The Preciousness of Christ

“The Preciousness of Christ Jesus”
Matthew 3:13-17

INTRODUCTION

  • I believe that many of us do not realize how precious Christ is to God, and to us as the believers.
  • When you look at the word “precious,” in the dictionary you will find its meaning quite interesting…

precious; 1. Of great price 2. Of great value 3. Highly esteemed (high opinion of someone)

  • When you look at the word “precious” in the Bible you will find…
  1. 33:13-16… Joseph counts “the things of heaven,” “the fruits put forth by the sun and moon,” “the things of earth” as precious.
  2. I Samuel 3:1…And the word of the LORD was precious in those days;
  3. II Kings 10… the queen of Sheba came to Solomon with precious stones.” In fact all through the Bible you will find many references to stones being “precious.” (Rubies, diamonds, emeralds, sapphires, and etc.)
  4. Psalm 116:15…Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.
  5. Proverbs 3:15…She is more precious than rubies: Solomon says that “wisdom” is precious, more so than rubies.
  6. 1 Peter 1:7…That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: “The trial of our faith” is precious to God! WHY? When a believer in Christ comes through a trial/test and still remains trusting in the Lord for his salvation through the trial/test, God is assured that your faith is genuine (real), not false.
  7. II Peter 1: 4…Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. Peter tells us here that we have “precious promises” from God and Christ Jesus.
  • To me personally, I look at what all the people of the Bible has counted as “precious,” and the one thing that is above all is “the promises of God” that allows me to be a part of the “divine nature.”
  • Now, let us examine the preciousness of our Savior.

 I. Precious To God

   A) God is “well pleased” with Him

  • Matthew 3:17…And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
  • You know what? When you love someone, and they are considered to be “precious” to you, I believe that you want to give them the very best. Right?
  • Look at this messianic passage of scripture found in Psalm 2:7…I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. 8) Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.
  • “the heathen for thine inheritance” REALLY? God this is what you are going to give your Son that you are well pleased with? Heathens? The Hebrew word for heathen is “” It means the Gentile nation. Now figuratively speaking it means a troop of animals, or a flight of locusts.
  • Heathens were also called idol worshipers by the Jews. Because basically, that is what the Gentile nation consisted of.

B) Rejected of men, but chosen of God

  • 1 Peter 2:1…Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, 2) As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: 3) If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. 4) To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed(rejected) indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,
  • Here, Peter is telling us that we are to “lay aside” meaning do away with, forsake our sin (malice, hypocrisy, envy, etc.) and we are supposed to desire the Word of God as a baby desires to have milk.
  • But then you note in verse 3, that if you desire the Word of God then you will see that the Lord is gracious to you.
  • In verse 4 we see that when Christ came to the world as a “living stone(remember the verse…”upon this Rock I will build my church.”)
  • Jesus Christ was rejected by the Jewish leaders as the Son of God, Rejected as the Messiah, rejected as the Redeemer.
  • BUT… He was “chosen of God,” and what? “Precious.”
  • Do you remember the meaning of the word “precious?” God considers Jesus Christ as … “pearl of great price,” of great value, highly favored/esteemed.

II. Precious To The Believers

   A) The objective is to “win Christ

  • Philippians 3:8…Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
  • There is no better commentator of trials in a Christian’s walk than that of Paul.
  • Paul was the ultimate trial apostle. If you want to know how to get over and through a trial…take Paul’s advise.
  • So, to “win Christ” means what?
  • In the first part of verse 8, Paul is talking about counting everything that he has done, all the knowledge he has gained, and all the wisdom he has obtained from this world is worth nothing compared to the knowledge he desires for Christ.
  • The second part of the verse he counts everything but “dung (waste).”
  • The third and final part of verse 8… “..that I may win Christ.” Is what we want to know.
  • The first part Paul says that the knowledge of Christ is not enough.
  • So to “win Christ” means … to win his favor through having a personal relationship with Christ.
  • John 10:27…My sheep hear my voice,(In other words…They know when I am speaking/convicting them) and I know them, (Have a intimate relationship with them.) and they follow me. (They do as I have commanded them to do.)
  • John 17:3…And this is life eternal, that they might know thee (Not “Know of thee,” but rather share a personal intimate relationship with Him) the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
  • You see, what Paul really did was compare his business to the Lord’s business. All of his credentials in the Jewish religion that he thought was “profit” for himself, turned out to be worthless and damning.
  • To really “win” the love of Christ, the love of your spouse, the love of God, and the love of fellow believers… you must have an unconditional love, a love for their particular character and mind set, and a love that brings a desire to please them in any way possible no matter what it cost you.
  • If you want to “win Christ” we have to what? In Matthew 16:24…Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, (Forget what you want, do as Jesus asks) and take up his cross, (be willing to die to self for Jesus) and follow me. (Do as He commands us).

 B) Precious, because of His Words

  • John 6:68… Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
  • Every word of Jesus Christ brings “eternal life” with it. In the above verse Peter recognized that Jesus spoke a lot on “eternal life” only made available through Jesus Christ.
  • Above all else that we can say about our magnificent Lord, the one that describes Him most is “The Word.”

He Is “The Word” Which Is God

  • John 1:1…In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
  • He was in the beginning of earth, He is the beginning of a new life, He is the beginning of life eternal.
  • Luke 5:1…And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret,
  • Luke didn’t say “they come to hear Jesus.” He said “to hear the word of God.”

The Word Is Powerful (Casts out demons)

  • Luke 4:31…And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days. 32) And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power. 33) And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice, 34) Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God. 35) And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not. 36) And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, What a word is this! for with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out. 37) And the fame of him went out into every place of the country round about.
  • (Power to calm the sea), Mark 4:39…And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
  • (Power to resurrect) Philippians 3:10 …That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
  • (Power unto our salvation) Romans 1:16…For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 

The Word Is Healing

  • John 4:49…The nobleman saith unto him, Sir, come down ere my child die. 50) Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way.
  • Do you remember this story of how Jesus had healed this man without seeing him, touching him, but merely saying “Thy son liveth.”
  • Not only does “The Word” heal us physically, but it heals us mentally, and spiritually.

C) Precious, because of His Promises

  • Everyone here today knows what the word “promise”
  • A “promise” is like a contract in that when a promise is made by a person, they are to do everything possible to keep that promise made.
  • God has never failed on carrying out His promise. I Kings 8:56…Blessed be the LORD, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant.
  • Through Christ, we access to the promises of God… Galatians 3:14…That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
  • His promises of abundant and eternal life- II Peter 1:4… Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

D) Precious, because of His care and tenderness

  • When Isaiah spoke of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ he said this in Isaiah 40:10…Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. Though His hand is mighty and strong against those who oppose Him, He also will gather his scattered sheep (Israel) to their land in verse 11… He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.
  • I don’t know of a better verse in all the Bible that explains the care and tenderness of Jesus Christ more than this.
  • When he said “He shall feed his flock like a shepherd,” tells us a great deal. How does a shepherd lead his flock?
  • Isaiah tells us…
  1. he shall gather the lambs with his arm, He is always looking for those who strayed. Those who have lost their way. Sometimes His gathering is done by causing a person to realize their “lostness” or their “backsliding.” The Holy Spirit is in us to do this. The “Key” is Jesus. Jesus the Great Shepherd goes out in search of the lost.
    Matthew 18:11…For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. 12) How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?

  2. Isaiah 40:11b) “..and carry them in his bosom,” To carry a child or person in your bosom means to protect them, hold on to them.
    God kept His sheep that had died on earth in a place the Israelites called “Abraham’s bosom” (Paradise) until Jesus Christ died on the cross. They were kept in a secure location until Christ came to take them to heaven.

God is always protecting (KAKE has the same slogan, but not the same) His sheep.
Satan does not protect, he destroys, discards, and cares not for his followers.

  1. Isaiah 40:11c) “…and shall gently lead those that are with young. Now, I may be a bit stretching it here, but I believe that when you lead “those that are with young” which means…those that are pregnant, those that are helping to nurture others, the new born babes in Christ. God leads them “gently” the correct path to help them in their situation. Every sheep (child of God) has a different nature, different character, and different ambition, different desire, different heart, but we all should have the same “Divine nature.” To get that same Divine nature, to become ONE in Christ Jesus, to transfer from the old nature to the new nature, we must help one another “gently.”  It is our carnal nature that wants to be strict, and discipline with brash, mean, uncaring rebuke when Christ teaches a humble, gentle, and caring rebuke to our brethren.

E) Precious, as a Cornerstone of the church

  • Isaiah 28:16…Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.
  • As a builder myself, I really comprehend the words in this verse being “foundation” and “cornerstone.”
  • It is “precious” and necessary in any construction!
  • Without a foundation or cornerstone, whatever you build will fall.
  • If you built a foundation wall a mile long without any bracing or corners, then tried to erect a structure (wood or metal) on top of that, the first puff of wind that came by would cause that foundation and structure to fall.
  • Therefore, a cornerstone (or corner) is necessary for strong structural purposes.
  • A cornerstone (corner) brings strength to the foundation, therefore giving strength to whatever is built thereafter upon it.
  • Bear with me here…
  1. God’s blueprints in heaven (after Satan stole 1/3rd of His angels) were His building plans of making a “church” (Followers of God, like angels) that worshiped Him, loved Him, communed and fellowshiped with Him.
  2. God’s foundation had to be strong enough to carry out his plan, to preach his word, to provide the support of anything built on top of it. He chose prophets and Judges in the OT, the 12 apostles and preachers and evangelists in the NT. This is his foundation. Though this foundation was strong at times, it had it’s weak areas, (Jonah went to Tarshish instead of Nineveh…being weak, and remember the 12 forsook Jesus in the garden…being weak). God said… I need to strengthen my foundation, I need to add something that solidifies the structure that I am wanting to build…
  3. God’s cornerstone was none other than our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who is our Strength, who is our Rock, who is our Security in travail, storms, and trials. Our CORNERSTONE. Without Him we fail, without him we are nothing, without him we have no future or hope to build on.
  • Peter recognized this when he repeated the words of Isaiah in I Peter 2:6…Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture (What scripture? Isa. 28:16), Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
  • This is precious my fiend! The OT giving support to the NT, and the NT giving support to the OT thus creating a foundation for the Chief cornerstone to give strength and support to every aspect of the building that God had planned in His almighty blueprint.
  • Oh, but that’s not all folks! Look further into Peter’s message here in I Peter 2:7…Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient,”
  • Understand this ye deaf… people who are disobedient to God are UNBELIEVERS.
  • To unbelievers, God is not “precious.” So they do not as He commands.
  • To those who are obedient/obey His commandments…He is precious, they are BELIEVERS.
  • Peter goes on to say in verse 7…“.. the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,”
  • “The stone” is Jesus Christ, while “the builders” were the religious leaders of the church, the Pharisees, the Scribes, etc.
  • They “disallowed” meaning did not allow or rejected Him and His teachings.
  • Now we look at verse 8) And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.
  • Now then, this “stone of stumbling,” and “rock of offence,” also “being disobedient” describes the heart of the church leaders.
  • Barnes’ Notes on the New Testament said this…Everyone who becomes a true Christian is brought to this condition; and in this state he can appreciate the worth of the Saviour. In this respect the condition of Christians is unlike that of the rest of mankind-for they are in no better state to appreciate the worth of the Saviour, than the man in health is to appreciate the value of the healing art, or than he who has never had a want unsupplied, the kindness of one who comes to us with an abundant supply of food.
  • We as Christians must be brought into a condition where we can appreciate the “preciousness” of Jesus Christ.
  1. To see the value of food, we must be hungry;
  2. To see the value of clothing, we must be exposed to the weather’s extreme.
  3. To see the value of home, we must be wanderers without a place to live.
  4. To see the value of medicine, we must be sick;
  5. To see the value of competence, we must be poor.
  6. So, to see the value of the Saviour, we must see that we are hungry and naked spiritually, sinners with no home, or healing, and lack any merit of our own in order to have a future in Heaven.
  • To see Christ’s value is to realize how “precious” He is to us.
  • By the way… In verse 7 when Peter calls the Pharisees “appointed,” he did not mean appointed by God, but rather appointed unto doom (the judgment of God) for their disobedience and unbelief.
  • Judgment on unbelief is as divinely appointed as salvation by faith. (Rom. 9:22)
  • Now here is where we as “Gentiles” fit in…Verse 9) But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
  • This is His “Preciousness!” He didn’t have to allow us into His heaven, His Divine nature, His glorious Kingdom. But He did. How precious is that? We were chosen! We are considered to be “a royal priesthood.” Not the scumbags that we are. “a holy nation” not a pagan, reprobate, nation that we really are.  “a peculiar people;” that means “special. That means precious to Him. “Peculiar” is what God only called Israel. Not the Gentiles. How do I know that? Well, look at what Peter said…
  • Verse 10) Which in time past were not a people, (see, the Gentiles were not even considered to be “people” of God) but (any time you see the word “but” it means things are going to change.) are now the people of God: (See, we Gentiles are now “the people of God!) Oh but there is more my friend… “..which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. Hallelujah, for God’s infinite mercy. The preciousness of Christ. Because of Christ’s work on the cross we have obtained (received) the mercy of God, or received something that we do not deserve.
  • Why is being a “cornerstone” sooooooo important? It is the very strength of us believers especially the Gentiles. You see, the Jews had been encompassed with God so much that they couldn’t even recognize Him when He came in the flesh.

F) Precious, because of His compassion

  • Matthew 9:36…But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.
  • Do you want a secret ingredient draws people to you? Compassion.
  • That’s it. You must have compassion on others to draw them to the Savior.
  • Jesus work on earth in His humanness was overwhelming. He couldn’t reach every single soul by Himself. He must have the help of His Father, His disciples, His apostles, and us today.
  • If you want to draw people to God… you must have the compassion of Christ.
  • Christ saw that they were tired (fainted) spiritually, and “scattered” in every kind of religion/church trying to follow God but being misled by false shepherds.
  • A pastor who does not seek God’s wisdom and relies on their own wisdom is false, useless and considered to be “No shepherd.” They are what? Wolves in sheep’s clothing.
  • Here is Christ compassionate to those who are scattered. A spiritual sickness.
  • In the following verse we can see Christ’s compassion towards those who are sick physically…Matthew 14:14…And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.
  • Lastly, Christ has compassion of those controlled by Satan and his demons… look at Mark 5:19…Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.
  • You know what, If you cannot see the “preciousness” of Jesus Christ after this message… I personally will pray for your lost, uninhibited by Christ soul, that you will see it before you die.
  • A child of God should know how precious Jesus is to them.
  • If you are a child of God- He is precious.
  • If you are lost- He is not precious. It’s that simple.

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