Peter 08 - Precious in Peter
Precious in Peter
People are interested in precious things. Remember, the definition of “precious”? The New Oxford American Dictionary says that “precious” refers to something “of great value; not to be wasted or treated carelessly.” As much as we desire precious things, have you realized that not much is said to be precious in Scripture? We do not sing much about precious things, either. There are a few old songs, such as “Precious Memories,” “Scattering Precious Seed,” and “Precious Word.” There was an old saying that there are three precious things: Mother, Home, and Heaven. These are precious, but none of them are called precious in the Bible. With this lack of the use of the word “precious” in general, it may kind of “jump out” at you that it is one of Peter’s favorite words. In the letters of Peter, the word “precious” is a special word. More than half of the times the word is used in the New Testament, it is used by Peter. He uses the word seven times and designates five different things relating the Christian and God as being precious: faith, Christ, the chief cornerstone, His blood, and His promises.
First of all, there is a precious faith (1Peter 1:7). We have already spent time studying the topic of precious faith. Suffice it to say, that there are plenty of reasons why faith is so precious and why we must be careful with it. Refer to preceding issue of The Gospel Guide of Jackson Drive (August 16, 2020).
As important as blood is, we realize that it is the blood of Christ which is precious: “you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ” (1Peter 1:18-19). It is precious in that it is the only things which God will accept as a price for sin. The blood of animals, as was previously sacrificed, won’t do. “For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (Hebrews 10:4). Notice the above reference from Peter—redemption is by the blood of Christ. To be redeemed is to be bought back from the debt of sin that separates us from God. When one thinks about hell and what it is and what it means to escape it, it is not difficult to see why it is said that the blood of the Christ is precious.
It is not just any stone that Peter has in mind as being precious. It is not some type of gem or ore. It is something beyond those types of stone. He writes of the stone which was rejected of men. “And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God” (1Peter 2:4). This refers to the prophecy of Isaiah 28:16 which he quotes in verses six and seven, and has its fulfillment in Christ. Christ became the cornerstone in the church, even though he was rejected by men (Ephesians 2:20-22). Peter also explains that Christians are living stones in this building in which Christ is the chief cornerstone: “you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1Peter 2:5). This cornerstone is the only foundation upon which secure building can be made. No wonder it is precious and choice.
Since Christ is the precious stone, then Christ, Himself, is precious (1Peter 2:7). Peter quotes Isaiah as saying that those who believe in Him will not be disturbed [agitated, disappointed]. Christ is value for those who believe. Marvin R.Vincent, in his Word Studies in the New Testament, points out that within the context of Peter’s writing, a proper translation of this phrase of verse seven would be, “For you therefore which believe is the preciousness honor [value].” Many great men have lived, but only one Savior has come (Matthew 1:21; Ephesians 4:5). He is “precious” to them who accept him, and he is “offense” to those who reject Him, even a stone of stumbling (1Peter 2:8). People may call Him Lord all they want, but still place no value on Him (Matthew 7:21; Luke 6:46).
God’s promises are said to be precious. “For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust” (2Peter 1:4). Note that they are not only precious, but megistos [magnificent, greatest]. The Lord counts them precious and is not slow about His promises (2Peter 3:9). God had promised many things concerning His plan, but the culminating promise is His promise of the Christian’s inheritance which is reserved in heaven (1Peter 1:5). There are many things that God has not promised, though men make these promises in their doctrines, e.g., being saved without obedience, or having a second chance after death, or a physical thousand year reign here on earth. Of what value are promises made by men’s doctrines compared with the precious and magnificent promises of God?
Have you learned to have an appreciation for things which are really precious? Are you careful for the really precious things?