Chapter 34 Three Preciousnesses

The trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth (1 Peter 1:7).

Ye were…redeemed…with the precious blood of Christ (1 Peter 1:18-19).

He is precious (1 Peter 2:7).

Precious faith (2 Peter 1:1).

Persecution broke out after the martyrdom of Stephen. The world was mad in its hate as it has ever been. Believers were trodden as the mire beneath ungodly feet, and those who escaped death were scattered abroad. In his Epistles, Peter writes to the dispersed, and one of the words he uses over and over again is the word “precious.”

Precious Faith

In 1 Peter 1:7 he mentions the trial of faith as being precious, and in 2 Peter 1:1 he says that faith itself is precious. Man’s frown and persecution’s threat give deadly wounds. We read in Bible history of many a tyrant’s wrath, of the burning fiery furnace, of the den of raging lions, of stonings and imprisonments. The way to Heaven is often in the face of murderous batteries.

But faith can overcome! Multitudes upon multitudes with robes of white and palms of victory and songs of endless praise follow the Lamb whithersoever He goes. They do not fear what man can do unto them.

Faith untried, unproved, is faith uncertain. The quality of the metal is ascertained by what it can do and bear. The courage of the soldier is evidenced only in the field of battle. The depth of the root of a tree is shown only by its resistance to a hurricane. Rock is solid only if it stands against all the surges of a raging sea. A foundation is strong only when it remains unshaken by batteries.

Trials do more than test the strength of faith. They consolidate and invigorate it. Its sinews become more firm. Those to whom faith has been given are not to count it strange that they have to swim against the tide. The trial is precious. It makes faith exceedingly precious. We are “to count it all joy when [we] fall into divers temptations.”

Precious Blood

“Ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold … But with the precious blood of Christ” (1 Peter 1:18-19). His blood was not the polluted blood of a man of Adam’s race. Our Lord did not come into the world by a man of fallen Adam’s race, but the body prepared for Him was “conceived by the Holy Ghost.”

Blood is the symbol of life. “The life of the flesh is in the blood” (Leviticus 17:11). The life of the eternal God was in the blood of the Lord Jesus as the Son of man. That is what made His blood precious. That life of His was offered for our redemption. The shedding of His blood was the pouring out of His blood as a sacrifice for sins. His cross was the theater of redeeming suffering—the atonement for the soul of man. We gaze with open eye upon His bloodstained cross, and know by divine certainty that He “purged our sins” (Hebrews 1:3).

We may there wash every stain away. The blood of Christ does that! We must remember that in His body—a truly human body—Deity was also present with His Manhood. He is the Mighty God. His blood is the blood of God (Acts 20:28). If it were less, it could effect no redemption. This is the marrow of the gospel. Jesus is God. He brings to the cross blood that is essentially divine. It is precious blood, and it is enough!

Also, His blood keeps on cleansing (1 John 1:7). This continued efficacy is not repetition of the sacrifice. Our Lord was “once offered”—the offering of His body was “once for all”—and He offered the one sacrifice “for ever.” Calvary could never be repeated; never again could sacrifice be made for sins. That sacrificial blood has permanent value. It keeps on cleansing forever, not intermittently—not perhaps today but not tomorrow. That blood dealt with sins once and for all and forever.

Precious Lord

“He is precious” (1 Peter 2:7). This is spoken in the context where we are told that He is so as the chief cornerstone of God’s spiritual house. Solomon came to the throne of Israel for the supreme purpose of building the Temple. Upon the completion of it, God’s glory filled the whole. It was the embodiment of the glory of God. The stones that Solomon used for the building were cut out of a deep quarry, and were shaped, chiseled, and polished to a divine pattern. Each had its God-appointed place, and all fitted perfectly together.

Thus is it in God’s spiritual house. The Lord Jesus builds with living stones—men and women made alive to God by the new birth. He is the chief Cornerstone—joining Jew and Gentile, bond and free, male and female, circumcision and uncircumcision, Scythian and barbarian. To all who are part of that spiritual house of His, “He is precious.” They are what they are, and where they are, through His great sacrifice on the cross.

The Lord Jesus is the truest treasure man can ever gain. He is the sweetest cordial which the lips of faith can drink. He is Heaven’s “sweet savor.” There is none like our Lord—the Altogether-Lovely One! All peace and joy, all happiness and holiness are in Him, and in Him alone. “He is precious.” May we ever prize Him so.

Fairest Lord Jesus! Ruler of all nature!
O Thou, of God and man, the Son!
Thee will I cherish, Thee will I honor,
Thou my soul’s glory, joy, and crown!

Fair is the sunshine, fairer still the moonlight,
And all the twinkling starry host;
Jesus shines brighter, Jesus shines purer
Than all the angels Heaven can boast!

All fairest beauty, heavenly and earthly,
Wondrously, Jesus, is found in Thee;
None can be nearer, fairer, or dearer,
Than Thou my Saviour, art to me.

Crusaders’ Hymn