And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. (1 Peter 1:17-19)
In these verses, Peter calls believers to a life of humble reverence that grows out of an understanding of 2 things:
- The sweetness of our adoption (v. 17)
- The costliness of our redemption (vv. 18-19)
I ended up splitting this passage up into 2 sermons. In the first sermon, I focused on the privilege of adoption as a motivation to walk in the fear of God. My 3 points were these:
I. WE HAVE BEEN GRANTED THE GREATEST OF ALL PRIVILEGES
“And if you call on him as Father…”
What is this privilege? Adoption into the family of God (i.e. the privilege of being able to call upon God as Father).
II. THIS PRIVILEGE HAS BEEN GRANTED TO US BY THE GREATEST OF ALL BEINGS
“…who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds…”
Here I sought to explain our Father’s greatness as the righteous Judge of the world.
III. THIS DEMANDS FROM US THE GREATEST POSSIBLE RESPECT
“…conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile…”
If I preach on this again, I’ll probably use the word reverence in my third point, instead of respect.
In the second sermon I focused on the reverence that grows out of an understanding of the costliness of our redemption. Not that I was bent on having 3 points for the sake of having 3 points, but I felt as though the text required it. Based on the imperatival nature of the passage, I chose to make my 3 points imperatives (commands). The flow of the sermon went like this:
If you’re to live a life of humble reverence before God…
I. YOU MUST UNDERSTAND THAT YOU’VE BEEN REDEEMED
“knowing that you were ransomed (redeemed)…”
I stopped after the word ransomed in order to introduce the concept of redemption. The main implication behind this first point: “You’re no longer your own!”
II. YOU MUST UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU’VE BEEN REDEEMED FROM
“from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers…”
In explaining what we’ve been redeemed from, I was able to explain the context of redemption. The main implication behind this second point: “You’re no longer enslaved!” I sought to explain that believers are no longer in bondage to the futile, worthless ways that used to characterize their lives when they were separated from Christ.
III. YOU MUST UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU’VE BEEN REDEEMED WITH
“not with perishable things such as silver of gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.”
In explaining what we’ve been redeemed with, I was able to touch on the cost of our redemption. The main implication behind this third point: “The love that motivated God to redeem you must be infinite in its degree and intensity, since He was willing to give His very best (the precious life and blood of His Son) in order to make you His own.”