1 Peter 2:7-8
To you therefore which believe he is precious: but to them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed…
I. WHAT CHRIST IS TO HIS PEOPLE. The Revised Version reads the text, "For you therefore which believe is the preciousness." His very self is preciousness itself. He is the essence, the substance, the sum of all preciousness. Many things are more or less precious; but the Lord Jesus is preciousness itself, outsoaring all degrees of comparison.
1. How do believers show that Christ is thus precious to them?
(1) They do so by trusting everything to Him. Every believer stays his hope solely upon the work of Jesus. Our implicit faith in Him proves our high estimate of Him.
(2) To believers the Lord Jesus is evidently very precious, because they would give up all that they have sooner than lose Him. Tens of thousands have renounced property, liberty, and life sooner than deny Christ.
(3) Saints also find their all in Him. He is not one delight, but all manner of delights to them, All that they can want, or wish, or conceive, they find in Him.
(4) So precious is Jesus to believers, that they cannot speak well enough of Him. Could you, at your very best, exalt the Lord Jesus so gloriously as to satisfy yourself?
(5) Saints show that in their estimation Christ is precious, for they can never do enough for Him. It is not all talk; they are glad also to labour for Him who died for them. Though they grow weary in His work, they never grow weary of it.
(6) Saints show how precious Christ is to them, in that He is their heaven. Have you never heard them when dying, talk about their joy in the prospect of being with Christ?
(7) If you are not satisfied with these proofs that Christ is precious to believers, I would invite you to add another yourself. Let every one of us do something fresh by which to prove the believer's love to Christ. Let us invent a new love token. Let us sing unto the Lord a new song. Let not this cold world dare to doubt that unto believers Christ is precious; let us force the scoffers to believe that we are in earnest.
2. In thinking Christ to be precious, the saints are forming a just estimate of Him. "He is precious." For a thing to be rightly called precious, it should have three qualities: it should be rare, it should have an intrinsic value of its own, and it should possess useful and important properties. All these three things meet in our adorable Lord, and make Him precious to discerning minds.
3. The saints form their estimate of Him upon Scriptural principles. "Unto you therefore which believe He is precious." We have a "therefore" for our valuation of Christ; we have calculated, and have reason on our side, though we count Him to be the chief among ten thousand, and altogether lovely.
(1) Our Lord Jesus is very precious to us as "a living stone." As a foundation He is firm as a stone; but in addition, He has life, and this life He communicates, so that we also become living stones, and are joined to Him in living, loving, lasting union. A stone alive, and imparting life to other stones which are built upon it, is indeed a precious thing in a spiritual house which is to be inhabited of God. This gives a character to the whole structure.
(2) Our Lord is all the more precious to us because He was "disallowed indeed of men." Never is Christ dearer to the believer than when he sees Him to be despised and rejected of men.
(3) He becomes inconceivably precious to us when we view Him as "chosen of God." Upon whom else could the Divine election have fallen? But He saith, "I have laid help upon one that is mighty; I have exalted one chosen out of the people." The choice of Jehovah must be divinely wise.
(4) Note well that the apostle calls Him "precious," that is, precious to God. We feel abundantly justified in our high esteem of our Lord, since He is so dear to the Father.
(5) Moreover, we prize our Lord Jesus as our foundation. Jehovah saith, "Behold, I lay in Sion a chief cornerstone." What a privilege to have a foundation of the Lord's own laying! It is and must be the best, the most abiding, the most precious foundation.
II. WHAT IT IS IN THE SAINTS WHICH MAKES THEM PRIZE CHRIST AT THIS RATE. It is their faith. "Unto you therefore which believe He is precious." Faith calls Him precious, when others esteem Him "a root out of a dry ground."
1. To faith the promises concerning Christ are made. The Bible never expects that without faith men will glorify Christ.
2. It is by faith that the value of Christ is perceived. You cannot see Christ by mere reason, for the natural man is blind to the things of the Spirit.
3. By faith the Lord Jesus is appropriated. In possession lies much of preciousness. Faith is the hand that grasps Him, the mouth that feeds upon Him, and therefore by faith He is precious.
4. By faith the Lord Jesus is more and more tasted and proved, and becomes more and more precious. To us our Lord is as gold tried in the fire. Our knowledge is neither theoretical nor traditional; we have seen Him ourselves, and He is precious to us.
5. Our sense of Christ's preciousness is a proof of our possessing the faith of God's elect; and this ought to be a great comfort to any of you who are in the habit of looking within.
6. Christ becomes growingly precious to us as our faith grows. If thou doubtest Christ, He has gone down fifty per cent. in thine esteem. Every time you give way to scepticism and critical questioning you lose a sip of sweetness. In proportion as yea believe with a faith which is childlike, clear, simple, strong, unbroken, in that proportion will Christ be dearer and dearer to you.
III. WHAT BELIEVERS RECEIVE FROM HIM. Take the exact translation, "Unto you that believe He is honour."
1. Honour! Can honour ever belong to a sinner like me? Worthless, base, only fit to be cast away, can I have honour? The Lord changes the rank when He forgives the sin. Thou art dishonourable no longer if thou believest in Jesus. Thou art honourable before God now that He has become thy salvation.
2. It is a high honour to be associated with the Lord Jesus.
3. It is a great honour to be built on Him as a sure foundation. A minister once said to me, "It must be very easy for you to preach." I said, "Do you think so? I do not look at it as a light affair." "Yes," he said; "it is easy, because you hold a fixed and definite set of truths, upon which you dwell from year to year." I did not see how this made it easy to preach, but I did see how it made my heart easy, and I said, "Yes, that is true. I keep to one fixed line of truth." "That is not my case," said he; "I revise my creed from week to week. It is with me constant change and progress." I did not say much, but I thought the more. If the foundation is constantly being altered, the building will be rather shaky.
4. It is an honour to believe the doctrines taught by Christ and His apostles. It is an honour to be on the same lines of truth as the Holy Ghost.
5. It is an honour to do as Christ bade us in His precepts. Holiness is the truest royalty.
6. It will be our great honour to see our Lord glorified.
(C. H. Spurgeon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,