Christ Is Precious

1_Peter_2_6t8_Transfiguration of Christ

Francesco Zuccarelli, “The Transfiguration of Christ”, c. 1788

1 Peter 2:6-8 (KJV)  Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.[7] Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,  [8]  And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

The word “Precious” is used twice in our focal text today. It is used first in Peter’s quotation from Isaiah 28:16. Peter wrote in verse 6:

Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious:
and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded

Peter uses the word again in verse 7:

Unto you therefore which believe he is precious

In both cases that which is “Precious” is a “He” not an “It”. In our world today we consider things to be precious. That word “Precious” is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as:

“Of great value or high price”
“Highly esteemed or cherished”
“Excessively refined”

As Peter writes, he is not writing about a rare metal like gold, nor a rare stone like a diamond. He is writing of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is Precious. He is more precious than anything on this earth. He is more precious than all the gold in Fort Knox. When my wife and I were in England we were allowed to see the Crown Jewels, that which belonged to the royals of Great Britain. We were told that these Crown Jewels were priceless. Jesus Christ is more precious than the Crown Jewels. He is more precious than the Hope Diamond. He is more precious than the billions that the rich own.

Jesus Is Precious Because There Is No Other Way Unto God

We read again:

1 Peter 2:6 (KJV)  Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

The Apostle Peter is quoting from an Old Testament text found in the Book of Isaiah. Isaiah is a very interesting Book, often called The Old Testament Gospel of Christ. When God called Isaiah to preach for Him God allowed Isaiah to look into Heaven and to see the glory of God. Most of us think that if we were to look into Heaven we would be transfixed, blessed beyond belief. Isaiah looked into Heaven and saw the glory of God. He saw God in His glory

“sitting upon the Throne, high and lifted up”

Isaiah saw the angels of God flying around the Throne saying:

“Holy, holy, holy, is the lord of hosts!”
“The whole earth is full of His glory”

Though God allowed Isaiah to look into Heaven – he did not steal his way in – Isaiah was horrified at what he saw. Suddenly Isaiah – looking upon the thrice holy God – realized that he in no way measured up to His righteousness. Isaiah cried out:

Isaiah 6:5 (KJV) Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.

When exposed to God as He is Isaiah realized he – and we – fall far short of His glory. We are all unworthy to stand in His presence. Isaiah only found relief when an Angel took a live coal from the righteous altar of God and put that coal on his mouth, saying …

Isaiah 6:7 (KJV) … Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.

God had to place His own righteousness on Isaiah – to IMPUTE His righteousness to Isaiah’s account. Without this free gift Isaiah could not stand before God. We cannot hope to be righteous enough on our own to stand before the thrice Holy God Who inhabits Heaven. This is the testimony of the Scripture.

Many people do not believe this. When given the statement:

“Everyone sins a little, but most people are good by nature”

Some 52% of professing Christians said they believed this statement. The Psalmist said:

Psalms 51:5 (KJV) Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

And we are told in Ephesians

Ephesians 2:2-3 (KJV)  Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:  [3]  Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

In our natural states we all are followers of sin. The Scripture makes this clear. We were “children of wrath” because we sinned. The Scripture says:

Genesis 8:21 (KJV) … the LORD said … the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth …

Whether man or woman we are all born into this world as sinners. Though we may not even understand what we do nor why it is wrong, even as babies we sin and fall short of God’s glory. This is why the Bible declares:

Romans 3:23 (KJV)  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Mankind is not – as the world would say – basically good. We have all departed from God. From birth we follow the pattern of Adam, of whom the Scripture says:

Romans 5:12 (KJV)  Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

The world is not divided into “good” and “bad” people, but is homogeneously and naturally “sinners”.

And this is why Christ is precious.

Peter quoted Isaiah, who wrote as God directed:

Isaiah 28:16 (KJV)  Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.

We are all sinners, but God has provided a way to salvation in Christ. “Thus saith the Lord GOD”. God says. The Eternal and Everlasting I AM says. “I lay in ZION”. Zion is the City of God, the place where God is. In the New Testament ZION refers to the Heavenly Jerusalem, God’s Holy, Eternal city. How did God build this city? How will He inhabit it? He says:

1 Peter 2:6 (KJV)  Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in {Zion} a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

God laid in Zion a Chief Corner Stone. When the foundation of a building was laid in the ancient world the heaviest and most substantial stone was placed on the corner of the building. All walls and floors attached to this cornerstone. Heaven is attached to Christ and Christ alone. The Scripture says to those who have received Christ as Savior:

Ephesians 2:18-22 (KJV)  For through {Christ} we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.  [19]  Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;  [20]  And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;  [21]  In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:  [22]  In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

The Cornerstone of the Christian is Christ.
The Cornerstone of the Church is Christ.
The Cornerstone of Heaven is Christ.

The early Church knew this and grew by it. Christ is precious because Christ is the ONLY WAY by which God has given us to be saved. Peter preached:

Acts 4:12 (KJV)  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

When the world heard Christ preached as the only Way unto Heaven and unto God they “perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men”. The world has not changed. When the statement was given:

“God accepts the worship of all religions, including
Christianity, Judaism, and Islam”

Around 51% of professing Christians said that this statement is true. If so, then Christ is not precious. If Jesus Christ is but one Way unto God among many then His value has become no greater than the leaders of other world religions. But what has God said?

I lay in {Zion} a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

God says there is but ONE Chief Cornerstone. It is Jesus Whom God chose – He is ELECTED and PRECIOUS. There is no other way by which a person can be saved. The Bible declares repeatedly:

1 Timothy 2:5-6 (KJV)  For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;  [6]  Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

Romans 10:9 (KJV)  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

and Jesus declared:

John 3:35-36 (KJV)  The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.  [36]  He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

God the Father has provided but One Way to be saved, and that is to see Christ as “Precious”. He is the Only Way by which we can be saved from our sin. He is the Only Way by which we can enter into God’s Heaven.

Jesus Is Precious Because He Gave Himself For Me

1 Peter 2:7 (KJV) Unto you therefore which believe he is precious:

There are many who profess to follow Christ, but as I have shown today, many say they love the Lord but do not. Yet to those who have been saved Christ is precious. Christ is precious because He did not have to do what He did. Nothing forced Him from Heaven to this earth. God did not make Him do so, nor could have God have done so. Jesus Christ is God, God the Son, God in every way as powerful as both Father and Spirit. What does the Scripture say?

John 1:1 (KJV)  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. … 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Jesus Christ – the manifest Word of God – Who was and is and always will be God – “was made flesh and dwelt among us”.

Jesus Himself said:

John 10:30 (KJV)  I and my Father are one.

and when Thomas saw the Resurrected Christ he knelt worshiping Him ..

John 20:28 (KJV)  And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

The Apostle declared that in Christ …. Colossians 2:9-10 (KJV)  For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.  [10]  And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

It is to Jesus that the Father said:

Hebrews 1:5-8 (KJV)  For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?  [6]  And again, when he bringeth in the first-begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.  [7]  And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.  [8]  But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of thy kingdom.

Jesus Christ is Eternal God. And yet He Who made the Heavens and the Earth, He Who made the plant-life and the seas, He Who made everything that flies or crawls, He that made man and woman in the Garden …

…. this same Christ came to this earth to give Himself for me.

Yes Beloved, He gave Himself for you, too.

Jesus started us all in a Garden called Eden, but surrendered Himself for our sins in a Garden called Gethsemane.

Christ made Adam from the dust of the ground, but remakes us from the Blood of His sacrifice.

When I was unable to fix myself, Christ offered to do so. He reached down into the much of my life and saved me in spite of myself. He is precious to me.

Christ saves the Christian out of Egypt. He brings us from that slavery and into the wilderness so that we might worship Him. There are many who attach themselves to the Church that do not see Christ as precious. When Moses departs to the mountain they tire of Christ. They call out to Aaron:

“Here is our jewelry, make us another god. Any old cow will do.
We will worship this, and follow it back to Egypt”

These are not believers, but lost people disguised as believers. What did Moses do when he came down from the mountain? He cried out:

Exodus 32:26 (KJV) … Who is on the LORD’S side?
let him come unto me. …

The Lord is precious to me because He lowered Himself for me. Therefore I will love Him more than anything else. Though my children and grandchildren are precious to me, Christ is MORE precious.

Matthew 10:37 (KJV)  He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

In fact, though my life is precious, Christ is MORE precious. The Christians who is not willing to shed his own blood for Christ’s sake may not indeed be a Christian. Jesus said:

Matthew 10:39 (KJV)  He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

Christ is the MOST PRECIOUS to the true Christian.

The “Builders” Of Jerusalem Disbelieved And Died

1 Peter 2:7-8 (KJV) … but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,  [8]  And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

The leaders of Israel saw Christ, heard Christ, touched Christ … and yet disbelieved in Him. Jesus told them:

John 8:24 (KJV)  I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

If you do not believe that Jesus and Jesus alone is precious – that He is the Father’s only Messiah, that He is the Only Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world, then “you shall die in your sins”. Jesus Christ is the Only Way unto the Father. He has promised that if you give yourself to Him fully – if He is indeed to you PRECIOUS – then He will never leave nor forsake you. He has said:

Isaiah 46:4 (KJV)  And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.

Jesus is a Stone of Stumbling, and a Rock of Offense to those who wish to remain in their sins. Being disobedient, they reject Him for the ways of this world. One day they will be judged WITHOUT Christ because they reject Christ now. But to us who believe in Him, He brings us close to God. To those who have received the Precious Christ the Father has said:

1 Peter 2:9 (KJV)  But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:

Come to Christ, dear one. Confess yourself a sinner. Admit that you have no standing before God but by Him. Believe that He gave Himself for your sins – that He is Precious – and you shall be saved.

May God touch your hearts with His Word.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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