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What does it mean that the genuineness of faith is more precious than gold (1 Peter 1:7)?

more precious than gold

In a world where faith often faces derision from skeptics and cynics, Scripture reminds us of its value: “These [trials] have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed” (1 Peter 1:7). The apostle wrote his letter to encourage persecuted Christians, as revealed in verse 6. Peter explains that trials act as a refining fire, assuring that our faith will bring rewards when we come before Christ. But how is genuine faith more valuable than gold?

First, Peter emphasizes durability. Gold is precious and long-lasting, but it won’t endure for eternity. Like any other material object, gold has its limits. However, genuine faith has an eternal effect. Not only does salvation come through faith (Ephesians 2:8–9), it also leads to a fulfilling relationship with God that extends beyond this world.

Another quality that makes faith more valuable than gold is its benefit. Both gold and faith are assets, so to speak, for they provide their owners with gain beyond the initial cost, but there’s a difference in value. While gold yields monetary returns, genuine faith leads to rewards that cannot be destroyed. As James stated, “Blessed is the man who has remained steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him” (James 1:12). Undoubtedly, the crown of life is worth more than billions of dollars!

Furthermore, the level of satisfaction gold brings cannot rival that of genuine faith. Gold and other forms of material possessions may offer some form of comfort and happiness, but they are temporary. In fact, the more wealth we have, the more we must spend to protect and maintain it (Ecclesiastes 5:10–11). Genuine faith, on the other hand, leads to a new life, perfect righteousness, reconciliation with God, indwelling of the Spirit, and godly fruit. Anything that connects us to the Source of Life is infinitely better than perishable wealth. Indeed, a relationship with God enables us to steward any level of wealth without becoming enslaved to it.

Speaking of “new life,” the transformed lifestyle that comes from genuine faith cannot be acquired with gold or any form of treasure. Faith produces virtues like love, forgiveness, self-control, and even selflessness, all of which are intangible qualities without a price tag. All the gold in all the world cannot buy love or produce good character.

To conclude, there is a similarity between gold and genuine faith. For gold to become pure, it is heated to remove the impurities. Similarly, our faith is shown to be genuine when we go through the “fire” of trials. The apostle Paul agrees, “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope” (Romans 5:3–4). Suffering is hard, but it is also a comfort to know our suffering is not in vain. Rather, in suffering God continues to sanctify us, so our faith will become like purified gold.

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What does it mean that the genuineness of faith is more precious than gold (1 Peter 1:7)?
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This page last updated: September 5, 2023