Pearl of Great Price: Created for a Purpose

This is the second in a series of three blog posts on the “Pearl of Great Price”. Read the first one here

Man and woman were created in God’s image (Gen 1:27)—they were created for a purpose. We may never know everything, but we can know that part of our purpose was to have fellowship, a close intimate relationship, and unity with God.

  1. God said, “Let Us make man in Our image.” (Gen 1:27) It was a deliberate act of God’s will.
  2. God formed man (Gen 2:7). “Formed” implies the use of His hands, much like a potter molding clay into a perfect vessel.
  3. God breathed life into man; our life comes directly from God (Gen 2:7).
  4. God put man in a place designed for us, a place where God could be with His creation (Gen 3:8).

When Adam sinned, he lost everything: God, paradise, purpose, hope, and life (Gen 3:8-19). Our own sin separates us from God and destroys the relationship we were created to have. We will live out our physical lives until we return to the dust from which God formed us (Gen 3:19). But there is a part of us, our spirit, given to us by God (Eccl 12:7), that will go on, never to fulfill our great purpose of fellowship with God. Instead, we are doomed to exist in eternal darkness, separated from the God who created us.

Jesus came to save us from that horrible fate. He came to restore our relationship with God, to renew the unity we once had (John 17:21-22). He came to bring about the complete realization of what God has always intended for mankind, eternal life in the presence of God.

2 Corinthians 5:1-5, (1) For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. (2) For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, (3) inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked. (4) For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life. (5) Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge.

2 Corinthians 3:18, But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.

1 John 3:2, Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.

What would you give to dwell with God for all eternity … to live in His presence, in unimaginable light … to have all pain, all fear, all the suffering and struggles of this world taken away, absorbed into glory … to know the peace of mind, body, soul, and spirit, that comes when we are finally and truly what we were created to be,

What would that be worth?

Pearl of Great Price: The Kingdom of Heaven

This is the first in a series of three blog posts on the “Pearl of Great Price”. Read the second one here.

In Matthew 13:45-46, Jesus presents a parable designed to illustrate the great value of the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 13:45-46, (45) Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, (46) and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.

To the one who understands value, this “pearl of great price” is worth more than anything in the world, more than everything we have; but what is the kingdom, and what about it could possibly be of such surpassing value?

Beginning with Matt 4:17, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand,” Jesus mentions the kingdom in more than 100 verses (NASB). Clearly, it was an important theme of His ministry. Some things we learn about the kingdom from the New Testament are:

  • It is not an earthly, physical kingdom (John 18:36).
  • It would come while many who saw Jesus were alive (Mark 9:1).
  • It is an eternal kingdom (2 Pet 1:11; 1 Cor 15:24).
  • It is made up of those who have been “born againborn of water and the Spirit (John 3:3-7; Titus 3:4-7; 1 Pet 1:3-4, 22-23).
  • It contains the redeemed, those forgiven of their sins (Col 1:13-14).

In the book of Acts, we learn that the kingdom was established after Jesus was raised from the dead and ascended to heaven. Peter confirms this in his first sermon (Acts 2:22-36). We also learn that with the coming of the kingdom came the preaching of the gospel of Christ. Acts begins with the disciples asking if the time to restore the kingdom had come (Acts 1:6) and ends with Paul preaching the kingdom in Rome (Acts 28:30-31). Paul preached the kingdom, but he also preached the gospel (Acts 14:15, 21; 16:10; 20:24; Rom 1:1, 9, 15-16; 2 Cor 11:7).

In Rom 1:16 Paul says that the gospel “is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.” In Col 1:1-14, he says the gospel brings “the hope laid up for [us] in heaven [eternal life, Titus 1:2-3],” and that in Christ we “have redemption, the forgiveness of sins,” and have been transferred “to the kingdom of His beloved Son.”

What is the great value of the kingdom of heaven, the “pearl of great price?”  It is, at its core, that those in the kingdom of heaven are the ones who have embraced the gospel message. Jesus died for our sins, and through His blood and the power of His resurrection we can have forgiveness of sins, a restored relationship with God, and the hope of eternal life with God.

We were created for this purpose from the beginning … to have fellowship with God. Because of sin, we lost everything. Through Christ, God has made it possible to restore that relationship … in this life, and for eternity.

Rooted in Christ

We are in a battle for our souls. There is a world out there that is trying to take us away from our faith in Christ. And it’s doing everything in its power to destroy our faith. We can and we must stand strong against all the forces of darkness that threaten our salvation. Ephesians 6: 10-13 says “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.”

When Paul wanted to encourage his readers to stand firm, he took them back to Jesus.

Colossians 2:6-8 says, “Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude. See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.”

We need to be firmly rooted in Christ. Jesus is the foundation of our faith. He is the rock on which we stand as Christians.