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The Parables of Christ: Saving Faith’s Transaction

Matthew 13:44

The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.“

Matthew 13:45-46

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.”

The Parables of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl of Great Price are brief in composition, but their meanings are often misrepresented within cultural Christianity. Man-centered gospels frequently misapply the value presented in these pithy illustrations. For instance, if you google either of these parables, you’ll find a host of blogs and articles that present man as the hidden treasure or the pearl.

By contrast, the actual great value presented in the parables is the high cost of the Kingdom. Consequently, the correct interpretation of placing such weight on the Kingdom of Heaven becomes problematic for many as it implies the value is so immense that converted sinners are willing to give up everything for it. This truth is not popular in a Christianity that places faith in comfort, wealth, and traditions.

What is the Kingdom?

Currently, the Kingdom is with us spiritually. It is subtle, and as Jesus stated, the Kingdom of God is in our midst (Luke 17:20-21). It resides within the hearts of His elect. However, believers have not realized its full and final culmination. We know that Christ will rule His future physical Kingdom in bodily form. Scripture presents the Kingdom by assigning several names to it: “the kingdom of Christ and God” (Ephesians 5:5); “the kingdom of God” (Mark 4:11); and “His kingdom” (Matthew 13:41; 16:28). As indicated by the hidden treasure and pearl of great price parables, nothing can match the priceless nature of the Kingdom.

God’s Free Gift

In reality, no one can afford the Kingdom, and no one can buy their way in. Salvation is a free gift that God bestows, and we cannot work for it (Ephesians 2:8-10). God’s elect are valuable because to His Glory, He saved sinners. Genuine saving faith understands the price that Christ paid, and in turn, it strives to emulate Him.

Saving Faith’s Transaction

Likewise, an attribute of genuine belief is a saving faith that demonstrates a new life and a new person. When we trust in Christ, we essentially give up our lives for Him. As John MacArthur states, “In simpler terms, saving faith is an exchange of all we are for all Christ is. Christ took the place of the believing sinner when He bore the penalty of sin on the cross. Sinners take their place in Christ by faith when the Holy Spirit brings them into perfect, permanent union with Christ through a spiritual baptism (1 Cor. 12:13). That transaction is what is pictured in these parables.”{1}

In summary, the truly converted understand the unfathomable value of the Kingdom. The man or woman who come to know Christ comprehend they have nothing in this present life that matches God’s eternal gift (Philippians 3:7-11). In grace, they will learn to deny themselves in this temporal environment with joy and confidence. Once they find the Kingdom, they end pursuits of material, worldly philosophies, notoriety, and false religions.

[1] John MacArthur. Parables:The Mysteries of God’s Kingdom Revealed Through the Stories Jesus Told. Nelson Books, Inc. 2015. 55


Matthew 6:24

“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.“

Matthew 10:37-39

“He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life ad will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.“

Luke 14:27-28

“Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it?”

Luke 17:20-21

Now having been questioned by the Pharisees as to when the kingdom of God was coming, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is your midst.”

John 3:3

Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Ephesians 2:8-10

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

Philippians 3:7-11

But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

2 Peter 3:17-18

You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

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