June, 2017

 

Our Most Precious Things

A Study in 1 and 2 Peter

 

by Tom McLemore

 

        What can help God’s people to be more conscientious about attending worship, about Bible study and attending Bible classes, about involvement in the life of the church, etc.?  Surely, if anything can help, it would be a greater appreciation of what we have and understanding how worship, Bible study, and involvement reflect such an appreciation.

 

The Precious STONE

 

“To you then who believe, he is precious...” (1 Peter 2:7).

 

        This is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ–there is none like him....He is the one God chose and the only one (1 Peter 2:4, 6)!  How would we respond to his being the precious stone?  We love him and believe in him (1 Peter 1:8).  We reverence him as Lord (1 Peter 3:15).  Peter issues a practical invitation to do so.  We are invited to desire and thrive on his word and grow (1 Peter 2:2, 3).  Thus, we engage in daily Bible study and attend Bible classes.  We are invited to come to him and be built (1 Peter 2:4, 5a).  Where is he, that we might come to him?  He is in the church which he is building and with which he assembles (Matthew 16:18; 18:20).  We are invited to serve him as priests and talk about what he has done in worship and evangelism (1 Peter 2:5b, 9, 10).

 

His Precious BLOOD  

 

“You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish.  He was destined before the foundation of the world, but was revealed at the end of the ages for your sake.  Through him you have come to trust in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are set on God” (1 Peter 1:18-21).

 

        This is the blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ–there is none like it!  The blood of bulls and goats could never take away sin (Hebrews 10:4).  The blood (death) of no other human being could take away the sin of the world (John 1:29; Romans 3:25; 1 John 1:7). 

        How would we respond to that blood’s being precious to us?  We would maintain the covenant established by the blood of Christ by being sanctified and obedient (1 Peter 1:2; the background for this is Moses’ sprinkling the blood.  See Exodus 24:8/Hebrews 9:20).  We would be committed to eating the Lord’s Supper each Lord’s Day.   That is part of maintaining the covenant (Matthew 26:28), and it is participation in the blood (1 Corinthians 10:16).  We would hold fast to our confession (Hebrews 10:19-31).

 

His Precious PROMISES  

 

“His divine power has given us everything needed for life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.  Thus he has given us, through these things, his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of lust, and may become participants of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:3, 4). 

 

        They are the promises of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ–there is no promise like them...they are simply out of this world!  What is promised?  His coming (John 14:1-6; 2 Peter 3:4, 9).  New heavens and new earth (2 Peter 3:13; cf. 1 Peter 1:4).  His being with us in the meantime (Matthew 18:20; 28:19-20; Hebrews 13:5, 6).

        How would we respond to those precious promises, showing that they are precious to us?    We would never doubt them or cease to believe them.   We would supplement our faith in them so we can avoid falling and be sure to enter the promised kingdom (2 Peter 1:5-11).  We would give of ourselves and of our means to lay up treasures in heaven (2 Corinthians 8:5; Matthew 6:19-21).  We would not let anyone entice us to believe the promises of worldliness (2 Peter 2:19-22).

 

Our Precious FAITH

 

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.  In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith—being more precious than gold that, though perishable, is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed”   (1 Peter 1:5-7).

 

        This is faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ–there is none like it!  (Cf. Acts 4:12).  What does this faith of ours have to offer?  It guards us from losing our inheritance (1 Peter 1:5).  Its outcome is the salvation of our souls (1 Peter 1:9).  It enables us to resist the devil successfully (1 Peter 5:8, 9).

        How would we respond if our faith is precious to us?  We would realize that this faith binds us together (2 Peter 1:1).  This implies that together is where we ought to be.  It leads us to draw near to each other on this basis and not let any other consideration divide us or keep us apart.  We realize that to love Christ is to love the brethren (1 Peter 1:22; 2:17).  We would be willing to suffer for such a precious faith and never be ashamed (1 Peter 4:16).

        If something is precious to us, it is important to us, is of great value to us, and is of great concern to us.  Our most precious things are the precious stone, his precious blood, his precious promises, and our precious faith in him.  Will you determine to live for Jesus as one who deeply appreciates these most precious things of ours?

 

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