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The Church Is the Most Precious Reality on Earth
There’s a third biblical reason I love the church: It is the most precious thing on this earth — more precious than silver, or gold, or any other earthly commodity.
How precious is the church? It demanded the highest price ever paid for anything. “You have been bought with a price” (1 Corinthians 6:20). What price? “You were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ” (1 Peter 1:18-19). Acts 20:28 refers to “the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.”
The church is so precious that the Son was willing to suffer the agonies of the cross and die in obedience to the Father so that this eternal love gift could become a reality. The apostle Paul reminded the Corinthians of this great reality: “You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9). That verse has nothing to do with earthly riches or material things. Christ was rich as God is rich — rich in glory (cf. John 17:5). Neither is the poverty spoken of an earthly poverty. Christ divested Himself of His glory. He went from sovereign supernatural deity, to taking upon Himself the form of a servant — and ultimately to a death on the cross in which all the force of divine wrath was poured out upon Him (Colossians 2:6-8).
So the precious value of the church is seen here in the price that was paid, when the One who was as rich as God in fullness of glory, became as poor as someone alienated from God (cf. Matthew 27:46).
And, to return to the point of 2 Corinthians 8:9, Christ did this so that we might become rich. His dying made us heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17). In other words, in giving up His heavenly riches, Christ made it possible for the church to share in those riches. That makes the church the most precious thing on earth.