The Berean Expositor
Volume 23 - Page 116 of 207
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and without spot. They, too, shall be presented holy, unblameable and unreproveable.
He is the elect and precious Corner Stone. They, the living stones, built on Him, partake
of, and enter into, all His acceptableness in the sight of God. He is precious to the
believer. All His preciousness is theirs.
There is no contradiction in these two renderings. The act of faith relinquishes all
hope in self, and finds its all in Christ. The more we realize what the preciousness is that
is reckoned to us in Him, the more shall we realize that He is precious in Himself. "Lord
to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life" (John 6: 68).
"Like precious faith."
pp. 179, 180
Peter's first "precious" thing is associated with faith. With this thought he opens his
second epistle:--
"Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like
precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ"
(II Pet. 1: 1).
We have already seen that preciousness may be the result of rarity. Many precious
things in the estimation of the world are mainly so because of their scarcity. This is true,
for instance, of the first editions of books. A well-printed copy of Shakespeare can be
obtained for a few shillings, but a copy of the first edition, not by any means so readable,
could not be bought for anything less than thousands of pounds. The apostle, however,
speaks of faith as being precious and yet at the same time possessed and shared by all
believers--"like precious faith with us." It is evident, therefore, that faith is precious
because of its own intrinsic worth and not because it is the unique possession of a few.
Paul does not use the expression, "like precious faith", but the same idea underlies his
words to Titus: "The faith of God's elect . . . . . after the common faith" (Titus 1: 1 & 4).
Here the exclusive and inclusive character of faith is shown. None but the elect possess
it, but all the elect share it. It is "precious" because it is "common".
Jude, whose epistle follows Peter's second epistle so closely, speaks of "the common
salvation" and "the faith which was once delivered unto the saints". Here again, faith is
exclusively the possession of the saints, and is connected with a salvation which is
common to all the redeemed.
We must bear in mind, in our present consideration, Peter's early diffidence in having
any fellowship with a man of another nation; and how he afterwards bore testimony at
Jerusalem that "God gave them the like gift as He did unto us, who believed on the Lord
Jesus Christ" (Acts 11: 17). And again, when the matter came forward in Acts 15:, he
said, concerning the believing Gentiles:--