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Posted February 15, 2011
Robert Lloyd Russell's One Precious Pearl: God's Design for His Church is a fusion of biblical scripture and natural science. The book is an interpretation of the parable of Matthew 13:45-46: "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he had found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had, and bought it." One Precious Pearl is divided into two parts: scripture-based and lesson-based material. Essentially, Russell's purpose in writing this book is two-fold. For those who are believers in the kingdom of heaven, the book strives to instill a deeper appreciation for the Church. The second purpose is to "demystify a passage" that is too often misinterpreted. Ultimately, One Precious Pearl: God's Design for His Church is designed to be an enlightening experience for one and all.
Throughout the ages, even in modern times, the pearl is a symbol of elegance and value. In fact, "historically pearls were only possessed by kings and monarchs. The one precious pearl-the finest of all pearls-belongs to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords." Essentially, various interpretations conclude that the pearl could be a symbol of salvation, the kingdom of heaven, or the Church on earth.
In practical terms, the growth of a pearl is likened to the growth of the Church. The one precious pearl represents the unity within the Church of Jesus Christ. The bottom line is that, on earth, the pearl is the Church because it will nurture the one precious thing that every man needs: acceptance of Christ.
Ultimately, "the pearl is the only gem that is perfect without additional work by man. Provision for the Church was complete with Christ's death on the Cross. Man cannot improve upon either a pearl or the Church." Therefore, the pearl is a representation of all that is pure and perfect, like the great white throne of God.
Overall, Robert Lloyd Russell's One Precious Pearl: God's Design for His Church is a simple, yet profound read for any age. Also, Russell inserts a "Think and Grow" section that discusses the key concepts of the lesson. One Precious Pearl belongs in Sunday school, Bible Study classes, and many other church settings. It's a must read for Christians everywhere.