved, He is influential in the salvation of all of His people.
Thus we see that Jesus is precious. He is most valuable and costly. He is the rarest prize of all, to be sought by sinful men. Jesus is splendid and glorious above the brightness of a thousand suns. His glory shall shine in that glorious City of God, New Jerusalem, for all eternity. And beloved, Jesus is weighty and influential. He has influenced the good of mankind far more than all of men or angels put together, for only Jesus has power to redeem man’s soul from sin, and give him life eternal.
2. The second precious thing according to Peter is faith.
1 Peter 1:7
In this verse Peter is saying that our faith is much more precious than gold that perishes. Like gold, our faith is tried in God’s refining fire, to the intent that in the end, it might be found unto praise, honor, and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ. But unlike gold, true faith is eternal and therefore shall never perish. Beloved, this speaks of our eternal security. Because our faith shall not perish, we likewise shall not perish, but live forever.
2 Peter 1:1
In this verse, Peter tells us that we have obtained like precious faith. In other words, saving faith isn’t something that we were born with. It wasn’t natural to us, but it was supernaturally imputed by the Holy Spirit of God in conversion. And not only this, there is only one kind of true saving faith. Peter referred to it as “like precious faith.” There are many types of faith being preached today. There is the faith of the cults, who don’t even believe in the deity of Christ. This is no faith at all. Men will go to hell with this kind of faith. There is the faith of the Catholics and protestants, which includes baptism, or some other kind of works for salvation. Beloved, this is no faith at all. Men will go to hell with this kind of faith also. But there is only one kind of true saving faith, and that is faith in the only true gospel of Jesus! Now lets notice some of the ways that our faith is precious in light of the synonyms for the word precious.
First, our faith is valuable. Peter said it is more valuable than gold. Why is it so valuable? We already said that faith doesn’t perish, but is eternal. Not only this, but true faith lays hold upon the object of faith, which is Jesus Christ. Now all of the things that we already said about Jesus and why He is precious, are realized and obtained through saving faith. You see, it is wonderful to know that Jesus is all of these things, but these things mean nothing to us apart from saving faith. Therefore, saving faith is immensely valuable, because it is by faith that we experience and partake of our precious Saviour.
Faith is also costly. Now beloved, we didn’t pay a red cent for saving faith. Faith, we are told in Ephesians 2:8, is a free gift of God. We couldn’t buy it, and we couldn’t work for it. But beloved, Jesus paid the price for our faith with His precious blood. And there was no greater price that could have been paid for our faith, thus our faith was most costly.
True saving faith is most rare, and a great prize to be sought for by sinful men. The Bible tells us in 2 Thessalonians 3:2 that “all men have not faith.” The fact is, when we consider the great masses of humanity throughout the ages of time, relatively few people have been given saving faith. Do you have saving faith this morning? If so, you have a rare and precious prize. You have something that is most valuable, which comparatively few people have. May God help us to be thankful for the gift of saving faith!
Next, true saving faith is splendid and glorious. First, saving faith is glorious because it glorifies all that receive it. Without saving faith we are nothing but ugly and wretched in our sins. But by faith we are beautified. Our souls are cleansed from all our ugly sins before God. Not only that, but our lives are beautified by the power of God through faith that works in us, and transforms us into the likeness of Jesus Christ. Now, I may not look very beautiful, but you didn’t know me before I was saved! And because of saving faith we shall one day be glorified into the very likeness of Jesus Christ (1 John 3:2). And because of saving faith, one day all of His glorified saints shall dwell eternally in the light of His glory in the eternal state. Yes, saving faith is truly splendid and glorious!
Saving faith is also weighty and influential. No other faith, or no other system of belief, whether it be faith in the idol “gods” of man’s making, or faith in the false world view of evolution, or even faith in another Jesus, which we know there is no other; beloved no other system of belief has made such an impact upon the human race than true saving faith in Jesus Christ.
And nothing has so influenced and affected the lives and culture of humanity, than genuine saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The Western world as we know it, with its freedom and liberty of conscience, is owing to the faith of Christ. The Constitution of the United States, and the freedom we enjoy in this country, to a large extent is owning to the Faith of our Baptist Fathers, who greatly influenced the framers of the constitution and of our government.
And so beloved, our “like precious faith” is valuable and costly; it is rare and to be prized by all who have obtained it; it is splendid and glorious; and it is weighty and influential.
3. The third precious thing according to Peter is God’s Promises.
2 Peter 1:4
When I think of the “precious promises” of God, I think of the Christian hope. I think of those blessed benefits that are yet future, that God has laid up in store for His people. Peter didn’t just call them “precious promises”, but to make the point as powerful as he could, he called them “exceeding great and precious promises.” For time sake, let us just briefly consider a few of “precious promises” that constitute our hope.
One thing Peter mentioned in the verse we just read, is that we “might be partakers of the divine nature.” Now beloved, that is a sermon in itself. We, who were created with a human nature, which not only is not divine, but is even lower than the angels. And not only that, but our human nature is a fallen nature because of sin. Therefore our nature is a depraved human nature, with nothing good about it whatsoever. It is corrupt from head to toe. It is vile and sinful inside and out.
But in salvation beloved, we received a new, divine nature, which is created in righteousness and true holiness, and therefore it cannot sin. While this is true, we are still plagued with the old Adamic nature, and we cannot fully appreciate the divine nature that we received in salvation. But one day, and I believe that day will be soon, we will be free from this old sinful nature, and we will know only the divine nature. Sin will be forever gone and eradicated from our being, and we shall be perfectly whole, and perfectly holy, and separate from sin, just like our precious Saviour, Jesus Christ.
We could mention the promise of our new body, which as we already said, will be fashioned like unto His glorious body. It will be a spiritual body. As a spiritual body it will be incorruptible, and immortal, and eternal. It will not be subject to sickness, pain or death. It will never experience disease. It will not grow weary and tired. It will never grow old, but it will remain forever new, with vitality and endurance like we’ve never known in these old earthly bodies.
We could mention our inheritance, which Peter described in 1 Peter 1:4 as “incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you…”. There are those mansions that Jesus went away to prepare. There is the glory and splendor of New Jerusalem. There are all the wonders of the New Heaven and the New Earth, that will be far more glorious than the Garden of Eden and of this first creation. Most precious of all will be the glorified Lord of Glory, Jesus Christ, Who shall reign upon His Throne, with God the Father upon His Throne in New Jerusalem.
Yes beloved, we have been given “exceeding great and precious promises.” His promises to His children are most valuable and costly, they are rare and prized, they are splendid and glorious, and weighty and influential.
In conclusion, is Jesus precious to us this morning? If our answer is yes, then how do we show that He is precious to us by our lives.
Beloved, if Jesus is precious to us, it is because we have been given like precious faith. And beloved, true saving faith will manifest itself in our lives that He is precious to us.
How does our life show forth to others that we believe He is precious?
Are we a member of one of His Churches? If so, are we faithful to His Church? How precious is Jesus to us?
Are we faithful to reading and studying His Word? How precious is Jesus to us?
Are we faithful in prayer and in witnessing for the Lord? How precious is Jesus to us?
I pray that God will make Jesus precious to you if He is not precious to you this morning. If He is precious to us, I pray God will make will make Jesus even more precious to us.