March 6 - 1 Peter 1:17-21

Thursday, March 6, 2014

1 Peter 1:17-21 – Redemption

Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.

Jesus taught us to call God 'Father.' (Luke 11:2) In fact, Paul, in Romans 8:15, says that we can cry out to 'Abba, Father,' which is even more personal.  But, Peter says here in 1 Peter 1:17, that if we are going to call out to Father, we need to be sure that we are living in reverent fear.

Proverbs 1:7 says that "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge..." We read in Proverbs 14:27 that "the fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death."

From the time of Moses, the people of Israel were taught the importance of this reverent fear. In Deuteronomy 10:22, Moses says "And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul." 

The Psalmist tells us that "the friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant" (Psalm 25:14) and from Psalm 112:1, "Praise the Lord!  Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in his commandments!" 

We are to fear nothing on this earth, not even death. Perfect love casts out all fear. But, we are to have a reverent fear for the one who created us, who calls us to live with him in eternity.

1 Peter 1:18-19 reiterates the basis for the Gospels.  We were bought with a price, something worth much more than silver or gold. Our redemption came at the cost of Christ's life.

It was Peter who said to the crippled beggar in Acts 3:6, "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk."  He brings those words back to remind us that what we see as worthwhile pales in comparison to the price of redemption.

Christ was selected before the world was created, but the revelation of his purpose did not come until much later. Peter knows that there is a bigger plan than each of us see individually. God's plan was to bring the entirety of humanity into a relationship with him and it would only occur through Christ's work on the cross.

The plan worked. In 1 Peter 1:21 we see that through Jesus, we believe in God. Our faith and our hope are in God. And this is because of the Jesus' resurrection and ascension into glory. God has made it possible for us to believe in and have faith in the One who is able to accomplish the resurrection of the dead.

No matter what persecution the early Christians faced, no matter what we may face, we can be confident in the fact that God will be able to do for us what He did for Jesus Christ.

This is the hope of the redemption story.