1999-12-06 - Lustre of Christ
Romans 5:1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Have you ever noticed how gold, when properly shined and cared for gives off an awesome lustre? Our faith, which Christ imparts to us, is compared to gold in 1 Peter 1:7, but is called there, "more precious." Gold is most precious when it is pure and unmixed. That is why 22K gold costs more than 10K gold. The former is simply better quality. And so it is with our faith. Faith that is unblemished and unmixed with the impurities of the world is a faith that shines more brightly than mere 10K faith.
The kingdom of heaven is compared, in Matthew 13:45,46, to a pearl of great value. The pearl is Christ. For Christ, the Christian forsakes all. All entitlements to the world are but nothing to the Christian who knows and discerns the value of that one great pearl, Christ. Christ shines above all others, and to have Christ is to have all. "Sell all, disregard all, forego all else, to have Christ," is the desire and aim of the Christian.
The kingdom of heaven is also compared to a treasure hidden in a field. (Matthew 13:44) To obtain that treasure, everything is forsaken so that the treasure can be had. Great blessings are to be found in that treasure. And yet the treasure is Christ. In Christ, as our treasure, all the promises of Scripture and all the blessings of God to us are summed up. How blessed is the man or woman who can call Christ a treasure they possess.
The lustre of Christ can be noticed all around us. Scripture gives us metaphors respecting Christ. In the night, if you see a star, " … a star shall come forth from Jacob …" Numbers 24:17 Is it morning? Christ calls Himself, "...a bright morning star." Revelation 22:16 The lustre of Christ is even seen in the common things around us.
Christ is a great treasure. Yet Christians often live as if they were poor and possessed no treasure. The glory of Christ, the lustre of His preciousness, and the glory of salvation compel us to live above this world that has no lasting treasure, and to serve Him who has all treasure. "For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world, and this is the victory that has overcome the world -- our faith." 1 John 5:4
A dying woman was lying on a hard bed in a dismal infirmary ward located in an old house that had little to offer aesthetically. Knowing she was a Christian, someone asked her concerning Christ, "You know him, then, and love him?" She replied with a robust voice, "Yes, I do know him, and love him: his presence makes a heaven of this room. If you heaped up my bed with gold and silver, if you could give me the queen's carriage and horses, and her palace and her garden, and all her beautiful flowers, I would not take them, if they would hinder me from going home to my Savior. They talk of the pains of dying: what will they be to me? They will but hurry me to heaven and to Jesus." She, in the face of death and great physical adversity had such a faith. May our faith, in Christ, be as strong today, and may it comprehend the full lustre that exists in Christ.
Soli Deo Gloria,