Peter 35 - Value


Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler; but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name. For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? AND IF IT IS WITH DIFFICULTY THAT THE RIGHTEOUS IS SAVED, WHAT WILL BECOME OF THE GODLESS MAN AND THE SINNER? Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right. (1Peter 4:12-19)

Have you ever really stopped to think about the value your life encompasses? Do the things you do really matter? Does who you are really matter? Some people don’t place much value on their life. Some don’t see value in their pursuits. This may be for good reason—their pursuits aren’t of value. Being a Christian is the most valuable pursuit in this life. It is highly probable that the real reason some are not Christians is that they have never seen the real value of being a Christian. It is also likely that many Christians do not truly comprehend the value of being a Christian.

Some Christians define themselves by what they are not or what they do not do: “I am not a heathen,” “I don’t drink,” “I don’t curse,” etc. While these types of things may be a part of a Christian’s behavior, they are not the reason for the value of being a Christian since there may very well be those who are not Christians who behave similarly. Some define themselves by how much suffering or persecution they encounter, thinking that the more they are deprived or suffer, the more value they must have. Again, this may very well occur in a Christian’s life, but it is not what sets the value of being a Christian since many people of all lifestyles suffer.

What sets the value of a Christian apart is the very fact that Christians are blessed by God—God knows those who are His. He knows those who have with sincere hearts given themselves in obedience to God. God blesses accordingly even when we suffer as a Christian. Peter reminds us that when we are reviled for the name of Christ, we are blessed. We also need to understand the rest of Peter’s statement: “you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.” It is only Christians who possess this great value.

Some never will be Christians—God has told us as much. We must face up to this fact. These are unfortunate people: “the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it” (Matthew 7:13). These will never know the value of the blessings of being a Christian. A Christian can know that value because they “were” on that destructive path.

The Past

Being a Christian is valuable because of our past life. We have all sinned (Romans 3:23). This is serious so far as the results are concerned (Romans 6:23). The Christian has remission
of his past sins (1Peter 1:18,22; 3:21; 4:14-16).

The Present

Being a Christian is valuable in that at the moment none has a guarantee of tomorrow—or even the next minute (James 4:13-15). In view of this, a Christian has joy today (Acts 8:39). A Christian has peace and happiness now (Matthew 6:15-30). How valuable this is!

Being a Christian is valuable in that only as Christians can men truly glorify God (1Peter 4:16; Matthew 5:16). Many do not know that the Bible says this, or else they do not believe it. Yet, this does not change things. Only as a Christian can one glorify God acceptably.

Being a Christian is valuable in view of today’s needs. A Christian is in Christ where all spiritual blessings are to be found (Ephesians 1:3). The eighth chapter of Romans is a beautiful chapter telling of the great values of being in Christ—a Christian. This chapter begins with a discussion of those “in Christ” (Romans 8:1). There is no condemnation for these if they walk in the right manner. There is freedom from the law and sin (Romans 8:2). Christ and God both dwell in the Christian (Romans 8:9). Christians are led by the Spirit in the way that is right (Romans 8:14). Christians are assured that they are the children of God and His heirs (Romans 8:15-17). Christians have help in prayer (Romans 8:26). Christians have security (Romans 8:35-39).

The Future

Being a Christian is valuable as one views the future. Death is before each of us (Hebrews 9:27). The end is before us (2Peter 3:10). The resurrection and judgment are yet to be faced (John 5:28-29; Revelation 20:12-15). Even the greatest skeptic will wish they were a Christian at the judgment (Revelation 6:15,16).

Why not count the value of being a Christian?