“But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ”. These were the words of the apostle Paul (Philippians 3:7-8) as he reflects on what Christ means to him compared to all that he has in life, all the statues, possessions, and fame.
“Eight-six years have I served him, and he has never done me any harm. How could I blaspheme my King and Savior?” These were the words of Polycarp before his death on the stake of flames as he refused to denounce Christ (he was a disciple of John who wrote the Gospel).
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose”. These were the words of Jim Elliot, a young graduate of Wheaton College. Desiring all to hear Christ, he went to the jungles of Ecuador to the Auca Indians, cannibals who never heard the gospel before. Jim and his group reached out to the Aucas and never returned home; their bodies were discovered speared to death.
These words above show that Christianity is not just about good morals, but about a certain treasure. Christ being the center of Christianity shows something of His worth. He is valuable and altogether precious to Christians. “He is the Lily of the valley, the Bright and Morning star” that rejoices every heart. The Apostle Peter in his first letter says, “Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory” (1 Peter 1:9). The point is that Christ is good and experientially wonderful to the redeemed. Christians do happily rejoice in Him and adore Him as their shining bridegroom. He is a precious value to them that believe (1 Peter 2:7a). In this article, I am going to give a glimpse of why Christ is indeed the greatest treasure to believers above any earthly treasure.
Christ himself said that where your treasure is there will your heart be (Matthew 6:21). I am highly persuaded that the reason why we see nominal Christianity, lack of seriousness, joyless Christianity, burdensome Christianity, and lifeless Christianity is primarily because Christ is not the treasure of our hearts. We acknowledge that he is good and beneficial, but we do not know that he is absolutely good above all things in all the universe. Yet, it is the genuine adoration and worth-ship we give to him that ignites life and brings forth biblical fruit. Therefore in this article, I aim to provoke us of Christ’s worthiness and kindle us into valuing him above all things in this life. We must agree with 2 Peter 1:4, that the promises which he has given to His people are indeed precious and magnificent. Finally, we must agree with 1 Peter 2:4 & 7, that Christ is precious in the sight of God and an honor to his people.
Why is Christ precious? Here is why:
- Jesus Christ is precious firstly because of his eternal person, John 1:1-3.
If we are to truly honor Christ, we must first look back into eternity where it all began. Looking into eternity past, you will see our Lord in his original glory. When there was none to admire, none to adore, no angels with golden harps, no seraphim to praise, no cherubim to cry, holy, holy, holy, where was Christ? He was one with the Father and the Spirit. Truly He was God of very God. Therefore, this is God before us. His becoming flesh for the redemptive plan did not change Him. They only revealed what He was before.
2. Jesus Christ is precious in His humanity, John 1:14.
He was made a little lower than the angels and took upon Himself the form of man, this weak and mortal body, that he might be like us in every way (Hebrews 2:14-18; Philippians 2:6-9). Jesus, the eternal God was manifest in the flesh that he might stand in our place. Follow Him through the four Gospels and see him suffering from our hands to fulfill that which we will never have fulfilled. See he before the courts and how he does not open his mouth to his defense, but led to the cross as a sheep led to slaughter. Wave after wave of God’s righteous judgment falls upon him on that cross for our sin (Isaiah 53:10)!
3. Christ is precious to his people in his rescue for their redemption.
Because of the extent of sin, we could not and cannot save ourselves and return to God. However here are six things that Christ did:
- Christ accomplished our redemption once and for all, Hebrews 9:24-26, 10:18: Christ appeared once and for all, meaning, he did and accomplished what he did once to perfect all things. And now he invites all condemned sinners to come and join him at his throne for their every debt to be credited on his once-off bill. Therefore, our forgiveness is once and for all.
- Christ accomplished for us an eternal redemption, Hebrews 9:11-12: When Christ died in our place and reconciled us to God, that act was permanent. It is forever, and therefore, we will be eternally with God. It ultimately means that we are out of danger. There is nothing that can harm us or remove us from God (John 10:27-30).
- Christ’s sacrifice sanctified and perfected us, Hebrews 10:8-10, 14: One of the effects of the fall is that man is inwardly corrupt, and his every action and motive is tinted with evil. However, Christ’s death cleansed us and consecrated us to God. We have been sanctified, and Christ now lives to perfect us to be fit for the demands of God. Our status has changed from guilt to righteous. This is objective righteousness, not subjective; however, it is the means that enables us to be subjectively righteous too.
- Christ’s sacrifice secured for us the promised eternal inheritance, Hebrews 9:15: Ephesians 1:3 says that God has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing. 1 Peter 1:4 says that this inheritance is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading and is kept in heaven for us. 2 Peter 1:3-4 says, “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness…and he has granted to us his precious and very great promises”. Hence, it is not the blessings that are in the end precious, but the giver is the precious one.
- Christ is relentlessly committed to rescuing all his people, John 10:16: Christ is altogether precious to his people because of his total commitment to saving all those that are his. All the called, all those that believe in him, he said that he will bring them also into the sheepfold.
- Christ has quenched the wrath of God, 1 Thessalonians 1:10: Who is man’s greatest enemy? It is God! God is the most dangerous we have in the entire world. He is the majestic being, an all-powerful LORD, who conquers all for his glory. Humans are but little to nothing creatures. Thus, the evil plans of the wicked people of the world or even Satan are little to nothing compared to the justice of God. Christ saved us from the wrath of God. The wrath of God is the holy anger of God. As a result, Paul says in Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”. And verse 37, “In all things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us”.
4. Christ is precious to his people because of his present office, 1 John 2.1-2.
Sadly, Christians still find themselves entertaining that which Christ saved them from. As God remains at enmity with sin (1 John 1:5; James 4:4), what will happen to you, when you find yourself in sin? 1 John 2:1-3 helps us to understand that when we sin, we are safe from God’s wrath because we have Jesus as our advocate. He is there to defend our case before God since his righteousness still stands. This does not make us delight in sin intentionally but gives us the hope to fight sin and please our savior. Christ’s eternal position of defending his people from the anger of God, from the attack and accusations of Satan, and from their weakness and foolishness makes him precious above all things.
Christ is precious to His people! Is he precious to you? Do you find him to be all amazing and to be adored about all things? If not, there is something that you are missing and not seeing in this most blessed person. And to the Christian, are still seeing the preciousness in your Savior. He is dear, very dear to us because he is our life and hope. He has won our hearts and loosed us from our sin and set us free to follow Him daily in living fellowship of love. Surely, we have tasted that he is gracious and having come to him, we find in Him the One Thing most precious to our souls.