As believers in Christ, we need to have a divine sense of value so that we may appreciate the supreme preciousness of Christ and the exceeding worth of the church. Christ is the most precious One, the most excellent One, and when we see Him, when we have a revelation of His person, we will appreciate and know His excellence and preciousness.
Also, when we see the church, the treasure of great value, the pearl that Christ found and sold all that He had to get it, we will also treasure the church and appreciate its exceeding worth.
Christ as a merchant found the church and He paid the highest price to get it – He sold “all that He had” so that He may redeem the world (the land) and to buy the pearl of great value, the church (see Matt. 13:45-46).
Also, the church was obtained by God through His own blood (Acts 20:28). Paul saw the vision of the corporate Christ at his conversion, and since then his vision and appreciation for the church has increased.
We need to have a sense of the exceeding worth of the church to the point that whatever we have – our time, our money, our future, our plans, our family, everything – we would give to the Lord for the church. When we see the surpassing worth of the church we will pray,
Lord, I want to be one with You to serve in the church for You. Lord, build up the Body of Christ! Lord, we want to give all things up for the church. We are happy to simply wash the feet of the saints in the church life. Lord, we are here in the church to bring You back, to prepare the Bride, to turn this age, and to bring in the kingdom!
The Church is the Pearl of Great Value
The church is typified by the pearl of great value which a merchant found, and he went and sold all that he had and bought it (Matt. 13:45-46). Christ went to the cross and sold all that He had to buy the pearl of great value, the church. The pearl itself is a type of the church:
- it is produced in the death waters, in the world filled with death;
- it is produced by the living oyster, the living Christ, who came to us in the world;
- the oyster was wounded by a little rock – we as sinners wounded the Lord on the cross;
- the oyster secreted its life-juice around the wounding rock – though we wounded the Lord on the cross, Christ secreted the resurrection life as His life-juice around us, coating us with layer after layer of resurrection life to make us the pearl of great value.
Just as the pearl comes out of the sea, so the church comes out of the death-filled world, the world corrupted by Satan (Isa. 57:20; Rev. 17:15). We as the believers in Christ are pearls of great value, and in the New Jerusalem we will still be pearls – believers regenerated with the life of Christ (see Rev. 21).
This church is the joy set before the Lord, and for such a beautiful and precious pearl of great value He paid the greatest price to obtain her. When we see the beautiful church, the pearl of great value, we will also pay the price to build up the church and give up everything for her.
The Church was Obtained Through God’s Own Blood
Paul was on his way out of Ephesus when he told the elders there, Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among whom the Holy Spirit has placed you as overseers to shepherd the church of God, which He obtained through His own blood (Acts 20:28).
The church is in the care of the Holy Spirit, and it is very precious in God’s sight – it was purchased with God’s own blood!
To God the church is precious, since He bought it through His own blood – but what about us? In our meeting with the other believers in the church, in our shepherding the new ones and the saints, do we consider the church as precious as God does?
We need to have the same feeling about the church as God has. We need to see God’s precious love for the church; we need to see the preciousness and the exceeding worth of the church in the eyes of God. God’s valuation of the church is that He shed His blood for the church.
Paul’s valuation of the church is that he was glad to spend and be utterly spent on behalf of the saints. He was someone who wanted to murder the saints in the church, but he was captured by a vision of Jesus Christ as “Me”, the corporate Me, the Body-Christ.
We need to see a vision of the church as God’s treasure acquired with His own precious blood (1 John 1:7; 1 Pet. 1:18-19). When we realize the exceeding worth of the church, when we see the church as God sees it, we will be happy to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of the faith of the saints.
Whenever the end of our course will be, whether we will go to be with the Lord in our sleep or He will rapture us, we want to be those who are poured out as a drink offering. We want to be poured out upon the Lord as an ointment, and we want to be poured out upon the church as the wine (drink offering).
Lord Jesus, we love You and we treasure You. We treasure You and we love the church more than at any other moment in our life. Lord, thank You for reminding us of the preciousness of Christ and the exceeding worth of the church. Lord, fill us with a divine sense of value. Fill us with the appreciation of Your supreme preciousness and the exceeding worth of the church. Lord, do something permanent in us that we may love You with our first love and we may do the first works out of our love for You! Lord, we love You and we love the church!
References and Further Reading
- This sharing is inspired from brother Ron Kangas’ sharing in this message and portions in, Life-study of Matthew (msg. 39), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on Crystallization-Study of Daniel and Zechariah, week 11 (entitled, The Evil and Wickedness of Commerce versus a Divine Sense of Value concerning Christ and the Church).
- Buy this morning revival book online via Living Stream Ministry.
- Further reading:
# Life-study of Acts (msg. 54).
# Matt. 13:45-46 and notes on “merchant” and “pearl of great value“.
# Acts 20:28 and note on “His own blood“.
- Hymns on this topic:
# Let Him reveal what’s on His heart / What was the joy set before Him? / It was for her the church—His bride / It was for her, willingly He died / She is the joy deep in His heart / His masterpiece— / His counterpart.
# It is also by Your mercy we’ve seen / Something so deep in Your heart. / You came to earth and sold all You had / To buy this great pearl of worth.
# How could we love this fading world, / When Christ desires that one great pearl; / To Him we must our love unfurl / To bring Him back forever.
- Pictures credit: the first by me here, pearls here, and Acts 20:28 here.