[S]o that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:7
Peter was the most outspoken of Jesus’s followers. He was a blue-collar guy. Hard working, but rough-hewn. So when a guy like that tells you something is precious, it’s worth stopping and considering his words. In his first letter, Peter quickly mentions several things that precious. (Or of great value or great worth, depending on your translation.)
The first is the genuineness of your faith.
More precious, that is more valuable, than gold. Why is this such a great thing? Let’s think about gold for a minute. (And the chemistry nerd in me is going to come out. Just humor me.)
Gold is rare, but when we find it, it usually unmixed with any other compound. It is resistant to almost every acid. It literally passes the acid test. Gold has unique properties. It is able to be stretched and molded. It is extremely resistant to corrosion and it just about the best conductor of electricity that we know of.
Now consider how Peter’s analogy applies to genuine faith.
- It is unmixed. We don’t trust in Jesus and … our bank account, our position, our smarts. Or do we?
- It resists attack. When our faith is attacked by circumstances or directly by the enemy, we resist it. We marshall our friends to help us pray. We go to Scripture for answers and assurance. We fight back. Or do we?
- It is able to be stretched and molded. We undergo hard times and challenges, know that each one is making us more Christlike. Or do we?
- It is extremely resistant to corrosion. We don’t allow anything to chip away at our faith. We also avoid things that will cause a layer of impurity to build up. Or do we?
- It is a great conductor. We do our best to ensure that the Holy Spirit can work through us, accomplishing our greatest mission of bringing others into the Kingdom. Or do we?
The people reading Peter’s letter back in the first century were forced to flee their homes and homeland because of intense persecution. The proven genuineness of their faith wasn’t just an abstract idea. When I read his words today, they challenge me. Is my faith in Christ more precious than gold? Am I putting it to use? When the refining comes, how will I respond?
Peter knew how his friends would respond – to the praise and glory and honor of Jesus Christ at His appearing. That’s the kind of genuine faith I want. The precious kind.
Next week – precious blood