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RELIGION COLUMN

Church is God's diamond, reflecting his glory to darkened world

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By D. Clay Perkins
Columnist

Saturday, May 27, 2017

“You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” — 1 Peter 2:5 (The Bible, New International Version)

What is the purpose of the Church? What is her role in society when throughout history she has been in direct opposition to cultural values? How does she act when she is not always appreciated? Perhaps we can bring clarity with a precious stone, a diamond. The purpose of the church is to be a living stone — a diamond — to allow God’s light to reflect all His glory to a darkened world.

A diamond has been recognized as one of the most valuable possessions throughout history. Its value rises with purity, clarity and weight (strength). As a diamond is precious to man, we are precious to God. In fact, we are called his chosen people. Ephesians 1:4 tells us that God chose us before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless. This divine election is seen in the Old Testament (Isaiah 43:10) as well as in the New Testament. Our value as chosen people rises as we are pure and strong in the Lord. We are living stones, diamonds.

We are called a royal priesthood. Again the concept of being a priest is found in both the old (Isaiah 61:6) and the new (1 Peter 2:5) testaments. A priest is a representative of God to carry out his function. We are to let our lights so shine before men that they see our good works and give glory to the Father (Matthew 5:16). The best way to be a priest is to be a diamond and reflect God’s glory.

We are called a holy nation. God has always desired a people (Deuteronomy 28:9). God’s greatest work is mankind. We are made in the very image of God himself (Genesis 1:27). We are to be a nation of diamonds, strong and pure.

We are to be a people belonging to God. We indeed belong to God. It is God’s desire for his Church to be his most treasured possession (Malachi 3:17). The Church, God’s diamond, is the only thing that God is coming back for (1 Thessalonians 4:13f).

Why are we a chosen people? Why are we a royal priesthood? Why are we a holy nation? Why are we a people belonging to God? So that we may declare his praises. As his chosen, his diamonds, we are to be pure and strong. When light shines on a diamond, it will sparkle with all kinds of glory. In like manner, we are called out of the darkness of sin into the light of God’s glorious presence where we can reflect his glory. The purpose of the church is to be diamonds through which God can shine.

So how does your diamond shine? Years ago, I placed a very small fraction of a diamond on the finger of the one I loved. As our love grew, I replaced the fraction with a diamond that was larger and could be seen without a magnifying glass. We are like God’s diamonds in a sense. Have you grown in His grace and knowledge so that you, as God’s diamond, shine brighter, reflecting His love and mercy? Or do people need a magnifying glass to see God through you?

Stay focused.

Dr. D. Clay Perkins is president of Mid-Atlantic Christian University.

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