Summary: This passage explains why we ought to "fear" God.

1 Peter 1:17-21 Reverential Fear

Introduction: Last time we saw in verses 13-16 that Peter wanted us to apply what he had talked about in the preceding verses. Peter said as Christians:

1. We should prepare our minds for action.

2. We should become self-controlled (not controlled by things) and

3. We should have a hope that is unwavering.

4. We should live a life that is characterized as being Holy. (None are perfect yet)

So, as obedient children of God, we should look and act a lot more like our Heavenly Father.

Peter goes on to tell us now if we name God as our Father there should be another result.

Text: 1 Peter 1:17-21 (Read carefully noting structure)

v.17 “and” = second application of v.3-12 (he just told you to be holy).

“pass time … fear” = action needed to be done.

v.18 “Forasmuch” = second reason for the action…

Proposition: Every Christian should have reverential fear for God.

why? Peter now tells us two reasons why…

What does it mean to fear God? Fear (phobos), we normally think of some phobia (an

irrational excessive fear of something) like claustrophobia (fear of enclosed spaces),

hydrophobia (fear of water), Photophobia (fear of light), Russophobia (fear of Russians).

In reference to God – “fear” means to have reverence, respect, honor, to have a deep

sense of accountability.

I. Christians should have reverent fear because of Who God is (v.17).

A. God is Holy (back to v. 16)

We must never forget this fact. God is perfect, pure, undefiled, totally separate from sin…. This fact alone ought to inspire great fear…

B. God is our Holy Father

What a privileged position we are in. We are the adopted sons and daughters God. Father is an intimate title, but it also expresses a position of authority. The one called father has authority over His children…

Also, being Father requires one to give out discipline…. (My dad certainly did).

C. God is an impartial Holy Judge

To judge means to consider all the particulars of a case and then render as good or evil…

Remember God is Holy, God is omniscient (all wise), and God is our Father but God is still IMPARTIAL (without respect).

Judges and juries may be swayed by good looks, pleasant personality… but God sees…

Ill: Guy who smiled at a woman on a jury….

God cannot tolerate sin. Any sin. All sin is repulsive to His Holiness.

D. God is a personal Holy Judge. (17) “according to every man’s work”

No one will escape God’s Judgment: “EVERY MAN”

Gen. 18:25 “Shall not the judge of ALL the earth do right”

Heb. 12:23 “To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in

heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect

1 Peter 4:5 “Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.”

1 Peter 4 17 “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

Whatever we think about or do is subject to the scrutiny of God, our Father. This should

not produce dread or anxiety, but rather reverence because he loves us and is our intimate


We must not let our familiarity degrade our view of His holiness, or forget he is judge.

II. Christians should have reverent fear because of what God has done (v.18-21).

A. God has redeemed you (v. 18)

Redeemed = Ransomed;

It means to set free or to buy the release of someone by paying the required price…

1. He rescued you from a former life (v.18b)

Peter says it was:

a. Vain/empty/pointless existence

b. Handed down from their fathers = traditional religious ways

(religion doesn’t save a person, doesn’t set a person free from the penalty of sin)

B. God paid an exorbitant price for you.

1. He paid your ransom with the life of His only begotten Son (Jn. 3:16)

Gal. 4:3-7 “Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”

To set you free, it cost God the Life of His own Son, Jesus Christ. That is how much He

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