Sunday, July 23, 2017

More Lasting Than Gold

More Lasting Than Gold                                 

1 Peter 1:5-9

Gold is a precious metal, can be purified with fire, resists corrosion, and is almost impossible to destroy. Peter compares our faith in Christ to gold.

In my recent posts (June 6 and June 28) we looked at the living hope we have through Jesus’ resurrection and we rejoiced in the incorruptible inheritance reserved for us in Heaven. Praise the Lord, we are “kept by the power of God through our faith for salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time” even though we are grieved by various trials until that day arrives (1 Peter 1:3-6).

Pertaining to trials Peter compares our faith to gold: “… though now for a little while, if need be you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise honor and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:6b-7).

In comparing faith to gold, Peter states that one’s faith is more precious than gold—even gold that has been purified by fire.

In the first century, gold was considered the most precious of metals and still today is known to have the highest corrosion resistance of all metals. Peter says that compared to gold, our faith is even more precious; is refined—purified—by fiery trials; resists corrosion; and is in fact incorruptible, therefore is eternal. He does qualify that, saying our faith must be genuine—that is, sincere or real. Let’s frequently examine the genuineness of our faith.  (I wrote a three part series of blog posts on this subject back in March 2017. You might enjoy reading those posts on the genuineness of our faith.) 

Bible scholar, Kenneth Wuest, described gold’s purifying process thus:
   “The picture here is of an ancient goldsmith who puts his crude gold ore in a crucible, subjects it to intense heat, and thus liquefies the mass. The impurities rise to the surface and are skimmed off. When the metalworker is able to see the reflection of his face clearly mirrored in the surface of the liquid, he takes it off the fire, for he knows that the contents are pure gold. So it is with God and His child. He puts us in the crucible of Christian suffering, in which process sin is gradually put out of our lives, our faith is purified from the slag of unbelief that somehow mingles with it so often, and the result is the reflection of the face of Jesus Christ in the character of the Christian. This, above all, God the Father desires to see. Christlikeness is God’s ideal for His child. Christian suffering is one of the most potent means to that end.”
“When we learn to submit our will to the will of God, in the midst of our sufferings, we will learn to say with Job, ‘When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold’ (Job 23:10).”

 “Trying times are not time to stop trying.”  Woodrow Kroll 

Now let’s put this back into the context of Peter’s point. “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:6-9 NKJV).

So— because of our genuine faith in Jesus we rejoice greatly, even though we experience fiery trials which purify us in the end. And since we have such faith we are found praising, honoring and glorying at the revelation of Jesus, who we have not even seen in the flesh. Yet still we believe and rejoice with inexpressible joy, full of glory, receiving our ultimate end—the salvation of our souls.

With Peter and our brothers and sisters of the early church, let’s do this purposefully and be built up in our faith and hope and joy and endurance, anticipating the end of our faith—the salvation of our souls.

Your comments are welcome.

©Copyright 2017 Connie Wohlford

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