Octavius Winslow published a work in 1867 titled The Precious Things of God. I haven't read it yet but would like to some day. Reading 1 Peter this evening reminded me to reflect on those things which are precious in the spiritual life.
- Your faith (1:7). "... so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold ... may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ." Here, faith is compared to gold, a precious metal, and is found to be more valuable. Gold can never lay hold of God's promises, but faith can.
- The blood of Christ (1:19). "... but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ." Some things are precious because of their efficacy (the power to produce a desired effect). The blood of animals could not atone for sin in a final sense. The blood of Jesus does.
- A gentle and quiet spirit which hopes in God (3:4). "... with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God." When a person comes to God with humility and endures suffering for the sake of doing what is right, God sees this and it is precious to Him. When God sees a person who values the inner spirit over outward adornment, it is precious in His sight.
- Jesus Christ, the choice cornerstone of God's living temple (2:4, 6). "Behold, I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone..." Today, God is not building a physical temple for all to come and see, but a spiritual temple made of living stones (believers in Jesus), and Christ is the precious cornerstone. The stone which the builders rejected has become the stone upon which they have stumbled. Though he was put to death by men, he is precious to God.