The New Testament Church Is 'The Pearl Of Great Price' - W.W. Fereday (1863-1959)

Although few do, every professing-believer naming the name of Christ [Matt. 7:21] should rightly understand the highly privileged position in God's eternal plan occupied by the NT church. It truly is a select group - the few: "For many are called, but few are chosen" - Matt. 22:14. The 'church' does not include OT saints or 'after-rapture' saints [Rev. 7:9,13-14]. Unbelief and widespread ignorance of this dispensational truth has contributed greatly to the complete apostasy which has overtaken the professing Christendom-ers of our day.

The parable of the pearl is one passage of scripture that reveals this unique position given only to the called-out-ones of the present dispensation [Rom. 8:30; Eph. 2:6], the 'age of grace'. Here is a solid little teaching on the 'pearl' from a well respected bible teacher of days past. It is worth a few minutes of study time:

The Pearl of Great Price
W.W. Fereday - 1863-1959

It is such a common notion that the pearl of great price is the Saviour Himself that it seems almost irreverent to challenge it. Yet the popular interpretation is open to serious objection for two reasons: (1) it would put this parable entirely out of harmony with the teaching of its context; (2) it represents the sinner as sacrificing something - all indeed - in order to acquire Christ. But Christ cannot be purchased. He is God's unspeakable gift to man, and all the blessings which are the fruit of His atonement, Eternal life, etc.-are gifts also.

Peter severely denounced the man who thought the gift of God might be purchased with money. Moreover, the sinner is represented in Scripture as having "nothing to pay" (Luke 7:42). He who cannot meet his just obligations is surely in no position to buy costly pearls. And it should be remembered that it is the Saviour who seeks the sinner, rather than the sinner the Saviour.

The parable runs thus:-"The Kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchantman seeking goodly pearls; who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it" (Matt. 13:45-46).

As in the case of the hidden treasure [Matt. 13:44], the purchaser is Christ. The pearl is the Church, which, in Scripture, is the aggregate of all believing persons from the descent of the Holy Ghost, until the coming of the Saviour into the air (Acts 2:1-4; 1Thes. 4:15-18). The hidden treasure may have consisted of hundreds of pieces of gold and silver, and thus suitably represents believers in all ages, who have been, and will yet be saved out of the wreck of Adam's world by the infinite grace of God.

But the pearl represents the saved of the Christian period specifically. The Church holds a very special place in the ways of God. The divine purposes concerning it were retained as a secret in the divine bosom until Paul was raised up as a chosen vessel to communicate them to men (Eph 3:3-4).

He was in a peculiar sense the minister of the Church; and from him we learn that the Church is Christ's body now, and will be His bride throughout eternity. In these special relationships the saved of the preceding and following ages have no part though the everlasting home of all God's saints is one-"the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem" (Heb. 12: 22).

The single pearl shows the unity and beauty of the Church as Christ sees and estimates it. To have the pearl for His own He sacrificed His all. He left heaven's glory, and accepted in lieu thereof the lowly circumstances of earth. His earthly throne, as David's Son and Heir, He also surrendered, and accepted instead the cross and the tomb.

All this was in order that He might possess Himself of the pearl upon which He had set His heart. As the Spirit elsewhere puts it: "Christ loved the Church, and gave Himself for it" (Eph. 5:25). Surely the affections of all the objects of His favour should be set upon such a Saviour for ever.

1Cor. 6:19-20 'What? know ye not that...ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's'

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