"In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 1:6–7)
In 1851, Australia’s recorded population was approximately 77 000 people. In the two years that followed, that population swelled remarkably to over 540 000. What led to such a dramatic increase in our land Down Under?
On 12th February 1851, a young Englishman by the name of Edward Hammond Hargraves made a discovery in the New South Wales city of Bathurst. He found the hottest of all commodities—he struck gold!
Gold was and still is the most precious and sought after metal, and Hargraves found it in abundance. His discovery ignited the Australian 'Gold Rush'. Incredibly, Victoria alone produced more than one third of the world’s gold in the 1850's. By 1871, the population of Australia had increased from 540 000 to a whopping 1.7 million.
In Peter's epistle to the early church, he makes a bold and audacious claim—he says that your faith is worth "more than gold."
It is a multifaceted analogy that speaks of the Christian life with God and in the world.
Like gold, Christians will come under fire. The early church, much like today’s, was constantly under trial. The political, social, spiritual and personal pressures associated with Christlike discipleship were like fire that sought to destroy their faith and trust.
Yet, like fire to gold, these trials have a refining effect. Fire exposes inferior and false elements, while drawing out purity, true beauty and enduring worth. In seasons of suffering, trial and persecution, we can find strength in the knowledge that the Lord our God is in control and has not abandoned His people. He remains sovereign on the smooth and rocky road, ultimately working and redeeming all things in accordance with His good and pleasing will.
And while gold is a valuable currency, it will eventually fade and one day perish. In contrast, the gospel of Jesus promises life, faith and joy that will never run out, but grow and deepen into all eternity. We who are united in Christ's sufferings will share in His glory to come.
In ’More than Gold’, City on a Hill will unpack the 166 verses that make up Peter's exquisite letters to some of the very first Christians. Exploring the wonder of God's sovereign grace and our true identity in Him, we will discover how to shine in an age of ever increasing challenge, opposition and trial. In God's strength, we will be all we were made for. We will be more than gold.
In prepartion, download our teaching e-book to help you get the most out of the series as we journey through the epistles of Peter.