Page 6 - January 2020 - Truth & Tidings
P. 6

The Gem of Salvation                  is a precious gem, too, and more valuable
          First Peter is a missive of hope for a dark   than gold. Neither fiery ordeals nor the
        time. Less than a century after the cross   crucible of experience can destroy it (1Pe
        had set them free, believers in Asia Minor   1:7).
        suffered persecution for their faith in Jesus   Let’s consider the character of this
        Christ. Alarmed by their differences, their   precious, genuine gem of faith using an
        Gentile neighbors spoke out against this   analogy. Modern jewelers evaluate the
        new faith, and the Roman government   quality of a gem by four C’s: color, cut,
        pressed hard on any Christian activity   clarity and carat. The color of a gemstone
        that hinted at dissent (1Pe 2:11-15).   is the key to its identity. Green emeralds,
        Far away from many of the prominent   red rubies, deep blue sapphires and
        early assemblies and dispersed exiles   brilliant-white diamonds are all known by
        in pagan lands, these believers needed   their specific colors. In a comparable way,
        encouragement.                        all genuine Christian faith is known by the
                                              color of Christ. Saturated by the character
          In a loving response, the apostle begins   of His person, our faith in Him defines us
        his uplifting letter by reminding them that   and our testimony identifies us.
        their salvation is like a bright, precious   The cut of a gemstone determines its
        gem. It shines imperishable, uncorrupted,   use. Solitaires, ovals, pears, and marquise
        unfading and kept securely in heaven for   cuts each have a setting that accentuates
        them (1Pe 1:4 HCSB). Because their faith   their beauty. So it is with faith. The path
        is not merely a selfish want but a living   set before you in this life was drawn by the
        hope secured by a precious living and   hand of God; it is uniquely yours, and the
        eternal Savior, nothing from within them   high quality of your faith, tried in the fires
        or pressing hard from without can ruin   of experience, brings praise and honor to
        this great inheritance, nor will it ever lose   Jesus Christ (1Pe 1:7).
        its value! No force of earth can steal what   Now, truth be told, in sketching this
        God has prepared for His people.      analogy, it seemed good to equate clarity
        The Gem of Faith                      with purity, string together a few words
          Peter reminds the scattered saints that   about steering clear of sin, and move
        a believer’s genuine faith in Jesus Christ   on. The analogy proved truer than your
        takes on the character of its object. Faith   author. In reality, the clarity and fire-

        6    TRUTH kTidings   January  2020
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